General Question

ihbh's avatar

What are colleges looking for?

Asked by ihbh (40 points ) January 23rd, 2009

this question is for anyone who works in college admissions haha, no any opinion is fine. i do a lot of activities but i feel like in contrast to the all american kids at my school it will look so lame. i consider the activities fun and productive, like walking abused dogs and helping preserve local parks, but with all the sporty people, and heads of committees, will my application be a joke?

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9 Answers

jessturtle23's avatar

What are you going to school for?

judochop's avatar

@windex You took my answer

cwilbur's avatar

Colleges want to accept students that will succeed and that will bring something to the college. They’re going to accept a certain number of three-sport varsity athletes, a certain number of committee leaders and political activists.

What you need is something that only you bring to the college. What is special about you that nobody else applying to that college can bring to the table? That’s what colleges are looking for.

Vinifera7's avatar

I have to agree with judochop. In my experience, as long as you meet the basic academic requirements set by the college or university and have the money to pay, you’ll get accepted. It probably also helps if you have done extracurricular activities in high school.

StephK's avatar

I also agree with windex. Seems to me as if cwilbur’s answer is more for grad schools than undergrad.

cookieman's avatar

Having taught college for nine years (I was a chair for four), I’ll tell you this:

When enrollment is high, @cwilbur is correct.

When enrollment is low, @windex is correct.

I’ve sat in far too many admissions meetings and all they were ever concerned about were their numbers.

Their application to enrollment conversion rate. Their first term retention rate. Their monthly contact goals.

It’s sales pure and simple.

Now granted, I have only worked at two colleges. It may be different elsewhere.

jjd2006's avatar

ihdh, That volunteer work that you do is great to have on your college applications! The answers have been so Debbie Downer so far! Yes, there are a lot of colleges out there that just are out there to suck up your money, but there are some colleges that are genuinely interested in helping people develop as human beings. (I think that my college falls under the later category.) I remember when I was college searching, my advisor in high school gave me a list of colleges committed to graduating students of character or something like that. You just have to search for something that’s right for you! College is such an exciting time—you can go ANYWHERE in the world. Take advantage of that! Go somewhere new!

ZAGWRITER's avatar

Debbie Downer? Are you on meds, or do you need some?

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