Ignore the headlines

Headlines must grab attention. They’re designed to surprise, intrigue, or just plain shock busy audiences enough to stop what they’re doing and pay attention.

That’s why you’ll never see a headline that reads:

“Nice, hard-working student accepted to multiple colleges.”

Instead, you’ll read about the straight-A student who was rejected by 12 highly-selective colleges.

You’ll hear about the student who defied the odds and got an admission to every Ivy League school.

You’ll see the bad news that the most desirable colleges are getting even more inaccessible.

Headlines don’t just exist in the news, either. The parent who only talks about the extraordinary college-prep lengths to which they’ll resort, the private admissions consultant who uses fear to sell services, the expensive summer program that promises an admission advantage for its participants—all of them are just headlines designed to grab attention.

And that’s exactly why if you want to enjoy your college admissions process, you’re better off ignoring most of the headlines.

They might be what gets read, but they don’t represent admissions reality.