College Admissions Guidance

Blog posts about college admissions topics such as essays, extracurriculars,  planning, mental health, etc.

Admissions FAQs on academics, etc.

application strategy Sep 22, 2021
  1. Do colleges like upward trends? Not only do colleges want to see good grades, they also want to see an upward grade trend, meaning that applicants' grades improve year after year as they take more challenging courses. This signals to colleges that students are prepared to handle the rigors of a college curriculum.
  2. How do colleges evaluate high schools? Grades are a huge part of it, but they're also looking at test scores, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Colleges won't assign (or dock) you points based on how difficult your high school is—they'll do their best to be fair to students from all backgrounds.
  3. Do colleges know how hard your high school is? Most colleges, particularly the best and most selective colleges, are well aware of the “difficult” level of your high school. ... This profile tells admissions officers at a glance the general make-up of your high school, as well as the courses it offers, average grades received, and average test scores

Without a test score as an academic yardstick, student transcripts will be scrutinized more closely than ever — even though remote learning threw GPAs and grading standards into disarray. Never has senior-year performance mattered more than during this pandemic. 
AOs look closely at a student’s course load and its level of difficulty, along with grades, to gauge academic ability and commitment. The more selective the college, the more nitpicky they’re going to be about the classes you take. So take the most rigorous curriculum you can,. “Strong senior-year classes and grades are like a foolproof vaccination plan for college admission.