The best grades, a solid weighted GPA with AP classes, and being the leader of the Model United Nations may not be enough to get you that coveted admit.
The best grades, a solid weighted GPA with AP classes, and being the leader of the Model United Nations may not be enough to get you that coveted admit. Even students who have straight A’s, 120 hours of volunteering and community service, and bankable credentials may not make the cut, especially if they do not understand the factors that really matter to the university’s admissions committee.
However, a perfectly well-balanced application that aptly highlights the students’ profile and is in line with the university’s ‘culture’ can be a great tool to impress that discerning admissions counselor on the first go. Ambivalence or ambiguity are two of the top reasons for getting even the perfect student’s application a ‘REJECT’.
Read on to know the other reasons for rejecting a student’s application.
#1 Missing the Mark Academically – Undertaking formal education entails a discipline where the academic assessments, through grades, actually depict the student’s ability to perform in a structured setting, like the classroom. The courses that students take in high school and the awarded grades become the best indicators to assess the student’s ability to undertake tertiary education.
College is a full-time engagement; for international students and even residents, the jugglery of challenging classes and studying with part-time work is taxing. Choosing between education and subsistence is all the more difficult if a student has poor grades to begin with. Studies have shown that students with poor grades end up flunking out of college twice as easily as students with excellent grades. This supports the thought that grades are thought to be a quantifiable yardstick for assessing an individual.
#2 The Scourge of Incomplete or Wrongly Filled Applications – Missing test scores or wrongly noting vital facts, absence of recommendation letters, and other application materials end up either delaying or causing a system to reject an application. Colleges are more likely to write back and ask for the missing information, but it is vital to place your best foot forward by being meticulous and mindful in the first place.
The student would be best advised to double-check contact details like email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers over and above the cursory once over, just to ensure that one gets the correct details. Any wrong information means you do not receive vital correspondence from the college, which could result in missing a deadline.
#3 Cultural Fit or Misfit – Having a clear goal and pathway can be daunting, and admissions officers are realistic enough to understand that teens and young adults have better short-term goals. Still, they do want the student to have a clear idea of the expectations vis a vis their objectives, in terms of the program they seek admission to, in relation to the objectives of the desired program.
The university really has to gauge the value that they can offer the student, as much as the student can actually create value for the university through campus participation. University life is more of a cohort existence, with shared quarters and student life, and the student must be ready to embrace this culture. These features are characteristic of large public universities, where students from private schools can find the experience jarring or even downright distressful. The student is expected to exercise self-awareness in being able to identify the large vs. cozy classroom experience, which is all critical to ensuring optimal student experience.
#4 Too Many Errors – Don’t put Howard University when you’re applying to Harvard or Wherton in place of Wharton. Admissions officers may overlook minor mistakes, but in cases where the entire application is riddled with typos and errors, the repercussions can be far-flung. Such applications reveal the poor application of mind and lack of concentration, which could mean that the applicant is not serious about the institution or that there is a genuine disability with poor reading and writing skills. If such an applicant has applied to a challenging program, then the success of such an endeavor is questionable, often leading to rejections during the application process itself.
#5 A Record of Behavior Problems – Getting your high school Dean to remark on your academic transcripts, with comments like ‘spent much time in detention’ or academic gaps resulting from the suspension, can hurt your applications. Remember your letters of recommendation can also have a note of caution. Universities tend to be mindful of behavioral markers, especially since beer pong is not a legitimate exercise for Sociology 101. Having a criminal record makes a university wary, as the campus can get more crowded than the high school parking lot. They are in the field of education, not refereeing or law enforcement. Having said this, being tardy or carrying a cell to class are discounted. Students can explain any behavioral issues, through essays, for the most part. Yet, it is always advised to have a clean, good conduct report, from your academic supervisors, for the best outcome.
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