What Colleges Say, and What Students Hear

By Kevin McMullin

What Colleges Say, What Students Hear

Students often hear something very different than the intended message when a college says,

“You are invited to apply with our special application…”

“Colleges want students who have demonstrated leadership…”

“Our college has a 10 percent admit rate…”

“The most competitive applicants will have challenged themselves in a rigorous course program…”

“Our college reviews applications holistically. Test scores are only one small part of the equation…”

Sometimes the fault is squarely on the college. Other times, it’s the student who is refusing to hear what they don’t want to hear. And occasionally it’s a little of both. Whatever the particular cause, The Washington Post’s recent piece, “The disconnect between what colleges say and what students hear,” clears up the confusion between these and other misheard messages from colleges to students.