Being admitted to a dream college is tough for any student. However, there are many ways to assess a student’s chances of gaining acceptance into a particular school.
While not the only important factor in the college admissions process, standardized test scores do play a part. By consulting the university’s admissions statistics, it should be easy to figure out if the student’s test scores fall between the 25th and 75th percentiles.
Aside from strong test scores, a student must have good grades to get into his dream college. To see if a student’s grades are in line with the college’s standards, he should either talk to an admissions officer or consult the school’s Web site. Speaking with someone directly may be a more accurate way to find out if most of the college’s students took honors, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes in high school.
Another helpful resource a student should use when trying to determine his chances at getting into a certain school is his high school’s guidance office. A counselor will be able to tell him whether students from that specific high school are frequently accepted to the dream college.
In addition, the guidance counselor will likely know what kind of grades, extracurricular activities and test scores the college usually expects. He may even be able to put the student in touch with a graduate from the same high school who now attends the dream school. This way, someone with recent experience with the admissions process can aid the student in figuring out how likely it is he will be accepted to the dream college.
The use of a college coach outside of the high school will also be of use in this situation. An unbiased expert in the field, often a former admissions officer, will have a different perspective of the student. If given information about the student, he will be able to compile a list of safety, target and reach schools. After seeing where the student’s dream school falls on this list, the coach can give the student advice on how to increase his chances of being admitted.
It is important to remember that while it is good for a student to be realistic and assess his chances of attending his dream college, he should also be perfecting his applications and keeping up in school. Visiting the school of choice, agreeing to an alumni interview and getting a campus tour are all things the student could be doing to better his chances.
The student may find out that his dream school is a big reach, but this should not stop him from applying, anyway. On the other hand, even if his odds of being accepted are very high, he should always apply to other schools. Nothing is ever certain in the world of college admissions.