When you are on the road to college, you can learn a lot from those who have already arrived at your destination. More valuable, though, is advice offered by the gatekeepers who have direct influence on your chance of acceptance. Jeff Schiffman is the Senior Associate Director of Admission at Tulane University, which means his insights matter A LOT. So what recommendations does he offer to the high school graduating class of 2016?
1. Your coursework and grades matter the most in this process.
Stellar ACT and SAT scores can give you a nice boost, but at the end of the day, those grades are king. We look for the balance: taking the most challenging courses that you can that still allow you to maintain a strong GPA. And yes, your freshman and sophomore year grades matter. Big time.
2. Take challenging courses…
…but don’t overdo it, leaving you with a sub-par GPA. Again, it is all about finding that balance. Easier said than done, I know.
3. Think about taking both the ACT and the SAT.
We at Tulane will look at both and have a conversion chart that shows us that XXXX on the SAT is worth roughly XX on the ACT. We only look at the higher of the two. Some students do better at one over the other. Taking both may end up helping you out. The ACT was the more popular of the two for the first time last year.
4. Trust your college counselors!
Even if you are at a big public school, get to know them. They know what they are doing and can be your best advocate in this process. For all of you at smaller, independent schools, these people are experts too, and we know it. I am not saying you should stay away from an independent counselor, but trust what is already there for you.
5. Really get to know your teachers.
Invest your time well in the classroom. Wow them. Make yourself missed when you leave. Become indispensable to your school.
Like what you’ve read? You’re in luck: check out The 13 Best Tips for Juniors You’ll Ever Read!