If you are a “typical kid from suburban Connecticut”…. the SATs are your best weapon for college admission and merit aid

By College Counseling

“I have good grades.  I am in a bunch of clubs.  But I don’t have anything special.”  Avery a junior from Essex noted.  “What can I do to help with admission?”

We went through Avery’s grades – very good – but… and I hate to say this… grade inflation has become so rampant that anyone with an A- average… is well… about average.  Crazy, I know but that’s the truth.  My wife – a college professor – is on the admissions team and recently pointed out that a student with a 98 average was roughly in the 50th percentile of his high school class.  How can that be?  Weighted courses at his school – an extra 10 points – helped many students have averages above 100.  I see the same in local Shoreline schools where GPAs above 3.7 are common.

Avery was involved in different clubs but like most students had not done anything that was exceptional.

And, yes, she was not diverse.  She also had no other “hooks” that would help (athletic recruiting/VIP connections/extraordinary story).  She like most “good kids” had done everything right but now was faced with the reality of college admission where she is not really competing with roughly half of any incoming class (diversity candidates/athletes etc.)

What could she do as a junior?  Take the SATs.  Given that she attends an excellent high school, she will likely do better than most.  That may be the only edge that students from Connecticut shoreline towns can use as a leg up for college admission and merit aid.