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Posted On: 25 January 2021 11:59 am

Find the school that fits you with Score Plus' college admissions guide

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College admissions is all about finding a school that fits you. As an applicant, you must look for an environment where you can thrive academically and personally. On the other hand, it is the job of an admission officer to identify students who will make great additions to a unique campus community.

1. College Planning

Your path to college begins your first year in high school as you make yourself college ready. Grades and test scores are important factors in college admission, but admissions officers are also looking for curious and engaged candidates who will round out a diverse first-year class.


Most admissions officers report that, along with your GPA, the rigor of your high school curriculum is the most important element of your college application. Grades matter for all 4 years. When colleges review your transcripts (academic performance record), they typically focus on your grade 10 and grade 11 grades but will still look through the others.

For this reason, you must choose your high school classes carefully. Make sure to challenge yourself with honors classes, AP classes, and IB classes. Start early, focus on getting good grades, and get homework help when needed to stay on track. Even if you had a rough first year, there’s still time to turn your grades around.

Standardized Test Scores

SAT and/or ACT scores take the lead, but admissions officers consider your performance on other standardized tests as well. A majority of the international universities look for good scores (depending on individual school requirements) on language proficiency tests like the IELTS or TOEFL.

Test optional schools: Schools that are test optional do not require standardized test scores as part of a complete application. However, since your test scores could qualify you for merit scholarships (even at test optional schools), it’s still a smart idea to take and prep for —at least one standardized test.

Extra-curricular activities

What you do with your time outside the classroom shows colleges who you are and what qualities you’ll bring to campus.

Commitment to a sport, hobby or job over four years of high school is key. Colleges would much rather see you excited about a few worthwhile endeavors than marginally involved with a ton of clubs. Some students enroll in university programs to start earning college credits. Others volunteer or find a summer job.

2. College Search

No two students are exactly alike. Similarly, no two schools are exactly alike.

Conversations with your college counselor about what’s important to you in terms of academics, campus culture, and financial aid will help guide your overall college search. Research is a must. Attend college fairs, consult college profiles, and visit campuses to find and compare potential schools. Check out majors, dorms, clubs, career services, and other key features.

3. College Applications

The key components of the college application are your transcript, standardized test score reports, letters of recommendation, and application essay. Colleges will also ask you to list your extracurricular activities.

Many colleges allow applicants to submit their materials for an early deadline (sometime in the fall) that falls before the regular deadline (usually sometime in January or February). Always check admissions requirements with each individual school as the one-size-fits-all approach does not work here.

4. Applying for Financial Aid

Educate yourself on how financial aid works, so you can make the right choice. Check out each prospective school's financial aid website as you research your college list. Be aware that applying to college and applying for financial aid are two separate processes.

Plenty of outside organizations offer scholarships tailored to academic interests, talents, extracurricular activities, career goals, geographic location, and many more factors. Keep an eye on deadlines which could fall as early as the summer before senior year.

5. Choosing Your School

Once the notifications start rolling in, celebrate your acceptances with your college counselor, and make your final decision (typically by May 1 - Decision Day). Get excited about the schools that accepted you by talking to on-campus students, learning more about programs and on-campus activities, & other facilities.

If your dream college waitlisted you, don’t despair! You could still be accepted from the waitlist, as students notify the college whether they accept or decline. Students may be deferred (application held to be evaluated later) if a college decides they need more information (senior year grades/test scores) before making their decision.

In case you haven’t taken the SAT/ACT or IELTS yet, participate in ScorePlus – The Princeton Review’s National Test Fest 2021 and webinar titled “Demystifying College Applications” to gauge your level of readiness & sketch your roadmap to college. For more than 35 years, students and parents have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. To know more, call 4436-8580 or email – [email protected] and register TODAY!

Source: Press Release