In-between Ivies and “bottom tier” schools – a senior shares the struggle of being deemed “average”


As college decisions, both rejections and acceptances, are released, there is a sense of frustration amongst the denied students who were deemed ‘too average.’ The people who received what seems like countless rejections share my similar frustration. Sometimes simply great students go unrecognized for their accomplishments. Despite our solid grades and nothing less than impressive list of extracurriculars, we are still denied and unnoticed.

I’ll admit I don’t have a 4.5 GPA, not even close. I’m not the valedictorian or in the top four percent of my class. I’m not captain of the softball team and president of math team. I don’t play three sports or the violin. I am one of the students I like to call the “in-betweeners.”

I’m not Yale, Harvard and Princeton material. I’m not naturally brilliant and I didn’t wear myself down doing homework until three in the morning every night. I took a couple honors and AP courses. I challenged myself to limits I knew would be hard for me, but that I could handle. I worked hard, but I didn’t get a perfect score on my ACT and I didn’t necessarily get into my dream school, but I’m going to a school that is the right fit for me.

When you are like me, and you’re an in-betweener, there can be a lot of frustration. You can’t get into the very top schools, but you don’t want to go to the bottom of the spectrum because you want a quality education. For me, it was hard to find schools that were in the middle range and were in reach for me. It was difficult me to find a school with an average acceptance rate that still hold prestige and good academics.

As college acceptance rates dwindle  and institutions become more and more selective, qualified candidates get rejected each year from target schools.

As one of these people, I can say that sometimes you have to keep things in perspective. Just because I’m not Ivy material and it seems sometimes that all my hard work amounted to seemingly nothing, I have realized that the name of the college and all the numbers and percentages don’t matter.

I find myself going to a school with great academics, a great student body and a great fit for me. Although there is a part of me that plays into our grade and college obsessed culture and feels like I could do better, I am content where I am going and am 100 percent sure I will be successful.