Common Myths About College
When deciding whether or not to apply to college, which of the following statements are affecting your decision?
You can't get into a selective college if you did poorly in ninth and tenth grade
FACT: Colleges and university look for performance improvement as a sign that you will and are able to do the work. A large improvement as a junior and senior shows colleges that you have buckled down. But, don’t expect to make up for three bad years in one good semester senior year.
Even if I get financial aid, I will have big loans to repay after I graduate
FACT: To ensure that you will not be drowning in debt at graduation, most colleges allow you to only borrow a reasonable amount. On average in the United States, students normally have $2500-$3500 each year in loans. Depending on the type of loan, you normally will have 10 years to repay and do not begin the payments until after you have graduated. Grants will make up the difference between what you are able to pay plus a loan
Only the best students receive financial aid from college
FACT: If you have been accepted and you’re in financial need, colleges generally want to make it possible for you to go. The greatest proportion of financial assistance at a private college normally goes to students in the middle of the class.
A lot of extracurricular activities will counteract poor grades
FACT: It is true that colleges consider out-of-class activities like student government, athletics, and music when they review an application. But your academic performance is looked at first. Many extracurricular activities only helps if the college already believes you will be able to do the work.
You can’t trust the college about financial aid
FACT: A college’s financial aid officer has the job to make it possible, within federal guidelines, for all of the admitted students to attend their college. Any questions you have about financial aid, call the financial aid officer at the colleges you are researching.
The standardized tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT) are more important that your high school grades
FACT: Colleges know that your high school performance is a better predictor of your college success than the standardized tests. They will still look at your SAT or ACT scores though. In some circumstances, at state institutions where they have far more applicants than they can equally consider may use tests scores to determine if you are qualified.
Your life will be ruined if you do not get into the college of your first choice
FACT: Don’t worry- you won’t be alone. Thousands of students do not get into their first choice college and most go on to live happy and healthy lives. In addition, students who attend their second choice school end up happy there anyways. College admissions have to be subjective due to a small staff and thousands of applicants. Some applicants stand out more than others.
State supported institutions offer more financial aid than private colleges
FACT: State colleges and universities offer little of their own financial support. State institutions are more likely to offer loans to students who do not have a high need.
The federal government provides most of the financial aid
FACT: Funds from the government cover only a small amount of the financial aid available. The government actually reduces the amount of grant money (money that does not need to be repaid). Private colleges fund the largest percentage of financial aid.
If you believe any of these statements above: make sure to correctly inform yourself about your future with the PPS College and Career Readiness page.
PICS : Personal Inventory of College Styles. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://pics.collegetrends.org/myths.cfm