The 5 ways students get themselves rejected from reach schools (and how we get you in)
1. Poor common app essay topic
One of the easiest ways to get rejected from a reach school is to have a sub par common application essay. The difficult part of the common application essay is
often picking a great topic that will “wow” the committee. Here is an example of a common mistake: Student writes a passionate essay about her Grandfather who
served in World War II and won a purple heart. Only a few sentences are about how this impacted her. Her Grandfather is accepted to Harvard on the spot, but
she unfortunately is rejected. (That was a joke. But the committee is saying “Great, your Grandfather seems awesome. What bout YOU?”)
2. Sub-par research about the College
Many supplemental essays are geared towards why you want to go to the College, or what about the College appeals to you. Students do not do enough homework
in researching Colleges to learn the ins and outs of the culture. We assist our students in doing vast research on reach schools so that we can make sure to let
the committee know that our student is very, very interested… which leads to my next point!
3. Not showing enough interest
Another common mistake is not showing enough interest. One student we worked with last year told us of a rumor that no one from her school has been
accepted to Stanford in recent memory. My explanation for that trend is that none of the students have shown enough interest in the school to be accepted.
Since the student is based in Nassau County, New York, a student who wants to be accepted to Stanford needs to show REAL interest in going there. That starts
with a visit if possible, calls, e-mails, letters, etc. They need to know that they are your top choice, not second fiddle to the equally great east coast schools.
4. Mismanaged early action application
Another common mistake is applying early to a reach school as early action. Early action is simply a way to have your application processed more quickly – it is not
binding (Early Decision is the binding one) In many cases, the chances of getting rejected to a reach school in Early Action exceed the chances of getting rejected
regular admission. Early Action is often a strong pool of students with great test scores (sometimes above the median for what the college normally accepts).
Basically, Early Action is sometimes a bad strategy for someone applying to a reach. Early Decision, on the other hand, could be a better play if it is offered, as it
shows a great deal of interest (see above) due to the binding nature of the deal.
5. Not requesting an interview
An interview is a great way for many students to show a college that they are mature and a great fit for the school. Not only does requesting an interview help
you show great interest in the school, but it also lets you win over another recommender (the interviewer) if you do a great job. This could be a nerve
wracking experience, but luckily we provide our clients with mock interviews with a real interviewer to make sure they are ready
Luckily, we are here to help you. Let us know if you want to discuss any of the above in a FREE college admissions planning consultation. We are happy to assist whatever way we can