There is more to a college application than grades and test scores

High school seniors actually have to construct an application file to become eligible for admission to their preferred colleges. This file is a collection of documents and is designed to give insight into who they are. The parts of a college application file can vary from school to school, but there are some common elements required by most institutions of higher learning.

·        Your official transcript is a record of your academic performance from high school. This is one very important part of the file.

·        The writing sample is an essay or other type of writing assignment that allows you to showcase your writing skills and tell your story.

·        Many colleges want letters of recommendation. They should be written by people who know you well. You may be required to submit one, two or three letters of recommendation. Your teachers, coaches, employers, religious leaders, volunteer coordinators or other mentors are all good candidates for writing letters of recommendation.

·        Your extracurricular activities are important supplements to your performance in the classroom. These activities can include sports, clubs, volunteer work, or anything else that you are passionate about. Many of these things are required because colleges want to see that you are well-rounded and involved in your community.

In addition to these basic elements, some colleges may also require standardized test scores, SAT Subject Tests, or personal interviews. Be sure to check the requirements for each college on your list.

The college application process can be overwhelming. Just remember that colleges are looking for students who are passionate, motivated, and well-rounded, but the most important ingredient is to be yourself. Admissions committees want to get to know the real you, so don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be specific in your explanations. Don’t just tell the admissions committee what you’ve done, tell them why it’s important to you. Make your essay clear, concise, and easy to read and carefully review everything to minimize errors in grammar or spelling.

Applying to college can be a time-consuming and challenging process, but it should also an exciting. Plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to complete all these tasks. Ask for help when you need it and you can turn your application stress into success.

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