The 2016-17 school year starts today for the Los Angeles Unified School District and in many other school districts around the USA. High school students interested in going to college must make sure their transcripts reflect grades that will get them into a good college.
When college admissions officers decide whom to accept for their freshman class, there are many factors they consider besides statistics on grades and standardized test scores. They also look at the essays students write with their application, letters of recommendation from teachers and community members, and interviews.
College admissions officers also look at trends. They see if numbers on students’ transcripts moved upward or downward and if they chose challenging courses during their high school career.
Don’t Protect Your GPA
Don’t take easy classes just to maintain a 4.0 average. A student with a few Bs and occasional C on her transcript who takes challenging courses is more desirable than a straight A student taking basket weaving and finger painting classes.
As soon as a student enters 9th grade, plan on seeing the guidance counselor. With his advice, determine long-term academic goals. Remember, early choices will affect enrollment in classes during sophomore, junior, and senior years. Plan wisely to become a stronger candidate for college admissions.
One Bad Grade
Don’t let one bad grade de-rail college bound efforts. Every admissions officer understands that one bad apple in the barrel doesn’t reflect a student’s skills and potential. Just make sure to demonstrate the ability to get back on track.
Be proactive and research desirable colleges. With that information, contact college admissions officers asking them for the precise information of courses they value the most. Take note and make sure to enroll in those high school classes.
According to Salmon Khan, Executive Director of the Khan Academy, future transcripts will include a portfolio of things you created. For example, if you built a robot for the science fair or wrote a song for your sophomore talent show, those successes will be included.
Colleges look for well-rounded individuals. During high school show leadership skills by volunteering for different organizations showing off communication skills and ability to empathize.