Recognizing the college prep you need comes from doing a proper analysis of how selective your prospective colleges are.
Before we look at the factors that earn a college acceptance letter, let’s look at the clues that colleges give to indicate their selectivity.:
- Average SAT and ACT scores- Find this score for each college you’re interested in and set a goal for scoring above the average SAT or ACT. If the source you use doesn’t show the average test score, but shows the 25th/75th Percentile, you should average the 2 numbers from the range to get a score to try to attain. For example, UT Austin’s 25th/75th range is 1140-1380. If you average these numbers, you get 1260 which is close to UT’s average SAT score.
- Acceptance rate - This is the average percentage of students that apply who get accepted to a university. A low acceptance rate would likely indicate the need for a higher SAT or ACT score and higher grades. For example the University of Texas in Austin's 40% acceptance rate would probably make it harder to get into than Southern Methodist University (SMU) with a 51% acceptance rate.
- Percentage of the top 10% or top 25 % freshman class - This percentage tells you how many freshman at a college you’re looking at were the brightest of their high schools.
- College Applicant Experience - Speak with people you know who have applied to some of the same colleges to see what their experiences were like.
- National and Regional Rankings - Finally, find out where your colleges are ranked compared to other colleges!
College Prep Factors
All colleges want students who are going to be able to meet their academic standards, enhance their campus culture, and help them sustain these rankings. Now that we have looked at some of the factors that indicate how selective a college is, lets look at some factors they consider when they review our application file.
- Grades and class rank - Even if you attend a private high school which doesn’t release class rank, then the colleges will check your GPA since this is the most important factor.
- The number of pre-AP, AP, and IB high school classes taken - This shows how challenging your education has been thus far.
- SAT and ACT scores - Though not weighed as heavily as grades, SAT and ACT scores are still an important objective factor.
- Application and resume - Thoroughness and accuracy is crucial for these two. Contact us here to review your application and resume for errors.
- Admissions essays - The essay gives you a chance to introduce yourself and show how your unique personality. Contact us for a walkthrough on how to write a solid admission essay.
- Extracurricular activities - These activities show social involvement such as sports or band. Extracurricular activities tell colleges if a student can handle a busy schedule.
- Community service - This shows community involvement and some of your interests.
- Leadership - What offices have you held in different organizations that say you can be impactful to your fellow students.
- Work experience - This can show maturity and how you balance a busy workload.
Reach out to us here to discover how we help you meet this criteria!