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Before applying to college, what should be mainly in my portfolio and why?

This question is being asked because as a student myself, I want to know what college admissions offices are mainly looking for. I want others to use this question as a resource so they know how to prepare themselves for college in the near future! #college-admissions #officer #admissions

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Shari’s Answer

I have 3 sons who recently went through the college recruitment process. From our experience, the most important thing that you can do in high school is get good grades. A good high school GPA will allow you to choose from more colleges. In addition, it often results in academic scholarship dollars from schools! We found that highly/extremely competitive schools are also looking beyond the classroom for a special skill (like music, sports) or contribution (volunteer activities) which demonstrates your commitment, time management skills and leadership. So enjoy high school. Keep up your grades. Join a club/activity. Volunteer for a leadership role. And did I say, keep up your grades... :)

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Marisa’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Like Shari mentioned, a good high school GPA will definitely increase your likelihood of getting into most schools and expand your options. But grades are not the only important thing. A great college app essay and a diverse portfolio of activities, clubs, sports teams, volunteer roles, and other extracurriculars, can often be what sets your college application apart from other candidates. For example, if Student A has a stellar GPA but lacks other examples of their interests & hard work on their application, and Student B has a lower GPA but a long list of meaningful extracurriculars and leadership experience, student B could very well be a better candidate in the eyes of the application reviewer.

And when it comes to extracurriculars, I wouldn't necessarily recommend joining as many as possible so you can add them to your application, but rather becoming as involved as you can in the ones you choose. Try a bunch if you're not sure, and commit to the ones you're most interested in. Demonstrate that you care about what your interests are by staying involved over a long period of time, and taking on leadership roles. My advice, put simply, would be to participate in as much "outside of school" experience as you can, while saving enough time to keep up your GPA.

I'm not sure what grade you're in, but even asking this question shows you have the initiative to set yourself up for success. Best of luck to you!
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