If you pay attention to headlines and news crawls, you may be feeling some anxiety about your college admission and financial aid. When it comes to the subject of college admission, the media work hard to bring home an A+ in sensationalism. You may have been hearing about record numbers of applications, 6% acceptance rates, and financial aid letters leaving students confused and misinformed.
While it's true that more students are applying to more colleges, that competition for seats at some colleges has increased and that the cost of college continues to rise, reality runs counter to most of what you read in the media. Even when what you read in the media is factual, often its focus is so narrow it doesn't really apply at all. The number of colleges that are highly selective is TINY! The vast majority of colleges accept two-thirds or more of their applicants. In UCLA’s most recent Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) annual survey of first-year students at four-year colleges and universities, 79 percent reported being accepted to their “first-choice” college. If you've done the proper research and applied to a balanced list of eight to ten colleges, taking into account both selectivity and affordability, you will do well.