Making Your College List: 3 Extra Tips
So far, this guide has mainly focused on the hard data of picking schools. To help you make concrete choices about your safety, match, and reach schools, you can focus on the numbers: average SAT/ACT scores, average GPA, and your chances of admission.
Beyond estimating your chances, you should consider other factors when making your college list. There are a number of factors to think about, but for the purposes of this guide, let’s focus on three main tips.
Understanding Your Chances Can Be Difficult
CollegeVine takes the guesswork out of college admissions. Students have many misconceptions about average acceptance rates and their personal admissions chances. Here are important things you need to understand about your chances:
The acceptance rate on a schools website is not your chance of getting in
Schools calculate acceptance rates by dividing the number of accepted students by the total number that applied. Among all the students who apply, some have a 99% chance of acceptance, while others have less than a 1% chance.
There are factors outside your control that have an impact on your chances
Colleges and universities build each freshman class to include a diverse array of students, and that means selecting for diverse racial, economic, and personal backgrounds.
Everything you do in high school can impact your admissions outcomes
Grades matter, but so does the difficulty of the classes you took. Extracurricular activities count, both in terms of what positions you have held and how you have improved your community.
Estimating Your Chances Of Admission
By understanding what colleges look for in applicants, you can figure out which schools qualify as safety, match, or reach schools for you. You can focus on the average SAT/ACT scores and GPA of accepted students while keeping in mind the other factors that come into play for holistic admission schools.
If your own scores and GPA are much higher than those of the average accepted student, then you might consider that school a safety. If the reverse is true, then it might be a reach school for you.
To help you more precisely estimate your chances, we’ve developed a handy admission calculator. But before showing you how to use it to make your list, let’s go over the different ways you can research your colleges of interest.
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Can You Get A 40 Gpa In College
Achieving a 4.0 unweighted GPA in college is difficult, but possible. To achieve this GPA, you would need to score As in every single one of your classes.
To score a weighted 4.0 GPA in college, its slightly easier. Thats only because it isnt the absolute highest score you could get on a weighted scale.
How Is Collegevine Free
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There are zero ads on our site and you can rest assured that you are always in control of your personal data. Connections with colleges are student-initiated, meaning your profile is only shared if and when you opt-in.
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Go To A Community College First
Generally speaking, community colleges are easier to get into than colleges and universities. Dont worry! Were not saying that you should give up on your academic goals just because you didnt get accepted into college your first time around.
If you find yourself with limited to zero options thinking to yourself: I didnt get into any colleges! What should I do?, community colleges might be the perfect option. By attending right out of high school, you can avoid any gap between graduation and enrolling in higher education.
This ensures you dont get stuck behind your fellow classmates while getting you prepared for the workforce quicker. What many people forget is that its possible to transfer into the school of your choice from a community college.
You can even transfer to an Ivy League school if youre application is strong enough. This brings us to another advantage of attending community college when you reach your senior year without any college prospects: you have time to improve your application.
Dont Blame Other People
One of the first things humans do when confronted with troubling news is to cast blame onto others. Its a perfectly natural instinct but one that only leads to more pain and struggle. When students find themselves in a precarious situation with few college prospects or none at all its tempting to look around for a scapegoat.
Maybe you dont feel like your guidance counselor gave you enough support during the college admissions process. Perhaps your parents didnt push you as much as they should have. Or maybe your boss distracted you too much by having you work more hours than you should have.
Its easy to blame others when misfortune strikes. However, not only is this generally inaccurate, but it also deflects responsibility. Its much better to recognize where you fell short because youre the only person whose actions you can control. When you blame others, youre also relinquishing control as you put it in your mind that you cant influence the future which isnt true.
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Mistake : Doing Whatever It Takes To Maximize Test Scores
When it comes to college admissions, of course SAT and ACT scores matter. But Shemmassian explains that focusing or over-focusing on standardized tests takes away time from what truly matters, which is building that unique extracurricular profile to stand out.
