5 Things College Admissions Officers Look For

You can help your students rise to the top of the candidate list by doing the following

College enrollment is up across the US, which means many schools have more applicants than they can accommodate. To get the attention of college admissions officers, your students need to distinguish themselves from other candidates. Below are a few things that will help them stand out.

To increase your student’s chances of getting in, their application materials should show:

1. A fit between their intentions and the school’s program. They’ll need to demonstrate some qualities that show college admissions officers they know themselves, understand the school and its mission, and have a plan in mind to succeed in school and use their training in their planned career or field.

2. A sense of their personality. Schools want to hear a voice in the application essay. They want to know what your student values and what drives his or her interests. Avoid making laundry lists of achievements or bragging. It tends to create the synthetic sense of someone trying to play up qualities and make an impression.

3. The ability to succeed academically or in their planned career. Their grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation will convey whether they’re prepared for a higher education.

4. A constructive use of their time outside school. Your student should show that they pursue their interests when not doing schoolwork. This could mean volunteer or community-related work, a hobby, or clubs and associations joined in school.

5. The passion to achieve their goals. Their essay should show an understanding of how their higher education feeds into their life’s goals. It should also show what those goals mean to them.

Rob is with AIE.org. You can find the full article and other Counselor resources from AIE.org. Here is the link: http://www.aie.org/plan-for-college/apply-to-college/five-things-college-admissions-officers-look-for.cfm)