2 – How Colleges Select You

The most important factors in a college selection committee’s review are your grades and the quality of your program of study. You could be the greatest athlete, the best cheerleader, the most talented actor or the most charismatic class officer, but if you do not present a challenging transcript with strong grades, you’ve lost most of the battle. The primary areas of review by a college are:

  • Grades and program of study (9-12)
  • Grade point Average (G.P.A.)
  • Rank in class
  • Test scores (SAT’s – ACT’s)
  • Extracurricular activities/and Special talents
  • Recommendations from counselor/teachers
  • Personal interview
  • College Essay

You choose a college, and then the college chooses you. The match has to be a good one. But remember your greatest asset is your transcript with solid courses and good grades. One more point about the selection process and it is an important one. Many students have difficulty getting started, getting adjusted to high school. Their 9th and 10th grades are not as strong as they could have been. If their junior year is strong, the colleges will take note of the improvement. They are looking for an upward swing, a certain change on your part indicating motivation, maturity, and serious scholarship. If it is there, it opens doors for you and allows your teachers and counselors to be optimistic in their recommendations.

So don’t take it easy in 12th grade, or look for easy courses or select a minimum course load. When colleges check your transcript, they’re also looking to review courses in progress for grade 12.