Admission Offices Identify Grades, High School Curriculum, and Test Scores as Top Factors for First-Time Freshmen

The top factors in the admission decision for the Fall 2015 admission cycle were: grades in college preparatory courses, strength of curriculum, overall high school GPA, and admission test scores. Among the next most important factors were the essay, a student’s demonstrated interest, counselor and teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities, and class rank.

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Online Resources

National Association for College Admission Counseling, State of College Admission, SOCA Chapter 3:

We realize there are many factors necessary to create a successful application. Research is a fundamental piece of the process necessary before filling out any paperwork. We have partnered with the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) to provide our alum with up-to-the-minute information required to make sound collegiate decisions. 

On the NACAC student site, a list of college fairs is available. They are found all over California and nationwide starting in April each year. Many are specific to Performing and Visual Arts


Get Organized

Students can learn all about how to prepare for college by looking over NACAC’s materials on How to Use Your Student Counselor, taking a College Knowledge Questionnaire, looking at the High School Classes Required for College Admission, Using High School Courses and Activities to Prepare for College, Earning College Credit in High School and Preparing for SAT/ACT test. All of this can be found under the Learn menu on the NACAC site. 

Students can search college types, career and technical colleges, determining if a large or small college is a better, fit, going on an overnight visit, and what college rankings really mean. 

Students can know how to prepare to apply by looking at Checklists for the Junior, Checklists for the Senior, learning the parts of a college applications, understanding the factors in admissions decisions and getting 10 Tips for Writing a College Essay

We also recommend students use the College Navigator, which provides the data that can help you make direct comparisons between the size, location, cost and degrees of your schools of interest. We suggest that you create a spreadsheet with all of your “Wish List” schools and plug in information that allows you to see your deciding factors side-by-side. Wish List schools should include all of the following: 

  • Safe 
  • Target 
  • Reach 
  • Expensive 
  • Affordable