Getting into a top college involves excelling early in high school, maintaining a good record, selecting challenging electives, and taking part in extracurricular activities, says U.S. News & World Report. Writing creative application essays and maintaining clean online identities are also important considerations, according to Forbes.
The percentage of applicants admitted to top colleges continued to decrease as of 2014, reports the New York Times. It is imperative for high school students with goals of applying to a prestigious college to plan several years ahead, according to U.S. New & World Report. Admissions offices look not only at overall grades but also at the strength of the curriculum. Students who take demanding classes are better prepared for the rigors of college. Instead of taking part in many extracurricular activities, it is better to become deeply involved in fewer activities to which the student can significantly contribute.
Rather than trying to cover up lapses in academic excellence, applicants can take the opportunity of essays or interviews to explain the discrepancies, says U.S. New & World Report. Since many students have excellent grades and test scores, admissions officers focus on personal essays to find applicants with exceptional promise, as stated by Forbes. Rather than tailoring essays to what they think admission personnel want to hear, applicants should write intensely personal essays that stand out. Frivolous personal information and photos must be removed from public social media sites, but these sites offer impressive showcases in which to display examples of a student's talents.