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5 Acceptance Requirements Your Did Not Consider When Applying For College
When you reach your junior or senior year of high school, it is exciting to start applying to colleges you would like to attend. Often, students aim for colleges where their parents attended or where their friends plan to apply. But college admissions are based on objective criteria that can vary from one school to another. In general, however, here are five common considerations to keep in mind before submitting college applications.
1. High School Diploma or GED in Handdo my online class
Although you can technically apply for college while still enrolled in high school, you will not be officially admitted until you receive a graduation diploma or a GED certificate. There are exceptions, as when students are conditionally admitted on a short-term basis due to outstanding preparation or an abundance of academic credits. Another option for some is enrolling in a dual-credit program that enables students to earn both high school and college credit for required courses.
2. High School GPA
Your high school grade point average as estimated on your cumulative courses that are completed to date will be considered by many admissions offices. Although some colleges do admit students with lower GPA levels, mainly as conditional students or to take developmental courses, most colleges and universities prefer to admit students with a proven track record of completing required courses with at least an average GPA, or higher. If your GPA is lower than required at the college you want to attend, you may be able to take a couple of classes on a trial basis to see if you can establish a higher GPA for college-level work.
3. College Prep Courses Completedpaying someone to take your college classes
Colleges expect students to successfully complete a balanced common core of required courses that include English, math, science, and social studies. A foreign language is not required by all colleges, but it makes a nice addition to your record. High schools typically offer several study tracks for students. Some work toward a basic diploma while others take business courses or college preparation coursework. The college prep track will ensure, with the help of your academic adviser, that you schedule the courses that will be needed to support a college admissions application.
4. Acceptable College Entrance Exam Scores
Although standardized college entrance exam requirements are changing, some higher education institutions mandate an acceptable student score on the ACT, or American College Testing, or the SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, exam. There are other admission tests that may be expected as well as or instead of either of these. Your high school guidance counselor can help you determine which entrance exams, if any, are required for admissions consideration at the colleges you hope to attend. Since these tests are only given at certain times of the year, you will need to register in advance and pay a fee to take the exam so that the score can be reported to the colleges of your choice.
5. Financial Support
Before choosing the colleges you want to apply to, check their tuition and fees schedule. Many institutions raise their fees every couple of years, so find out how much you will have to pay for the year you plan to enroll. Apply for scholarships or financial aid several months to a year before starting college so you will know how much financial help you will receive as well as the amount you will need to provide. Then figure out a monthly budget for college life to ensure your expenses will be covered. Sometimes, even when eligible for financial aid, it is not enough to cover all tuition and living expenses, and some students have to forego applying to a particular college.
Discuss your college plans with your parents and your high school counselor help in preparing to apply for college. Keep the above considerations in mind so that, if accepted, you will be ready to enroll without being blindsided by unexpected issues.
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