Lesson 11A: Key Components of the Application
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ost colleges adhere to a certain number of standard courses that they expect each applicant to complete. Chances are, you’ve taken the right set of classes, but let’s just go through what they are.
What Colleges Want to See
[show-hide] 4 [/show-hide] years of English
[show-hide] 3 [/show-hide] years of Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
[show-hide] 3 [/show-hide] years of Laboratory Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
[show-hide] 2 [/show-hide] years of History
[show-hide] 1 [/show-hide] semester of Government
[show-hide] 1 [/show-hide] semester of Economics
[show-hide] 2 [/show-hide] years of Foreign Language
[show-hide] 1 [/show-hide] semester of Fine Arts
For More Competitive Programs:
[show-hide] 4 [/show-hide]years of English
[show-hide] 4 [/show-hide]years of Math
[show-hide] 4 [/show-hide]years of Laboratory Science
[show-hide] 3 [/show-hide]years of Foreign Language
[show-hide] 4 [/show-hide]years of Social Science
[show-hide] 1 [/show-hide]semester of Fine Arts
The Big Five:
These are the biggest factors that influence acceptance:
1. Transcript: Includes [show-hide] GPA, class rank, list of courses (including your sr. year) [/show-hide]
2. Test Scores: [show-hide] ACT, SAT, and maybe Subject Tests [/show-hide]
3. Résumé: List of every activity, every award, don’t leave anything out
4. Admissions Essay: At least [show-hide] 1 [/show-hide], usually The only part that is all you.
5. Letters of Recommendation: From a teacher. Tells colleges [show-hide]what kind of student you are and
how you will perform at their school[/show-hide]
How the Big Five Stack Up:
• They don’t have [show-hide] enough time to look at you as a person. [/show-hide]
• Put the value on [show-hide] numbers
– Test Scores
– Class rank [/show hide]
Big schools might go to the résumé and essays, but you could get [show-hide] rejected because of your numbers [/show-hide]
• They look at [show-hide] all [/show-hide] of the Big Five
• Your [show-hide] résumé and essay [/show-hide] really matter
lthough the Big Five are probably the most important, most universal factors colleges consider, there are also other personal qualities and achievements that can impress an admissions committee… Therefore, there are the Big Five, and then there is the Other Important Stuff!
1. [show-hide]Legacy Status [/show-hide]
– If you’ve got family history at a school, that may help
– You may get in with lower grades
2. [show-hide]Supplemental Letters [/show-hide]
– Powerful alumni
– Current or former employee of the school
3. [show-hide]Choice of Major [/show-hide]
– Investigate which majors are less popular
– Can be harder to get into more popular majors, like business
4. [show-hide]Geographic Diversity [/show-hide]
– A faraway school may take you because they don’t get many applicant s from your hometown or home state
– You can add a diverse perspective
5. [show-hide]Demographic Diversity [/show-hide]
– Native Americans, for instance, have an easier time getting in because there aren’t many applying
– Put every bit of demographic diversity: race, gender, etc.
– It may get you in!
6. [show-hide]Demonstrated Interest [/show-hide]
– Have you visited the school?
– Have you contacted the admissions office?
– Go online and sign up for an account
7. [show-hide]Get your stuff in early! [/show-hide]
– The earlier the application goes in, the better your chances for acceptance.