Applying to College? Don’t Count On Just Applying to Your Dream School

College Counselor College Search Tips
College Counselor College Search Tips

Does your child have his or her heart set on getting into their dream college? You and your student may have a dream college in mind, one that you’ve imagined for years to be “the perfect place” for him or her to grow into the adult you know they will become.

The problem is that not everyone gets accepted to every college. Some colleges are more highly selective than others, which means that each applying student is less likely to get that thick acceptance packet in the mail (and more likely to get that sad, thin envelope).

What a heartbreaking moment.

All too often, I see students applying to college crushed that they weren’t accepted into their favorite. Parents think that because their child has great grades and test scores that they’ll be accepted to Ivy League schools, but even with a “connection,” the chances may be slim.

The Westwood/Century City Patch asked me to share my best advice about choosing a college. In this article, I reveal how many colleges I think should be on your student’s list, a warning about falling in love with one particular college, and more.

Today, high school seniors will know if they have been admitted to UCLA, and UC Berkeley’s decisions will come out next week. And for students who’ve had their hearts set on UCLA or Berkeley, or any of the other tremendously competitive and highly selective colleges, there will be disappointment. Despite the fact that students know that some of these top tier colleges reject over 90% of the students who apply each year, they throw their intellect out the window and let their heart melt over a college. A college that will reject them.

Most college counselors – school-based and independent counselors alike, will advise students to have a variety of colleges on their list. “Apply broadly,” we like to say. That means apply to colleges that are your dream schools, but apply to colleges where…

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