Jaleel Mackey’s Avatar

Jaleel Mackey

466

Karma

5

Answers

0

Referrals

How much of the college admissions process is based on luck, and how much of the process is based on accomplishments, grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities?

This question was asked by a senior in high school who is beginning his college application process, today. He is interested in a career in computer programming and hopes to find himself walking the halls of a California State University during the fall of 2016. I would like to share this question with the CareerVillage community to offer a learning opportunity for all of our young men and women who have questions about the college application and admissions processes.
#college #university #college-admissions #college-applications

Ask a new question Answer this question
Asked

6 answers

You can narrow down your college choices by looking at admissions awarded over applications received. If your grades are good and your ACT/SAT scores are high, you should apply early application into the college of your first choice. Indicating that you have every intention of accepting their admission should it be offered. This can improve your percentage chance for admission. Essays and extra curricular as commented above by others would be the next point to focus but if you are looking for a fall 2016 admission I'm assuming you have those covered already.

Last updated Oct 09 '15 at 06:49 PM

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>


Last updated Apr 04 at 06:10 PM

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>


Last updated Apr 04 at 06:10 PM
checkmark

Best of the Village

Hi, Jaleel! I'm Susanne. Here's what I can share with you. I hope it's helpful :)

1) I went to college to be a programmer in the late 90's. I earned an Associate's degree, but it turned out I didn't need even that to go into development. Employers didn't care at all that I had a degree - they only cared if I could sit at a laptop during the interview and hammer out code to prove I could write the applications.

2) My ex-husband also went to college to be a programmer (Texas A&M), but he moved away with 4 classes left and never finished the degree at another school. He, too, discovered that a degree is not necessary to be a programmer. The classes he took WERE helpful, but ultimately he ended up teaching himself all the current languages that were in demand (and keeps up with new ones now). He became VERY successful as a coder/developer, ending up with a major telecom and getting promoted to one of the highest levels attainable in his space. He's now an entrepreneur, owning his own businesses and making a VERY good living doing what he loves (code/development/making money!) and being his own boss - without a degree in computer science.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't get a degree! I just want to pass along what we've discovered so you know that you have options. College isn't for everyone, and sometimes it just doesn't work out financially or time-wise. I make a good living & love my work without having a relevant/useful degree - I am in sales operations & marketing now.

3) My daughter graduated high school in 2011, and here's what we learned during her junior & senior year and the college admissions process:

A) Try to have good grades but don't panic if you aren't a straight-A student because they are looking for a well-rounded applicant not a robot

B) You MUST have volunteer and/or work experience on your application. Most high schools offer volunteer opportunities, so hit every one you can & keep a record of how many hours you spent doing each one. Colleges want to know how many hours of volunteer service you put in. It's also very helpful if you have job experience, even if it's only a few hours on weekends. Both of these (volunteering & job) show the university that you are RESPONSIBLE, have TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS (critical to be successful in college), and that you are a team player. It proves you are willing to put in extra time to attain goals and are spending your free time in a constructive way - * even if you don't think you have 'free time,' you can 'make time' for important things like volunteering and work.

C) ALWAYS WRITE THE ESSAYS! If an essay is optional, do it anyway because tons of other applicants will not and this puts you way ahead of them. It shows the school that you're serious, invested, and willing to go the extra mile to impress them/show why you'd be successful.

** If there's one thing I can't stress enough, it's this: the competition and pressure to get into college, especially a 4-year school, is VERY INTENSE for high school seniors. You may not get into the schools you've chosen, or any school at all. You may not win scholarships and merit-based grants. This does not mean you can't go to college or that you aren't college material! If you can't get into your chosen school initially, start off at a junior college for a semester and then enroll at a 4-year college as a TRANSFER student. There is virtually no limit on the number of transfer students a school will admit, but they do often have limits on how many 'true freshmen/fresh out of high school' students they can bring in each year.

Be sure that you have a PLAN for what classes you will take at any junior college - get the courses approved by the schools you want to transfer to. Not every junior college class transfers properly (sometimes it does't transfer at all) to a 4-year school. You don't want to waste money and time on classes you can't transfer elsewhere.

And lastly, don't get hung up on going to the 'perfect' school! Employers couldn't care less where you attended school as long as it's not a 'for profit' college. 'For Profit' colleges are overpriced and they are not credible with most employers. ALSO, it may turn out that college isn't a good fit for you, and that's totally OK! You can make a great living in some really excellent jobs if you take a few courses in your chosen field or get certified in something specific. Examples: take training in the programming languages or technology you're interested in or get certified in a specific technology, software or skill.

Last updated Oct 09 '15 at 12:15 AM

Having worked in an Admissions office in the past, I can say that luck plays NO part in the process. It has to do with your qualifications and your attention to detail. The references you receive from counselors and teaches, the essays you write, the grades and GPA you achieved, the extra-curricular activities you participated in, the volunteer opportunities you joined, all work together to show the admissions board that you are a dedicated, serious, well-rounded, educated, young adult who would be a success story at their university. Work hard, build a strong application, PARTICIPATE, and focus on writing great essays - and you'll do VERY well in the admissions process.

Last updated Oct 06 '15 at 08:04 PM

Hi, Interesting question, to be honest I dont think random luck plays much of a part in the college admissions process if we prepare for the opportunities that present themselves in life...I think the best we can all do is plan and prepare the best way we can and give it 100% in anything we try in life.

Here are a couple of quotes that I have heard regarding luck and preparation... "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity" "The birthplace of success is where preparation meets opportunity"

Good luck! :)

Last updated Oct 02 '15 at 11:29 PM
Ask a question