The Top 10 Things That Colleges Are Looking For
by Bonnie L. Sudduth
编者按：良好的学业成绩是申请国外大学的必要条件，但是仅仅成绩是远远不够的，以下摘选了Bonnie L. Sudduth《The Top 10 Things That Colleges Are Looking For》，希望对有志于出国留学的家庭提供一些参考。
1. Good Grades/Class Rank
Grades are one of the most important components that colleges will be looking at. You should have a Grade Point Average (GPA) that reflects hard work. Your grades should show an upward trend. If you got a few C’s in 9th grade, your grades in 10th grade should consist of more A’s & B’s. Each year in high school should see a rise in your GPA. This shows that you are working hard to improve.
The most competitive colleges are looking for an A or B+ average. In conjunction with this the difficulty of coursework will be taken into consideration with GPA. How challenging are the classes that you have taken?
Class rank will show where you rank in relation to your classmates—the higher the BETTER! A higher rank reflects that you have worked harder than others in your class.
2. Challenging Classes
You should take a variety of challenging classes in several academic areas. If you love science, you need to show some diversity in your class selection. Do not take only science classes. Include some courses in other academic areas; such as, math, foreign language, English, etc.
If your school offers them, include some AP, Honors, or GT classes.
Every college provides information on the basic number of courses that you must take in each discipline in high school. Try to exceed the minimum required by the college. If they require two years of foreign language, try to take at least three.
3. Do Your Best on Standardized Tests
The tests that most colleges are looking for are the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or the American College Testing Assessment (ACT)
There are also SAT Subject Tests. Some of the more selective colleges may require that you take up to three of these.
Your test scores should be consistent with your grades. If you get a high score on your test, but you have a low GPA, this might reflect that you are not working hard to achieve good grades. Colleges want to see someone who is willing to put forth effort in the classroom.
NOTE: There are some colleges that do not require standardized tests.
4. Extracurricular Activities
Something to keep in mind about this category is that your activities should demonstrate your interests. You should participate as a leader or make a significant contribution to those activities in which you are involved.
Try to have activities that show that you care about the world outside of the classroom. Your participation will be an indication as to what type of citizen you will be for the college community. It is better to have a few activities to which you dedicate a significant amount of time (one to three activities). A long list does not impress admissions committees.
5. A Well-Written Essay
Include much thought in the selection of the essay topic for each application. Create an essay that reflects who you are.
Write and rewrite your essay. Create a final draft. Proofread for errors.
It is extremely important that you allow adequate time to create an essay that is a reflection of who you are.
You want to create an essay that makes you stand out from the other applicants. This is YOUR marketing tool—be original!
6. Community Involvement
Colleges are looking for involvement in activities that demonstrate your commitment to the community. Your involvement should exhibit that you are trying to improve and make a difference for others.
Use an activity that exhibits your passion. Some examples are involvement with the young, elderly, or needy in your community. You might volunteer with a community health organization such as the Red Cross. Help out at the local animal shelter or with a group that is involved with animal rescue.
7. Meaningful Use of Free Time
What did you do last summer? Colleges want to see activities that demonstrate maturity, dedication and responsibility.
Some examples might be work experience, summer activities such as camp or travel, taking community college classes, participating in internships, volunteering, and involvement in social advocacy activities.
8. Letters of Recommendation
Be very selective when choosing the person who will write your letters. Usually you will request a teacher, employer, coach, religious leader, club sponsor or mentor to do this for you.
Ask the person in a very polite manner if they would consider writing your letter. Give more than adequate time for the person to write the letter. Provide a resume to the writer. Write a thank you note to the letter writer to show that you appreciate their assistance.
Colleges are looking for anything that makes you unique!! Keep track of any awards that you might receive from the community or school.
Honors for recognition of accomplishments are also important; such as, perfect attendance or making the honor roll.
Anything that you have done that marks your evidence of talent is also important. Sometimes an admissions committee is looking for the outstanding pianist or the award-winning photographer.
10. Who You Are?
Colleges want students who exhibit good character and have desirable personal qualities. They are looking for someone who will make a positive contribution to the college community.
Demonstrated interest is also taken into consideration when looking at potential freshmen candidates. Have you taken the time to visit the campus? How many times have you had any contact or communication with the admissions office?
After reading over this list, decide which areas you need to work on to improve your candidate status. Make your admission in to one of your top-choice schools a reality. 看完这些，哪些方面你觉得还有待改进，以改善您的候选人状况？让进入你的理想大学成为现实。