In the fall of 2019, 19.9 million students enrolled in an American college or university. Even more students applied to college but did not get in or chose not to go. No matter how you slice it: that’s a lot of college applications flowing into admissions offices every fall. How, then, do you make sure your application stands out from the rest?
It’s All About You
In general, admissions officers, especially at selective schools, take a holistic approach to evaluating applications. That means that, despite what you’ve probably heard, getting a certain score on the SAT or a perfect 4.0 doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be admitted. Instead, colleges are looking at your application to get a sense of who you are—what interests you, what drives you, what you’re good at—to see if you’d be a good fit for the school, and if the school would be a good fit for you. Selective schools in particular are looking to bring in a diverse student body that will generate the kind of community that allows all students to flourish, and that means more than just a certain score.
Self-reflection helped me in every step and transition. Take time every once and a while to look back on the choices you’ve made, experiences you’ve had, and the people in your life. -Elizabeth M., Duke TIP alum