Huge waste of family money

07th Apr 2017

Huge Waste of Family Money

Summary: Nationally, students end up wasting more than $200 million every year because of applying to colleges they don’t get accepted to. It’s heart breaking to see low income families wasting their hard earned money and having to make sacrifices that are completely avoidable. This huge waste can be avoided if students have better guidance and tools for creating a realistic list of colleges to apply to.

Data: Our findings are based on an analysis of the data pertaining to application fee and number of rejections for six hundred colleges. Application fees range from $50-$80 excluding the $11-$12 fee charged by ACT/College Board (SAT) for sending scores to individual colleges. We concluded that more than $200 million is wasted every year just for these 600 colleges. This number will go up by about 15% if we added the fees charged by ACT and SAT.

I was not surprised to see that the top 5 colleges on this list are all from California with UCLA and UC Berkeley taking the honors. What’s the reason: Very large number of applications combined with a low acceptance rate. Last year UCLA received 119,000 applications (the most ever for any college in US recorded history) and had an 18% acceptance rate.

Problem: So, what’s going on? I believe there are three reasons because of which the rejection rates are so high:

1. Students apply to colleges (and majors) that they have very little or zero chances of getting in. Why: Because they don’t have the data or guidance to create a realistic college list.
2. Students apply to too many colleges. Why: They take safety in numbers because they don’t have an idea of their chances of getting accepted.
3. Over the last ten years or so, the number of applications has more than doubled.

For the first two points above, the problem is amplified for first generation immigrant families. That’s because the parents did not attend high school or college in the US and hence are unable to provide much help.

Solution: The best way to solve this problem is to provide better guidance to students and their parents. The goal of this guidance would be two fold:

1. Help students in creating a realistic college list
2. Guide students through the applications process to increase their chances of getting accepted

How can UCEazy help: We have a large team of college admissions experts to help with the above. These experts provide personalized guidance to students and their families. Additionally, to support our social mission, we offer several solutions for families that are unable to afford personalized coaching:

1. 100% free coaching to fifty students from low-income first generation families.
2. Free seminars in participation with community organizations.
3. Free webinars. Recordings are available for offline viewing, again at no charge.
4. Free web applications.

About the Author: Vinnie Gupta is Co-Founder and CEO of UCEazy, a company with a mission to make college admissions easy for first- generation immigrant families. He is a first generation immigrant himself and went through the very stressful college admissions process for his children. He loves to share his perspective, along with several strategies and techniques that he has developed, with other parents. He is a highly sought after speaker and has been interviewed on several radio programs and publications.