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How to Put Together a Standout College Admissions Profile

High School Student

Your high school student has plans for their future, and those plans include college. More than 20 million students enrolled in a college, university, or another post-secondary institution in the fall of 2017, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That's an increase of 5.1 million students since the 2000-2001 academic year. With increasing enrollment comes increasingly stringent standards.

Gone are the days of getting decent grades and okay test scores, and still getting into college. With competition growing at a surprisingly rapid pace, your teen needs every advantage possible. What can you do to help your student not only succeed in high school but also have a better chance when it comes to getting into the college of their choice? Take a look at these tips for putting together the best admissions profile possible.

Know the Scores

While GPAs and test scores aren't all that colleges consider, they do prominently factor into the equation. This means that your student needs to know what scores the accepted applicants generally have. Doing the best possible in school and on the SATs is ideal. But not every teen is a straight "A" student or ranks in the 95th percentile on standardized tests - and that's okay.

Schools don't always only accept the best of the best. Yes, some universities typically only consider the top-of-the-class students. But there are plenty of college choices out there, and many of them accept a variety of students - with a range of grades and scores.

With modern technology comes the ability to check out what schools are looking for in a very accessible way. Visit the school's website and look at their student profile. You'll find average scores for their accepted applicants.

Some high schools also offer online access to programs that feature school databases. These include graphs, facts, and figures that focus on what their student body's SAT scores and GPAs are. Talk to your child's school guidance counselor about the types of college prep programs they offer.

Set Goals

After your teen picks their top schools, it's time to set goals. Even if their grades aren't on the level they need to be, your child still has time to turn their GPA around. Colleges don't just look at the grade your child gets, they also look at the types of classes they're taking. If it's possible for your student to take an AP Biology class instead of the regular academic version, this could give them an edge in the admissions process.

Choosing more challenging classes also comes with a greater academic responsibility. If your child is on the margin of doing well or finds that tougher classes are a true challenge, a private tutoring service can make a major difference in their performance. Beyond that, subject tutoring can help your teen to feel more comfortable with the material. This means less stress for them.

The same type of preparation and tutoring idea goes for the SATs. Whether it's your child's first or second time taking the test, tutoring can help your teen to meet their overall score goals. Along with reviewing the material with a professional tutor, they'll also learn about test-taking strategies. This can dramatically reduce test-related anxiety, which boosts their ability to succeed.

Round Out the Grades

Your child is more than just a number. They're an individual who brings a specialized set of talents to everything they do, and colleges need to know this. Even though GPAs and SATs are key factors in the college admissions process, so are other aspects of their life.

Does your child play a sport? Do they regularly volunteer at the local community center? Maybe they have an after-school job that showcases their ability to take charge and lead others? These are all aspects of your child's life that the admissions committee needs to know about.

Does your teen need help prepping for the SATs or mastering class materials? The tutors at IQ Learning can help.