According to the recent NACAC study, the next most significant factors, in order of importance, are:
#4 Grades in all courses: Yes, gym counts. In our opinion, weak grades in gym or other non-college prep courses (drama, journalism, keyboard, etc.) indicate at the very least, a selective approach to a student’s effort and deportment, and at the very most, a possible arrogance towards areas of study which “don’t count.”
#5 Essay: This is one place an independent consultant can really help. The IC knows the student well and can help the student brainstorm an interesting angle to presenting himself on paper. An IC will never write an essay for a student, but will work with the student to develop the student’s own voice, own message. As I say to students I work with: “It’s not what you did last summer, it’s what you think about what you did, and what you learned from what you did, and how it informs your direction that matters.”
#6 Demonstrated Interest: For many readers, this may be a new concept. “Demonstrated interest” is the degree to which a college sees how interested a student may be. Demonstrated interest is shown when a student visits and tours a college and takes part in a group session, emails questions to an admission officer, attends the meeting when an admission representative come to her high school, and applies Early Decision or Early Action. Never fake “demonstrated interest;” use it where it matters most to you at the college you most wish to attend.
#7 Counselor Recommendation: Guidance Counselors are busy people. Be sure your counselor knows you and your goals well. I have often heard students say, “My counselor doesn’t really know me.” Whose problem is that?
Sarah C. Reese, Executive Director, Informed Educational Solutions email@example.com
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- Early Decision Trends Change (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)