As students begin to contemplate their future educational plans, it is important to keep in mind that college admission committees are looking for applicants who are not only academically strong but also demonstrate a variety of other qualities. Here are some key areas that are important to keep in mind when preparing to apply for college.
Academic performance is one of the primary criteria that admission committees consider when evaluating applicants. Grade Point Average (GPA) and performance in Advanced Placement (AP) courses are crucial components in demonstrating an applicant's academic abilities. It is important for students to maintain high grades and challenge themselves by taking advanced courses that align with their interests and career goals.
Standardized test scores such as PreSAT, SAT/ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are also essential elements that admission committees evaluate. These tests provide a standardized way to evaluate applicants and are often used to compare students from different schools. Students should take ample time to prepare for these tests, and consider taking them multiple times to achieve their best score.
Extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports, community service, jobs/internships, and awards/honors, are crucial for demonstrating an applicant's well-roundedness and character. These activities allow students to showcase their leadership abilities, their dedication to their passions and interests, and their commitment to serving their communities. Students should participate in activities that align with their interests and showcase their unique strengths and experiences.
The college essay is an opportunity for students to showcase their writing skills and personal voice to the admission committee. This essay is often used as a way for admission committees to get to know the student beyond their academic and extracurricular achievements. Students should take the time to craft a compelling and thoughtful essay that showcases their unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. For more, The Power of the Personal: Why College Admission Essays Matter and How to Make Them Count
Demonstrating interest in a particular college is another way to increase the chances of admission. Students can demonstrate interest by attending college fairs, visiting campuses, connecting with current students and alumni, and engaging with the college community through online forums or social media. Demonstrating interest can help students stand out and demonstrate their enthusiasm for attending a particular institution.
College admission committees are looking for well-rounded applicants who excel in academics, demonstrate leadership qualities through extracurricular activities, showcase their character and unique qualities through their essay, and demonstrate genuine interest in the institution. By keeping these factors in mind and working hard to excel in each area, students can position themselves as competitive applicants and increase their chances of securing admission to their dream college.