Confessions of a College Admissions Officer
Even with these strategies in hand and taken to heart, there is something a little frustrating, and nebulous, about Allman's comment that colleges choose students "based on their own institutional needs." That means selecting students who bring something to the table, add value to the college and the community, and who bring a "different perspective" to the campus culture. And lots of money and/or access to student loan providers (did she forget to mention that?)
High school seniors should keep those thoughts in mind when applying to the colleges they value most, and in particular focus on the factors that are under their control. Now that you know what colleges want, it's up to you to deliver what admissions officers like Allman are looking for, preferably not while she is grocery shopping or having a root canal.
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By Brian O'Connell