ADMISSIONS TIP:  Acceptance Rates: Don’t Obsess Over Them!

My recent blog: 2024 Acceptance Rates: Myths to Understand  shared some important information to hopefully clarify why you should NOT be concerned or focused on these data. For the curious, the blog did conclude with a chart of the previous two years of acceptances rates at several universities.

I remind every student and parent- there are 3900+ colleges, and if you do the arithmetic- add up the spaces available at the top 20% of colleges and compare that to the number of graduating high school seniors seeking a space in the freshman class of 2025– yes, you will find the perfect fit for you!

Back to my chart– If you didn’t see your colleges of interest on my list, you can find more information by reviewing these statistics at individual college websites. Acceptance rates do provide a baseline metric in building your balanced college list of reach, match and “safety” choices. As discussed in my newsletter on selecting a college (see sidebar for link), focus your efforts on creating a list of universities that fit you in these three ways: “academic”, “social” and “financial”.  
Acceptance rates are aggregate numbers that give you a sense of the degree of competitiveness of a given university, but it’s more important for you to research the academic profile of the most recently admitted class as an indicator of your chances of acceptance to a particular college. You’ll find this information, along with acceptance rates available at the university website. 
An invaluable source of information on application numbers, acceptance rates and some fascinating statistics on admitted students is available in the COMMON DATA SET INITIATIVE where colleges can voluntary release this information in detailed reports aimed at providing accurate information about their incoming class profile. The easiest way to find this information is to search for “University Name + Common Data Set”. The reports are exceedingly and overly detailed.

Another option, although slightly less reliable is College Navigator . Again, the point to be appreciated and understood is that aggregate acceptance rates vary widely by major, gender, location and your actual academic profile. So please don’t focus on aggregate numbers which aren’t personally relevant to YOU.   
Finally, another informal indicator of your chances of acceptance and which I previously mentioned is Talk.CollegeConfidential where a few hundred discussion threads provide self-reported “results threads” of student profiles of admitted, waitlisted and denied applicants at nearly every college.
Here’s the link to the results thread for:Talk College Confidential Results Thread Stanford RD ’22

ADMISSIONS TIP: EXPLORE AND DISCOVER If you want to minimize the stress associated with the college admissions process, build your Educational and College Admissions Plan as early as 8th grade! This will allow you to carefully select classes and extracurricular opportunities to encourage academic and personal exploration preparing you for success as a high school and undergraduate student.  
Don’t follow the crowd nor march through high school without a smile ! BE INSPIRED!!
What is your student passionate about?  Now is the time for discovery!   In my next newsletter I’m going to detail several options to continue discovery within a socially distant framework.

In the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by both anxious and confident parents of high school sniors (’21) getting ready for the college admissions process ahead. I’ve also spoken with parents of middle school students  about to begin high school (’24) expressing concerns about taking too many or too few AP or AICE courses and wondering whether their GPAs should be boosted through Dual Enrollment.

College Application & Admissions: AICE/AP/IB – High School Curriculum Planning!

A Strategic Educational plan not only includes a curriculum mapping of challenging, relevant and manageable courses.  A plan that balances academic experiences with meaningful student selected extracurricular activities leads to confident, mature, self-directed and grounded young adults. 
Admissions staff look favorably upon students with a sustained commitment to activities throughout all four years of high school.  JUMP START YOUR STRATEGIC EDUCATIONAL PLAN –   Parents of incoming high school freshman are already thinking about how many AP classes to consider and whether their students  will be off to strong start.  I ask you:  will your student be able to “Check the Box?”

There’s a project for everyone!STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students are provided with a list of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and ideas for potential entry into science fairs this fall.
ARTISTS and MUSICIANS should be working on developing their portfolio and honing skills in disciplined creative work thinking ahead to competitive local venues.

BUSINESS/LIBERAL ARTS – Explore a topic of interest with an eye towards writing an essay you can enter into any number of local and national essay competitions (business, history, etc.)  sponsored by a variety of organizations. Need suggestions?  Start a blog on a topic you’re passionate about and when school begins in the fall, bring your best Blog pieces to the school newspaper.
Another meaningful and joyful way to spend your time as well as demonstrating your passion about your interest is to become a volunteer mentor for younger students. There are many opportunities to do so through tutoring, religious organizations, middle school clubs, sports teams and even starting your own business assisting others to learn more.

As the academic year gets underway, whether you’re a senior working on college applications or a freshman just beginning your journey- it’s really important to understand the process ahead. Having annual goals and a college plan to achieve those goals can reduce the guesswork and stress of the college admissions process.

Schedule your Educational & College Admissions Planning Assessment with College Advisor Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD CLICK to SCHEDULE YOUR EDUCATIONAL and COLLEGE PLANNING ASSESSMENT TODAY

college planning expert bonnie r. rabin with clients

Have a wonderful day and a spectacular start to your school year.


Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.

South Florida 561.509.0021

Boulder/Denver 720 737 9944

Nationwide or  833.MY.ESSAY

College Advising & Educational PlanningSouth Florida & Anywhere You Are!brabin@collegecareerconsulting.comProfessor Emeritus & Cornell University Alumni Representative- 30+ Years Experience