Assessing your Chances of being Admitted to your Dream College

The question lingering somewhere in the minds of so many high school seniors: Will I be admitted to my dream college? For some this is the predominant concern of the last year of high school, and it is important to have a reasonable chance of getting in before obsessing over the outcome.

Not attempting to insult the intelligence of the reader, but the admission requirements of a college is a good place to start answering this question. If these requirements, usually concerning high school GPA and SAT exams and minimal scores, are met, then the next step to consider is the interview.

Not all colleges require an interview, but if a college does then the most important advice for making a good impression on the interviewer is the genuine desire to succeed mixed with a healthy amount of self-confidence. Of course a list of achievements is important as well, but the purpose of the interview is to assess the more personal aspect of the applicant. Set goals, believe that they will be achieved, and convey this message to the interviewer.

The college essay is another aspect not controlled by grades or SAT scores. The emphasis put on this personal statement varies from college to college, but generally a truthful record of a valuable experience will do the trick. The essay is tricky because it is hard to determine what a college will think of a given paper, but teachers’ and other’s opinions can’t hurt.

Lastly, many colleges require teacher recommendations. Chances of getting in, if not raised by a good recommendation, are at the very least not harmed by one. If the teacher(s) chosen to write this recommendation are people the student knows fairly well and in a subject the student feels confident about, this segment of the application need not be a concern in terms of getting accepted.

There is a reason this question is so worrisome and hard to answer for the average student. American colleges don’t give a clear set of guidelines that determine whether one is accepted or not, there is no litmus test for college admission. At the end of the day, students have to rely on the quality of their academic record, the strength of their ambitions, the opinions of their teachers, and the smallest amount of luck.