What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (2023)

Colleges are always looking for the top students to fill a limited number of spots each term. You know you have what it takes, but how can you prove it to the admissions committee?

To increase your chances of acceptance, we’ll tell you all about what colleges look for in candidates with nine hot tips to knock your application out of the park!

1. Impress Colleges With Your High School GPA and Class Rank

Like it or not, getting into college is mostly a numbers game. In the eyes of the admissions committee, your high school grades predict your future academic performance. It’s likely that your transcript (a document listing your courses, grades, and honors) will be carefully reviewed.

What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (1)

Consistently high grades are important because they demonstrate your persistence to excel academically. But don’t panic; selection committees won’t expect perfection. You may not have straight As, but if you took challenging classes and did well, that may be just as impressive to the admissions officer — a B+ in calculus will say more than an A in algebra 1.

Along with grades, some colleges look at your class rank because they want to know how you fared compared to your classmates.

2. Get Their Attention With AP and Honors Classes

Taking Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes means additional hard work in high school but it’s a surefire way to impress the admissions committee.

Colleges look for these advanced classes on your transcripts because they:

  • Prove that you embrace academic challenges.
  • Show you’re ready to take on a college curriculum.
  • Add strength to your transcript by increasing your GPA.

Since these are some of the top qualities colleges are looking for in students, your AP and honors classes will speak volumes about your academic potential. Plus, it’s a way to earn college credit for nearly free!

What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (2)

3. Pass the Test With Your SAT/ACT Scores

Let’s be real, very few people get excited about standardized tests. That said, your score on the SAT or ACT can be crucial to your application’s success, so the energy you invest in doing well can pay off big time.

These tests are straightforward tools for admissions committees to judge whether or not a student meets their academic standards. Colleges can use SAT and ACT scores to review hundreds of applications and quickly pinpoint which will make it through to the next round.

Even though some colleges are moving toward test-optional policies, students who submit a strong test score will have an advantage over those who do not.

(Video) Just Admit It! How Do College Admissions Committees Review Applications?

4. Exceed Their Expectations With Extracurricular Activities

Another way to grab the attention of the admissions committee is with a diverse and robust set of extracurricular activities. This is the time to mention all the academic clubs, sports, debate teams, political organizations, music groups, or community projects you participated in!

In your application, talk about the substantial impact you’ve made in the team or group, or how you grew from the experience. These will show colleges the determination and commitment you have for pursuits that matter to you.

Don’t forget to also detail leadership roles and skills you’ve developed to let them know that responsibility, time management, and hard work come naturally to you.

5. Compel Colleges With Letters of Recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation round out your college application because they give an in-depth, third-person perspective into your academic capabilities, social skills, and character.

What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (3)

You can tell admissions committees you’re a great collaborator or full of academic promise, but such claims will be more reliable if they appear in recommendation letters written by respected individuals who’ve seen you in action.

Most colleges require one to three recommendation letters written by high school teachers and counselors. Be sure that the people you ask for a reference will confirm that you’re a good student and a worthy candidate.

6. Move Admissions Committees With an Excellent Personal Essay

Through the college essay, you are given a chance to tell your story and show your personality. With just 250 to 600 words, admissions officers can learn more about what makes you interesting and unique — your goals, beliefs, habits, athletic or artistic skills, and personal experiences.

To nail your college essay, choose a topic that captures you in the best light. Then, tell a well-written and engaging story revealing strengths that aren’t already apparent in your application.

Colleges are looking for students with outstanding qualities and accomplishments, who will help create a rich, diverse campus community — the essay is where you can prove that’s you!

READ NEXT: How to Write a Great College Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

7. Stand Out to Schools With Volunteer and Work Experience

Part-time or summer jobs, internships, and volunteer work allow selection committees to see how you operate beyond the walls of the classroom. Colleges look for capable and organized leaders, and these activities are a great way to prove your abilities.

