What Universities Are Really Looking For

"What do colleges look for in student admission applications?" We have all asked this exact same question many times. Every year, students worldwide attempt to answer this question while trying to master the college admissions process. Whether it is to study within their countries of origin or not, every student wishes to receive an acceptance letter from the most elite university of their choice. To ease any college admissions stress for parents and students, we have prepared a list of criteria universities are looking for when reviewing their applicants' profiles. 

Good academic standing

One of the most common and straightforward traits amongst students accepted into prestigious universities is an excellent academic standing and background. College admission officers search for the rigorous course loads and perfect scores across high school transcripts. If you thought that committee members become impressed with outstanding grades and test scores, you were right! Do not let this confuse you; the individuals reviewing college applications are not looking for that 36 on the ACT exam or for that 1600 SAT score. A balanced course load and a competent range of scores is more than enough to receive a college acceptance letter from a reputable university. 

Intellectual drive and curiosity

Intellectual drive and curiosity is a requirement for any student looking to be admitted into college. There is no doubt that universities are big places, with many people and many opportunities. As expected, it can be very easy to get lost or intimidated when surrounded by so many possibilities. For this reason, committees look for driven and curious students that are more likely to take the initiative of exploring all of the opportunities at their school while making the most of their four years in college. Therefore, I recommend that you start researching what your dream school has to offer and align them with your interests and desires. Once you have done this, make sure that you make it clear that you will be that driven and curiosity filled student that will take specific courses, conduct research in a particular area, or simply join an extracurricular organization on campus. 

Correct interest

Universities favor applicants who demonstrate a keen interest in their campus, academic offerings, and college life. However, they dislike when students choose to apply to their institutions because of the wrong motives. These reasons include but are not limited to fame, prestige, and wealth. Admission officers do not want to hear that you are applying to their school because they are the best school in the world or because you know that you will be financially stable after graduating from that specific university. On the contrary, they want to hear that you are applying because your passion aligns with their offerings and opportunities. And that you will genuinely get a valuable education experience from being there. 

Your added value

Universities are always looking to improve and grow their campuses and name. Therefore, universities continuously evaluate the value and greatness that you are capable of bringing to the table. Whether by enrolling in one of their programs or only by bringing in your very own values and culture to courses and class discussions, the people reviewing your application want to get to know this through your application essays. So my tip to any college applicant out there is, do not be afraid of letting your personality and self shine through your essays. Add just enough character so that anyone who reviews your application is well aware of what they would be missing out on if they ever made the mistake of rejecting your admission to the university. 

Teamwork Capabilities

Lastly, teamwork is an essential part of every student's application. Whether it is because of a class assignment or a work-related project, you will have to work with other students multiple times throughout your years at a university. For this reason, it is so crucial for admission committees only to accept applicants who are willing and able to work together with other individuals successfully. Take the time to highlight your past experiences working in a team because you will more than likely be asked questions within the topic of teamwork. 

That's it! 

After having experienced the university application process and received an acceptance letter, our team at Ivy Camps USA highly recommends that you keep this list at the top of your mind. When reviewing and implementing these five elements, you or your child will be a step closer to perfecting that college admissions essay, resume, or application. 


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