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Know What Colleges and Universities Look For in Applicants

After secondary school, entering college is the next most important thing to do. In the United States there are hundreds of good quality and prestigious schools that you may choose from. However, these colleges and universities have thousands of students to choose from also. So what are your chances in entering the college or university that you have been dreaming of?

Due to the competitive college admissions system of most universities and college, you must learn what exactly these schools are looking for in your application. Since they process quite a number of applications, you must know how to stand out in the applications since competition is high.

Among your friends and classmates, there might have been a few ideas and opinions circulating about what it really takes to enter into college. There might be individuals who think that only the test scores are important. The truth is college and universities look for the most deserving students which they think are comprehensive and well-rounded.

The college admissions system of most universities and colleges is to determine if the prospective candidate is worthy consists of a few needs such as the personal essay of the applicant, referrals or recommendations from teachers, high school record, report of test scores standardized through the SAT and CAT, report of extra-curricular activities the applicant is involved in.

Depending on the thrust of the school, the admissions department may evaluate applicants differently. Usually, prestigious and smaller schools have a bigger consideration to the essays of the students or recommendations of teachers. On the other hand, larger and less competitive schools focus more on test scores.

Consider the following aspects in your college applications. You have a greater edge if you have considered these earlier in your high school years. This way, you will have more time planning and processing your college application. You may strive in essential aspects and make sure your admission to the school that you have wanted.
High School Record

This actually accounts for thirty five to fifty percent of the school’s admissions. Your high school record is very important since it is stated here the courses or subjects that you took and passed. It also shows in here how you have excelled or how well you did in those courses or subjects. This is the most important aspect of your application to college. Through this record, the college or university will know how you will perform in their school and how you are going to complete your college course.

The college admissions departments will look at your overall grade and how your grades improved during high school. They willl mark the obvious slides in your grades periodically during your high school.
Scores of the Tests Taken
These tests pertain to the SAT and ACT. SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test while the ACT stands for American College Testing. These scores account for twenty-five to forty percent of the admissions. Almost all colleges and universities use these scores to evaluate applicants. The principle behind the SAT and the ACT is associated with the belief that it shows the applicant’s mastery in certain academic skills such as reading, problem-solving, analogy and other basic skills. These are also ways to compare different applicants from different high schools since these are standard tests taken by all graduating high school students.

Extra-curricular Activities
Either this may account up to twenty percent or may not matter at all in the admissions. Certain schools look for well-rounded students who excel in their academics but also have time to socialize and do noble causes or services. Colleges and universities are interested in the applicant’s activities while in high school and how he or she has managed to do these while studying. Leadership potentials are believed to develop in high school and these are what the colleges or universities will want to know.

Essays and Recommendations
These can account for up to twenty percent. In some schools, these may not matter. These are the ways the college or universities look at the applicant’s human side, to know their strengths and weaknesses. This can actually add to their first impression of you as a student.

Other factors that colleges or universities may consider or look for in you are your membership to minority groups or your affinity to one of the school administrator’s or teachers. This can account for as high as thirty percent in the admissions.


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