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Myka Yamasaki

Looking Past College Labels

As college admissions become more and more competitive, it seems as though many people are becoming more and more determined to get the coveted spots at premier institutions of higher education. This phenomenon appears to be especially true for those targeting universities with names that are recognized by anyone. No doubt, such schools do provide a great quality of education, but it is important to know that the college labels are not what determines that quality.

It turns out that ‘lower tier’ colleges and ‘higher tier’ colleges use many of the same textbooks. This fact alone shows that what you gleam from your college educations is about your own personal dedication and investment in the school work. If you are truly immersing yourself in your coursework, the quality of your education will be rich no matter where you are. Especially if you are in pursuit of a graduate degree, regardless of the competitiveness of your undergraduate institution, as long as you are interested and excelling in your area of study, there will be phenomenal graduate school opportunities waiting for you.

With this in mind, try to broaden your horizons in the college application process. Don’t be confined to the college labels. I understand, it is tempting to just pick the school with the most attention-getting name. I was in a similar position when faced with making a college decision. Despite this, you need to realize that you have to pick the school that is best for you in terms of the environment and the education that it will provide you. Going to college is the equivalent of moving into a new home for 4 years. Choosing a school for its label is based on other people’s perceptions. But you really shouldn’t be thinking about those other people, you should be doing what is best for you.

Good luck and trust your gut!


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About Myka Yamasaki

Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.

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