Even if you are going to enter high school in the fall or are a senior graduating this year, it is good to know what colleges are actually looking for in a student. And, if you have this information and knowledge, it can increase your chances for acceptance to the college of your choice.
With that said, the following tips come from the Top Things Colleges Look For in a High School Student.
1. A Challenging High School Curriculum
Attempt to take at least ‘five’ core courses every semester! If you believe you earn good grades, take AP, IB, and/or honors classes. Colleges usually calculate your GPA based on these core classes, usually English, math, science, social science, and foreign language.
2. Solid Scores on the SAT and/or ACT
Make sure that even if you have excellent grades, you score well on these tests. And, even if you score high on these tests, make sure your grades are consistent as high test scores do not compensate for low grades.
3. Show Passionate Involvement in a Few Activities
Depth, not breadth, of experience is most important. Show your passion by committing to a few activities and demonstrate leadership, initiative, and be an impact in these activities.
4. Use Your Free Time in a Meaningful Way
Show the colleges that you have experience in summer activities, work, and hobbies that will reflect responsibility and dedication in specific areas of interest.
5. Special Talents or Experiences That Will Contribute to an Interesting Student Body
If you have a special talent in sports, research, writing, the arts, or anything else, you can definitely gain an edge. Consider sending colleges evidence of these things that make you “stand out.”
6. Have a Well-written Essay That Provides Insight Into Your Personality, Goals, and Values
For colleges that have you write an essay, it should be thoughtful and highly personal. Make sure it demonstrates your writing skills!
7. Demonstate Enthusiasm for Attending the University
If possible, schedule a campus visit, including an information session, tour, and interview. Stay in touch with an admission representative and show that you are definitely interested in attending their university.
8. Demonstrate Intellectual Curiosity
Continually show admission counselors or the admission representative that you are always eager to learn by reading, doing well in your high school classes, pursuing extracurricular activities, and showing you have that intellectual curiosity to tackle what university life will offer.
If you have any questions about how to pursue or accomplish these tips, please contact us and we can discuss how you can make yourself the best possible student to increase your chances for acceptance to the college of your choice.