7 Ways to Improve Your Admissions Chances

There are a few ways to improve your chances of admission.

Flickr user Till Krech

Got your heart set on a particular college? Want to make sure you send an amazing application? Your application will consist of a variety of different components, each of which colleges will examine and assess in detail. Cross off the seven points on the list below to improve your chances of admission:

Work on Your Grades

Your grades are super important when it comes to college applications. You should work hard throughout all of your school years maintain and/or improve your grades, and demonstrate a commitment to the subjects you study.

Choose Challenging Subjects

Whilst having an interest in your school subjects is half the battle when it comes to completing the work required, colleges want to see that you have been able to complete academically challenging courses. Make sure your course selection contains a good mix of the easier subjects you just love and also the harder ones that will look impressive on a college application.

Be Well-Rounded

As well as being a dedicated student, colleges like to see that you’re a well-rounded individual with a range of interests. This can really make you stand out from a crowd of excellent grade averages. Cultivate after-school activities, be it sport, drama or community work. Work, volunteer or intern during your summer vacations. Reference these in your application to give a sense of an accomplished applicant with many strings to their bow.

Research and Visit the Colleges on Your List

Tailor each application to the college in question. This process is made much easier if you have researched and visited the top colleges on your list. Learning more about a college also gives you a clearer idea of whether you’d fit in and enjoy life there. This will enable you to weed out some of the less compatible options. That way, you can focus on applying to the places you’re truly excited about.

Write a Killer App Essay

Your application essay takes the person reading it beyond the statistics of your grades to an understanding of who you are as a person and what drives you. This is a chance to communicate your personality and reassure the college that you’re a good match to their ethos. Take time over your statement and then take it through multiple drafts. Get people who don’t know you so well to vet it. Adapt it to each individual college you apply to.

Choose Excellent Recommenders

Your letters of recommendation carry a lot of weight with application boards. Think long and hard about who you want your recommenders to be. To reference back to point 3, the more extracurricular activities you’re involved in, the more recommenders you’ll have to choose from. Meet with your recommenders prior to them writing the letter. That way you can remind them of your accomplishments. Talk through and explain any periods of poor grades. Also, give them the information they need to provide specific examples of your work.

Prepare for Interviews

If the colleges you choose to apply to require an interview as part of the application process, it’s a good idea to do a little interview preparation. Research potential questions and prepare answers. Brush up on good interview body language and etiquette. Additionally, ask a mentor or teacher to conduct a mock interview with you as practice.

To create a strong college application, you need to plan in advance. Good grades and extracurricular activities will stand you in excellent stead. Add to these an outstanding application statement, glowing letters of recommendation and a thorough understanding of the colleges you’ve chosen. Those letters of acceptance could soon be landing in your mailbox.

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