6 Things Colleges Look For In An Applicant By Unigo Have you ever pondered over the question “What do colleges look for in prospective students?” The admissions process can seem daunting, but understanding the key elements that colleges prioritize in evaluating an applicant can help you prepare a stronger application. The six fundamental aspects of a student’s application that hold significant weightage in the eyes of college admissions officers during the evaluation process are as follows: 1. High School Performance In the college application process, high school performance is often the first factor of what colleges look for when evaluating an applicant. This includes the student’s high school GPA and class rank. Colleges want to see that a student has challenged themselves academically and performed well. Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes can demonstrate an applicant’s ability to handle college-level coursework and may be given extra weight in the admissions process. 2. Extracurricular Activities Extracurricular involvement is another important consideration for college admissions. Admissions committees look for applicants who have pursued challenging extracurricular activities, such as leadership positions in clubs or sports teams, which showcase a dedication to personal growth and development. Volunteer and work experience can also demonstrate a commitment to community service and responsibility. 3. Standardized Test Scores Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, are still an important part of the admissions process. While some colleges have become test-optional in recent years, strong scores on these tests can help applicants stand out in a competitive pool. 4. Letters of Recommendation Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other professionals who know the applicant well can provide valuable insights into the applicant’s character, academic abilities, and work ethic. Quality recommendation letters can highlight the applicant’s strengths and showcase their potential for success in college. 5. Personal Qualities and A Well-Written Essay Colleges also look for personal qualities that set applicants apart from the rest. One way that they assess this is through a well-written essay. The essay is an opportunity for applicants to showcase their writing skills and to demonstrate their thoughtfulness, creativity, and self-awareness. It allows admissions officers to gain insight into an applicant’s character, values, and goals. 6. Talents and Passion Furthermore, colleges also consider an applicant’s talents and passions. Admissions officers look for students who have pursued interests outside of the classroom and who have shown commitment and excellence in their chosen activities. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, participating in a sport, or engaging in community service, showcasing these talents and passions can make an applicant stand out in a competitive pool of applicants.