Are My Kid’s Grades/Scores Competitive Enough To Get Into College?

Short answer: yes. College acceptance rates are as low as 4.65% (Stanford), but as high as 100% (schools listed here).

But the question you’re probably asking as a parent is centered around desired schools. Any university’s requirements can easily be found online, so having the answers isn’t the problem.

The college admissions process is as follows: 50% GPA, 25% SAT/ACT score & 25% extracurricular activities (leadership, volunteering, clubs, etc). The breakdown in percentages are approximate, but this gives you better sense of the overall equation.

Today the trend is to hire a tutor. What used to be considered a luxury less than 10 years ago is now a necessity. Is it a result of the faltering education system or your child’s learning style?

Both. This post is not about my educational views, but the reality is teachers are put in a no-win situation because within a classroom each student learns differently. Your son/daughter’s struggle academically may have nothing to do with the teacher’s efforts, but the sheer lack of time in a day to accomplish what is being asked of them.

On top of grades, getting into college has become overall more competitive because GPA’s and scores have been rising. The SAT/ACT is more about understanding how the creators made the test than it is about how smart your kid is. Disclaimer: the test is made to trick, not help you achieve a high score.

That’s where trained test prep tutors come in handy. If your child is struggling in math class, no tutor can magically improve their score on the math section of the SAT/ACT in a matter of months (you should hire a math tutor). But, if your kid is doing well in math, but his test prep scores don’t translate, it’s sheerly a strategy issue.

Let’s take a completely different path: what does your son/daughter want to do for a career? Chances are the answer will change several times throughout their life, but as a parent why not assist them in figuring that out before deciding what schools to apply for?

What’s the point of applying to a school if the career they choose isn’t offered as a major? To throw another wrench in there, what if college isn’t the correct next step to their desired occupation?

These are questions your college counselor should be asking, but they usually don’t. Teenagers aren’t the most receptive to their parent’s advice in high school, so sometimes you need additional help of mentors, tutors and role models to point them in the right direction.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this! (A lot of parents are worried too)

Published by

Scott Asai

Helping people develop their leadership skills to advance in their career

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