2 answers

What are the defining factors colleges look for when applying to college?

Updated Lake Elsinore, California

When looking at colleges, they show the GPA and SAT scores that are required and that’s all. Some will say they look for how involved you are in school and your community. I just want a clear statement of what most colleges want to see from me.
#applying #requirements-management #college #college-admissions #gpa #sat

2 answers

Leahanne’s Answer

Updated Baltimore, Maryland

Ariel, it's a subjective process. So, they look at some baseline comparative data such as GPA and SAT, but then it gets gray. They're trying to find the best fits for their school, compared to the pool of applicants they receive. Think of it like a pile of marbles on a table and they sift them into groups based on what they see on the application and what the other marbles on the table have. You should also be going through the same exercise. Sizing up schools based on how good a fit they are to you. So, look at their required GPA and SATs, then look at the programs they offer, size, cost, culture/community. start winnowing down your list and then, start talking to people who may have gone there, talk to your guidance counselor about it, talk to the admissions rep for your area and start to get a sense of what their student population looks like. From there, you can start to get a sense of whether you have anything in common. Also, assess your history - classes, activities, hobbies, etc. Is there a thread? A commonality or a narrative you can tell the college about who you are and why their school is the right environment for you, based on who you are. That's ultimately what the admissions folks and you should be trying to determine.

Yesim’s Answer

Updated Anaheim, California

Hi Ariel:


The college admissions process is more of a match finding than competition. Whatever your standardized test scores may be, there is a good match for you. Having said that, colleges seek applicants that are a good match for them.


If your school offers Naviance, check and see which schools accept scores in your range, and make sure to include a few you think you can get accepted to. It is also wise to include a few stretch schools (who seek higher GPA or scores) and a few safety schools so that you have a back up plan. Next, make sure to fully leverage your high school curriculum to challenge yourself through junior and senior years. What that means is, do not opt for the easiest classes to end up with the highest possible GPA, instead, seek classes you are interested in. Spend your summer doing more of what you think you enjoy and discover your strengths and interests. These may be volunteer opportunities, assistant teaching, interning for corporate or even research for high school students.


At the beginning of your Senior year, you should be able to talk about what excites you, energizes you and that's what the right college will look for.


I hope this helps.