Top Ten List of What Colleges are Looking For

Every student experiences a different journey throughout their high school years. And every college has their own criteria and priorities for evaluating students in their college admissions process. In general, here is our Top Ten List of what Colleges are Looking For.

— 1 —
HS Curriculum

A rigorous high school curriculum that challenges students and may include AP or IB classes. This also includes taking four years of English, Math, Science, Social Studies and three to four years of a world language.

— 2 —

Grades that represent strong effort and an upward trend. However, slightly lower grades in a rigorous program are preferred to all A’s in less challenging coursework.

— 3 —
Solid Scores

Solid scores on standardized tests (SAT, ACT). These should be consistent with high school performance.

— 4 —

Passionate involvement in activities, demonstrating leadership and initiative. Commitment and depth are valued over minimal involvement in a large number ofmactivities.

— 5 —

A well-written essay that provides insight into the student’s unique personality, values, and goals. The application essay should be thoughtful and highly personal. It should demonstrate careful and well-constructed writing.

— 6 —
Personal Qualities & Character

Qualities and experiences that demonstrate character, such as kindness, tolerance, motivation, resilience, competence and a sense of humor. You can demonstrate character through community service, unique interests, overcoming challenges and a concern for others.

— 7 —

Letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors that give evidence of integrity, special skills, positive character traits, and an interest in learning.

— 8 —
Interest in College

Demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for that particular college. Admissions wants to make offers to students they think are likely to attend. They should know who you are by the time they read your application.

— 9 —

Special talents, diversity and experiences that will contribute to an interesting and well-rounded student body.

— 10 —
Intellectual Curiosity

Demonstrated intellectual curiosity through reading, research, leisure pursuits and more.