As important as your GPA can seem when applying to college, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of making personal connections. We live in a world where we place a high value on our friendships and relationships with others. And that is also true of college admissions officers. Instead of weighing an applicant based on their test scores and academic abilities (although those both play a major role), an admissions officer is going to look for an applicant that they can relate to.
Despite what you may like to believe, personal bias can affect the admissions process. Learn how to maximize the potential of your application by making the right connections and becoming a familiar face at your university of choice.
As of 2017, the college acceptance rate dropped to a low of 4.65%, the lowest point in academic history, thanks to Stanford University. That means the competition is stiff and you need to do everything you can to stand out in a crowd. If you really want to get ahead, you need to have an “in” with your university of choice. Many driven students will have a short list of the colleges they’d like to attend during their junior or sophomore year. If you have your eye on a particular university, you can start making connections right away.
Some of the best ways to get your foot in the door with a university are to:
Many of the college admission officers are involved in some of these programs, and there’s a good chance that they might remember your face when they see your application for undergraduate admission. Listing a summer college program or internship on your application to the same university will help you stand out. Talking about it on your essays is even more powerful.
Once you get into one of these extracurricular activities or summer programs, you can make the most of your time by getting to know the people involved in running the operation. Many of them may be former alumni, current students, or even people that work in the admissions office. You’d be surprised at the connections you can make just by striking up a conversation with one of the organizers of the program. Tell them you’re interested in attending the school as an undergraduate and they’ll be glad to give you some valuable advice.
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