No matter what grade a student is in, it is never a bad time for one to start thinking about their next educational step. The college application process is a very competitive one, and the earlier they can get started on getting themselves ready for the selection process, the better off they will be when that time rolls around.
“You really want to show them how versatile of a student you can be,” DHS counselor Jill English said.
When applying to a competitive college, it’s extremely important to be able to bring a wide variety of experience and skill to the table to set you apart from other students applying. While it is crucial that a student maintains an impressive GPA throughout their high school career as well as earn as high of an ACT/SAT score as possible (see chart), it’s also equally important that you show that you can do more than just be a good student.
High scoring students are a dime a dozen, and while higher test scores usually receive more attention than lower scores, extracurricular activities should appear on applications in order for serious candidacy.
According to English, there are three things students should be sure they’re doing.
Showing some type of long-term involvement in a school activity is helpful. Whether it be a sports team, a club, band, or orchestra, showing commitment is key.
While in school involvement is important, students should also consider joining some sort of group outside of DHS. Getting their foot in the door with some sort of volunteering or another activity that gets them out of the house and proves they are willing to spend time on things outside of studying is key in impressing enrollment officers.
If at all possible, students should put themselves in a position of leadership and do a good job within the position. Colleges love natural leaders and people who aren’t afraid to step up into some type of leading role.
Applying to colleges can be a scary process, especially when the amount of competition that you’re going against is considered. If students want to be seriously considered at a competitive college, there are multiple things they need to be aware of and keep in mind throughout their high school career.
By Joey Lundahl