If you are considering applying to university, you will undoubtedly want to do everything in your power to boost your application and maximize your chances of getting the green light.
The question is, what are the specific factors that the various institutions take into consideration when assessing your submission? The answer is that they generally look at a combination of ‘hard factors’ and ‘soft factors’. Hard factors are your test scores and GPA, while soft factors refer to other aspects that could tip the scales in your direction, such as extracurricular activities and college essays. Here is a breakdown.
Your GPA, or grade point average, is arguably the most important factor when it comes to your university application. Most reputable institutions insist that you possess a specific average in order to be considered a student. For example, the University of Oregon GPA recommendation is 3.59, although this is set to increase to 3.77. Obviously, the higher your GPA, the better your chances of being accepted, so don’t just aim for the bare minimum.
Your SAT Score
Almost all colleges will require you to take the SATs or the ACTs. Usually, you will be expected to manage a score of at least 1100 in the SATs or 73 in the ACTs to make a lasting impression on the powers that be. Many of the respected universities in the USA will require even higher scores for your application to be considered. So, basically, do your very best to score as high as you possibly can.
Your Extracurricular Activities
Universities tend to favor those prospective students who boast a notable track record in a specific extracurricular activity, such as football or basketball. It is much better to excel in one area than to dabble in multiple activities without really achieving anything significant in any of them.
Take up a sport or activity if you have a flair for it and would like to boost your application but don’t allow the activity to get in the way of your studies. At the end of the day, test stores and an impressive GPA have a much greater impact.
Your College Essay
Many universities request that you submit an essay as a part of your college application. Some people dread this and wish that it weren’t a requirement but, actually, it is a wonderful opportunity to set yourself apart. Your college essay could mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, so make it count! Don’t forget to ask someone to proofread it before sending it on. Grammar and spelling mistakes won’t do you any favors.
Your Letter of Recommendation
Managing to get a teacher or another respected member of society to write a powerful letter of recommendation for you can work wonders in terms of bolstering your chances of a successful application. If you can obtain more than one, even better!
Now that you know what universities take into consideration, you can start putting an especially impactful application together. Good luck as you embark upon this new and exciting phase in your life.