College Admissions Criteria
Transcript. Your transcript is a record of all classes taken in your high school career and it is the most important factor in college admissions. Colleges want to see that you have taken the courses required for admission and that you have gone beyond the minimum. Schools look for both rigor and breadth. A college would rather have you take a difficult course with a B than to take an easier course and earn an A. Colleges focus on the college preparatory courses you have taken and often refigure your grade point average using only these classes.
Grade Point Average. After colleges look at what you have taken for courses, they want to see how you have done. Obviously, the better the grades, the better you will look as a candidate for admission. At Profile School, GPA is not weighted. All classes have equal standing when GPA is computed. For this reason, colleges may choose to reconfigure your GPA using only core classes. The school profile has a conversion chart that shows how your numerical average on a 100-point scale is converted to a 4.0 scale for college admission.
Admissions Tests. Most colleges use at least one college admissions test in the admissions process. You may submit scores from the SAT or the ACT. All colleges that accept the SAT will also accept the ACT. Some highly competitive schools require students to take SAT Subject Tests. It is your responsibility to find out if you need to take any Subject Tests. The website www.compassprep.com has a list of schools that require Subject Tests. As requirements often change from year to year, the college admissions office is the best source of information. If you take the ACT, many schools will waive the Subject Test requirement. Each year more schools are dropping the admissions test requirement. However, at this point in time, the vast majority of colleges still require that you submit scores from at least one admissions test. For a list of schools that do not require admissions tests visit the following website www.fairtest.org. The more competitive the college, the more weight it usually puts on admissions test scores.
Class Rank. Most colleges request class rank when applications are submitted. At Profile School, class rank is weighted and is figured on a quality point system. Courses are leveled with the more rigorous courses awarding higher points. Three factors determine your class rank: the difficulty of your curriculum, the grades received, and the number of credits taken.
Recommendations. Most schools require that you submit a recommendation from the guidance department. Many schools require one or two additional recommendations from teachers. You should request recommendations from academic teachers who can speak to your academic strengths.
Essay. The essay is your chance to both show your writing skills and to show the college something about you beyond the basic application questions. You need to be sure that you address the essay topic and that it is in proper essay form. Before you submit your essay make sure that another person has proofread it. The guidance department has experience reading many students’ essays and can offer assistance. Your English teacher will happy to read it for you as well.
Extra-Curricular Activities. Nonacademic activities such as sports, drama, music, student government, community service or special skills /talents can make you a stronger candidate. While these will not take the place of academic achievement they will show you as a well-rounded student and address your ability to balance your life, a quality that adds to success at the college level.
Interview. Some schools will give students personal interviews that may or may not be considered a part of the admissions process. Interviews are rarely a deciding factor in admissions but a good interview may help to make your application stand out and also will allow you to gather information about the school. The more competitive the college, the more impact a positive interview may have in your admissions decision.