College Admissions Myth #3: Success is based only on the name brand college you attend

Another College Admissions Myth Busted: Success is NOT determined by the school you attend. Many students and parents believe in this myth–that you are guaranteed success in life if you are admitted to (fill in your highly selective college or university here) or, conversely, that you will not be successful if you are  denied by a short list of certain highly selective institutions. We want to bust this myth wide open.  Success is based on so many factors (one of which is how you even define success).  The school you attend is just one variable in this equation.  We believe that success in life–in work, family, friends, community and more–is determined by  factors that will evolve and change over the course of your life. The first hurdle for a student in the college selection process is to explore options and think about the short term future (undergraduate studies) in a concrete manner.  This means focusing on the right professional and academic trajectory for you. Your success in this journey will be based on selecting the right career path, your  internal motivation, enthusiasm,  can-do/positive attitude, and  a little bit of luck as well. You can improve the odds of selecting well by taking advantage of the many opportunities available to you during your undergraduate years   This might include getting involved in co-curricular activities and work opportunities.  These experiences often guide you toward mentors and experiences which will shape your career decisions.  Summer internships and shadowing experiences offer similar opportunities. The definition of success will be different for each person and will change and expand as you learn more about yourself. In the spirit of helping students and families identify the many different definitions of success  regardless of the college or university you attend, we have compiled a list of “highly visible alumni” that you might find interesting.  Admissions 1 is a New York-based consulting practice so this list is  heavy on the SUNY system.  Our list is filled with people who started at state schools and have reached the top of their respective fields: Name Professional field &/or title Alma Mater Wolf Blitzer Journalist   SUNY Buffalo   Eileen Collins Astronaut, first woman to command a space shuttle   Corning Community College   Renee Fleming Renowned Opera Singer   SUNY Potsdam   Gregory Maguire Writer, Author of Wicked   SUNY Albany   Colin Powell Former U.S. Sec. of State   City College of...
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College Admissions Myth #1: High school is just a resume builder

College Admissions Myth Busted: High School is *NOT* just a resume builder. This is one of our favorite myths to bust.  Students and parents often ask us: what are colleges looking for on an activities resume?  Typically, what students and parents are really asking is, “what are the most impressive and/or important activities to pursue in high school”?  Or, “what will make a resume look great when the time comes to apply for college”?  The answer is that all activities have potential.  In addition to pursuing the most rigorous academic program for the individual student, students should spend time pursuing what interests them.  Like music? Participate in band, orchestra, chorus, or take a part in the musical.  Don’t like music? Don’t pursue these activities.  Sports, student government, literary pursuits, musical, artistic, and volunteer activities should be pursued because you love them or think you do and want to try them out.   Whatever your interest, go the distance.  It is always impressive to show depth and breadth within an area.  Fine tune your skills and experience by taking on leadership roles within whatever organization you participate. Become captain of the debate team; spearhead and organize a food drive through the key club, or a new fundraiser for a a great philanthropic cause.  At the end of the day, all these activities that you have enjoyed and have committed your time to will build you an impressive resume.  They will also make you a more interesting applicant AND  help you focus on what you like and (possibly just as important) dislike.  This organic method of building your resume will shed natural light on the real you.  That is really all that admissions officers want: to get to know the real...
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