Tuesday, April 9, 2024

What Are Colleges Looking For In Students

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Matching Cookies To Student Identities

What Colleges Look for From Prospective Students?

Some of the same technologies that big companies use to track users and show ads to consumers are gaining traction in college admissions. One example is Capture Higher Eds behavioral tracking service, which relies on cookies to record every click students make when they visit a university website.

Each visitor to the university site gets a cookie, which sends Capture information including that persons Internet protocol address, the type of computer and browser they are using, what time of day they visited the site and which pages within the site they clicked on, according to Patrick Jackson, chief technology officer for digital privacy firm Disconnect, who reviewed college websites on behalf of The Post.

Every time that person returns to the site, Capture learns more information about them, such as their interest in athletics or the amount of time they spend on financial aid pages, according to promotional videos on the companys website.

Initially, the cookies identify each visitor by the IP address, a unique code associated with a computers Internet connection, but Capture also offers software tools to match the cookie data with peoples real identities, according to the companys promotional videos. Colleges do this by sending marketing emails to thousands of prospective students, inviting them to click on a hyperlink inside the message for more information about a particular topic, according to the videos.

The Courses Youve Taken

Suppose, for example, you have a 97 GPAnot bad! Consider, however, that during high school you have opted never to take an honors or AP/IB class, despite breezing through your coursework. Consider, also, that you dropped your foreign language after only 2 years and science after 3 years in favor of less rigorous electives. Are you lazy??? Do mere grades mean more than substance?

On the other hand, think about a student with a slightly lower but still respectable GPA who has shown academic rigor and taken challenging high school classes including higher-level foreign language. You have taken some honors classes and even a college-level class or International Baccalaureate ). The GPA, while a little lower, will be recognized as rigorous, and make you a more appealing candidate.

Extracurricular Activities & Involvement

Students can standout by displaying passionate involvement in a few extracurricular activities, especially those that demonstrate leadership, initiative, and community impact. A perfect example is being an active and involved member of the National Society of High School Scholars. NSHSS offers a number of leadership programs, such as the NSHSS Ambassador program, and starting up an NSHSS Chapter within the high school, that can help give students the experience and edge they need in applying to a competitive university.

A common recurring theme that colleges look for in students is depth, not breadth, of experience. Colleges like to see angled and proficient students with focused passions, not necessarily well-rounded students who are marginally adept in many different things. In other words, substantive commitment to a few select activities is preferred over widespread participation in several activities that have minor significance. When preparing your college applications, write a detailed outline or résumé to showcase any extracurricular activities or meaningful involvement youve had outside the classroom.

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When To Transfer If You’re In The Military

If you’re in the military, the decision to transfer schools may not be entirely up to you. Moving is common and often required, which means that the military has measures in place to ensure your education won’t be seriously impacted provided you follow the rules.

The GI Bill ensures that you have special allowances to attend multiple schools at the same time, provided that your courses are all part of the same program. These courses and credits can be transferred from one school to another with ease, meaning your transfer won’t be as difficult as some others.

However, the restrictions mean you need to be sure all your courses are part of your program, or you may run into trouble. Meet with an adviser regularly to be sure that you’re on track.

Because you likely won’t have much say in when you’ll need to move schools, the GI Bill ensures that you don’t have to be concerned about when you transfer. Just stay on target with your academic plan!

How Are Admissions Decisions Made

Here Are the Best Colleges for Students Looking to Make an ...

Among the countless strengths and aptitudes that students may exhibit, those whose applications convey a clear sense of the elements noted above are likely to be considered a good fit for Columbia. However, demonstrating that you are a good fit does not guarantee admission. Columbia is a highly-selective institution, which simply means that we receive far more applications each year than we can offer admission to. Furthermore, our admissions process must consider not just your application, but also your application in relation to others.

As we build our community, we strive to bring together a spectrum of interests, ideologies and identities to ensure that our students have the opportunity to learn as much from the classmates that surround them as they do from our world-class faculty.

Because each institution is different in terms of selectivity, priorities and review processand these may shift from one year to the nextwe encourage you to focus your energy on the aspects that are within your own control: the amount of effort you put into your commitments, the ways you think about fit as you build your college list, and the extent to which you incorporate self-reflection and genuineness into your application process. We encourage you to consider applying to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering if you believe you are a strong fit for Columbia and are excited about the possibility of joining our community.

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What Looks Good On College Applications

It may sometimes feel as though you need to be an oboe-playing, straight-A-earning, multilingual All-American athlete to get into your dream collegeand that you should hire a quartet of musicians to deliver your college application via musical telegram.