Volunteering at hospitals, rescue shelters, and local food banks are great options to consider but if you really want to earn brownie points, think about starting your own volunteer project, such as offering free tutoring services or organizing a community clean-up.

(Video) Lying on Your College Application

What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (4)

For students with work experience, list the companies or businesses where you’ve worked and detail your responsibilities and achievements in your application. Be sure to mention the roles that helped you develop the necessary leadership skills colleges look for.

8. Dazzle the Dean With Your Talents and Passions

Your profile will be more impressive to colleges if you show that you’re truly committed to your passion projects.

Admissions committees are curious to see how your personal interests fuel your drive and work ethic. So if you’re deeply invested in a video game league, a church event, or a comic book zine, don’t be afraid to own it in your application.

TIP: You’ll stand out even more if you go that extra mile and add a portfolio or a video that exhibits your abilities to your application.

9. Show Colleges a Real Interest in Their Offering

In your application, express your interest in a specific degree program, the college’s core values, or the extracurricular activities the school offers. Colleges look for students who want to be there, so make it clear why you’re drawn to the particular school where you’re applying.

If you’re an aspiring literature student, you could talk about how the college’s literature program is considered among the best in the country or how a particular professor impressed you with their published work. If a college debate team’s great track record piqued your interest then discuss your intentions of joining.

You can also prove your interest by scheduling a campus visit early on, actively reaching out to the admissions officers, and applying for early action or early decision enrollment.

What’s Next When Applying to Colleges?

Now that you know exactly what colleges are looking for, you can start preparing for the application process!

Review your college resume to work out the parts that need sprucing up. If a little thin, you can beef up the volunteer work or extracurricular activities section by taking more active roles in your school or community. You can also get started on gathering letters of recommendation and brainstorming topics for your essay.

What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees (5)

Choosing a school that best fits your needs is also a top priority. Will you aim for a trade school, a community college, or a public or private college? Once you have locked in your decision, you’ll want to figure out how you’ll pay for college.

While students can apply for federal student aid and other grants and scholarships to reduce the overall cost of attendance, there are also affordable four-year universities and free community colleges to choose from. Some schools even forgo application fees to further reduce the financial strain on low-income families.

(Video) Get Accepted to Dartmouth College | How to impress the admissions committee

College admissions committees read through thousands of applications. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t showcase what colleges are looking for.

Standing out isn’t easy, but you can start by improving your grades and test scores, writing a meaningful and engaging personal essay, acquiring great recommendation letters, and cultivating a repertoire of extracurricular activities and volunteer experience.

If you follow these steps, you might just be on your way to becoming a part of your desired university!

Frequently Asked Questions About What Colleges Look For in Students

What do colleges care about most?

While it’s safer and preferable to do your best in each area, maintaining good grades in all classes should be your primary focal point. To really make your application sparkle, maintain those high grades even in difficult courses. Colleges want to see that you can excel in challenging situations.

To give you an even clearer idea of what colleges are looking for, have a look at the top five admissions factors that the universities consider:

  1. Grades in all courses
  2. Grades in college prep courses
  3. Strength of curriculum (i.e., did you take challenging classes?)
  4. Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT)
  5. Personal essay or writing sample

What makes you stand out to colleges?

Even if you’re certain you have what colleges are looking for, you still may need to give yourself an edge to catch the attention of a selective admissions committee. To make your college application stand out:

(Video) Med School Application DEALBREAKERS (from Admissions Committees)

Look for opportunities that challenge you academically. Admissions officers notice students who step outside their comfort zone and take AP classes on a diverse range of subjects.

Present extracurricular activities where you took on a leadership role or developed your skills in some way. Be sure to emphasize your commitment to these projects.

Find new ways to volunteer that haven’t been done before. Something that you build from the ground up shows initiative and is more likely to spark interest.

Complete each section or requirement in your application. Yes, this includes the optional ones. You are judged by what you provide so more can mean better! But don’t rush your way through the questions since you are only as good as your weakest section.

Take the time to craft a funny, witty, or impactful introduction for your college essay. Admissions officers may be reading thousands of essays, so grab your readers’ attention in the first sentence!

