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Admission decisions are based on a variety of factors


Tuesday, February 21, 2012
While there is no sure fire way to ensure acceptance to your ideal school, you should know what factors commonly influence admission decisions.

For example, one poor grade will not ruin your chances, nor will a stellar personal statement guarantee your acceptance. Instead, school officials will look to gain a better understanding of who you are and how you can be an asset to their college or university. They achieve this by weighing several factors, including your grades, standardized test scores and recommendation letters.

Depending on a school’s admissions profile, certain factors may weigh heavier than others in the acceptance process. For instance, CollegeBoard.com, a higher education research organization, states that for some small and selective colleges, application materials such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, essays, talents and leadership experiences are important. Meanwhile, larger, public state universities may use a mathematical formula that factors in an applicant’s grade point average and standardized test scores. However, no matter the size of the school you are applying to, you should strive to submit a well-rounded picture of who you are as both a student and a person.

While you are searching for the college or university that is right for you, be mindful  of courses you are taking in high school. FamilyEducation.com, a family resource Web site, states that colleges look for students who have taken several honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Don’t let the perceived difficulty of these courses put you off. While these courses may be more challenging, College Board reports that selective schools expect grades for honors and AP courses to be slightly lower than those achieved in standard high school courses which are not as challenging.

College Board also states that scores from standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, provide admission officers with a way of comparing applicants from different parts of the country. If you feel your scores on these assessments could be better, continue studying and take them again.

As essays and personal statements are just as important to prospective schools as challenging courses and strong test scores, start preparing these written pieces as early as possible. If your writing could use some work, seek extra help. After all, these application materials give colleges a sense of how well you can write, while also showing them who you are beyond your academic credentials.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800712783-ADNFCR

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Admission decisions are based on a variety of factors
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