• What Colleges Look At?

    1. Grade point average/difficulty of curriculum
    2. SAT Subject Test or ACT scores
    3. Class rank
    4. Application essays
    5. Extracurricular activities
    6. Recommendations
    7. Interviews
    8. Leadership Positions
    9. Community Service

    Of course, every college is different. The larger the school, the less time it has to spend with your application (sometimes less than five minutes!) Big state schools rarely reach number three on this list. Small schools may look past weak grades or test scores if they see something special about you.

    Teacher & Counselor Recommendations

    Here are some guidelines that should help you secure better recommendations:

    1. Start early. Your teachers and counselors are swamped, so give them plenty of time.
    2. Give your teachers and counselors all necessary materials and include your application deadlines.
    3. Waive your confidentiality rights.
    4. Pick your references wisely. Don't pick a teacher just because you got an A in his or her class. It's important that the teacher or counselor knows you personally.
    5. Promptly send a thank-you note to each person who gives you a recommendation.