First things first: Do not submit your college application in an unconventional format !

Now, were going to let you in on two of the worst-kept secrets in college admissions. Number 1: Colleges tend to have similar criteria for admission . Number 2: Even still, there are ways you can stand out!

What Does This Mean For You

If admissions officers are judging you so heavily by your SAT/ACT score, you want to get a score that will meet their standards. As I mentioned earlier, colleges are hoping to admit students who are in or above their SAT/ACT score range .

Here at PrepScholar, we recommend that you try to get your score at or above the 75th percentile SAT/ACT score of admitted students to give yourself the best chance of admission. Let’s set that as your SAT/ACT score goal.

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Respected And Admired By Teachers And Other Adults

This is where letters of recommendation come into the picture.

Not all schools require letters of recommendation, but many want letters from teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, or even the principal of your school.

Through these letters, colleges are looking for an honest portrayal of your abilities and personality.

  • These letters will show schools whether you are a leader in class, polite to teachers and students alike, someone who demonstrates strength of character, integrity, etc.

If you are able to choose who writes your letters of recommendation, you should select:

  • Teachers who teach the subject you are most interested in
  • Teachers who teach a class that you particularly excel in
  • Teachers who have taught you for a long time or with whom you have developed a strong relationship

The better a teacher knows and likes your student, the better the letter of recommendation will be.

Its also great if the teacher is likely to have specific anecdotes or examples of you being a good person, a hard-working student, or a leader.

Internships And Research Opportunities


Nothing helps more when applying for jobs out of college than having hands-on, practical experience on your resume. Look for schools that have vigorous programs for experiential learning. Great colleges will give you opportunities to assist professors with funded research, secure meaningful summer internships with companies that interest you, and take advantage of a strong alumni network when you are looking for work after graduation.

Internships and research experience are important whether you’re a mechanical engineer or an English major, so be sure to ask the admissions officers at your desired school about experiential learning opportunities.

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Colleges Are Backing Off Sat Act Scores But The Exams Will Be Hard To Shake

“I just got off a Zoom with most of my admissions directors, and they’re all looking a little green at the prospect of what’s before them,” said Jonathan Burdick, vice provost for enrollment at Cornell University. The admissions team will be hunkered down for a couple of months of training, he said. But ultimately, Burdick said he believes the pandemic-forced experiment, along with the current national focus on racial equality and justice, is going to turn out to be “a true blessing” for admissions.

“I think there’s actually a tremendous opportunity here to wed the deep interest in a more diverse, more interesting student body, and the opportunity to reconsider afresh what makes a student outstanding and well-prepared for Cornell,” he said. “That’s a good revolution.”

One change many colleges are considering is to put more focus on students’ character. The “character movement” has been growing for a while, but the pandemic is fueling interest among many, including Abbott.

“We’re thinking about how we might extract characteristics that we would value at Temple, something perhaps like citizenship, or social justice, or tenacity,” he said. “I think probably every college and university in America right now is having that kind of soul-searching conversation.”

“I think challenges are enormous,” Duckworth said. “We’re really in the early, early stages of the measurement of personal qualities, and there is no panacea.”

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When To Transfer From A Community College

Universities and community colleges often have partnerships, called articulation agreements, to make the transfer easier. These are a huge boon in transferring, as it means there’s already a pathway for success. Take advantage of it if you can!

If your current school and your desired school don’t have an articulation agreement, that’s okay. It just means that you’ll need to be a little more diligent in your planning and researchagain, the help of an adviser will be invaluable.

Generally, community college students transferring to a four-year university will want to do so after completing the requirements for their associate’s degree, meaning you’ll enter your four-year school as a junior.

An associate’s degree effectively locks your credits in. If you want to take some time off before transferring, you can do so without worrying that your credits will depreciate. If you transfer before receiving your associate’s degree, your credits may actually lose value, meaning you’ll have to take more classes to transfer successfully, costing you more money and time.

There’s no foolproof time in the year to transfer. Stay on top of your academic plan and your required credits, and plan to transfer when you’re finished.

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What Do Colleges Look For

You have a need, which is to get into a college that you like and where you will thrive and grow. Colleges have needs too. They dont simply admit the requisite number of students instead, they build a class. They purposely construct a group of students that reflect the priorities of the institution, and those priorities often define who they take and who they dont.