What classes do colleges look for?

It’s a good idea to knock out your core classes early on because what colleges really want to see is that you’ve challenged yourself with more difficult classes. For example, it’s a good idea to take classes like algebra, trigonometry, and geometry early so you can later enroll in high-level math classes like calculus.

Having a combination of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science subjects each year is also generally looked highly upon by colleges but some of the more selective schools will want you to take laboratory sciences for three to four years.

If you already have an idea of the subject you want to major in, consider getting a head start in high school. If you want to study music in college, taking band or orchestra for all four years of high school will prove your commitment to your craft.

To start the foundation as early as you can, ideally, you’ll meet with your academic counselor while you’re still a freshman to determine your optimal schedule. In your upper years, choose AP classes that focus on core subjects or areas where you shine.


What Do Colleges Look for? 9 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions Committees? ›

Basically, there are six main factors that college admissions officers consider: AP classes and challenging course loads, high school GPAs, SAT and ACT scores (unless they are test-optional), meaningful extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement.

What do college admission committees look for? ›

Basically, there are six main factors that college admissions officers consider: AP classes and challenging course loads, high school GPAs, SAT and ACT scores (unless they are test-optional), meaningful extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement.

What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you? ›

Here is a list of the qualities that admissions committees find most desirable in applicants:
  • Seriousness of Purpose (to pursue graduate education)
  • Intellectual Ability (to handle graduate study)
  • Intellectual Curiosity (about the field you wish to enter)
Apr 15, 2022

What are the six things colleges and companies look for in applicants? ›

The six fundamental aspects of a student's application that hold significant weightage in the eyes of college admissions officers during the evaluation process are as follows:
  • High School Performance. ...
  • Extracurricular Activities. ...
  • Standardized Test Scores. ...
  • Letters of Recommendation. ...
  • Personal Qualities and A Well-Written Essay.
Mar 29, 2023

How do you stand out for admissions? ›

How to Stand Out in Your College Application: 15 Expert Tips
  1. Choose Your High School Classes Appropriately.
  2. Earn Good Grades. ...
  3. Use Your Personal Statement to Tell Your Story. ...
  4. Participate in Extracurricular Activities. ...
  5. Volunteer. ...
  6. Keep Accurate Records. ...
  7. Manage Your Social Media Presence. ...
  8. Learn as Much About Your School as You Can.
Apr 20, 2023

What makes you stand out for colleges? ›

Stand-out applications showcase achievement, merit, and previous academic success. Taking honors classes or AP courses can give you a significant advantage. Most colleges generally prefer applicants with a B in an honors program over those with an A in standard courses because it shows initiative.

How do you convince an admission committee? ›

To convince them why should the admissions committee admit you to the college show interest and take into account the specifics of the college.
These could be questions like:
  1. Do you care deeply about anything – intellectual? ...
  2. What did you do to deepen your knowledge?
  3. Are you open to ideas?
Jul 27, 2019

What should I tell my admissions committee about me? ›

Here are some potential topics:
  • Write about an important activity you recently started.
  • If the application does not have a “why X school section”, write why you want to attend the school.
  • If you had a difficult life circumstance that impacted your grades, you can describe it here.

How do admissions officers decide? ›

In the US admissions process, colleges and universities take many factors into consideration. Admissions officers look at “hard factors” (GPA, grades, and test scores) and “soft factors” (essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and demonstrated interest) to gain a full picture of applicants.

What is the biggest factor in college admission? ›

Academics: Your Course Load and Grades

Academics are the most important factor for college admissions. It is also the one most parents are unaware of in the early years of a student's high school education. For admissions officials, the question is: Did you take challenging courses in high school and get good grades?

What is the single most important fact for the admission team to know about you? ›

Academic Achievement

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important for college-bound students to understand that grades are the most important factor that colleges will consider when evaluating applications.

