What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything)

What Colleges Want in an Applicant

The college admission process is known to be a stressful one. For high school students, deciding on the perfect college is one of the most important decisions of their lives. College applicants and their parents alike may often wonder what a college is looking for in their applicants.

Of course, good test scores remain a high priority for many schools. Students should take the SATs and ACTs seriously, study vigorously, and consider retaking these exams if their scores aren’t where they’d like them to be. A strong test score could be the difference between acceptance and rejection, and may also provide excellent scholarship opportunities. Likewise, students should work hard in school to apply to college with strong grades.

In addition to test scores and grades, colleges want applicants who are able to bring a diverse range of experiences to their school. Participating in extracurricular activities is a great way expand an applicant’s experiences, and taking on leadership roles in an activity is an even better way to stand out. High school students can also volunteer in the community or participate in a part time job to show they’ve had life experience and they’ve taken on responsibility.

Any recognition an applicant has received should also be brought to a potential college’s attention. For example, awards for grades, or for exceptional athleticism, demonstrate and extra commitment on the part of the student to excel. Many colleges would factor in these types of recognition in making a decision on whether or not to accept the student.

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