What do college admission officers consider?

When looking at applicants, most college admission officers consider a variety of different factors, including the following:

Grades¬≠¬≠— The grades you earned in your high school courses are important to admissions officers, as they indicate what you’ve accomplished in an academic setting— how hard you worked and how well you succeeded in school.

Courses taken in high school—While grades are important, colleges also want to know what courses you took. A student who earned a B average in challenging, advanced courses will be looked upon more favorably than one who earned the same average—or even a higher average—in less demanding classes.

Test scores—Colleges use your ACT scores to help determine your readiness for firstyear courses on their campus. Many also use ACT scores to determine which courses you are prepared to take during your freshman year.

Extracurricular activities— College admission officers know that students who are involved in campus activities are more likely to remain in college and thrive on campus, so your participation in extracurricular activities is meaningful to them.

College essay—Some colleges require that applicants submit an essay. Admission officers typically use the essay not only to judge your writing skills, but also to learn more about you as an individual. A good essay can really set you apart from the crowd.

Interview—If a personal interview is required, it’s important to be honest about yourself and your goals. This is a great opportunity to establish yourself as an individual and let admission officers get to know the real you, beyond the facts and numbers.

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2013-03-14 digital edition

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