Plan ahead for your college applications. Colleges look at more than just your grades and scores. Prepare all the different aspects of your profile and make yourself stand out.

What do colleges look for in a student?

Colleges use a combination of high school grades, standardized test scores, and extra-curricular activities to make admission decisions. As the numbers of applicants grow, schools are more selective, forcing students to work harder to distinguish themselves from their peers. Students today are preparing themselves much earlier and much more thoroughly for the application process, with some families going as far as selecting high school curriculum and activities based on how they will be viewed in the eyes of college admission staff. This all points to one undeniable fact: gaining admission to US colleges and universities is becoming more and more difficult each year. However, with the right information and preparation anyone willing to work hard can get into a college.

  • GPA

    Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is very important in college admissions. This is the only quantifiable piece of information that college admission officers have to gauge your overall performance in school. It is a reflection of your knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Though it plays a very big part in college admissions, do not panic. It is not the only factor in admission. A high GPA does not guarantee admission nor does a low one mean you are not admittable.

  • Extra-curricular Activities

    Extra-curricular activities play as big a role in college admissions as your GPA. If your GPA is a reflection of your knowledge, extra-curricular activities are a reflection of your personality. Colleges generally are not interested in admitting a student who only has high grades. They much prefer a student who has interests outside of academics. They want to see a student who is committed to and passionate about these interests. It is important to seek out activities and opportunities outside of school not only for college admissions, but to grow in all areas of your life: academically, socially, and emotionally.

  • Test Scores

    While test scores get much of the attention, they are only one aspect of your profile. Tests are a way for college admission officers to put the rest of you application into perspective. Your scores are also used to a certain extent to predict your likelihood of succeeding in college. Most colleges do not have a cutoff point for SAT/ACT score, but having a low score will mean the other aspects of your application need to make you shine.

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Where can I get help with applying to college?

While the factors listed above are the most prominent, other factors are also important. It is important for you to review every facet and angle of your profile and make yourself as attractive as possible to college admission officers. There are lots of resources out there to help you with all the parts of your application. Read on to find out more about the different parts of an application and the people who can help you.

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