Internespo > Guide > Requirements > College Admissions

College Admissions

Colleges and universities base their admission decisions on many factors, including academic achievements, such as high school grades, strength of curriculum, and admission test scores.

College library stand for learning and development

Key Takeaways

  • Colleges admissions is the process of applying to a college
  • Key factors of being accepted include grades, test scores, extracurricular acitivies
  • Other factors are letter of recommendation, personal essays and interviews

About College Admissions

College admissions is the process of applying and being accepted into a college or university. The admissions process usually involves submitting an application, which may include transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement or essay.

Admissions officers at colleges and universities use this information to evaluate a student’s academic qualifications and determine if they are a good fit for their institution. The criteria used to make these decisions can vary widely, but typically includes academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities and characteristics.

The college admissions process can be competitive, and the number of applicants often exceeds the number of available spots. The goal of the process is to find the students who will thrive at the institution and contribute to its community.

Key Factors in College Admissions

The factors that are considered most important during the college admissions process can vary depending on the individual institution and its mission, but some common factors include:

1. Academic achievement

This is typically the most important factor considered in the admissions process. Colleges and universities want to admit students who have a strong academic record, including high grades and test scores.

What are colleges taking into account? Colleges will look at your transcripts of all four high school years (for internationals the last four years of secondary school) and will primarily take into account the grades from your junior year, since that is the most current indicator of your academic performance. They may also take into account whether there is a negative or positive trend in the development of your grades over the years. Thus, getting good grades in your junior and senior year (last two years of high school) are the most important.

Strenght of Curriculum: Not only are your grades important, but also your course selection. Many colleges look for students who took the more challenging classes. Taking honor classes, AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), and dual-enrollment courses (in which you already receive credits for college) will have a positive impact.

How do I know if my grades are good enough? The answer to this question depends on where you want to apply and what else you have to offer. You can typically research the colleges you are interested in and find out the average GPA of admitted students, since this average GPA will vary greatly from school to school. Of course, the top tier universities like Harvard or Stanford put a lot of emphasis on your grades, but even there you do not necessarily need a GPA of 4.0. If your grades and test scores are merely average, try to be exceptional somewhere else. Taking part in lots of extracurriculars, or athletics is definitely a way to stand out.

2. Standardized test scores

Many colleges require standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, as part of the admissions process. These tests provide a consistent measure of a student’s academic abilities. Make sure that you are well prepared for your admission test either by practicing with an official SAT or ACT prep book (online versions available) or by taking a SAT/ACT preparation course.

3. Extracurricular activities

Colleges look for students who have demonstrated a commitment to their passions and interests outside of the classroom. This can include involvement in clubs, sports teams, volunteer organizations, or other activities.

4. Letters of recommendation

Letters from teachers, coaches, or other individuals who know the student well can provide valuable insight into the student’s character and abilities.

5. Personal statement or essay

This is an opportunity for students to share their story and showcase their unique qualities, skills, and interests.

6. Interviews

Some colleges offer interviews as part of the admissions process. This gives students an opportunity to discuss their qualifications and interests in person and give admissions officers a better sense of who they are.

It’s important to keep in mind that each college has its own set of criteria for admissions and some may place more emphasis on certain factors than others. It’s always a good idea to research the admissions requirements of each college you’re interested in to understand what they value most.

NACAC Admission Survey

Colleges and universities base their admission decisions on many factors. Based on the NACAC Admission Trends Survey, 2018-19,  important considerations in first-time freshmen college admission decisions are high school grades, strength of curriculum, and admission test scores.

You May Also Like …

Athletic Requirements
Athletic Requirements

Athletic requirements for college athletes vary depending on the college, the sport, and the governing body of college sports, such as the NCAA or NAIA. However, here are some common requirements that most college athletes must meet.

Redshirts & Eligibility
Redshirts & Eligibility

Redshirts in college sports allow student-athletes to participate in practice and training with a college team, but without competing in official games or contests during a given season. This allows them to improve without loosing a year of eligibility.

NCAA Eligibility
NCAA Eligibility

College-bound student-athletes preparing to enrol in a DI or DII school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they meet amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college.