New     Submit     Search     Register  

69: Three Surprising Reasons Students Don't Get into Top Colleges

For many students, getting into a highly competitive college drives most decisions about where to spend their time and energy. But what if some of these decisions actually hurt their chances of getting in? My guest Shirag Shemmassian, who...

Updated on June 26
0:00
0:00

Key Smash Notes In This Episode

0

He helps high school students get into top colleges like Princeton, Stanford, MIT, etc. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and his PhD from UCLA. Shirag is also a licensed clinical psychologist. He grew up with Tourette Syndrome, which has helped inform his work now.

0

Parents and students don't know where to go for high-quality information or how to really stand out. Ultimately, students all start to follow the same advice and just look like one another on applications.

0

Enrolling in every difficult course their high school has to offer. Top schools are looking for students who challenge themselves academically. However, it's a mistake because it takes away too much time from activities a student COULD be participating in that actually make them stand out. What differentiates top candidates from other students is what they do outside of the classroom.

0

Yes, definitely. There are many ways to demonstrate fit, which begins well before the application process. Students should go on school tours that they are interested in, attend any events a school hosts in their in local communities, be engaged in a school's social media pages, etc.

0

Students feel pressure to make the highest scores possible. This is a mistake because colleges reject students with high scores every year. Over-focusing on standardized tests takes away time from building a unique extracurricular profile.

0

Students should study hard for a semester (3-6 months) and then take an exam 2-3 times. They should try to achieve a score between the 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted applicants at their desired schools. Any school's website will have class data available to determine score ranges.

0

No, this is a mistake. Colleges are looking for applicants that will collectively create well-rounded student bodies. They are not looking for students for who do a little bit of a lot of things. Institutions are looking for "specialists" in their specific areas.

0

It starts very small with things that a student is interested in (art, sports, hiking, etc.). Make sure that the student has time to pursue their interests and then build with incremental steps on their passions.

0

The failed simulation effect states that accomplishments that are hard to explain can be much more impressive than accomplishments that are simply hard to do. Students with unique accomplishments will stand out more in the admissions process.

Suggested Episodes