Typical admission requirements for universities include minimum GPA and curriculum requirements, standardized test scores and an admission essay. Most universities evaluate thousands of potential students to ensure that admitted students meet all admission requirements listed. Here are a few strategies that you can use to put your application ahead of the pack.
Take Responsibility. Every student has control over their GPA. If you’re struggling in a particular subject, there are hundreds of available resources to assist and provide guidance, including online tutoring, in-person tutoring, supplemental materials, and approaching the teacher about any difficulties. You need to own your academic achievements. Taking responsibility for your own progress displays that you are willing to take the initiative and have the maturity to admit when you need help.
Create a Game Plan. The biggest hurdle many students face in academics is asking for assistance when needed, and once you reach college the struggle only gets worse. No one is going to personally tell you what you need to do in order to achieve your own goals – if you take accountability early, you will have well-developed habits to identify your goals and the game plan you need to follow to accomplish those goals. Keep in mind that universities don’t include GPA and standardized test scores in admission requirements to see the numbers; they are trying to see your performance level and determine if you will be a good fit for a self-driven environment.
Actively Seek New Opportunities. Universities are intended to tailor a student’s abilities to aid with specialization later. Why wait until an admission letter comes in the mail to decide on a career path? There are dozens of volunteer opportunities and student activities available to you! Taking advantage of these programs can help you quickly narrow down what activities you enjoy and where you excel. You will also have a robust assortment of extracurricular activities far above and beyond admission requirements.
Tell Your Story. The admission essay is often the most nerve-wracking part of admission requirement. The essay is your chance to really shine in the admission application – this is your opportunity to tell the board what you hope to accomplish (in college and beyond) and what you’ve learned from your experiences so far (from those opportunities you took advantage of after you read the last paragraph!). Know how to tell your story and you will wow the admissions board. Need help practicing? Many admission essay sample prompts are available online. Make sure to ask teachers, parents, and guidance counselors to critique your essays so you can improve your skills.
High school freshmen and sophomores: work on forming these habits now and you will be a stellar college candidate by the time you’re ready to apply!