How Do Colleges Choose Students For Admission?
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How Do Colleges Choose Students For Admission?

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Admission Application
  • Published on 31 Aug 2022

College admissions are challenging! It takes a toll on the students preparing to get into their dream college. However, with a little guidance and information about the entire admission process, the process can turn out to be smooth and hassle-free. First of all, one needs to know that colleges always give high priority to meritorious students along with the appropriate admission formalities submitted by them. However, it remains a matter of fact that institutional priorities will always play a vital part in the final admission decision.

Before understanding the admissions process, it is very important to understand that the entire process of college admissions is fair and equally transparent. This is practised across most colleges to ensure the selection of the most deserving applicants into the college or university space. 

Process followed by colleges to choose students for admission

Even though the college admission processes are laid on a fair and transparent layout but this does not mean it is completely objective. Many points are beyond a student’s control, too. However, knowing the overall layout of the selection process will always help them prepare well.

  • Firstly, the application along with the college essay submitted undergoes thorough scrutiny. The application form and the essays are viewed and analysed by a panel to identify their suitability.
  • Secondly, the student’s merits, individual characteristics, past colleges and universities, their grades and scores and the data points are evaluated.
  • Apart from the above factors, even the geographic diversity of the applicant’s class plays a vital role in decision-making.

It is advised that the students should not get anxious while waiting for their final admission results. Normally, the turnaround time for the admission results is around four to six weeks, however, in some cases, it may even take longer.

Factors considered for College Admissions

As per a compiled report by the National Association for College Admission Counselling, a few of the top factors that contribute to college admissions are-

  • The student’s overall high school GPA
  • Their grades obtained during the advanced placement or any other college-prep classes pursued.
  • Last, but not least, their level of difficulty during their curriculum.

However, broadly classifying, the prime factors based on which a student’s application is evaluated by the board are-

  • Academics

Academics include- your grades, marks, past school and college environment, and scores in any advanced placement course if undertaken. Test scores are important but are not considered the driving factor for admissions decisions.

  • Extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are pretty vital as they help determine the students' passion and leadership traits. Therefore, as advised by experts, students should share as much information about their personality and club activities or any other extra-curricular participation, outside the class. This will help the panel connect the right dots between a student’s coursework and extra-curricular involvement.

  • Personal qualities

The personal characteristics of the students are well evaluated to analyse the level of their contribution to the campus. The college essays drafted by the students are considered as one of the other forms of evaluating the same. Intellectually curious and active students will always hold a priority, here.

Therefore, it is very important to begin your preparations early and plan these attributes, accordingly.

Colleges' Priorities for Admission

Choosing a fresher right out of high school or primary college is a task even for the selection board. Apart from the good grades and engaging test scores, the entire process is pretty subjective. Here are a few factors that constitute the priority list of the colleges apart from grades and extra-curricular inputs-

  • The admission office is not just looking for great grades but a great personality as well. Therefore, they are looking for appropriate personal characteristics and human abilities that will help in carving an all-rounder student containing diverse talents that will gradually fit the institution’s mission.
  • With cut-throat competition around, multiple factors contribute to the selection process but are beyond the understanding and control of parents and students as well.
  • Essentially, a few seats are left vacant for particular types of students. This could be students from exceptional art, music, or sports fraternity.
  • Another major factor is chosen as per the department-specific needs and even as per ensured men and women ratio to manage the right balance.
  • Maintaining in-state vs. out-of-state students is also another important factor.
  • Some institutions prefer enrolling well-qualified applicants coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds. This is primarily the priority in colleges that pay attention to racial diversity for a better learning environment.
  • Even though this is not the case every time, but a few colleges would pay more attention to affluent students and thereby form policies that benefit them more.

Failing to get an entry into your dream college can be devastating but, that is not the end. With so many questions asked and intense rounds of interviews, students might take their rejection, personally but, that is not the case.

Rejection is not denial

  • Denied admission has nothing to do with a person’s qualities or grades, alone. There are several other factors, too that might have led to your rejection. Sometimes, it is not the student but the tough guidelines, the admission officers have to undergo.
  • However, students can surely combat such situations by participating in related webinars, college visits or any other relevant events to engage themselves and simultaneously indicate their interest in the institution.
  • One should also work on making their college application unique and outstanding to get picked amongst thousands of other applications. Do not forget to try mock trials and highlight what you think makes you stand out in the crowd.

Avoid being in the "LMO" pile, which means “Like Many Others" and you will surely crack it.

Some more links to help you prepare better: