What are Top Colleges Looking for in Applications?

What are Top Colleges Looking for in Applications?

For this kind of college admissions information and a ton more, plan on taking our college admissions course starting March 12: See all the information at www.collegelifeplanning.com/workshop

By: Julie Harvard

Education is one of the most important investments in your life because it will affect your future career. If you are at your senior year in high school, it probably the right time to think about college, and the type of subject your are interested to major in which directly related to the type of career you plan to go for once your enter the workplace. In order to successfully enter into your college of choice, you need to know exactly what these colleges are looking for so that you can prepare yourself to maximize your chances of making in to your top choice college.

Generally, colleges have very similar admission criteria, which means what is acceptable to one college is most likely will be acceptable by most other colleges. These common criteria include:

1. Your High School Grades

If you want to enter into your top choice college, you don’t thinking about taking it easy during your high school senior year because your grades will have great impact on your success or failure in making in to a college. Over 90% of colleges weight heavily on grades when deciding whether to accept an applicant. Hence, you need to put huge efforts to get good grades in order to meet the acceptance criteria of most colleges.

2. Admission Tests

The same “A” does not weight equally in different schools, an A in your high school may only worth a B in another school. For this reason, admission test results are used by many colleges to measure the applicants’ grades. Two of the most highly used admissions tests in United State are the SATs and the ACTs, about 88% of colleges are putting huge emphasis on the SATs and ACTs scores. Hence, it’s worth to take up these tests and work hard to get good scores.

3. The Overall High School Graduation Rank

How good your school is performing is one of the consideration factors for college admission. However you can’t directly control the overall performance of our school graduation rank. The graduation rank is measured by average mean grade point which is calculated based on the students’ grades in your high school class. All you can do is play your role as students who score high grades which will contribute to the school’s overall graduation rank. About 28% of schools emphasis strongly on the graduation rank while others count in the factor moderately.

4. College Application Essay Writing

Essay writing is part of admission requirements. Although it does not weight as important as your GPA and admission test, but recently more and more top tier colleges have been placing more attention to the well-written essay. The key purpose of a college application essay is to find out how the applicant writes and thinks. Moreover, writing is an essential part of college life. If you are good in writing essay, then you can be at the advantage over those applicants who are week in writing essay. If you are not so good in writing, then you have to try your best to write in a manner that perfectly showcases who you are.


In order to assure you will enter your top choice college, you may want to review the above tips and prepare your college applications based on the criteria accepted by most top college.


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About Nathan and Joanna Cornett

We are a from San Diego California, currently on a mission trip in Guatemala. Nathan has worked as a youth pastor, teen center director, college advisor, and now missionary. Joanna has worked at LaBahn's Landscape for 7 years in the field, sales, and as the Vice President, she started the Hispanic ministry at Foothills Church, and has worked in youth ministry, she is now working as a missionary. We are both passionate about youth, worship, and missions.

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