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

    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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