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Six College Admissions Myths -- Debunked

Posted By Katie Szalda | December 29, 2015

It's not true that sending cookies to the admissions team will make your application a slam dunk, and it's also not true that spritzing your transcript with perfume will move it to the top of the stack. But you already knew that, right? When it comes to college admissions, here are some very common myths you may not realize are just that: myths. Siena College Admissions MythsMYTH #1: Your SAT/ACT score is everything. 

The truth: As more colleges acknowledge that standardized test scores can't define you or predict your success, these numbers no longer carry the weight you may think they doespecially at test-optional schools like Siena. When you apply here, you might not even be required to send your scores until after you enroll. (More info on that here.) That doesn't mean you shouldn't study and do your best, but don't let them stress you out.

MYTH #2: You should participate in as many extracurriculars as possible. 

The truth: Not only does that sound exhausting, it's incorrect, too! Rather than see a list of countless clubs and teams you were kind of involved in, admissions counselors want to know that you valued your committments—that you rose to a leadership position, contributed in a meaningful way or, at the very least, learned something about yourself and your future in the process.  

MYTH #3: Only admissions counselors can request an interview.

The truth: If you've been waiting in the wings to be asked by your top schools to come in for an interview, know this: a lot of colleges invite prospective students to do the requesting. Find out if you can ask to arrange an interview before or after a campus tour, so you can make the most of your trip. (To schedule an interview at Siena, click here.)

MYTH #4: All private colleges will cost you too much.

The truth: Good news, that's false! Most of the time, the sticker price of a private college tuition is a lot more than that net cost you'll actually pay after financial aid and scholarships are considered. You'll typically find that financial aid counselors are more than happy to help you come up with a plan that makes their college affordable for you and your family. All you have to do is ask.

MYTH #5: You'll be spending a lot of time writing the essay. 

The truth: Not necessarily. At some schools, yes, you may be required to pen a new, original essay, and that can take time. But at Siena, we give you the option of submitting a graded English or history paper instead. We want to see your best work, and if you're proud of something you wrote in high school, that can be just as reflective of your skills as a new essay would be.

MYTH #6: Letters of recommendation should come from teachers who gave you A's. 

The truth: Again, not exactly true. The best teachers to ask are those who know you well: what drives you, what you excel in and how much you've grown from the time you started their class to the time you moved on. They should believe in your future and want to express how well they think you'll do in college. 

Feeling a little less overwhelmed by the college application process? If you haven't already, apply to Siena! The deadline is fast approaching, but you have plenty of time to start and complete the application. We look forward to reviewing it. 

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TOPICS: Admissions Info & Advice

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