Are You a VIP College Applicant?

As everyone probably knows, many colleges are now accepting applications. The colleges are sending letters, brochures, and postcards in the mail telling you about their applications. The colleges and admission officers are sending emails telling you why you should apply to their college with a link to the application. And, many colleges are trying to make you feel special in hopes you will apply.

Many students are receiving letters and emails saying they are a:

  • Priority Applicant
  • Select Candidate
  • Top Candidate
  • Top Prospect
  • VIP Applicant

Or, students are receiving communication from the colleges saying they have:

  • Choice Status
  • Priority Status
  • Scholars Status
  • Select Status
  • VIP Status

You might have some questions when it comes to these messages from college, such as:

  • What is all of this flattery all about?
  • Does this mean they will admit me?
  • Do I have an advantage when it comes to applying for admission?
  • What did I do to get this flattery?
  • Are these letters legitimate?

Some of the colleges are sending these types of letters to students who meet specific criteria. You might have self-reported your GPA when you signed up for the mailing list and it falls within the range they want to see. Or, they received your test scores for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT and your scores are what the college likes to see in their applicants. However, other colleges are sending these letters to all of the high school seniors on their mailing list.

Most colleges use flattery when communicating with prospective students for the same reason – they want you to submit your application. Some colleges are doing it because they need to bring in more applications. The more applications they receive can mean they can admit more students and that means more students are likely to enroll. Other colleges, unfortunately, may want more applications so they can lower their acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is based on the number of students who are admitted out of all of the applications received. A lower acceptance rate can make a college seem more attractive to students and parents. And, when a college has a lower acceptance rate, colleges may move up in the rankings and attract more competitive students. When it comes down to it, flattery is all about college admission numbers.

Why is it important to understand the flattery?

The reason I bring up this flattery is not to make you feel less special. The reason I bring it up is because, unfortunately, many students every year believe they will be admitted to a particular college because they were given “VIP Status.” Many students put all of their time and effort into a particular college because they thought the college wanted them and neglected other colleges that should have been on their list.

It sometimes works out for students, but it doesn’t work out for all students. Some students are given false hope they will be admitted to a college that could be a reach for them based on their academic profile. In addition, many colleges use a holistic approach when making their admission decisions. While you fall within their academic profile, the admission committee will be considering many other things when making their admission decisions. Admission to a college is never guaranteed, even when a college says you are given “Choice Status.”

If you receive a message from a college that is flattering and they are a good fit academically, socially, and financially, apply if you want. However, don’t feel like you need to apply to a college that is nice to you. Only apply to a college if it is the right place for you after you do all of your research.

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