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What Colleges Look For (and Scholarship Committees)

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Presentation on theme: "What Colleges Look For (and Scholarship Committees)"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Colleges Look For (and Scholarship Committees)

2 1. Academics (G.P.A. and Class Rank) oYour GPA or Grade Point Average is comprised of all the grades you’ve earned on your high school transcript and averaged together. oIf you’re high school is on a “4 point system”, then a 4.0 would signify that you’ve earned all A’s in your respective courses. oHanna is on a weighted GPA system oClass Rank is loosely described as where you fit in when compared to other students in your graduating class using your GPA. ooverall GPA of 3.75/4.0 and your Class Rank is 50 out of 400 students, that means there are 49 other kids in your graduating class that have a better Grade Point Average than you do. So the higher the GPA you earn, the higher your Class Rank will be. (highest being #1 in your class). Source :

3 2. Test Scores (ACT/SAT) ❑ Taken during your junior/senior year, the ACT/SAT is probably the most important test for college entrance. ❑ Most schools work on what is called a “sliding scale” for admission. ❑ This basically means that the higher GPA/Class Rank you have, the lower the ACT/SAT Composite score you will need to gain admission. ❑ And, it works the other way also. The higher the ACT/SAT Composite score you earn, the lower the GPA/Class Rank you will be able to get away with and still get admitted. Keep in mind that all colleges differ with regard to how low of a GPA or ACT/SAT score you can get and still get accepted. Super score: Highest Score in Each Category (regardless of SAT/ACT attempts) ❑ The average ACT composite score in SC is 20 out of 36 -scoring: not penalized for incorrect answers ❑ The average SAT score is 1436 out of 2400 -scoring: penalized ¼ point for incorrect responses

4 3. Course Rigor ❑ When colleges receive a transcript from you for evaluation, chances are they will want to see what courses you chose to take in college. Did you challenge yourself, or did you take relatively easy courses that you could get an easy A in? ❑ Colleges are looking for the students that challenged themselves in high school by taking Honors and/or Advanced Placement courses as opposed to lower level classes. Course rigor is important in demonstrating to your prospective college that you are capable of handling college level work. ❑ Take the highest level courses in each subject area that you will get a B or better in. If you cannot earn at least a B, do not take the higher level course.

5 4. Letters of Recommendation Admissions officers rely on letters of recommendation to let them know how others view you. Be sure to pick your recommenders wisely. If your recommender doesn't know you that well, it will show through his letter.

6 5. Personal Statement (College Admissions Essay) The college admissions essay allows you to show your uniqueness to admissions officers. Counselors look for application essays that are honest and provide supplemental information. Do not restate the information found on your transcript and application. Instead, write about your desires, your goals, special events in your life, etc.

7 6. Extra Curricular Involvement/Community Service Being involved outside of the classroom shows good initiative and time management skills. Colleges want to see that well-rounded student, not just top grades and scores. Being a member of a club or sports team is a great choice. But do your best to take it a step further. For instance, if you are a member of Student Council, consider running for an office such as Treasurer, Vice President or even President! The top colleges are looking for leaders, and what better way to show them that you are a leader than by holding office or running a club or activity. If sports is more your thing, strive to be named a team captain. This displays outstanding leadership and colleges love that when its combined with a solid academic background.

8 7. Work and Entrepreneurial Experiences Part-time work experience, an internship or summer job, even starting your own business can provide excellent essay material to showcase your maturity, initiative, work ethic as well as interpersonal and time- management skills

9 8. Other Factors There are numerous other factors that can play a role in the admissions decision including: geographical diversity (students from places other than the communities surrounding the college) legacy (your grandparents or parents attended the same university) ethnic heritage socio- economic background (colleges typically give more financial aid to less fortunate students) first in family to go to college ability to overcome adversity (death, single parent home, etc.)

10 Colleges are Looking for the “Total Package” 1. Academics 2. Test Scores 3. Course Rigor 4.Letters of Recommendation 5. Personal Statement (College Admissions Essay) 6.Extra Curricular Involvement 7.Work and Entrepreneurial Experiences 8. Other Factors

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