What Type of Student do Colleges Want?

Colleges want to see what makes you unique and how hard you are willing to work at the things you care about. This article will provide you a quick overview of the types of things college admissions offices are looking for from your application.

Updated by Smriti Singh on 15th April 2020

“Before everything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Preparing for college is a lesson best learned backward. Students have a need, which is to get into a college that they like and where they will grow and learn. Similarly, colleges also have needs. Colleges do not simply take your admission instead they build a class. Ever wondered, what are the things that a college admission officer is looking for when they have your application? The college admission officer will notice your every mistake, which can suggest a lack of attention and care on your part. The college primarily creates a group of students that reflect the priorities of the college, and that priorities define who they take and whom they don’t take. 

Personal qualities are not easy to measure, but the college admission officer must look for the following to gets some clue about your character,

High School Transcript

A high school transcript is basically a record of your academics accomplishments in high school. Some schools also include a record of your behavior. They may also include details about the number of days you remained absent from school. The college that you are applying for will first look at the grades that you have received and the course you have taken.

College Application Essay

Your college essay is your opportunity to reveal your best qualities and to show an admission committee what makes you different from other applicants. It must be insightful. Do not start your essay with a sweeping, open-ended, broad general statement. Be specific, honest and use proper grammar and spelling. Make sure your style of writing will appeal to a wide group of people. Stories about your personal hardships can be effective, but be careful about how you use them.

Extracurricular Activities

The activities that you do outside your class is something that the colleges are looking for in a student. Colleges look for activities that will build up your group working skills as well as your leadership skills. According to colleges, these activities allow students to become more organized as well as manage their time. With extracurricular, your chances of dropping out decreases. In addition to this, your grades increase, one reason for this is because extracurricular activities reduce stress.

Summer Internship and Activities

An internship makes the classroom’s abstract theories and learned examples concrete by placing the student in a real-life work situation with real live co-workers performing actual professional tasks, which the job encompasses. Include the company or organization you worked for and what your job responsibilities were there. If you received any recognition, be sure to mention that as well.

Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation is a document that adds extra weightage and merit to a college application. Someone who has spent time with the applicant in an academic setting often writes the letter. It includes the qualities and affection of the person being recommended. It can tell a lot about the kind of person you are.

Other than above-mentioned points, colleges also look for the following things:

  • Your intellectual curiosity

  • Your unique skills or special talents

  • Your enthusiasm in attending the college

  • Your creativity

  • Your passion

  • Your risk-taking abilities

  • Your personality

  • Your sense of social responsibility

Lastly, think outside the box in terms of how you present yourself. You can better prioritize your time, effort and curriculum into the areas that matter the most. Always be aware of the most important attributes that will impress an admissions officer.

They will look at you as a whole, not just as a student.