The college application process can be challenging and even intimidating. American Universities in particular are known for taking into account more than test scores and GPAs. They want students to be well rounded and display skills and interests that will contribute to the university’s community, as well as have the initiative it takes to be successful in a career.
GPA and Course Offerings
When you apply to colleges play up your strengths. It is ok if you didn’t get a 4.0. According to CollegeXpress, universities also take into account the kinds of courses your high school offered and whether or not you were willing to challenge yourself.
Commitment to Extracurriculars
Universities also like to see commitment to an extracurricular. It could be a sport, music, or a club. Rather than quantity of extracurriculars, universities like to see that you stuck with something for multiple years and advanced. Becoming a leader, team captain or organizer demonstrates your commitment to something you care about, your desire to excel and your ability to lead other people. Don’t forget to include volunteer work. Showing that you give your time to help your community makes you a desirable candidate.
Many universities require recommendations. Be sure you choose teachers, counselors, coaches or others who know you well and know why you would be a good fit for a particular university or academic program.
Essays are also very important. Choose stories and examples that communicate your unique personality and your interests. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, but do be sure you are writing coherently and with excellent grammar. Have someone else proofread your essay before you submit it.
Finally, your SAT or ACT score will be a significant factor. Make sure you prepare well for the exam and do your best. It is a good idea to get help if you are unsure about how to prepare.
Use Your Strengths
When you apply to universities, play up your strengths. Look at past admissions statistics and see what characteristics, test scores and GPAs the university you are applying to accepts or prefers. If you don’t fit into the averages, point out your strengths and why you would be an excellent addition to the university and the academic program you want to pursue. You may be exactly what admissions officers are looking for.
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