Bad data and conflicting recommendations can make it difficult for students to make good decisions about college admissions.

For that reason—and to have a little fun, I created this list of college admissions myths and realities.

students with questions about college admissions







Myth or Reality?

Top Grades and Test Scores Will Get You Into at Least One Ivy League School     MYTH

Good Schools Are Now So Selective I Won’t Get Accepted at Any of Them     MYTH

To Have a Chance at an Elite College, I Must Apply Early Decision     MYTH

Legacies Are Often Denied Acceptance     REALITY

Forbes Rankings Are More Accurate Than U.S. News     MYTH

Parents and Students Should Assess a College’s Greek Life Together     REALITY

Attending a Private College Farther From Home Can Save Money     REALITY

There is no Reason to Submit the FAFSA If Your Family is High Income     MYTH

Most Merit Scholarship Awards Do Not Require a Separate Application or Essay     REALITY

Financial Aid Practices Vary Widely from College to College and from Year to Year     REALITY

First Impressions On a Campus Visit Can Be Misleading     REALITY

I Should Only Apply to Colleges that I Have Visited     MYTH

Large Universities Offer More Opportunities Than Small Colleges     MYTH

Any Student is More Likely to Succeed in College if the Classes Are Small     MYTH