College Admission Standards

Increasing Your Child's Odds


Each college and university has a set of admissions guidelines that are followed when reviewing applications. Naturally, the first items to be considered are your child’s high school academic record and SAT scores. However, those are not the only things that can catch the eye of an admissions director.

Participation in extracurricular activities and civic involvement can sometimes be key factors in whether or not a college chooses to accept your child. Many admissions directors are very interested in the character qualities of those who will be attending their college or university. Thus, it’s important for your child to include a “résumé” of achievements and interests with his or her application. Here are some “extras” that can help enhance any child’s college prospects:

  • Awards provide formal recognition of an applicant’s ability to excel in a particular area.
  • Participating in sports can show a child has competitive drive, a winning attitude, and the ability to work as part of a team.
  • Extracurricular activities can also highlight a student’s competitive spirit, leadership qualities, and diversified interests.
  • Volunteering demonstrates to an admissions director qualities of community participation, signs of good moral character, leadership, and life skills.
  • Political/civic involvement can also prove an applicant’s strong leadership skills and public awareness.
  • Work experience indicates that an applicant has learned responsibility and has a strong work ethic.
  • Hobbies and special interests can give a college or university a better understanding of the student, and give insight into other areas of knowledge he or she may possess.
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