Uncovering College Admissions Criteria

Are you curious about the criteria colleges use to make admissions decisions? Understanding these factors can help you better prepare your college application and improve your chances of getting into your dream school. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various factors that colleges consider when reviewing applications, as explained by David Blobaum, co-owner of Summit Prep, in a recent podcast episode. Listen to the full episode on your favorite platform:

Key Factors in College Admissions Decisions

  1. GPA: Your grade point average is a crucial factor in the admissions process. Colleges consider your GPA to gauge your academic performance and potential for success in college.
  2. Standardized Test Scores: SAT/ACT scores are often used by colleges to assess your general knowledge and critical thinking abilities. While most colleges are still test-optional, what that means varies significantly depending on the college (find out more about the next phase of test-optional admissions here).
  3. Course Rigor: The difficulty of the courses you’ve taken throughout high school can significantly impact your college application. Admissions officers look for students who challenge themselves academically by taking honors, AP, or IB courses.
  4. AP Exam Scores: While not required by colleges to apply, strong AP exam scores can demonstrate your mastery of college-level material, help with admission to selective colleges, and help you gain college course credit.
  5. Athletic Recruitment: For student-athletes, athletic recruitment can play a role in the admissions process. Excelling in a sport can enhance your application and potentially earn you an athletic scholarship.
  6. Early Decision: Applying early decision to a college can demonstrate your commitment and interest in that school, potentially increasing your chances of acceptance.
  7. Legacy Status: Some colleges consider legacy status (having a parent or grandparent who attended the school) as a factor in admissions decisions.
  8. Dean’s List: Being on your high school’s dean’s list can show that you are a high-achieving student, which may positively influence your application.
  9. Donations: While not a guarantee, making significant donations to a college may positively impact the admissions process.
  10. Demographics: Colleges often aim for a diverse student body, so your background and personal experiences can contribute to your application’s uniqueness.
  11. Demonstrated Interest: By attending college fairs, open houses, and campus visits, you can show your genuine interest in a particular school, which may be considered during the admissions process.
  12. Letters of Recommendation: Strong recommendations from teachers, counselors, or mentors can provide valuable insight into your character, work ethic, and potential for success.
  13. Essays: Personal statements and supplemental essays allow you to showcase your personality, goals, and unique experiences. A well-written essay can make a lasting impression on admissions officers.
  14. Extracurricular Activities: Your involvement in clubs, volunteer work, or part-time jobs can demonstrate your passion, commitment, and leadership skills.

By understanding these factors, you can better tailor your college applications to improve your chances of acceptance.


Margie B.
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I can’t thank david for all his hard work and getting my son the score he was aiming for!! Summit prep is an unbelievable place to get your kids ready for their college prep Act and SAT courses!!! Thanks again for making this year end with a bang!!
Thomas S.
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The entire experience from start to finish was excellent. The process was clearly outlined and understood. Scheduling was a breeze and our teacher come not have been more flexible.
Georgia B.
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Eva was wonderful. With her help I was able to get into my top school and receive and scholarship. I loved her help and spending time studying.
Jeanine L.
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We were lucky enough to be referred to David at Summit Prep! My son enjoyed working with David as he felt that he really helped him prepare for the ACT. He explained concepts covered on the test as well as the test itself. My son felt confident taking the test and did so well that he only had to take it once!
Ben H.
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David helped me improve my SAT from a 1480 to a 1570 over the course of about 2 months. Each session made me feel more and more confident.
Jill B.
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Eva took on an almost impossible task and seriously worked a miracle! We found out we were moving, and our son had to take the ISEE exam asap. From his practice test to the exam, his scores went up exponentially. We give her 5 enthusiastic stars!
Rachel F.
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My twins have had a wonderful experience with Summit Prep preparing for the ACT. David is extremely knowledgeable and connects individually in a very relatable and helpful manner for each student. I highly recommend Summit Prep!
Janice B.
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All three of my children have used Summit Prep for their test prep and, I believe, reached their full potential as a result of the outstanding guidance of David and Ryan. His ongoing support went above and beyond. Many thanks!
Kwesi A.
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My son just got accepted into MIddlebury!! He could not have gotten a better tutor than Eva!!! She is the best!
Arlene S.
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Summit Prep are professional, enthusiastic, encouraging and most importantly successful in helping our son achieve his goals. We would strongly recommend using David and his team and want to convey our thanks for all of their help!

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