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Applying to College
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College admissions officer view each application according to their school’s needs and standards, but certain things make the top of the list at nearly every college, according to NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors).
It’s up to you to know what they consider important. The more complete your college application, the more likely it is you will impress them and gain admission to their school.
And the more colleges that want you on campus, the better it is for you. We’ll see why in a moment. But first, what is it they want?
TopCollege Admissions Factors
· Good grades in college prep classes. 80% of college admissions officers rank this as very important. Get good grades in Advanced Placement or Honors classes.
· Strength of curriculum. The tougher your classes, the more impressed colleges are, but don’t overdo it. Take what you can manage, but definitely don’t take it easy on yourself.
· Admissions test scores. The vast majority of colleges require either SAT or ACT scores, and nearly 60% of admissions deans consider them very important. A good score can make the difference for a borderline student or get you better financial aid. Definitely take the test and work for the best score possible.
· Overall grade point average. More than half of admissions officers look at your overall GPA carefully. Good effort in non-AP classes counts, too.
Additional College Admissions Factors
These steps are major factors at fewer than half the colleges surveyed by NACAC, but they can still make a difference in your future education.
· College admissions essay. Your college admissions essay is a great chance to showcase your strengths – if you write it properly.
· Declared interest in the college. Colleges love to know they’re your first choice. Almost a quarter of admissions officers think this is very important.
· Teacher recommendations. These carry heavy weight at 20% of all colleges.
· Extracurricular activities. Generally speaking, extracurricular activities don’t make or break your college application, but they can improve your chances if the dean is on the fence about you, particularly if they relate to your career interests or college major. Don’t take these for granted.
Improve Your Financial Aid
Extensive college prep improves your chances of being accepted by more than one college – and that improves your chances of getting great financial aid. First, the more financial aid offers you receive, the more likely it is one of them will be from a college where you are an above-average student, usually meaning above-average aid. Also, several financial aid offers means you can appeal to schools that gave you a poor offer by showing them that other colleges offered you more money.
RSC’s tools let you build an impressive college application, from our 4-year course planner to our SAT/ACT test prep materials, 15-point essay writing tips, and extracurricular activity strategies. We address every item admissions officers consider important so that you build a well-rounded a resumé.
The more a college wants you on campus, the more likely they are to reward you for your effort. Don’t wait to start your college prep. If you’re already in 8th grade or 9th grade, contact RSC so we can get you started building a great college resumé.
1. As a private college counselor, I am always pleased to see this kind of information. The more parents and their students know about the college application and admission process, the better their college decisions will be.
Comment By Susie Watts - Aug 02, 2012 10:33 PM
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