The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

Polls

Which senior superlative best describes you?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

What Are Colleges Looking For?

Image+from+The+Royal+Reporter
Image from The Royal Reporter

The time leading up to the college application process can be stressful and confusing. Sometimes, we may be unsure of what that particular dream college of ours is looking for in their students. Below is a list of things the majority of colleges look for in their potential students:

Extracurriculars – You typically hear, “Be involved in everything you possibly can be,” or, “Don’t limit yourself to a single interest.” However, contrary to popular belief, these strategies to impress colleges are not as successful as you may think. Rather, colleges are more focused on seeing you apply yourself to a specific interest, and pursuing that to the fullest. 

For example, if you’re interested in being a doctor, interning, joining clubs, and taking medical-related courses will be more appealing to colleges. This will show your dedicated interest towards a topic, and will help colleges understand you have a career path in mind and are able to follow through on it. Showing that you’re passionate about something convinces colleges that you have the ability to have a deeper level of learning.

If you’re uncertain about what interests you, no worries! It’s still impressive to be involved in activities in and out of school. It’s still better if they connect, so choose a minor interest you have and pursue that. Although it may seem like a waste of time, it will help with the application process; and, you can always switch your major. Some extracurriculars that colleges specifically look for are:

  • Part-time jobs
  • Athletics
  • Leadership positions
  • Artistic / musical pursuits
  • Volunteering / community service
  • Internships
  • Academic clubs

Grades – Grades play an incredibly influential role in determining whether a college considers you for their school, or not. Maintaining good grades – which requires attending school regularly and making an effort in your classes – can show that you’re a diligent student who is ready for the next stage of your school career.

Individuality – Majority of colleges require their candidates to write personal statements or respond to essay prompts. This allows them to get to know the applicant on a personal level. Making sure your writing sounds authentic and genuine is incredibly important. Brainstorming topics that you resonate with, experiences or people that influenced you, or aspirations you have can be great ways to approach originality in your writing.

Letters of recommendation – Colleges pay attention to the letters of recommendation you submit. Choosing a teacher who you’re close with and know well can help your letters appear more meaningful and personal, and can show your strengths as a student through the eyes of an authoritative figure.

Early applications – Applying early can increase your chances of being accepted. This looks good to colleges as they see you’re prepared to commit and that you show utmost interest in their school. This also allows you to receive an earlier decision, which may make the rest of your application process easier.

Standardized testing – Although submitting your standardized test scores is now optional for the majority of schools, sending in your scores – if they align with the expectations of the college you’re applying to – can improve your chances of being admitted. These tests are good demonstrations of your academic abilities and test-taking abilities, which are qualities that colleges look for.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Forest Scout
$700
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Lake Forest High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Stella Henretta
Stella Henretta, Staff Writer
 During the fall, junior Stella Henretta's committed to Varsity tennis, but switches gears to lacrosse during the spring. On weekends, Stella works as a coach at GLASA to help disabled athletes play tennis. She’s also a cashier at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s cafe, where she loves to take walks among the flowers after her shift. This school year, she hopes that through her cumulative experiences and knowledge, she will be successful in providing her readers with information about events happening both in and out of LFHS!
Donate to The Forest Scout
$700
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Forest Scout Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *