Understanding College Admissions
Many schools strive to create a diverse student population that reflects today's society. Students from out-of-state, minority students or prospects with high financial need may be sought after to help the school round out their student body.
High School achievement
In addition to your GPA and standardized test scores, schools will consider participation in honors and AP classes. Colleges may also want see that you've taken specific courses that are directly related to your intended major.
Essays, personal statements and recommendations
Admissions Committees rely on essays, personal statements and letters of recommendation to get a better idea of who you are and how you will fit in at their school. These can also provide context for your academic performance, and insight into any personal or academic issues that may have affected your studies.
Special talents and extracurricular activities
Highlighting participation in outside activities, whether they be sports, music or a particular club, may give you an edge over another applicant in the admissions process.
If members of the Admissions Committee are undecided about a particular applicant, a recommendation letter from someone influential or legacy connections, can also factor into how an application is reviewed.