College Selection: Making College Admissions a Game, a Common Mistake

Selection is defined as “serious attention and vigilant consideration”. Therefore the effective selection of colleges is essential to reduce risks of mis-allocating $150,000 to $200,000. Yet, parents and teens compromise their ability to reason, as they’re often also attempting to counter emotion and expectation, with misconceptions when seeking value in college, only adding complexity to selecting colleges.  

Families often mis-perceive the college admissions process as a game that simply requires the “right” strategy to manipulate favorable outcomes. Thus, many families sort college selections into “Reach, Target, Backup” categories, based on a (unreliable) forecasted likeliness of an acceptance letter, cobbling together admissions statistics, urban legend, and soundbites from admissions officers. 

However, in categorizing colleges, students (and their parents) are chasing an acceptance as THE goal, not selecting colleges, instead waiting (or seemingly begging) to be select-ed by a university, not only minimizing a student’s qualifications but also their talents

Thus, even if a student is accepted to a desired campus, they can begin college without a confidence in their experience and ability, increasing the likelihood of spending precious (limited) college years discovering why they’re attending college and who they are, a self-discovery which can (and is actually inherent) to the application process itself before starting college. 

That’s malinvestment from which opportunity costs spring forth defining regrets that can manifest long after the college parties have ended. 

Creative Marbles was founded by teachers who appreciate helping students craft insightful essays, first in the academic classroom, now as part of the complex college admissions process. For more information, please contact us

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
View all posts by Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy →