Standing Out in The Crowd: 5 Tips for Boosting Your College Admissions Odds

One question marks the final years of high school: Where do I go from here? For many, the next step on the winding path of life is attending college. College is a hugely exciting experience— however, getting there can be daunting. The best way to determine if you’re ready for college is being self-reflexive about your academic abilities, leadership, and self-management skills. It’s also essential to research your deadlines, admission fees, requirements, and more so that you don’t end up in a rush.

college admission

If you have determined you’re ready for college, there will likely be various schools on your list. Categorize your choices into reach, target, and safety schools. Reach schools are very exclusive—you might get in, but it’s not particularly likely. A target school is easier to land, and you fit squarely within admission requirements. Lastly, a safety school is likely a shoo-in based on their minimal exclusivity and your qualifications. 

No matter what schools you are applying to, being proactive about the admissions process beforehand will be your golden ticket. If you’re pining after a big-name university, check out these five tips to boost your chances of landing your dream school.

Determining Your Chances 

As college admissions become increasingly competitive, entrance committees look at the applicant as a whole rather than just a GPA. Charitable service, coursework, extracurricular activities, and social skills are among the many attributes colleges consider during an applicant’s analysis. Because these qualities are less quantifiable than a standardized test score or report card, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact place you land in a college’s eyes. To better understand where they land, applicants should utilize a college admissions calculator for more in-depth information before applying. 

Apply Early 

The early bird catches the worm when it comes to college admissions. While most applications have a hard deadline, there are also early application due dates that usually occur in November of the year before enrollment. Colleges usually accept more applicants from this early pool, so if you’re happy with your scores and qualifications, it’s an excellent opportunity to stand out from the crowd. 

In the interest of staying ahead of the collegiate game, there are two applications college applicants can select. The early decision option requires submitting an application before the usual deadline and is only encouraged if you’re sure about a school because it is binding. Early action is a similar process, but it’s not binding so that you can apply with the early pool for multiple schools. 

Boost Your GPA 

While GPA isn’t the only consideration in an application, it’s a vital piece of the competitive application puzzle. Achieving high scores in top-notch courses, like AP, honors, and IB, is an excellent indication of your ability to challenge yourself. Additionally, high scores on end-of-year AP tests signal an aptitude for college-level classes. However, if you struggle in advanced courses, focus on earning the best GPA possible at whatever level of difficulty fits your learning style. 

Study Before Taking the ACT/SAT

The time has come for the dreaded standardized tests. There’s no way around it – the ACT and SAT are difficult. However, that does not mean that you can’t stand up to the challenge. In your Junior year of high school, arrange a tutor or study with free online resources to earn the best possible score. 

Once you are sheathed in the armor of tried-and-true knowledge, head into battle and take both the ACT and SAT. Most schools accept both tests, but they are slightly different stylistically, so you may score better on one than the other. Additionally, don’t be afraid to retake these tests. Practice makes perfect, so shake out your test-taking jitters and study till you are pleased with the results. 

Express Interest 

Applying for colleges is like dating. While colleges are analyzing their applicants, you’re also considering which university is the best fit for you. If you find a school that seems like the perfect match, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops. By following the school on its social media platforms, attending seminars, and scheduling tours of the campus, colleges can see your dedication to their institution, increasing your chances of getting in. 

The bottom line

Although the college admissions process is turbulent and emotionally exhausting, finding the perfect school is worth the trouble. Stand out by utilizing application-boosting tips and refining your academic resume to land your top-school with ease.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.