When students spend years enrolled in test-prep courses and devote hours studying for, taking, and retaking these tests for the sake of a few more points, they are using up time that would be better spent deepening their experiences within some area of interest. And even if a student does attain those perfect scores, without anything else to differentiate him, he simply wont stand out.
Its important to remember that its not all 1600 scores who are going to Ivy League schools.
Instead, students should take a more reasonable approach that values a good test score, but not at the expense of other activities: Pick a period of time to really focus on test prepShemmassian recommends about a semesterduring which time a student should study intensely, take the ACT or SAT a few times and shoot for a score between the 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted applicants at their schools of choice.
Once these first two mistakes are out of the wayonce a student is no longer spending every hour of their free time studying for tests or maximizing their course loadhow that student spends the remaining time is what will make the biggest difference to college admissions officers.
What Type Of Colleges Accept Geds
Any type of college may accept GEDs, including:
- Community Colleges, Junior Colleges, Technical Colleges. These colleges may admit a wide range of students even those without a GED or diploma. Attending one of these institutions could be a potential way to earn an Associates degree or other credential. Or, transfer credits toward a four-year school.
- Four-year College or University. These could be private or public, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. From large state universities to small, private colleges. When applying, check with the admissions office to see whats needed from applicants with a GED credential. Like, a certain number of transfer credits.
- Online Colleges. You are not just limited to traditional colleges. Online schools may accept GED applicants. Some offer adult education programs aimed at nontraditional students. Look for accredited online colleges and universities.
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How Should You Use This List Of Colleges For B Students
If you’re a B student looking for a great college, be sure to research any of the colleges on this list that interest you. Use the school websites, finders, guidebooks, and ranking lists to guide your research. You can also go on college visits to truly get a feel for some of these schools and determine whether they might be a good fit for you.
We also encourage you to consult with teachers, counselors, parents, current students, and alumni to get more information and to further narrow your college search.
What Do Colleges Look For In Students
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It may seem top secret, but colleges are perfectly willing to reveal their most important admission factors. You just need to know where to look.
Colleges typically consider grades in tough courses most important in admissions. But what else do colleges look for? According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling , colleges list the following admission factors as the most important.
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What If You Dont Have Time To Increase Gpa
If you dont have time to improve your GPA, dont panic. Remember that colleges factor in other aspects of your profile, such as test scores and extracurriculars. Focus on really bolstering these other areas: take on a leadership position in a club, pursue an internship, and retake the SAT until youre satisfied with your scores.
Also, recognize that a 3.5 GPA is not a deal-killer. Many colleges accept students with this GPA and lower ones , and you could still have a chance at more competitive schools.
Finally, if an extenuating circumstance impacted your academic performance, you should explain the situation in the additional information section on your application. For example, if a parent had an illness that required you to spend time taking care of your siblings, colleges will recognize that you were unable to devote as much time to schoolwork as you would have otherwise and will take that into account in their admissions decision. Still, you should only use this section if you have a legitimate reason that caused your GPA to suffer.
Score Well On The Placement Tests
If your grades are not perfect you could still save the day by getting a great score on standardized college tests such as the SAT or ACT in the US. Many universities demand that all applicants take one of these tests. If you apply for a Master program you will most likely have to take an admission test like GRE or GMAT. Study the different tests that the school accepts and pick the one that plays to your strengths, especially if you are asked to do tests focusing on a few chosen subjects.
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Grades In College Prep Courses
Most colleges will consider your grade in college prep courses the strongest sign of your ability to do well in college. If you perform well in your AP courses, it suggests that you have the ability to take on the college workload. Even if you struggled early in your high school career, colleges will look favorably upon strong improvement in subsequent years.
Making Your College List: Full Process
This guide will go over a few important points, all for the purpose of helping you make your college list. Ultimately, your mission is to choose a few safety schools, a few match schools, and a few reach schools.
