Colleges are selective, and that fact may well be keeping you and your parents up at night. There's the struggle of completing applications, hitting send, and then the wait for a response. An increasing number of students are not selected, particularly for elite schools. Why is the number going up?
It's an Issue of Supply & Demand
For 10 of the past 15 years, more than 70 percent of colleges reported year-to-year application increases. More people are graduating high school and going on to college - it's a wonderful thing. But it has created an unusual challenge in the world of admissions. While this growth has surfaced among students, most of the elite schools have not increased their enrollment at the same pace. As you can imagine, this creates a bottleneck, making admissions much harder than they were for the older adults in our lives.
Another Contributor: Ease of Application
In 1975, universities started using the Common Application. This application could be used multiple times without change, and as the years have gone on, more and more colleges accept this exact form, making it easier to apply to many colleges at once. That fact combined with the move from paper applications to an almost exclusive online application process, colleges are receiving more student information than ever before.
I think we can all agree that this situation brings a level of insanity to the world of admissions. In my book, I delve deeper into the reasons behind this insanity and the "whys" behind colleges selectiveness. Read more in ADMISSIONS BY DESIGN.
Where do the subjects of heart, soul and purpose cross roads with college admissions? They might seem like very separate topics, but as the years of my experience in education and college counseling pass, I see that they are intertwined.
When I write about the heart, I am not referencing the incredible organ pumping blood through our bodies. No, I am talking about the center of you. The Latin root word “cor” was morphed in the French language to “cour” (or “coeur,” the French word for heart), and then came words like “courage,” “encour-age,” and “discourage.”
Discouragement & Intuition
Every challenge in life is hit at one point or another with discouragement. Today's students face discouragement in all forms, from a rejected college application to a difficult class.
On the opposite side of the heart, you have intuition. As valuable as job skills will always be, intuition and the use of one's personal experiences enriches the workplace in ways no employer should overlook.
Looking back at discouragement, the subject of "practical" majors comes to mind. A student once told me that even if there is opposition toward the subject you love, it would be unwise to choose a more "practical" pursuit because your heart will not be in that degree, and you will not do as well.
Claim the Design of YOUR Future
What does it mean to intertwine your core with college admissions? Don't resist involving your emotions in the process, accept that discouragement will come, but depend on your intuition, not removing it from this process. Determine what a life of meaning is to you, and go after it with your heart, soul, and a driven purpose.
To delve deeper into the subjects of design, intuition and surviving the hectic process of college admissions, check out my book, Admissions by Design.