It depends on which schools you're trying to get into and how far along you are in your journey.
- SAT's and ACT's will play a big factor in helping you get into the school. Be sure to check out niche.com to search for your school and check out the upper and lower bounds for these scores. Make sure you're in the top 25% of this bracket to get the best chance.
- Colleges will look at other factors, as well, like your high school GPA and the difficulty of your coursework. Taking AP classes and doing well in those classes will reflect very well on your transcript.
- Strong Extra Curricular activities like Editor of your school's newspaper, class president.
- Great recommendations --> people who can truly write something meaningful about you.
- Essays --> don't write your admissions essay in a way that can be submitted to any university. Tell them why you want to be at that institution, specifically.
- Do an official tour of that university so you can talk to the admissions office and ask questions about getting in and be on file by stopping by their Admissions Office. Try to get connected with them and follow-up with them after your visit.
Jay recommends the following next steps:
- Read High School Superstar by Cal Newport if you want to get into a competitive school - http://calnewport.com/books/high-school-superstar/