What is the most likely reason colleges are looking at demonstrated interest? ›

They want to send acceptances to truly interested prospective students to protect their yield rate. A yield rate is the number of acceptances sent out compared to the number that actually enrolls — the closer those two numbers are, the more desirable the school. This is where demonstrated interest comes into play.

What 9 things are included in a college application? ›

9 basic elements of a complete college application
  • Official Transcript/Class Rank. ...
  • Writing Sample/Statement of Purpose. ...
  • Letters of Recommendation. ...
  • List of Extracurricular Activities. ...
  • Community Service/Outside Learning Opportunities. ...
  • Awards and Recognition. ...
  • Note Diversity (if applicable) ...
  • Prepare for an Interview.
Dec 13, 2021

What 5 things do colleges look at when choosing students? ›

Good grades, a challenging high school curriculum, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, and a strong essay are a few key factors admissions officers assess.

How do colleges pick students? ›

Courses and Grades

Highly selective colleges look for students who: Complete core academic requirements. Take more challenging classes, even though they may have slightly lower grades than they'd achieve in lower-level courses. Enroll in several college-prep or college-level courses (such as AP) and perform well.

What makes applicants stand out? ›

These can be professional skills, areas of expertise, personal qualities, or any relevant experience. Also, consider any impressive accomplishments from your past or career goals that speak to your commitment to the field. Think of ways to out-do the other candidates.

What do colleges look at besides grades? ›

Besides grades, colleges look at SAT® and/or ACT® scores, leadership experience, course load difficulty, letters of recommendation, application essays, and more. So, it's important for students to realize that good grades require time and dedication, but so do many other important factors.

How do you get colleges to like you? ›

  1. Earn Good Grades in Challenging Courses. ...
  2. Get a High SAT/ACT Score. ...
  3. Write a Compelling Personal Statement. ...
  4. Demonstrate Interest. ...
  5. Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation. ...
  6. Apply to a Diverse Selection of Colleges. ...
  7. Opt for an Early Admission Plan. ...
  8. Manage Your Online Reputation.

What do colleges look for in short answers? ›

In short, admissions counselors are looking for students who can think for themselves. They want to see that you are open to new ideas and can support your opinions with thoughtful explanations.

What do colleges like to know about you? ›

They take into account more than your GPA and test scores. Your character and the personal qualities you can bring to a college are important, too. That's why you need to think about your goals, accomplishments, and personal values. Then, you can figure out how you can best express those in your applications.

What do you say to an admissions director? ›

A simple formal email starts with “Dear First Name,” often followed by a greeting such as “I hope you're well.” You should get to your point pretty quickly, explaining why you're emailing and how they might know you. (For example, saying something like “It was nice to meet you at the Regional College Fair last week.”)

What do you say to a college admissions officer? ›

Say hello, tell them your name, and thank them for being there. College admissions officers are people, too, and they're always thrilled to connect with kind and friendly students!

What do you talk about with an admissions officer? ›

Questions to Ask College Admissions Officers
  • How does your college help students secure employment?
  • What percentage of students obtain internships? ...
  • Could you talk about the advantages associated with being part of the college's alumni network?
  • Where do graduates continue their education?
Jun 12, 2022

What types of things do admission committees look at in their decision making processes? ›

These admissions committee members look over your application for basic qualifications like grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to make sure you match up to the standards of the typical matriculating student.

What do admissions committees look for in a personal statement? ›

In general, what are admissions committees looking for: 1) how well you present your experiences and goals; 2) how well your accomplishments support your long-term goals; and 3) how your rationale for pursuing this program and degree fits into your career plan. Test yourself to determine you are on the right track.

What is a red flag for admissions officers? ›

What is an application red flag? Simply put, it's something on a college application that can make an admissions officer second guess how qualified an applicant is or if they're a good-fit for the school. A red flag can be as serious as a disciplinary infraction, or as simple as not following application directions.

What do admissions officers care about most? ›

Admissions officers consider various factors like your academic performance, extracurricular involvement, leadership skills, and personal qualities. They may also consider factors like diversity, geographic location, and special talents to create a well-rounded class.

