College Acceptance Rates: What Are Your Real Chances Of Getting Into College?

College acceptance rates are higher, but enrollment rates are getting lower, making the chances of getting into college a whole lot easier. But is this good news for parents and students?

Reuters, the news agency, has an article whose headline indicates that college rejection rates are simply a myth. There is truth in the fact that acceptance rates appear to be encouraging for applicants; note I underscored the word “appear.” And we all know that appearances can be deceiving, which makes a documented fact a weak fact, that is, one that cannot be taken seriously.

Let’s examine each of the article’s points regarding the “myth.”

  1. The article suggests that over 75% of students who apply to college are accepted. Does it mean that a parent has little reason to be concerned about their little Johnny being accepted to where he applies? By contrast he has a 25% chance of being rejected by those same schools. Sure the odds are in the student’s favor, which suggests that both the student and the parent have nothing to worry about. Right?

Let’s apply these odds to a medical template. If you were diagnosed with cancer and your doctor said you really didn’t need treatment because the odds against you are “only 25%,” that there was a 75% success rate of your cancer evaporating if you had no treatment of any kind, what would your reaction be? I thought so: you’d be seeking the best medical advice you could find to decrease the 25% to zero. ZERO. If a college admissions expert told you to apply this analogy to your chances of getting into college – and a right-fit college – what would you conclude? (Please be patient – I’ll return your call.)

  1. The article fails to mention the drop-out rates of students who are accepted, which makes you think that the student went to the wrong college. Why? Because they actually didn’t qualify academically (28%), but the college accepted Johnny anyway, or the parents simply realized later that a college’s long-term commitment (4-6 years) is not affordable (38%).

Conclusion? The parents didn’t have a clue of what a real college-fit meant, both academically and financially, and they didn’t determine well enough in advance if college was genuinely affordable. A no-nonsense hard-bitten college admissions consultant, who could have raised all the red flags in advance and made the proper recommendations, wasn’t even considered as a factor in the family’s research of colleges. (Please be patient – I’ll return your call.)

  1. The article mentions that 76% of admission directors are “concerned” about achieving their college enrollment goals. All the more reason to apply anywhere and just wing it. Right? Incredibly in the same paragraph of the article, these same admission directors said that one out of three were offering bigger discounts (read: scholarships and grants) to attract more students.

Okay, so by contrast that means that two out of three admission directors are NOT offering more scholarship money to attract more students. Does that mean that MOST admission directors are not so concerned after all? Looks like it to me. And should a parent be worried that the odds of getting more financial aid are against them? Sure looks that way. (Please be patient – I’ll return your call.)

Such articles from news agencies like Reuters are misleading, and when I wanted to add this article to their comments section, which had “no comments” so far, a notice came up on the screen that discussion of this topic was now “CLOSED.”

There’s always the other side of a story and I wanted to offer it here.

The author is a college planning consultant who works directly with the student to gain admission into a right-fit college. He is also a life-long marketer whose stealth strategies are highly effective and the parent gets plenty of help paying for college.