What You Need to Apply to College

The purpose of your college application is to show colleges why you deserve admission. Most college applications have several parts, and all of those parts need to show your potential and what you can bring to the college.

1. Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grades you earned in high school are heavily considered in the college admissions process as they are somewhat of a guage for how you would do in higher education.

2. Types of Classes You Took in High School

College admissions will also see what classes you've taken. The types of classes you've taken are very important. As an example, a student with a 4.0 GPA who has taken ten Advaned Placement (AP) classes has chosen a more challenging path than a student with a 4.0 who has only taken introduction classes.

3. Extracurricular Activities

What do you do in your spare time? Sit around and watch TV or help out at a nearby nursing home? Play sports? Work? Colleges are looking for well-rounded students and what you do in your spare time not only fills the empty hours, but demonstrates your values and your interests.

4. SAT Test Scores

Like all standardized tests, the SAT provides colleges with an equal measurement across the board. Simply put, one high school might have a more difficult curriculum than the other, and the SAT is something else colleges can use to measure your skills. Still wondering why you have to take the SAT? Find out here.

5. Statement of Purpose

This is also known as Statement of Interest, Personal Statement, Admissions Essay, and plenty of other things, but basically this is an opportunity for you to tell colleges anything that wasn't included in your basic application. Be honest.

6. Letters of Recommendation

Some colleges require that you submit letters of recommendation. Ask teachers whose classes you did well in (at least a B) to write your letters. Give them plenty of time before the deadline and remind them when the deadline is approaching.

These will be the main parts of your college application. It'll vary slightly by college, so always double check that you have everything. You don't want colleges to get a bad impressions, because in college admissions, first impressions are everything.