While particular requirements vary, every college sets some standard for evaluating prospective students. Even colleges with an open admissions policy will look at your high school record and other factors to decide which courses you will be allowed to take. So it’s worth knowing about admissions requirements before you start applying to colleges.
High school academic performance. Your high school grade point average (GPA), class rank, and the types of classes you take are obvious starting points. If you’re a high school freshman or sophomore, keep in mind that the grades you’re earning now will affect your overall GPA just as much as your later grades will. Don’t wait to start buckling down.
Although a good GPA is important, don’t believe the GPA myth and take easy classes just to pad your GPA. Most colleges require completion of certain high school courses for admission. Make sure you are taking the right courses so you’ll be considered for admission to the school of your choice.
Standardized test scores. Because grades may not tell the whole story about your academic ability, nearly all colleges will also ask you to submit scores from a national standardized test. The ACT test is one of two national exams used for this purpose.
Your ACT composite score, together with your high school grades, indicates how prepared you are for college. In addition, the scores from the various sections of the ACT will help your college place you in the right classes, matching your skills with course requirements.
The ACT is accepted or preferred by more colleges and universities— including all of the Ivy League colleges—than any other entrance exam.
Admission essay, interview, or other requirements. Particular colleges may have additional entrance requirements such as admission essays or interviews. These additional requirements help colleges decide how likely you are to fit into their campus community and to succeed in their academic program. • Open admissions is some colleges’ policy of admitting virtually all high school graduates, regardless of academic qualifications such as high school grades and admission test scores.
• GPA is computed by multiplying the number of grade points earned in each course (generally, A= 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F= 0) by the number of course/credit hours, then dividing the sum by the total number of course/ credit hours taken.
• Class rank is a rating that compares your cumulative GPA to those of others in your class. Class rank is often used as a college admissions and scholarship standard.