What not to ask admissions officers? ›

But all the same, it's not a good idea to ask about the school's party culture or anything related to drugs and alcohol. Questions that make you seem uninterested. Don't ask admissions officers questions that compare them to other schools.

What 2 factors are very important for admission? ›

What are the Most Important Factors in College Admissions?
  • Grades in college prep courses. ...
  • Strength of curriculum. ...
  • Admission test scores. ...
  • Grades in all courses. ...
  • Extracurricular commitment. ...
  • Letters of recommendation. ...
  • Essay or writing sample. ...
  • Demonstrated interest.

What is the top 10 percent rule for college admissions? ›

You may qualify if you meet the requirements by graduating in the Top 10% of your class at a recognized public or private high school in Texas or a high school operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, and be a Texas resident or eligible to pay resident tuition.

What are the 3 big factors that will get a college to really look at you during the application process? ›

A high GPA (relative to what admitted students have) and a rigorous curriculum. Strong test scores (relative to what admitted students have) A specific, honest, and well-written personal statement and/or essays.

What do admissions officers look for in college essays? ›

Admissions officers look for students whose essays reveal their character and perspective through their real experiences, not contrived situations. Admissions officers say most essays they read are safe, generic and do nothing to make them remember or want to advocate for the students who wrote them.

What do you think are three traits an admissions officer should have? ›

Admission Officer: Learning Skills for a Lifetime
  • The top five skills learned in admissions (that can be transferred to other fields) are:
  • Public Speaking Prowess.
  • Conquering the Unknown.
  • Engaging with Diverse Populations.
  • Managing Elation and Disappointment.
  • Selling Something of Value.
Jan 14, 2014

What are the four most important things you are looking for in a college? ›

Top 10 Factors for Choosing a College
  1. Perspective. The most important factor when considering a college is how the school made you feel.
  2. Internship Opportunities. ...
  3. Safety. ...
  4. Academic Support and Career Services. ...
  5. Campus Life. ...
  6. Athletics and Extracurricular Activities. ...
  7. Majors and Minors. ...
  8. Class Size. ...

What are colleges looking for when they ask why you want to go there? ›

College authorities want to know more about your academic interests and commitments. Talk about the specific educational, research, and other academic opportunities offered by the college that appeal to you. Expand on this idea by talking about how these opportunities help support your future goals.

Do colleges actually care about demonstrated interest? ›

Some schools use demonstrated interest as a factor when making admissions decisions. With so many applicants worldwide, it is important to show schools that you know about them and you are serious about your intentions to attend. All schools offer highly effective virtual ways to connect.

Why do colleges look for students who have passion? ›

Passion projects work because they show academic rigor and demonstrate the 5 traits colleges look for in applicants. As college essay coaches, we know that college admissions teams are looking for something highly specific when they read through your essays.

What should a good college list look like? ›

Factors to Consider When Making a College List
  • Does the college have my intended major?
  • What financial aid is available?
  • What are the net costs after financial aid?
  • Are there opportunities for internships or undergraduate research?
  • What is the average class size?
  • What kind of academic experience am I looking for?
Jul 23, 2021

What are the best extracurricular activities for Ivy League? ›

The best extracurricular activities for the Ivies
  • Starting a club. Many students struggle to find an extracurricular activity that picks their interests. ...
  • Participate in a summer program. ...
  • Competing in academic events. ...
  • Writing for the school newspaper. ...
  • Joining the theater program. ...
  • Doing an internship.

Do colleges like improvement in GPA? ›

Colleges notice if and how your grades improved (or didn't) over time. If your grades were lower at the beginning of high school and then improved, the upward trend may count in your favor. But if you experienced a dip in grades your junior year, colleges will notice that too.

What kind of students does Harvard look for? ›

In our admissions process, we give careful, individual attention to each applicant. We seek to identify students who will be the best educators of one another and their professors—individuals who will inspire those around them during their College years and beyond.

