Getting into the college of your dreams is no longer a hit-or-miss. Yes! You heard that right. All you need is some inside info about what qualities make for a selected application that lands you there, and what makes it suitable for their trashcan. Pay heed as we discuss the rungs of the ladder that can take you to your dreams.
According to an annual survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, conducted on college counselors, there are a multitude of factors which decide which students could be selected and which all are likely to be rejected. They came up with a list of top 10 criteria of critical importance. Grades in your preferred subject, the most obvious factor, came in at the foremost ranking, with 79% of the respondents voting for it. Grades in all courses accounted for 60% of the respondents’ votes and stood second. How efficient was your high school curriculum, is given marks too, by 60% of the counselors and it ranked third.
With more and more colleges providing multiple options of which test you’d prefer for college admissions, 56% of the counselors voted for SAT or Act scores, taking the fourth position. With 22% of the respondents voting for an essay or a writing sample, this factor ranked at fifth position. The sixth and seventh positions tied, and were bagged by counselor recommendation and student’s demonstrated interest with 17% of the votes. Teacher recommendation and class rank garnered 15% and 14% of the respondents voted to stand at eighth and ninth positions respectively. 7% of the counselors voted for AP or IB test scores to make it rank on the tenth and the final spot.
Getting admission into the college of their dreams is but a miracle for a chosen few. But wait! The students who don’t make it in regular fall admissions can leverage alternative courses that are offered by more than half of the total colleges. These courses might be heavy on the pocket, but they have their fair share of advantages. For example, Conditional Admission is one such course that allows students to attend special classes. On the basis of this, they are given admission if they meet the GPA requirement of prescribed courses. Marist College, University of Winthrop, and Texas A&M, among others, offer this course. Another way is a Guaranteed Transfer wherein, the performance of students at a community college is evaluated to offer them admissions in the second or final year. Cornell University, University of Virginia, and University of Notre Dame offer this facility. An alternate way is to opt for Second-semester Admission which is eponymous enough, through which students don’t start on a college campus until the second semester. They may start after a semester abroad. The universities that offer this facility are Elon University, University of Southern California, and Hamilton College.