Contrary to common thought, colleges are looking for reasons to accept students, not reject them! Colleges look at many different aspects of students’ academic and non-academic profiles when looking for proper fits. As you know, we work with students with learning differences.
According to our governing body, Independent Educational Consultants Association or IECA, here are the top five things that colleges look for in High School Students.
- A rigorous high school curriculum that challenges students. This doesn’t mean every student should be taking Honors and AP classes but it does mean that students that are capable of doing well in such classes, shouldn’t stray away from them.
- Grades! Colleges want to see students being academically successful. They also like to see students having an upward trend in grades.
- Standardized test scores (ACT/SAT). Your student’s scores should be reflective of the success they have had in high school.
- A well written and insightful essay. This is a chance for students to set themselves apart outside of their GPA and test scores.
- Involvement in activities. This could be activities in school or outside of school. Colleges would prefer to see students involved in a few things for multiple years than many activities for a brief period of time.
70% of what colleges look at are student transcripts. Families often ask us what their kids could do to have a better chance of being accepted and our answer is almost always, improve or keep up grades. Everything is a small piece in the puzzle.
If you would like to see more about what colleges look for in high school students please check out this article.