Think about who a college employs in determining what students they might accept. For example, University A offers majors in Business, Chemistry, English, and History among many others. They also have faculty who teach Botany , Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Mandarin Chinese. If they have no students who want to study in these departments, how can they a) continue paying these faculty and b) continue offering such a robust volume of courses across a very broad spectrum?

Additionally, if they have a field hockey team, they need to make sure they have a goalie. The marching band needs a French horn player. Schools will want a student body that comes close to reflecting the diversity seen in society at large.

This information has important ramifications for you as you prepare for college.

Your High School Grades

Why are college students so stressed out? It

A students high school GPA is the first aspect of a college application that an admissions panel considers. Universities are looking for students with the ability to apply themselves to their coursework, and to ultimately progress to graduation. While extracurricular activities will prove to the admissions board that you are well rounded, and an asset to the campus community, grades remain a deciding factor. The student who works hard in high school, and has an impressive history of academic achievement, has the better chance of being accepted to their college of choice.

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What Information Should You Include On Your Transfer Application

Again, a good transfer application will look very similar to a good freshman application. However, you’ll need to scale everything upwith lower acceptance rates for transfer students, it’s even more important that your application be polished and strong.

When it comes to test scores, grades, and letters of recommendation, be sure you’re getting them from recent sources. By college, your high school biology teacher’s assessment of you isn’t as relevant as a college professor’s assessment.

If you’re just starting out in college, you might have a hard time getting letters of recommendation from your teachers as they may not have spent as much time with you. Seek letters from instructors who know you best, though be sure you know your new school’s policy on letters from teaching assistants. Some schools will only take letters from professors, so look that up ahead of time.

Don’t reuse your high school letters. A positive letter from a college professor carries far more weight, so seek those out by meeting with your professors during office hours and by participating in class.

These tips will help you make your application and beautiful and unique as this flower.

A Willingness To Serve Others

We mentioned earlier that colleges look for students who will make positive contributions to the school.

Another way to demonstrate this quality is through a willingness to serve others.

  • Community service hours and a passion for helping the community can be a big plus for you, and a bonus on your application.
  • Colleges want to know that you care about positively impacting the people, communities, and world around you.

This is a sign that you will be a good influence on campus and you will use your education to make a difference in the future.

If you can demonstrate the majority of the qualities that colleges look for in a student, you should have a strong chance of admittance to even the most selective of schools.

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The Grades You Have Received

First, and not surprisingly, colleges will look at the grades you received in the coursework you have taken. Are you an A- student or a C+ student? Is your Grade Point Average a 72 or a 92? While the answer to this will indicate a good bit about you, it tells only part of the story. In order to properly understand your GPA, colleges must understand the framework in which it was earned. To do this, they must look at:

Do All Colleges Use The Same Criteria When Admitting Students

College Admissions 101: What Do Colleges Look For? | The Princeton Review

Colleges dont all consider the same factors when deciding whether or not to admit prospective students. Talk to a college counselor to learn about what your school of choice considers before accepting students. This can help you be prepared for college applications and interviews. Listed below are some examples.

  • Liberal arts colleges, which encourage students to study broadly, may give factors such as essays and demonstrated interest considerable weight.
  • Highly selective colleges attract thousands of outstanding students. These colleges typically look to the “moderately important” factors to make their decisions.
  • At very large universities, some admission decisions may be made solely based on GPA and test scores.

Colleges consider many factors when admitting students. Remember that different colleges take different factors into consideration during the admissions process. After learning more about these college admission secrets, do some research about the schools you are applying to and find new ways to stand out!

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How The Coronavirus Has Upended College Admissions

As stressful as it always is for students applying to college, this year it’s all that and then some for the admissions officials trying to decide whether to admit them. Because of the pandemic, many students will be applying without standardized test scores and several other metrics admissions officers at selective schoolshave long relied on, leaving colleges scrambling to figure out what else they might consider instead.

“So many things that were sacred in the college admissions process may not be sacred anymore,” said Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, and former head of admissions at Trinity College in Connecticut. “Colleges and universities are reinventing a process that hasn’t changed in over 50 years in the span of a couple of months and they don’t have another choice.”

Indeed, students’ applications may be missing not only SAT and ACT scores, but also a semester or two of grades, since schools switched to pass/fail grading when they went online, or closed altogether. Schools will also have to make do without a semester’s worth or more of extracurricular activities sports, band, theater, volunteering and anything else that would help distinguish applicants from one another.


The near-panic is reverberating on campuses around the nation, where deans are used to taking much more staid and studied steps.


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