Admissions officers are looking for commitment and impact in a student’s activities

admissionsresizedAll it takes is gumption, advanced planning, and guidance. Students frequently want to know what colleges are looking for. The reality is, there is no one perfect combination.

Colleges want a range of students to create a diverse campus community, so students need to present themselves as a whole, showing off their own unique mix of qualities in the best way possible. As there isn’t one perfect combination, but rather may different ones, students should focus on the following:

1. Choose the right high school classes. Take classes that are a challenge, including AP and IB, when possible. If a student takes classes that are all easy, this will not be very impressive. Students need to challenge themselves but not to the extent they are hurting themselves grade-wise. Students must also meet all high school course requirements for their chosen college and to meet statewide graduation requirements in order to earn a diploma.

2. Get to know the college counselor. High school counselors can help students with their big picture planning for the future, including academic advising, college planning and personal counseling. College counselors are also needed for the all important college application letters of recommendation. Make an appointment to see a school counselor at least once each year, including freshman year. The goal is to try to build a relationship with the high school counselor during the four years of high school.

During the meeting talk about interests and goals. The more the school counselor knows about a student, the more he or she can help. Many public school students do not know their advisor, being proactive will make a student stand out.

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