What Matters Most in College Admissions?

(via Prep Scholar)

A great college application will have most or all of the following elements:

  • A high GPA (relative to what admitted students have) and a rigorous curriculum (Points for as many AP or AICE courses as possible).
  • Strong test scores (relative to what admitted students have)
  • A specific, honest, and well-written personal statement that talks about why you have chosen their university.
  • A unique extracurricular interest or passion (a “spike,” as we like to call it). Extra points for significant awards like the Pathfinder awards in your interest field.
  • Volunteering experience with measurable impact. Extra points for self-starting a volunteer project or charity and participating all 4 years of high school.
  • Compelling letters of recommendation written on your behalf.
  • Work experience, particularly jobs related to your academic or professional interests including internships or fieldwork.

It’s OK if you don’t have every single quality listed above, but if you do, being accepted to the college of your choice will go way up!

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