High school can be a stressful time for teenagers and one of the most important parts of going to high school involves thinking about what comes next. For many students, they are thinking about going to college. This seems like the next step in life for many people. There are so many factors to consider when it comes to college admissions and this is where college admissions counselors are incredibly helpful. There are a few tips that every student and family should follow when it comes to college admissions.
Developing a Well-Rounded Student: Academics are First
One of the most important steps in college admissions counseling involves coming up with a well-rounded student. Yes, it is important to focus on grades; however, getting into college involves so much more than this. Remember that the goal of colleges and universities is to develop great people and not just great students. Therefore, there are a number of factors that are going to play a role in college admissions.
First, academics are obviously going to play a role. Students need to do well in their classes. This is the most important part of the application. A university is going to take a look at the rigor of the school the person came from. The fact is that some schools have harder classes than others. Therefore, an A earned at one school is not going to be the same as an A at another school.
Furthermore, there is a level playing field to compare students from different schools on equal terms. One option is AP classes. AP classes are particularly challenging and will play a role in college admissions. Students who earn a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam might even receive college credit. The other way to level the playing field is the SAT. Alternatively, some students might also take the ACT. These tests are going to play a role in the college admissions process; however, they are not everything.
Extracurriculars Are Going to Come Next
Once the academics are in place, the next aspect of college admissions involves extracurricular activities. One of the most important extracurriculars is music. There are lots of students who have musical talents that they might want to bring to bear in the college admissions process. One of the great options is to send a recording of someone playing. Of course, two people might play the same instrument for ten years; however, one might be in a very different place. Using a recording is a great way for someone to showcase their talents.
On the other hand, some students prefer to focus on sports. Many students might even get offered a scholarship to a top university to play. This is a great way for someone to earn an education and compete in a sport they love at the same time.
Whether someone does well in music or athletics, it is a good idea to ask music teachers and coaches to ask for letters of recommendation. This is a great way for someone to demonstrate their commitment to a passion that might not be reflected by a letter grade. Think about leveraging these extracurricular activities on an application.
The Final Decision on the Application
In the end, all of this has to be put on paper in the form of an application during the college admissions process. One of the most important parts of this application is the essay. One of the most common topics is why someone wants to go to that particular school. It is important not to use the same essay for every school because each school is different.
Therefore, when writing an essay, take the time to research each school thoroughly. Figure out what makes that school unique. Then, explain how the student and the school are a perfect fit. This is how someone can truly stand out during the college admissions process.