Top 10 Tips for Getting Into College
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
December 13, 2010
Filed Under Education
Contributed by Sara Shea, Catalogs.com Info Guru
According the U.S. Census Bureau, adults with a college degree typically earn at least $20,000 more per year than adults with only a high school diploma. There is no question that obtaining a college degree can greatly increase an individual’s earning potential.
Planning for college is a challenging process that can involve college admissions tests, applications, college visits and interviews. However, as the population has increased, and college tuitions have risen, the college application process is tougher than ever before.
Today, the ultimate question is, who gets into college, and what are the real factors that impact college admissions and acceptance?
Who gets into college? Here ten factors (consider them tips!) that impact the college application process:
10. College interview
While it is rarely a deciding factor in and of itself, attending a college interview with a college admissions director certainly can’t hurt a students chances of applying to the college of their dreams. Take the time to prepare for the interview with practice questions and be sure to dress neatly and professionally on the day of the interview.
9. Race and under-represented minorities
Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and African Americans all stand a better chance of college acceptance, as virtually all U.S. colleges want to be more diverse. In some instances, it may even be beneficial to include a photo with your college application.
8. Recruited athletes
Certain categories of applicants are often given preference in the game of who gets into college. Recruited athletes rank high in these categories. In particular, colleges tend to favor athletes who excel in certain niche sports like swimming, baseball, football, lacrosse, tennis, squash, crew or gymnastics.
7. Geographic location
Students from “rare” geographic locations are generally more likely to gain admission than students from overrepresented areas like Southern California, New England or mid Atlantic regions.
6. Application essay
Substantial weight is put on the college application essay. A well written college essay should possess creativity and insight, as well as proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax. Take the time to write, proof read, edit, and triple check your essay.
5. College application
Truth of the matter is, a students actual college application typically has a greater impact on who gets into college than grades and standardized test scores. Colleges consider application essays, teacher recommendations, portfolios, etc. that are all included in the application. The trick is taking the time to polish your application.
4. Maintain a high GPA
Many high caliber place great importance on GPA. Being ranked among the top percentage of students will dramatically increase your chances of getting accepted by a high caliber college.
3. Importance of the SAT
Most colleges place great value on SAT scores. The SAT test, a college admission test first introduced in 1926 was intended to help identify talented students from across all schools and backgrounds.
2. Power of wealth and legacy
The truth of the matter is the silver spoon theory still does impact who gets into college. Leading schools have two main admissions policies that favor wealthy students, clearly, colleges favor families with the financial ability to foot the bill… but they also have legacy preferences, in other words, they favor students who are children of alumni. Thankfully, generous financial aid policies are now helping to improve the socioeconomic diversity on college campuses.
1. Early bird gets the worm
If you are interested in attending college, or if you have your heart set on a particular school, the biggest advantage any student can give him or herself is… starting early. Focus on your grades, your extra curricular activities, and avoid slacking off during high school.