Every year, US colleges and universities pore over thousands of applications from students all over the world. Many factors are involved in the final decisions, and it’s good for applicants to know how the decision-makers are weighing their options. Here are a few of the things universities consider during admissions.
Grades and Test Scores
One of the biggest things universities consider during the admissions process is how well a student did in their previous educational pursuits. Whether they received their high school diplomas, GED certificates, or other certifications, applicants typically must have a solid educational background to be accepted.
Grades and test scores can give universities insight into how well a student will do in the future. Universities will typically look at how students did between their freshman and senior years of high school. They may also want to look at SAT, ACT, and other exam results. A solid grade point average and the ability to write an excellent introductory essay are essential for the most competitive institutions.
Universities will also examine students’ extracurricular activities to see how committed they are to personal development and teamwork. Most schools consider clubs, sports teams, and community service as good markers of character. By getting involved with their peers, students can demonstrate their ability to work well with others.
Prospective applicants can join organizations at their school or volunteer at local community events to get some experience under their belts. Everything from joining the student council to being in a band can improve applicants’ chances. Admissions officers may also look at whether students are employed.
Educational institutions may also make decisions based on a desire to increase diversity among their student population. In such cases, they may look at everything from an individual’s family income to their culture and ethnicity. Factors such as age, religion, and sexual orientation may also play a role. It’s important to note, however, that things have changed in how the federal government looks at affirmative action. The recent Supreme Court ruling on university admissions and employment states that universities can account for race, among other factors, but it shouldn’t be the sole factor.
Overall, admissions officers like to see a dedication to learning and personal growth when they’re looking at applications from prospective students. However, many other factors can inform their decisions. Knowing the things universities consider during admissions can help students from all backgrounds get into the schools of their choice.