Do I really need four years of language (math, science, etc.) in high school?
Technically, you only need what your school or state requires for graduation and/or what the college or university requires for admission. But consider the competition. If your choice is a highly competitive college and the other applicants have four or five years of each of the above-mentioned classes, where does that leave you? If you quit languages after three years, or choose your senior year courses based on arriving to school late or leaving early, how strong will your application look? The point is to challenge yourself. Schools recognize initiative and are more likely to select diligent, interesting students.
How important are AP courses?
They are important because they show that you took the most challenging classes available at your school. Lots of students think that if they take AP courses in high school, they’ll get credit for them in college and perhaps even eliminate a semester, and although that can be true, it’s not the point. Take them because they’re the toughest courses offered. Take them because you want to be viewed highly in the admissions process. Then, take the tests at the end of the year and stop worrying about it. You may or may not get college credit, but take the AP courses anyway.
If I have a really high GPA, won’t I just walk into the college of my choice?
You wish! If you’ve spent three years studying and doing nothing else, how interesting are you going to be to a college? Although the courses you’ve taken and the grades you’ve received are the most important things a college looks at, they are not everything. Colleges want to bring in a class that is diverse, with students of many cultures and interests. What have you given back to your high school? If you didn’t do much at your school or outside of it, what would lead an admissions committee to think you will change your patterns and become a part of their community? Find things to do at your high school or in your community that interest you, and then get involved. Do not neglect your academics, however.
How important is the essay?
Essays are very important. They let the colleges know who you are and how you write. If you don’t interview, they’re the college’s only way of knowing you.
There are additional questions you might be interested in asking. Please go to the Contact Us section and send us an email. We will be happy to answer any question you might have.
How important is community service?
What does community service mean, and how much do I need?
How important is the interview?
What’s the difference between a college and a university?
Do I really need to visit a campus before applying? Why can’t I visit after I’ve been accepted?
What’s the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?
Should I apply Early Decision?
How much time should I allow during my senior year to get these applications out?
To how many schools should I apply?
Who should write my recommendations?
What about recommendations from employers?
How much influence is it if your parents or grandparents attended the school?
Talk about the differences between state schools and private colleges?
I don’t have a clue what I might major in so how can I make a good list of colleges?
Should I go to a college that has a graduate program in my area of interest?
How will I know whether the program I’m interested in is really strong at my colleges?