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What will help me stand out to colleges as I’m applying?

I recently noticed my GPA is a 3.3 unweighted and a 3,9 weighted as I’ve been taking honors since freshman year. This kind of worried me as I saw the acceptance rates regarding gpa for certain colleges. help advice gpa
college-selection

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Victoria (Tori)’s Answer

Hello! Many colleges are taking the approach that GPA alone cannot predict whether a student will succeed in college. Therefore, they look at each candidate "holistically" which essentially means that they look at the whole candidate. This might mean looking at a student's essays, extracurricular experiences, interests, and hobbies. In the common application, there is space for you to convey that you are a good candidate in your personal essay and volunteer experiences. Therefore, your GPA is not the entire snapshot of who you are as a candidate. Make sure to show them how special you are in these other ways!

Victoria (Tori) recommends the following next steps:

Write a personal essay that shows that you are an exceptional candidate.
List your volunteering/extracurricular experience in the applications.
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Peggy’s Answer

Hi Camryn, first, congratulations on your hard work to get that GPA, and for the courage to take challenging honors courses! You have a strong GPA and colleges often look at the types of courses you took in high school, so the honors courses make a difference. I'm confident there are colleges that would be a great fit for you. Aim high, but be realistic on where you will be challenged and thrive.

On the application, as Tori said in her answer, focus on what makes you uniquely you - volunteering, leadership, accomplishments beyond your GPA and test scores, obstacles you've overcome, or other areas that demonstrate you'll be a student who contributes to the college or community. You're asking a good question -what makes you stand out? Build that answer into your essays and application.

When you're looking at colleges to apply to, think about your future career aspirations and which schools offer good programs in that area. Also, what criteria are most important to you in choosing a college.

A few great websites that can help you narrow your choices based on your GPA, career interests, & test scores:
1. College Board’s BigFuture - You can find colleges by test scores, location, majors, & diversity. It also gives tips on applying for financial aid or exploring careers.

2. Cappex - You can search schools, plus estimate your chances of admission based on your GPA & admission test scores. It has a tool that creates a “Fit Score” to gauge whether a college could be a good match for you. What's also cool is you can estimate your chances of gaining admission to specific schools by inputting your grade and test score information.

Wishing you the best in your college search, and keep up the great work!
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