Which two questions are colleges trying to answer by looking at your transcript? ›

Which two questions are colleges trying to answer by looking at your transcript? Did you take challenging courses? Were you involved in clubs and/or sports?

What do admissions officers look at first? ›

Admissions officers look at “hard factors” (GPA, grades, and test scores) and “soft factors” (essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and demonstrated interest) to gain a full picture of applicants.

Who decides if you are admitted to a college? ›

Offers of admission are based on each school's enrollment objectives. Making admissions decisions is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Large state schools may use a test score and GPA formula. Highly selective schools may have multiple reviewers with many voices weighing in on a decision.

Do colleges look at behavior? ›

College admissions officers will look at disciplinary records IF a high school provides them. Most college applications, including the Common App, inquire about disciplinary information.

How do you get noticed by college admissions? ›

What is Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions?
  1. Complete an online information request form. ...
  2. Connect on Social Media. ...
  3. Email your admissions counselor. ...
  4. Attend admissions events in your area. ...
  5. Visit campus. ...
  6. Spend time on your “Why this College?” essay. ...
  7. Apply early.
Jun 27, 2022

What is one main factor that a college admissions officers look for? ›

Academics: Your Course Load and Grades

Academics are the most important factor for college admissions. It is also the one most parents are unaware of in the early years of a student's high school education. For admissions officials, the question is: Did you take challenging courses in high school and get good grades?

What do colleges look at the most? ›

  1. Good Grades. Earning good grades is the most critical factor for college applications. ...
  2. Challenging High School Curriculum. ...
  3. Strong Standardized Test Scores. ...
  4. A Well-Written Essay. ...
  5. Extracurricular Participation and Leadership Skills. ...
  6. Diversity. ...
  7. Enthusiasm for the School. ...
  8. Letters of Recommendation.

How do you answer what makes you stand out as an applicant? ›

Avoid generic phrases like "I'm a hard worker". Make your answer compelling. Include key personality traits that will allow you to deliver similar results in the future. Tell the interviewer how your unique skills will help the company succeed.

Do colleges look at your social media? ›

Yes, colleges can look at the public version of your social media accounts, but they don't have some sort of secret, government-like power to access your private information. It's much more likely that your social media behavior would only be brought to their attention if it causes a stir.

What are the early signs that you have been accepted into a university? ›

The early 'sign' would be a letter to you that you have been accepted, or wait-listed or rejected. In some rare cases, you may get a phone call from the college, because of a mishap with their computer or some process that will delay an announcement.

What makes colleges more likely to accept you? ›

Most colleges consider grades and class rigor top factors in the admissions process. High SAT/ACT scores can impress admissions committees, even at test-optional schools. Students can demonstrate interest by applying early decision and visiting the campus.

What unique qualities do colleges look for? ›

Here are 9 character traits that colleges often cite when they describe what they are looking for in students.
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Risk-taking. ...
  • Compassion. ...
  • open-mindedness. ...
  • Social Consciousness. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Collaboration.

What should a short answer response look like? ›

A short answer response should follow this basic structure: a topic sentence that answers the question, evidence to support your answer, and a sentence or two of introspection.

Is there anything I should tell the admissions committee about you? ›

Here are some potential topics: Write about an important activity you recently started. If the application does not have a “why X school section”, write why you want to attend the school. If you had a difficult life circumstance that impacted your grades, you can describe it here.

What are good questions to ask admissions counselors? ›

7 Thoughtful Questions to Ask an Admissions Counselor
  • Are there different academic requirements for admissions depending on what department or major you choose? ...
  • What resources are available on campus if I need help with some of the classes I'm taking? ...
  • What's your favorite tradition on campus?

What are admissions officers readers looking for? ›

While most schools place a fair amount of emphasis on grades and SAT scores, many are looking for a well-rounded student with potential. In addition to looking for maturity, commitment, and intellectual potential, admissions officers are also interested in what the school will gain from an applicant.