First, you must understand what colleges are looking for in their applicants. To make your own list, you should focus mostly on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
While grades and test scores typically aren’t the only important pieces of your college application, they’re sufficient to give you a rough estimate of your admission chances. Once you know what a college expects, you can use PrepScholar’s admission calculator to see how your credentials stack up.
This guide will go over each step of this process, starting with an explanation of how colleges evaluate candidates. As you read, keep in mind your primary mission: to make your ideal college list.
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High School Gpa And Class Rank
Your GPA in high school shows colleges how successful you were in the field of academics and whether or not you buckled down and worked hard. Colleges look not only at your overall GPA but also at how well you did in individual classes. If your school has a class rank, that shows how much competition you faced with grades and performance to reach a particular level.
Are College Admission Requirements Different With A Ged
Often, applying with a GED does not have different admissions requirements. Except the GED itself, of course. You will have to submit your scores along with your high school or prior college transcripts. Some schools may only accept GED applicants who took the GED in the same state as the college.
Your school may also require or suggest that you take extra steps to prove you are college ready. Like, earning a certain number of credits at your local community college to show you can do college coursework. You may need to submit standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT even if thats not required for all students. Always check with your prospective college about the admissions process for applying with a GED.
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Help I Didnt Get Into Any Colleges: What You Need To Do
The college admissions process has always been a confusing and challenging time for students, but this transition is becoming increasingly trying. Admission rates are dropping as more and more high schoolers compete for limited positions.
Applications are becoming increasingly complex and involved as students have to spend months crafting a pristine application that will act as a high schoolers sole representation when colleges decide their admissions fate. With this increased pressure and stress, its easier than ever for students to lose ground when preparing for college.
For some, balancing college prep on top of high school, personal, and family responsibilities is too much. Other students struggle to successfully execute an effective plan. Regardless of the reasons, many high schoolers find themselves in the midst of their senior years with few or no college prospects.
If you find yourself in this situation, you probably feel like screaming out: I didnt get into any colleges. Help! Well, consider your plea answered! With decades of experience helping students just like you get into college, AdmissionSight is an expert in college admissions. Theres nothing we havent seen yet.
Here, well go over some steps you can take if you didnt get into any colleges and some things you should definitely NOT do.
Us Colleges Anyone Can Get Into
Questions like Can I do it? or Should I pick this one over that one? are always on the table.
The thought of applying to university has never stressed me out, said no one ever. In reality, this is not only a nerve-wracking process but a mega stressful one and it starts with the pressure of preparing for exams to score certain grades. From another standpoint, though, theres something else that usually leaves students drained and anxious the choice of university/college. Furthermore, questions like Can I do it? or Should I pick this one over that one? are always on the table.
But dont worry weve got your back. Below youll find a practical list of the hardest and easiest universities to get into. To make the selection, weve put our trust in essential factors, such as acceptance rates, average SAT and UCAs scores for entry along with the admission process as well. It’s never too early to think about the application process.
Some of you might have already narrowed down the list of colleges and universities, but those who have not done it yet would surely want to know what theyre up against. Read on to find out more curious details about it.
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What If I Don’t Have The Right Qualifications
Dont worry if you do not have these qualifications but can show you have relevant experience, skills, and aptitudes, you may still be considered. Just ask your chosen universities and colleges whether you can meet the entry requirements in a different way.
You could get accreditation for life and work experience:
- Accreditation of prior learning is essentially credit awarded for wider learning evidenced from self-directed study, work, or training.
- Accreditation prior experiential learning is an extension of APL that includes assessed learning gained from life and work experience.
How To Get Accepted To A Top College
This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.. Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 19,476 times.
Getting into a top college takes planning and lots of hard work! Start working hard to make good grades and scoring high on tests as soon as possible. Join extracurricular activities and seek out ways to show that you’re a leader who is committed to bettering your community. Finally, stand out from the crowd with a stellar admissions essay.
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