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what is it the high league colleges look at

specific details like grades or do they look at some personal stuff, do they give feedback on what you should work on. #college-advice

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Roger’s Answer

Hi Yailynne: I may not be the best person to answer your question because I did not initially get into a prestigious, elite, high-end college. I eventually transferred into an elite college -- the University of Southern California -- by proving my academic worth, character, initiative, and desire at a community college and a state university. 


But, to answer your question, what high end, elite colleges are looking for is an incredible SAT Score, your grade point average in high school, and if you took rigorous/ challenging classes in High school including a large portfolio of AP classes. (I did not have a high SAT - I scored a lousy 840 out of 1600; I had a good GPA at 3.5: and I did not take any AP classes.)


Some colleges will also consider your extra curricular activities such as were you Senior Class President (I was), excelled at sports (I kind of did), have other special talents like music or acting, internships or unique work experience, or how you addressed and overcame certain obstacles in your life.


Every college has difference admission standards. Some colleges rely solely on Grades and SAT. Other colleges are looking at a much broader view of the overall student to ensure a diverse and well-rounded student body.


As I mentioned, I did not get into my "Dream School" -- University of Southern California -- initially. But, USC told me exactly what steps I needed to take at the Community College and State College that I attended in my freshman and sophomore years so I could be admitted in my Junior year as a transfer into USC.

USC was excellent at giving me Feedback on the steps I needed to take to be accepted as a "Trojan."


Hope this information helps.


Roger Hancock



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V’s Answer

Good grades but also personal circumstances are viewed by highly selective colleges. e.g. if your grades slipped due to some unavoidable circumstances, they can take a look at that. They do look for consistency in whatever you do - your hobbies, your interests, projects! Also, they don't care if you attend their own "pre-college" programs. They also look favorably if you have worked. Shows them that you can be responsible. Remember they don't just want to admit you, they are looking for those that can also graduate within time. Each of the elite college have a section on their website to tell you what kind of student / what characteristics they are looking at!

But ultimately, it is not guaranteed - since you never know what your cohort is going to look like. I would just say - don't take yourself out of the competition if you can afford to pay for application (each of them have a substantial fee - which you may get waived if you are diligent) and can write multiple essays they seem to require! Best luck!
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Richard’s Answer

Get good grades. Take a prep course for SAT or ACT. Try to form a narrative with your extracurricular activities. For example if you are passionate about science, your activities could include science bowl and volunteering could include mentoring underprivileged children at science and math.

Write, rewrite, edit, and get outside advice on your essays. When everyone has top scores and tons of extracurriculars, the essay is one way to differentiate yourself.
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