Friday, July 6, 2012

What the Top Colleges are Looking For

Harvard. Yale. Stanford. MIT. Just the names of these colleges and universities conjure images of elite learning, rich traditions, and exceptional opportunities. Many people believe a degree from a highly selective school is the ticket to a successful, rewarding life and career; as a result, competition to gain admission to these schools is, to put it mildly, fierce.

If you apply to a school with an acceptance rate below 20%, your application will land in a pool along with those of thousands of other kids who boast GPAs above 4.0 and SAT scores that are north of the 2000 mark. Apply to schools with acceptance rates below 10%, and you're being considered alongside other kids who appear to be more or less, well...perfect.

So, assuming you've got the exceptional  grades and test scores to put you in the running, what else are highly selective colleges looking for in potential students? How can you start preparing to be a competitive candidate long before it's time to complete those applications?