When you apply to college, your objective is to show the admissions committee why you are the perfect match for their school. This is your time to shine and showcase your strengths so your school(s) of choice will select you as a student. Your college application is a way to pitch or sell to the school the reasons why you should be accepted.

Numbers Don't Lie

Your grades from your classes and scores from your tests reflect on your academic performance. They may not be the only criteria on which colleges base their decision to accept you, but these marks indicate your work ethic. Make sure that your grade point average and standardized and state-wide exam scores meet the college acceptance requirements. If you took honors or advanced placement courses, you may be at an advantage with a high GPA and potential college credit from your AP courses.

Extracurricular Activities

Beyond your GPA and test scores, colleges also look at your involvement outside of the classroom. Your participation in sports, music and other school clubs, community service and jobs, in addition to awards you received along the way, imply to college admissions that you can balance your life while contributing to society. Furthermore, if the college(s) where you are applying have similar organizations, you have the option of joining them if you are accepted.

Winning Essay

Your application essay gives you the opportunity to show your prospective school why you would fit in as a student as well as how unique you are with the special attributes you can offer. First, answer the specific question(s) that the college application asks of you in your essay or personal statement. Depending on the required length of your essay, elaborate on ties that may connect you with the college, whether it is your athletic prowess, a program for which you qualify or another affiliation. Be creative in how you present yourself, and once you write your first draft, approach another reader, such as a teacher or a parent, to proofread it. Remember that you want the school who reads about you to be interested in you.

Excellent References

Find people to provide recommendations for you who know you well enough and who are not your relatives. That way, colleges will see that others can attest to your character and skills. Your references can be teachers, coaches, church leaders, counselors or bosses. Depending on the college application requirements, you can list your references’ names and contact information or have them write recommendation letters that include their testimonies about you.