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Why Do Top Colleges & Universities Turn Down Valedictorians?
- August 2, 2013
- Posted by: Randall Reiners
- Category: Picking the Best School
Imagine this scenario. You are a key member of the admissions committee for a top tier college or university. Sitting in front of you is a stack of applications, essays, transcripts and frankly, hopes and dreams of some pretty talented high school students. In fact, Valedictorians and top students from high schools all over the world want to attend your prestigious university. Your stack is the cream of the crop and what strikes you is how alike so many of the applications and transcripts are. The sad reality is you will have to turn away many Valedictorians, and many Valedictorians from public schools would just be average students at top private schools, but you already know this.
The conundrum that faces these college and university admission professionals is this: All the students who get serious consideration have high grade-point averages and 4.0 GPA’s are simply not that special. They want excellent students, yes, but it is only one indicator and a 3.5 is often good enough. What about test scores, SAT’s and ACT exams? Again, students with serious consideration all have high test scores that fit the school’s profile. There are more who apply than can be accepted.
So who is the college student who not only gets accepted but also the coveted scholarship money? Why do the accepted students stand out, get in and have schools bidding for them? Beyond a rare meme-worthy essay, what could possibly turn the head of admissions professionals who have seen it all? Admissions professionals and prestigious universities look for two more things.
First, is the coursework the student studied rigorous? Were the subjects at a high level? They would rather have high school students with a B+ in a college biology class than an A grade from a high school biology class. B in Advanced Calculus beats an A+ in Pre-calculus. College work beats Advanced Placement classes. Advanced Placement classes with a 5, 4 or maybe a 3 on the test beat honors and regular class. Your high school’s college reputation also counts and quality private schools beat the best public high schools. In short, how high did you reach on the educational ladder, and is your school known for elevating their students?
So what is Second? A simple question – What makes you so special? Are you an All-American athlete? Have you published a novel? Do you have any patents? Have you already started a successful business, even if it is small? Are you an Eagle Scout? Have you been in the movies or on a television series? Do you have a concert tour, a published album or performances singing with a major city orchestra? Have you climbed the world’s leading mountains peaks or rock faces? Have you spent over 1,000 hours working in hospitals or helping disadvantaged children? Have you spent many years working on a special talent or goal demonstrating perseverance, grit and leadership with results, while still being a nice person others want to be with? If so, then you are the student our prestigious university will choose and try to attract with scholarships.
By the way, a different Yorktown Education student has done every item mention in the previous paragraph except one, but we are a small growing school with only five years of history.
At Yorktown Education, we are finding our graduates are getting the attention of colleges and universities by bringing an application that distinguishes them from all the others. Yorktown has a 100% college acceptance rate. 100% of our graduates are advanced graduates with significant college course work completed (at a 3.7 college grade point average) while in high school or an academic scholarship and usually both. The scholarships and credits average over $50,000 per student. The Yorktown program includes:
• The first 30 college credits paid for by Yorktown in the basic tuition. There is no limit on the total credits that can be earned through our dual enrollment program, which is accredited by SACS CASI, an accreditation division of AdvancED. We are recognized in all 50 States and 69 foreign countries. Yorktown has more rigorous coursework than other schools.
• Our students are earning 4 & 5 scores on Advanced Placement tests two years before students at most other schools, again more rigorous coursework.
• Extensive “DO WHAT YOU LOVE” curriculum programs make our students special. First, we help our student achieve high academic levels so they can then perform extensive coursework and special programs and “DO WHAT YOU LOVE”. Engineering, Medicine, and the arts; choices are only limited by the imagination.
• Social training is an important part of their education, and Yorktown graduates understand how to conduct themselves in any situation. Interviews are common in top tier university admission procedures and our graduates can conduct themselves at levels above most of their peers in other schools.
Standing out begins earlier and the competition is fierce. Yorktown Education prepares students to beat their competition into college, through college and position them for success and enjoyment in life. Yorktown Students, DO WHAT YOU LOVE!