What Do Admissions Officers Look for in College Applications?

Several factors are involved and evaluated regarding the college admissions process, especially if you want to apply in the US. To create an applicant’s overall image, the admissions committee focuses on hard elements like test scores, GPA, grades, and soft aspects like recommendations, interests, essays, and extra-curricular involvement. The admissions officers meticulously deliberate all these factors. However, the evaluation process always seems a mystery to parents and families. They could hardly fathom why some students couldn’t get through the school despite having extremely high grades. Or what is the reason behind a lot of applicants getting rejected by a particular university? Regardless of the answer, several peop

le still find the entire college admissions situation ambiguous.

Holistic assessment

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The majority of higher education schools implement a holistic assessment approach during the selection process. This indicates that officers focus on the student as a whole, not just on their academic milestones. Hence, soft aspects may weigh as much as the hard elements provide.

The admissions department ensures that they genuinely know the students and excel before admitting them to the institution. This holistic assessment method is advantageous to these applicants who fail to get high grades but can significantly contribute to the school community in different ways.

Universities aspire to produce experts that can positively impact the school, apart from their excellent scholastic performance. Admitting students who are purely intellectual and with impressive test scores doesn’t completely diversify the campus community.

What are the other crucial requirements for a college application you need to prepare?

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Transcript from secondary school

The admissions officer will look into your secondary school’s academic performance through your official transcript. This is a comprehensive record of all your completed courses and their respective grades.

Personal data

Like in any application, students need to declare and write their information from their age, past schools attended to their parents and siblings. 

Test Scores

The majority of post-secondary schools oblige their applicants to take SAT and ACT and submit their scores, except for last year. Almost all have rescinded such a requirement due to the pandemic. During the ‘old normal,’ the scores are directly submitted to schools by the testing agencies.

Why is a college application essay crucial to the entire process?

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The admissions officer will probably change their mind or convince 

them that you’re way better than the other candidate by looking at the application essay. Despite using an automated application review, a human being such as the admissions in-charge who can evaluate personal experiences will be part of the entire assessment procedure. Your essay will be an excellent form of opening yourself to these officers and presenting your other skills aside from your academic intelligence. No machine will be able to evaluate those said factors like a person does fairly.

Not all schools require an essay upon application, but admissions officers highly recommend students to make one. This is their best way to learn more about their soon-to-be undergraduates, know interesting stories, their drive to study, and their humor, which all these may not be available on other application documents. 

Furthermore, this will help the admissions in-charge understand the applicant’s real purpose of applying to such a school. There’s no exact formula for writing the best application essay, but a simple reminder that most officers say is, make it as natural as possible.

Want more information? Here are some related reads:

8 Things to Highlight in Your 2021 College Application
8 Tips for An Outstanding College Application Essay
The Top 10 College Application Do’s and Don’ts