What Colleges Look for in Prospective Students

Applying to college can be a nail-biting experience, but taking the guesswork out of how to get into college can make the process much less stressful. Let’s explore some common questions surrounding what colleges look for in applicants.

What GPA do Colleges Want?

Wondering how to get into college if your GPA is on the lower side? Believe it or not, GPAs don’t always make or break the applicant. High GPAs are important admission factors at many Ivy League or private schools; however, a number of state, online, and fine art schools place strong emphasis on other factors such as extracurricular activities, essays, life experience, ACT/SAT scores, and other indicators of college success. Many state and online schools suggest minimum GPAs of 2.0 to 2.5 for admittance. Private colleges and Ivy Leagues may require higher GPAs—3.5 to 4.0.

What do Colleges Look for in Extracurricular Activities?

Graduate schools often consider work experience and volunteer and community activities as key admissions elements. Undergraduate admissions teams may review what high school activities you were involved in—clubs, work study, and hobbies. Don’t neglect these features on your application—they can be key aspects of what colleges look for when reviewing applicants.

What are Colleges Looking for Overall?

Past grades and standardized test scores are important to some schools and if your sights are set on the likes of Harvard, Princeton, or Yale,* there isn’t much wiggle room there. However, many colleges are most interested in the student as a whole and look at several factors that speak to their ability to complete college-level school work. When applying to colleges, remember to include details about work experience and other activities that indicate your motivation and ability to do the work.

*Referenced schools are not affiliated with DegreesFinder.com, and are not necessarily available through the DegreesFinder.com matching service. This article is for general informational purposes and not meant as an endorsement, recommendation, approval or sponsorship of any school or program.


Source: http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/pdf/RR%2085-1.PDF

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