What Are Colleges Looking For?
I received a few question on what colleges are looking for.
So… here’s the very, very honest answer… I don’t know. lol.
As with every other college-related question here, I’m not an admissions officer. I don’t make decisions on your admissions, heckkkk I don’t even know whether or not I’ll get into the colleges I applied to!!
But there are just a bit that I’ve heard in the past from admission officers (on what they like to see). I attended tons of information sessions…. so I can still answer this question! (:
- Challenge yourself–To the second anon, I don’t know if they sit down and count your APs, but… realize that they review applications from students from all walks of life. There are going to be schools where no APs are offered, and that’s not going to count against that particular student. Colleges want to see that you have challenged yourself. If you’re doing well in regular math, and honors math is offered, you should take that the next year (for example). If your school offers 30 APs, you are a straight-A student, and you haven’t taken any of the more advanced classes, then that really means you’re not challenging yourself enough.
- Be Involved! - so they DO look at more than just scores. If they only look at your SATs and class rank, all the valedictorians will get into Harvard. That’s not the case–in fact, Harvard rejects plenty of 4.0s and 2400s. I think colleges are looking for students who are involved and go outside of their little bubble. So if your school has it, participate in those extra curriculars. See what you can do outside of your comfort zone!
So what about the SAT/ACTs?
So a decent score, to kind of “predict” your chances (so to speak), would be in the middle 50% of the school’s SAT and ACT scores. You can go onto collegedata.com or just search “average SATs for [insert school here]” on google. but just because the average SAT score is a 2100 and you get a 2200 doesn’t guarantee admission. and just because the average is a 2100 and yours is a 1900 doesn’t mean you won’t get in.
Bottom line: college admission depends on a lot of factors. I can’t tell you guys anything “for sure.” Like I said, plenty of 4.0s and 2400s get rejected from Ivy League schools. All I can tell you guys is to keep working hard. (Also, don’t get senioritis senior year and “give up” halfway through.) If you want to go to your dream school, there isn’t a short cut! Keep challenging yourself. Keep working hard. Keep stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s going to be worth it.
Hope this answers your questions!