In high school, it seems like everyone has an opinion about what it takes to get into a college. Poor test-takers think the standardize test must be the most important thing. Those with lots of extracurricular activities fear that colleges will focus more on numbers. Those who take difficult courses worry that colleges will only look at grades, and not how they were earned. And so forth. In the end, the process of getting into college is usually quite fair. With a few minor exceptions, colleges are legitimately looking for the most qualified applicants they can find, and that means sifting through as much information as they have available.
Remember that different colleges look at these components in different ways; specifically, prestigious and smaller schools tend to spend more time looking at soft factors such as essays and recommendations, while larger and less competitive schools often focus more on grades and test scores. Most important thing to know is that grades or test scores alone won’t get you into college. This series will go over the different factors of the admissions process to give you a better understanding at what admissions officers take into consideration when evaluating applications. Stay tuned for future posts!