Filling out and sending in college applications can be a stressful time for students who can see their graduation looming on the horizon. Attending the right college can open up so many wonderful opportunities and many soon-to-be grads have a first choice school in mind, that institution they really want to be accepted to because it has everything they want in a four-year program.
Here’s the good news, you can get into that school if you take all the necessary steps. Some of those steps are pretty obvious, others are all too often overlooked and they can be the thing that derails your plan for getting accepted at the school of your choice. We’re going to help you along by giving you the secret and not-so-secret keys to ensure that you’re accepted into your first choice college.
The first thing to know is that your game plan for getting into that dream school starts in your freshman year. But what’s that? You don’t even start looking at schools and sending applications until your junior and senior years? True, but if you want to ensure you get into that school you really want, you’re going to play the long game. The key to impressing those admissions officers at the University of Oregon is to present a well-rounded resume of your accomplishments throughout your time in high school. Everything you need to do will begin the minute you hit high school.
Sure, these are vital. Your GPA is the foundation of your game plan. Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement to even be considered for acceptance. So you need to keep your grades up through all four years of high school. It might help to learn more about the minimum GPA at the school of your choice and then you have a target to surpass. Obviously, the higher your GPA, the more likely you are to get in.
SAT’s are still a big deal and they will play a role in whether or not you get into your chosen institution. If your GPA is high and you bomb the SAT’s, you’re in better shape than if you have poor grades to go along with those low test scores.
Admissions officers love seeing AP courses on your transcript. It demonstrates that you can handle the advanced material of college courses and these classes can even earn your college credit that will transfer over to your school of choice. Speaking of GPA, that number is far more impressive when it includes AP courses than without. So try to get into these classes and give yourself an advantage.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy and admissions officers like to see that you’ve taken an interest in other things besides academics. Some kind of involvement with your community, volunteering, sports, any other activities outside of the classroom, particularly those of an altruistic nature, can go a long way to impressing the gatekeepers of your preferred school.