Highly attractive students are not only offered admission, they are typically offered the most lucrative funding packages to entice their attendance. Here is a listing of what institutions typically consider when reviewing a student's application for admission:
1. Courses taken and grades received are one of the first things a college admission officer will look at when considering your eligibility for admission. The basic college-preparatory curriculum is made up of five (5) CORE subjects. They are English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Language. Most colleges want to see the student take four years of the first four courses and at least two years of a foreign language.
Beyond ensuring that a student has taken the CORE courses, colleges look for those who have challenged themselves academically. Advanced Placement (Honors) courses are an excellent way to demonstrate your academic strengths. A side benefit of these courses is the potential to earn college credit that may transfer to your chosen college or university. If Advanced Placement Courses are available at your high school and you are capable of taking them, it will be of great benefit for you to do so.
2. Strength of your high school and its curriculum are also considered when deciding whether or not to offer you admission. An Admissions Officer may check to see how students from your school have faired at their institution in the past.
3. SAT and/or ACT results are considered by nearly every college or university because they provide standardized scores from a uniform test for all students. The tests are designed to measure the student’s aptitude for college-level work by testing math and verbal skills. In theory, these tests level the playing field between students, no matter where they may have attended high school. Taking the SAT and/or ACT more than once is recommended. Your highest score is almost always the only one reported and students generally score better the second time. Helpful Tip - don’t wait until the last minute to test.
4. High school and community activities are also reviewed and evaluated by the Admissions Officer. The students who challenge themselves, work hard, and show leadership by participating both in high school activities and community activities are most often the more attractive candidates. Helpful Tip - when you do join clubs and organizations, don’t just be a member, be an active participant! It is far better to be active in two or three activities than to be a member of ten or twelve activities and do nothing.