What does the admissions committee need to know while considering your application example? ›

They'll want to know what exactly it is about their school that makes transferring a good decision for you. What did you learn about yourself and what you want from your college education while at your current school?

What are colleges looking for in letters of recommendation? ›

It should include any relevant projects or work you've done. Experiences that relate to your character and academic potential are helpful, too. The teacher should include specific details about their experiences with you. Letters of recommendations can be brief and bullet points are fine!

What do colleges want to see in admission essays? ›

Colleges look for three things in your admission essay: a unique perspective, strong writing, and an authentic voice. People in admissions often say that a great essay is one where it feels like the student is right there in the room, talking authentically to the admissions committee!

What is the most important factor in college admissions? ›

What are the Most Important Factors in College Admissions?
  • Admission test scores. ...
  • Grades in all courses. ...
  • Extracurricular commitment. ...
  • Letters of recommendation. ...
  • Essay or writing sample. ...
  • Demonstrated interest. ...
  • Class rank. ...
  • Personal Qualities.

What qualities do admissions officers look for? ›

Colleges are looking for leaders who are compassionate and caring about others. They want innovators who are passionate about their pursuits and willing to take risks. So, what do admissions officers look for? They want students who have clear goals and can demonstrate that they can achieve them.

What makes a good admissions representative? ›

Excellent active listening, verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills. Strong planning and people reading skills. Ability to multitask and stay organized. Willingness to guide others and provide ongoing support as they make important decisions.

What factors are important to the admissions office? ›

Here Are the Top Admissions Factors
  • Grades in all classes.
  • Grades in college prep courses.
  • Admission test scores (ACT, SAT)
  • Strength of curriculum.
  • Essay or writing sample.
  • Counselor recommendation.
  • Demonstrated interest.
  • Teacher recommendation.

What is a strong recommendation letter? ›

A great letter of recommendation includes specific examples and anecdotes that demonstrate the applicant's skills and qualifications. It backs up descriptions of your qualifications with examples. You want your letters of recommendation to demonstrate that you not only possess good qualities but also apply them.

How to get letters of recommendation if you don t know anyone? ›

What to Do if You Don't Have Anyone to Write You a Recommendation Letter
  1. Reach out to your academic advisor. ...
  2. Reach out to former professors. ...
  3. Ask your boss (or former boss) ...
  4. Take a class and build a relationship. ...
  5. Talk to Admissions.
Nov 15, 2021

Who are the best college references? ›

Teachers who know you outside of the classroom are a good choice. Consider a teacher who led a club you were in. If requested by the college, you can also think about other adults who know you well. A coach, employer, or club adviser can say a lot about your skills and character.

How do I make my college essay stand out? ›

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:
  1. A unique, personally meaningful topic.
  2. A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook.
  3. Specific stories and language that show instead of telling.
  4. Vulnerability that's authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy.
Oct 25, 2021

How can I make my essay more attractive? ›

Six top tips for writing a great essay
  1. Analyse the question.
  2. Define your argument.
  3. Use evidence, reasoning and scholarship.
  4. Organise a coherent essay.
  5. Write clearly.
  6. Cite sources and evidence.

Do college admissions read all essays? ›

Yes, every college essay is read if the college has asked for it (and often even if they did not ask for it). The number of readers depends on the college's review process. It will be anywhere from one reader to four readers.


1. 73 Questions With A Former IVY LEAGUE ADMISSIONS OFFICER | New York Times Published Author
(Domonique Cynthia)
2. #Transizion How to get into Georgia Tech
3. YCBK 87: How Do Admissions Committees Make Decisions?
(School Match 4U)
4. Advice from Admissions: Sharing Your Story with the Admissions Committee
(UW School of Medicine Admissions)
5. DO THIS to impress scouts at a football trial | 5 things
6. 9 Questions on Application Essays with a College Admissions Consultant
(Magoosh HS (SAT & ACT))


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated: 06/28/2023

Views: 5527

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.