McHenry Community High School District 156

Partnering with the Community to Achieve Excellence

College Planning



    nacac logo What do colleges actually look for from applications? The National Association for College Admission Counseling indicates the factors college emphasize most:

    college admissions chart


    • Grades in College Prep Courses: GPA of English, Math, Science, Social Science, & World Language courses
    • Grades in all Courses: GPA of all courses
    • Strength of Curriculum: Difficulty of courses taken
    • Admission Test Scores: Performance on SAT and/or ACT
    • Essay or Writing Sample: Many colleges require applicants to write & submit an essay
    • Counselor Recommendation: Some colleges require a school counselor to complete a formal evaluation
    • Student's Demonstrated Interest: Quantifiable actions indicating an interest in the college. Examples include official campus visits, meeting with admission reps at your high school, completing info cards at college fairs, & engaging on social media
    • Teacher Recommendation: Some colleges require one or more teachers to complete a formal evaluation
    • Class Rank: GPA relative to total peers in a student's graduating class
    • Extracurricular Activities: Non-academic school involvements including clubs, organizations, & athletics




  • College Exploration Resources

    -Information about each Illinois 4-year public university: Admissions standards, financial aid, location, enrollment, & contact information.

    -Information about 2 and 4-year schools in the University of Wisconsin system: Majors, admissions standards, financial aid, locations, enrollments, & contact information.

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