As students progress through high school towards graduation, many will start to think about college. Your first thoughts are usually about where you want to study, then comes the more pressing thought – “will I be qualified?” College admissions requirements vary from one school to another. The grades required are also varied. However, we will endeavour to give you an idea of the admission requirements for colleges and universities.
There are the standard parts of an application, including the Application Form, usually via the Common Application, or Universal Application, though some colleges have their own forms. Teacher and Counsellor Recommendations are usually requested. The college will tell you exactly how many and who to ask for these. You should also be aware of any deadlines pertaining to their submission. Reports and Transcripts are an important part of your application that allow a college to see just what you have been up to in school and how well you have been doing. Essays are the part of your application where you get to shine. There may be a few essays required, and the colleges will inform you of these. They may also provide prompts, or may simply allow you to choose what you want to write about yourself. Take this part seriously; some will argue that it is the most important part and can sometimes compensate for poorer grades.
And now we come to the part that you are probably most interested in: scores, from standardized tests and the GPA. What are the minimum requirements for college?
Well, wouldn’t it be great if they were uniform? But unfortunately, they are not. These, like application requirements, are different for different institutes. The mean SAT scores for 2014 were 497 (critical reading), 513 (mathematics) and 487 (writing), but some colleges will expect scores in the thousands. It’s always important to check whether your grades meet the requirements set by choosing a college – you’ll avoid wasting time and money applying to anywhere out of your reach, and grade requirements can also be an indicator of how good a school is. The only way to achieve good scores in standardized tests is to study; regarding the GPA you can raise this by taking extra classes.
Many colleges will also base their admissions on extra-curricular activity completed outside of school. There are numerous activities you can put on your application – from sports, to charity work, to clubs, to student presidencies, to awards: your only limit is your own experience. Including extra-curricular activity on your application is important because it shows the admissions officers your breadth and depth as a person.
All in all, it is important to make sure you understand the requirements for college in the admissions process. Make sure you’re aware of all the information needed, and you’ll be well on your way to the college of your dreams.
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