SAT Prep FAQs: What Do Colleges Look For?

Colleges are primarily looking for three things to influence college acceptance: High School Grades, SAT and/or ACT scores, and a Personal Profile. 

The first items that the schools look at are grades and the standards are higher than ever.  Some colleges won’t even allow a student to have a single C for a grade anymore.  In any case if you make the grade (so to speak) and get to the next cut, you will need to be within the “SAT or ACT Bubble.”  If not, the application is trash.  It is that simple.

Nowadays there are a plethora of applicants to virtually every college in America.  At least 2 or 3 times the ultimate acceptances so if you don’t make the cut schools have plenty of applicants who do.  That is why doing well in school and having top test scores is crucial to the college and ultimately the real world success.

The third thing the colleges look for in an applicant is his or her personality profile: extra curricular activities, essay, resume etc.  Universities nowadays are seeking well-rounded individuals, solid citizens who will make them look good and donate money as an alumni. The trick is to do a few things well and to not get into more activities than you can handle.  Doing too much may negatively affect your grades.  Steady jobs, sports, volunteer work, clubs at school, and hobbies are popular choices.  I joke sometimes that to get into certain colleges you have to have a best selling novel or an invented cure for cancer, but going the extra mile, submitting a cool video, or running your own successful business can only increase your chances of college acceptance.


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