What Colleges Look for in an Applicant:

  1. Academic Record
    • Quality of Courses taken
    • Increase in Rigor from year-to-year
    • Challenging and competitive classes
    • Consistency of performance
  2. Standardized Test Scores
    • SAT1
    • SAT II (if applicable)
    • ACT
  3. Extracurricular Activities/Leadership
    • 9th-12th grade activities
    • Include athletics, clubs, community service
    • Employment
    • Highly selective colleges look for accomplishments/involvement at the national/international level.
  4. Essay (s)
    • Be specific, answer the question/prompt. Do not write superfluous information.
    • Needs to be the voice of the applicant (do not have someone else write your essay or over-edit your work).
    • Do not use slang language.
    • Do not exceed the word count.
    • Be positive.
  5. Recommendations
    • Teachers (most colleges require 1-2 letters from junior or senior academic teachers).
    • Florida state universities will not accept any letters of recommendation.
    • College Counselor
    • Coaches ( if applicable)
    • Only submit the amount of recommendations that is stated within the application instructions. Less is best
  6. Institutional Need of the University
    • Diversity (cultural, geographical, financial, talent, race/ethnicity, first generation to college)
    • Development
    • Male/female ratio
    • Legacy
  7. Demonstrated Interest
    • Some colleges track interest on the part of the applicant: visit colleges, attend information sessions and college fairs.

Personal Qualities and Character in College Admissions:

  • Energy
  • Initiative
  • Motivation
  • Self-discipline
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Special Talent (music, dance, athletics)
  • Persistence or Mastery
  • Creativity or Resourcefulness
  • Ability to Overcome Hardships
  • Genuineness
  • Kindness
  • Resilience