5 Factors College Admissions Offices Look For

The almighty college application is a document that both inspires excitement and fear in students as well as their families. It’s amazing how a document can be so simple but so complex at the same time. The stress and anxiety that comes with filling them out is understandable. After all, high school students with goals of earning a degree from college know that one error on the application or having a submission that isn’t strong could make all the difference in their higher education plans.

College admissions officials also have a great deal of pressure on their end when reviewing submissions from hundreds of thousands of applicants. This being their expertise, however, admissions officials have a system in place that allows them to easily categorize which applications will make it to the next step and which ones won’t.

If students could read anybody’s mind, it’s safe to say that college admissions officials would be on that list. While this isn’t possible, there is some insider info that’s no longer a secret, which can be hugely beneficial for students curious as to what parts of their college application weigh more heavily on colleges’ final decisions than others.

College Prep Course Grades

college admissionsNothing shows colleges and universities how serious students are than by enrolling in college prep courses while still in high school. Students that take college prep courses tend to be more mature, studious and prepared for college life, which is very impressive to admissions officials.

Taking these types of classes aren’t mandatory but passing them with good marks makes for a much stronger application. College prep courses in a variety of subjects are available at virtually all public and private schools.

Strength of Curriculum

Colleges want students that are able to handle the challenging nature of their coursework and a good indicator of their potential to succeed in a higher learning environment is the strength of the curriculum offered through the high school a student has or is attending. Through transcripts, admissions officials can tell whether a student has breezed through easy classes or taken it upon themselves to pick challenging classes.

Test Scores

This is the most obvious information admissions officials look for, namely the ACT and SAT tests. High school students need to make sure they do their best to score well on these two tests. While these factors alone won’t make or break the chances of getting accepted, the better the score, the less a student has to worry about.

Cumulative GPA

The keyword here is “cumulative.” This information shows what a student’s average grade point is by calculating the number of points earned in all completed courses. Both good and bad grades are taken into account, which is why students should focus on getting consistently good marks from freshman year onwards.

Demonstrated Interest in Going to College

College campuses welcome students that are eager to be there and motivated to finish with a degree. Admissions officials can tell by the application and supplemental materials how passionate a student is about making their college goals a reality.

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