Breaking down the factors that go into an acceptance to a highly-selective school is fairly straightforward. Colleges are looking for evidence of how you grew in high school, that you can do college-level work, and how they can anticipate you will grow and learn at their institution.
The rigor of the high-school course curriculum is important. If a student’s high school offers advanced placement and college level courses but a student never attempts to take these courses, admissions counselors will notice. High school grades are also important–admissions officers want to see evidence of hard work and preparedness. Colleges are also looking for evidence of your demonstrated character and leadership skills which can be seen through part time jobs, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.
While many accredited schools deemphasize SAT scores, many still require them so taking time to research each of the schools on a students list and planning a testing strategy is an important step. A “test optional” school allows a student to decide whether or not to share a score. A “test-flexible” allows a student to waive the test requirement and substitute AP test scores, GPA, or SAT Subject tests. Dickinson College is the first liberal arts college in the U.S. to move to a “test-blind” admissions policy for 2020. Test blind means that a college will not consider any tests sent to the school–even if they are a perfect score. Pre-covid, highly selective schools maintained an emphasis on the scores but there is definitely a growing movement to consider other factors when evaluating college candidates.
If you would like help to make sure the most compelling you shines through on your college applications, call College Mode Consulting at 845-704-1650 or go to our website and schedule a free consultation. Junior year is the ideal time to get started planning and preparing for your college journey.