right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Join us for a LIVE webinar Friday, April 3 at 3pm ET to hear from admission officers on how COVID-19 is impacting admissions at schools. REGISTER NOW and let us know what questions you have and want answered.
As schools continue to announce their decisions, we put together the Class of 2024 RD Discussions Directory. Connect with fellow applicants NOW!

What do colleges look at?

rupa16rupa16 5 replies3 threads New Member
I know Im only a freshmen in highschool but I have to plan early because my parents are moving back to Bangladesh when I graduate highschool and they didnt save up anything so Im paying for all of college on my own. Now freshmen year this is my classes:

Geometry Honors
AP Human Geography
Honors Biology
Honors English 9
Drawing and Painting 1
Spanish 3 Honors
Health 9
Gym 9

For extracurricular I'm a part of 2 clubs and 1 sport. And as the years go by I might join a few more that I care about.
My grades are pretty good, all As and 2 Bs. I want to go to colleges like CalTech, Stanford, and UCLA. Am I good candidate? Wat should I do better?
3 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: What do colleges look at?

  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    Are you a US citizen or will you have s green card?
    · Reply · Share
  • Madeline25Madeline25 514 replies11 threads Member
    edited December 2015
    My grades are pretty good, all As and 2 Bs. I want to go to colleges like CalTech, Stanford, and UCLA. Am I good candidate? Wat should I do better?

    For all those schools, you are going to need nearly straight A's throughout high school. Its definitely necessary for CalTech and Stanford. UCLA might have a little more lead way, but I'm not super familiar with the school so you might want to ask someone else. That's one area I would be mindful of. Have you already taken Algbrea II? I know some places do them in different orders. If you haven't, I think to truly be competitive, especially at CalTech, you might want to consider taking a math class over the summer or, if your school allows, take two for a year. This will put you at AP Calc BC senior year which is where the majority students applying to those schools will be at.

    Also, in another thread, you mentioned your are more humanties/social sciences oriented. If that's the case, CalcTech might not be the best fit as they are heavily STEM focused. I'm assuming you are from Cali since all those schools are there. Maybe someone else can suggest some good schools for that area. (I have no idea as I'm from the east coast)

    my parents are moving back to Bangladesh when I graduate highschool and they didnt save up anything so Im paying for all of college on my own.

    Do you know if/how much financial aid you would qualify for? If you are paying, this is probably going to play a big part in your selection. Stanford and CalTech are extremely expensive schools of you have to pay full price. I would imagine, however, that they give at least decent FA since they are well funded schools, although again I'm not so familiar with Cali schools so take that lightly. With UCLA, since it's public, you'll get in-state tuition no matter what (again assuming you are a Cali resident). Then if you qualify, FA on top of that. I would advice looking at other UC system schools as they will likely be more affordable than private schools (depending on your FA situation) yet lots of them are still great schools (Berkley comes to mind). You may be able to qualify for merit aid at some schools, but nobody can really judge the likelyhood of that until you are a senior, maybe junior.

    And to answer your title: the big things colleges look at are your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and extracurriculars. They also will look at the common app essay you will submit along with any supplemental essays, letters of recommendations, and interview, if you have one.

    edited December 2015
    · Reply · Share
  • IAmNotCreativIAmNotCreativ 807 replies5 threads Member
    Sit down with your parents and run the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator on CB'c website. Run the Net Price Calculators (NPC) for each of the schools you're interested in and make a spreadsheet with all the information. The sooner you do this the better.
    As the poster above said, CalTech is a very STEM based school and would not be the best for someone interested in humanities.
    Colleges look at course rigor, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, ECs, etc. How much emphasis is placed on each component varies from school to school.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity