How to Score an A+ with College Admissions Officers

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Continued: Be a Triple Threat: Combine Academics, Activities and Community Service

Taking these factors into consideration, WHSH and ACT have partnered to provide advice to parents and students on how to score an A+ with admissions officers. Here's a plan for success:

Grades and Test Scores Matter. Grade point averages make it very easy for admissions officers to set standard requirements, so focus on study skills and the classroom. But remember to incorporate more challenging advanced placement or honors classes into the schedule because colleges like to see students stretching themselves. This way, they will demonstrate academic strengths and, possibly even receive college credit. Also, make summer breaks count. Suggest that students study a second language in depth, volunteer, or get an internship.

Beyond the Books. Universities are looking for students who exhibit a passion for more than just schoolwork, but they prefer quality to quantity. What matters most is the commitment shown in extracurricular activities, not how many joined.

Give back. Community service has become an essential part of a studen's overall portfolio. It demonstrates that they are active and responsible citizens, and may also lead to a rewarding career path. Through volunteer work, students are exposed to other individuals from different backgrounds with the same interests as well as various organizations within their community. Volunteering also provides a great platform for students to hone networking skills.

Cultivate Relationships. Since recommendations are highly regarded by admissions officers, urge students to develop relationships with high school faculty who can provide colleges with genuine insight on who they are. What a school says about its students speaks volumes. After applying to a college, students should show they?re truly interested in it by keeping in contact with admissions counselors. Let them know of recent achievements or seek information that is not available in the school?s brochures. Even contact a professor to inquire about their upcoming curriculum.

More than grades. Inquire about award eligibility. Talk with the school's principal or guidance counselor to find out about award and scholarship opportunities. For more information on the Wendy's High School Heisman program, log onto or call (800) 244-5161 to request a nomination packet to be sent to the school administrator. ACT must receive all nominations by September 24, 2003.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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