Merit, wealth, connections…Which one will get you into college?

Post By: COYD Staff

get into ivy leagueAn article was published last Sunday titled “Five Myths about College Admissions.” It was written by Richard Kahlenberg for the Washington Post online. The first 2 myths were quite buzz-worthy and caused our inbox to fill up quickly. The first myth stated: Admissions officers have figured out how to reward merit above wealth and connections. Students wanted to know if this was truly a myth and if it was, they wanted to express how unfair it was for them. In the article, Richard D. Kahlenberg, discusses why this is a myth. He states that “A 2004 Century Foundation study found that at the most selective universities and colleges, 74 percent of students come from the richest quarter of the population, while just 3 percent come from the bottom quarter. Rich kids can’t possibly be 24 times as likely to be smart as poor kids, so wealth and connections still matter.”

My response to this myth is:

Merit/wealth/connections are not even enough to get into the most selective colleges.

1. Just being smart is not enough to get into the most selective colleges.

Why? As many of you know, you have seen students with perfect SAT scores and valedictorians get rejected from their #1 choice. Do they not possess “merit”?

2. Wealth without merit is not enough to get into the most selective colleges.


Why? Without naming names, there are several billionaires’ children who have not been able to get into the most selective colleges.


3. Connections without merit are not enough to get into the most selective colleges.

Why? Same answer as above.

Basically, there is no full proof plan into getting into the nation’s most selective colleges. Possessing all 3, merit/wealth/connections, might get you real close but it is still not a 100% guarantee.

I believe STRATEGY is the one thing a student needs to possess to be able to get into the college of their dreams and fortunately, unlike a few decades ago, this “strategy” is available for free or a minimal cost on the Internet.
If wealth was enough to get their child into a highly selective college, then wealthy parents would not be employing admissions consultants to guide their child through the college admissions process. Without having a strategic plan, wealthy parents know that their child might not get into their top choice school. Fortunately, these strategies are not only possessed by admissions consultants. These strategies can be accessed by any high school student who is dedicated to doing the research and finding those strategies. The digital age has narrowed the gap for many things in this world. A great example of this is in film. In my posting, “How to make a video without breaking the bank”, I give an example of how the barriers of entry to video creation and video distribution have become close to non-existent. In the past, not everybody could make a video/movie. Only people who had the money and resources created videos. Now anybody can do it. The film “Paranormal Activity” is a perfect example. This film was made for just $15,000 with a camcorder by a videogame programmer with no directing experience and it went on to gross over $192 million worldwide.

This is true in college admissions as well. There is free information (like this blog) that empowers students with the strategy to get into the college of their dreams. There are free reports, books and websites that make it hard for any student to claim that they are at a huge disadvantage. On our website, our #1 secret for getting into the college of your dream can be downloaded for free on the top right hand corner on this webpage. Free information is everywhere. Focus on that instead of the disadvantages. The key to success is to NEVER FEEL LIKE A VICTIM. You might not be able to change what other people do to you but you can control your actions and what you do with what you have in front of you.


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One Response to “Merit, wealth, connections…Which one will get you into college?”

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    Jan 18., 2013 at 11:04 am #

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