Plan for College

Learn how to prepare for the education and training that will get you your dream job.

Five Things College Admissions Officers Look For

Rise to the top of the candidate list by doing the following

College enrollment is up across the US, which means many schools have more applicants than they can accommodate. To get the attention of college admissions officers, you’ll need to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Below are a few things that will help you stand out.

To increase your chances of getting in, your application materials should show:

  1. A fit between your intentions and the school’s program. You’ll need to demonstrate some qualities that show college admissions officers you know yourself, understand the school and its mission, and have a plan in mind to succeed in school and use your training in your career or field.
  2. A sense of your personality. Schools want to hear your voice in your application essay. They want to know what you value and what drives your interests. Avoid making laundry lists of achievements or bragging. It tends to create the synthetic sense of someone trying to play up qualities and make an impression.
  3. The ability to succeed academically or in your career. Your grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation will convey whether you’re prepared for a higher education.
  4. A constructive use of your time outside school. Show that you pursue your interests when not doing schoolwork. This could mean volunteer or community-related work, a hobby, or clubs and associations you join in school.
  5. The passion to achieve your goals. Your essay should show an understanding of how your higher education feeds into your life's goals. It should also show what those goals mean to you.

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