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If after looking at the price of college, you are still interested in attending, then it is important to know what colleges look for in potential students. Colleges want to see high academic achievement along with a desire to succeed. Here is a list of what admissions officers look at:
  • Academic record.
  • Courses completed and level of difficulty. Also, honors and advanced placement classes.
  • GPA, including upward GPA trends.
  • Class rank.
  • Standardized test scores.
  • Extracurricular and community activities.
  • Recommendations.
If you want top colleges vying for you, then you must prepare well before starting college. To ensure success, pay attention to the following.

1. Strong academic background
The application process is highly competitive. Each college has only a limited number of open spots each year, and many thousands of candidates are applying. Thus, you must demonstrate your potential for success by displaying academic achievement in high school.
  • Even as early as your freshman year of high school, select your classes carefully. Choose classes that are not only interesting, but also demanding. This shows college admissions officers that you can accept and meet academic challenges. College prep courses may also be helpful.
  • Develop and maintain a high GPA. If your grades are mediocre to begin with, not all is lost. Improvement over time does reflect well.
  • Take SAT/ACT prep courses. Colleges look carefully at standardized test scores, so take steps to make sure that you do as well as you possibly can. Consider taking the PSAT before the SAT. If you think that you could improve your SAT/ACT score, consider taking the test again.

2. Desire to succeed
Colleges don't just want students who are smart; they want students who are motivated to succeed in life. Demonstrate this by
  • Developing extracurricular interests early on, and pursuing these interests. You can perform community service, join student groups, etc.
  • Taking on leadership positions.
  • Getting part-time or summer jobs or internships. This shows admissions officers that you are interested in gaining valuable life skills and experiences, and that you have the time-management skills to juggle both work and school.
  • Developing strong relationships with teachers and advisors.

3. Research and applications
  • Start early and develop a timeframe for the application process. Create a spreadsheet of the colleges to which you want to apply, the requirements for each school, and their deadlines. Submitting applications materials early is advisable.
  • Write excellent application essays. While not always as crucial as GPA or standardized test scores, your essay could make a difference in whether or not you get into your top choice college.
  • Learn the average GPA, SAT/ACT scores, etc., of incoming freshmen to see how you compare. Here are some good resources:
  • Investigate financial aid options, including scholarships and loans.

How EdFed Helped others!
I kept putting off consolidating my student loans until I graduated. Then I saw that EdFed encouraged me to start an application at least 6 months before graduation so that I could reserve my consolidation. I called and had my application signed in less than 15 minutes.
- Alisha P.  Salt Lake City, Ut
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This column is sponsored by Granted, America's top job search engine. The Career Resources column is presented by Granted, America's leading job search engine dedicated to getting people jobs.

Education is one of the most basic right of any human, but with the increase in prices and the costs involved in education this has made these rights turn into a privilege which very few can enjoy. Any normal person today in the whole of United States has to take an education loan at one point of time to pay for their education fees.

read more
Schools Will No Longer Receive Paper FAFSA Forms
(September 20, 2007)

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