What might be holding you back from getting into the best colleges? The most elite and competitive colleges have the luxury of being very particular when it comes to accepting students. These institutions will have strict admissions requirements and you must make yourself stand out among the sea of applicants. If you are proactive now, you can prevent the disappointment of not getting into your top college choices.
Scores and GPA
Know your end goal. While many colleges say they will consider a wide variety of materials, your SAT or ACT score will have a heavy influence. Find out what the average score of admitted students is and aim to exceed that. The same thing goes for GPA or class rank. When you know your GPA must be 3.5 or higher from the start, you won’t be as likely to fall behind.
You can beef up your college applications with leadership roles. Colleges like to see involvement, but they also like to see progression or improvement. Don’t spread yourself so thin joining extracurriculars that you can’t excel at any of them. Aim to be the captain of a sports team, the president of an organization, or the coordinator of a club. Breadth is good, but depth is what most colleges are after.
In addition to leadership and academics, colleges want to know that you will be an outstanding citizen. When you invest in your community, it makes your alma mater look good. Therefore, colleges want to invest in students they think will contribute to their communities. You can prove that you are an upstanding citizen with volunteer hours. Commit to regularly volunteering with an organization that matches your passions. If you want to be a teacher, volunteer as a tutor. A future doctor should put in hours at the hospital.
As soon as you have an interest in a college, look at their admissions requirements. Make these requirements your goals throughout your high school career. When you wait until your junior year to start thinking about college, it may be too late to achieve the exam scores and GPA you need to get into the best schools.