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College Admission and Extracurricular Activities
Q: I know that colleges look at your school grades, test grades, your GPA, and class rank. Outside of school, what do colleges focus on the most?
A: As you mentioned, along with your grades, colleges evaluate the academic strength of the courses that you have completed. SAT or ACT scores are very important in the college's decision, as well.
The other area that admissions committees will often consider is your involvement in extracurricular activities. These may be school-related or community-focused. Admissions officers want to learn as much about you as possible. Your choices and levels of interest in activities give the decision-makers more insight into you as an individual.
Many colleges and universities will require that you submit essays as a part of your application. The essay process is designed to give them information about what is really important to you and also an opportunity to evaluate your writing skills. Admissions committees have the responsibility of selecting students who have an excellent chance of being successful at their institution. I encourage you to focus on all of the factors that will represent your strength as a student.
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Del Antaki has worked as a counselor at the junior high, middle, and high school levels for many years. Before becoming a school counselor, she taught mathematics and English.