College Search Tip #4: Choose Your Best Fit

Julie Soper’s last tip for applying to schools in the U.S. is to know what the admission’s offices are looking for and to cater to their wants and needs. This means if your dream school wants high test scores and grade-point averages [GPA] make sure you fall within their recommended ranges. If a school wants to know you on a more personal level make sure you display that in your essays.  (Yesterday’s video Julie talked about the importance of proofreading your work. Tuesday’s video she discussed how to sell yourself to admissions offices. Monday she advised about preparing yourself to study in the U.S.)

Q: What kind of students are American universities looking for?

A: “We’ve got these 4,000 universities and colleges in the US and there can be a big range of what each college or university is looking for. Some colleges, some universities are looking for a very simple equation. They’re saying, you know, if you’ve got these grades and you’ve got these test scores then you’re in. Other schools, such as the one I work for, are a little bit more complicated and a little more comprehensive in their outlook on the student. They really want to not only find somebody who is going to be academically successful, but somebody who has done the research and knows that—that this school is going to be a good fit and is going to really dovetail into their goals–somebody who is thinking critically about where they want to be and how they want to get there.

So, conveying that in the application, that you have done the research and that you know that this school is going to help you achieve your great goals, that is definitely something that we are seeking in an application beyond the basics of academic success.”

For a recap of all the college tips Julie Soper has, come back tomorrow!

This story was first produced by VOA Learning English.

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