As you go through the college application process, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous. You might feel as though you have too many unanswered questions: Are you including the right information? Will you stand out from the crowd? What will impress the admissions board?
The truth is, different schools have different criteria. Sometimes admissions decisions even come down to simply balancing their incoming freshman class. However, most schools find the following factors to be impressive, when evaluating your application.
Your high school curriculum. Obviously, grades matter, but admissions boards recognize that it’s generally easier to earn an A in PE, than it is to earn an A in advanced Physics. So yes, they will look at you course load. Well-rounded electives can help, too.
A sincere essay. If your college of choice requires an entrance essay, try not to overthink it or provide the information you think they want to hear. Be yourself, be honest, and include memorable information that might set you apart from other students. And of course, brush up on your writing skills, especially if this is not your strongest area. Proof reading and editing will help you hone your essay before you mail the completed version.
Display character and integrity. As you list extracurricular activities, special interests, or work experiences, remember to frame them correctly. Include a brief explanation of what you learned or contributed to your community. Include all examples of leadership positions.
Watch your social media. Lock down Facebook and other social media profiles to private, and watch what you say even then. About 40 percent of colleges investigate potential students via social media. So keep it clean!
Explain why you want to attend this particular school. Colleges want to admit students who display a real passion for being on campus. Remember, too, that each contact with the school might be recorded to gauge your interest. Visit at least once, and attend any option interviews or events to which you’re invited.
Your test scores. You already know that your ACT or SAT scores matter. Prepare sufficiently, and take the test at least twice. On the other hand, sometimes taking the test five or six times isn’t the greatest idea. Give us a call, and we can help you decide if you’re well prepared for your college entrance exams, and offer guidance on taking the tests.
Remember, we’re here to help you prepare the strongest application possible! Let us know if you have any specific questions.