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6 Ways to Ace The College Admissions Process

6 Ways to Ace The College Admissions Process

The college application process has a unique experience. This requires determination and hard work. Sometimes, you will need the support of your family and school administrators. It would help if you did not only get good grades but also strong SAT/ACT scores.


It doesn't have to be difficult to get into a top school. We have listed our top tips below to increase your chances of being accepted to your dream college.


Here are six tips from admissions staff on ways to set yourself apart from other college applicants.


1. Keep your grades above average

High school grades are still the most important factor for college admissions. Colleges also consider your essays, recommendations, and standardized test scores. However, your grades are the most important predictor of academic success in college.


Colleges will notice how your grades have changed over time. Your upward trend could count in your favor if your grades were lower when you started high school. Colleges will also notice a drop in grades during your junior year.


According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the national unweighted GPA was around 3.0. This is a B average. A 3.0 GPA will get you into most colleges, provided your application is on par or better. Higher GPAs are likely to be required by more exclusive schools, while others may only accept students with a 3.0 GPA from high school.


Read: Examining The Four Types Of Corporate Social Responsibility


2. Do well on your admissions tests

Most four-year colleges require applicants to submit their admission test scores. You can't apply if you don't have them. Nearly all U.S. colleges accept the SAT. Some colleges, including those that are four-year, do not require scores, but they may use them to help with placements or scholarships.


The SAT is a popular test for college admissions. The SAT is the most widely used standardized test in the country for college admissions. It can make a big difference in your application's success.


Every college application that uses the SAT will require it to play a major role. Nearly all colleges require that you submit scores from a standardized exam, but many students prefer to submit scores from the ACT, rather than the SAT. 


Some college admissions directors have taken an adverse approach to using admission test scores to determine college admissions. According to Michael Murphy, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Antioch College, “We know far more about our students by their total application than we do from their tests. We prefer using the whole picture.”

3. Secure recommendation letters 

While letters of recommendation are only one component of your application, they play an important part in the college admissions process. These letters give admission representatives valuable information that isn't necessarily apparent from your college application.


Admissions officers find letters of recommendation especially valuable because high school counselors or teachers can paint a better picture of you and your impact on campus.


According to College Vine, Recommendations, with their more personal focus, can be helpful in determining not only what kind of student you are, but what kind of person you are.


4. Write a compelling personal statement

Although every personal statement has a unique style, the purpose of each one is the same. Your personal statement introduces you to the selection committee. If you are selected for an interview, questions will be based on this personal statement.


"Ultimately, a personal statement is a chance for you to convey why you would like to study a particular course, and how you hope this will benefit you in the future. We want to hear what skills and experience you possess which will help you at university, and your passion for your chosen subject," explains Annie Richardson, outreach assistant in the outreach and educational partnerships team at the University of Greenwich.


5. Opt for early admissions


Early applications are often binding so early applications are the best way to let a college know that you have made your choice and are committed to attending.


Knowing whether you were accepted to the college of your choice is a significant advantage of the early application. In most cases, your decision from the top school will be known before any other applications. You can reduce fees and eliminate your safety schools by applying to fewer schools.


According to Mena Wahezi, director of admissions in New York, “Students that opt for early admissions have an easier time going through processes like financial aid, course selection, or the I-20 international student Visa process. I recommend every student opts for early admission to the college of their choice.”

6. Manage your social media presence

Social media can not only open up new avenues for communication with potential colleges but also provide an opportunity to show your personality in a way other application factors might not.


Students' social media posts can have a significant impact on their acceptance chances. However, they may also be able to get their acceptances withdrawn if they post inappropriate or offensive material.


If the accounts aren't set to private, colleges can view posts made on social media such as Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. College admissions officers will do this if applicants post troubling online content to anonymous third parties.


According to Mathew Despins, a brand manager in Boston, “Employment and college recruiters are turning to social media more and more to get an idea of the type of person you are. You will have more success if you post professional content and remove those embarrassing keg party photos from high school.”


Get help when you need it

It can be difficult to navigate the college application process. You should seek the guidance of teachers and counselors as you complete your college applications.


Parents, siblings, and other relatives can help you with questions regarding the admissions process as well as campus life. Each university may emphasize different elements of its admissions process so be sure to research your selected school in advance.

Natalie Nyugen

Natalie Nyugen / About Author

Research analyst and contributor on Company InFocus. B.A. in International Marketing from Rutgers Business School.