College Admissions

How to Meet (and Surpass) College Admissions Requirements

It’s never too early to start thinking about college. In fact, there are preparations you can start making in your first year of high school that will make you a better candidate for college admissions. There are a few common qualities college admissions boards look for in their prospective students.

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Grade Point Average

Keep those grades on point! Many college admissions boards report grades being a deciding factor in admissions. Seniors in high school might feel less motivated to excel, but it’s important to finish strong. Establish strong study habits early. High grade point averages often can mean the difference between earning a scholarship and not, so it (literally) pays to get As.

Test Scores

Achieving the highest scores possible on the ACT and SAT is essential. Many universities use scores and grade point averages as the basis for awarding scholarship funds, so 10 points can make a huge difference. Take the test(s) early in your college search, so you have time to retake if you think you’re capable of getting a higher score.


Universities want to see the whole student, and that means conveying personality through your application. What do you do when you’re not in school? It doesn’t even necessarily have to be academic interests, either (although being a Mathlete wouldn’t hurt your application.) Are you captain of the JV softball team? Part of the theater crew? Let your potential universities see what makes you tick.

Volunteer Work

Although you don’t need to spend every minute of your free time serving your community, a little activity within an organization you’re passionate about can set you apart from your peers (aka your competition). Do you love children? Volunteer to read to them at story hour at your local library. Are you an animal lover? Donate your time playing with the puppies at your local shelter.  

These are just a few ways to meet (and exceed) college admissions requirements. Remember, it’s never too early to start!

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