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What Are Colleges Looking For?. Building a Strong Profile for College Admissions. February 5th, 2012 Westview High School. What do you think colleges want?. 5 Traits of a Profile. TRANSCRIPT --------------------------------------- TEST SCORES ACTIVITIES

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what are colleges looking for
What Are Colleges Looking For?
  • Building a Strong Profile for College Admissions

February 5th, 2012 Westview High School

5 traits of a profile
5 Traits of a Profile
  • TRANSCRIPT ---------------------------------------
the transcript
The Transcript
  • What classes did you CHOOSEto take and HOW WELL did you do in these classes?
    • Be realistic and honest with yourself.
    • Push yourself, but don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s not just about getting into college, it’s really about succeeding once you are there.
  • Your TRANSCRIPT will almost CERTAINLY be the NUMBER 1 factor colleges consider in your admission decision. The other factors will be in a variety of orders.
  • Please keep this in mind JUNIOR and SENIOR YEAR.

* SAT/ACT Scores are important, but different colleges give them more or less value. In other words: SAT/ACT scores are not always second on the list. * Prepare by reading (and listening to) higher-level work; look up words you don’t know and practice them; challenge yourself in math and seek help when you don’t understand the material. Get the College Board “Question of the Day” sent to your phone. There is a great deal of FREE preparation out there.* Typically speaking, scores don’t tend to go up much after the second try (in my experience).* Remember: You get to take the ACT for free in BSD!* Sometimes (not always) students do better on one test or the other. The SAT is an aptitude test, the ACT is an achievement test. Take pre-tests seriously and consider your scores.* There are a growing number of Test-Optional schools. You can find the list at www.fairtest.org.

activities community service
Activities/Community Service
  • It is a myth that colleges want to see a “well-rounded” student who has participated in every activity under the sun.
  • Colleges want to see depth, commitment, leadership.
  • Activities and community service should be an opportunity to explore interests and do something you truly want to do.
  • What you do says a lot about you - think about what colleges are reading between the lines.
  • Jobs are GREAT activities.
  • Recommendations by people who know you well are very important.
  • Do NOT send more letters than required. Typically speaking, private colleges want two teacher letters, one counselor letter, and MAYBE one letter from someone outside the school who knows you well (i.e. a Scout leader with whom you have worked for the past 10 years including this year.)
  • Letters should come from Junior and Senior year teachers.
  • Please, please, please write a Thank You note and acknowledge the time and energy the adults in your life are putting into your future.
  • Essays will not make or break an application (usually); however please make sure you edit and have someone else look them over (and give that person time to do the editing).
  • Admissions officers often like the short answers better because they are not over-edited.
  • Essays are REALLY important on scholarship applications, such as OSAC.
  • START EARLY - like the summer BEFORE senior year. You will thank yourself a million times over.