College Admissions 101

Planning on going to college? Some insight into some of the mysteries of college admissions.

Allison Grandits is an Independent College Counselor and owner of Grand Fit Educational Consulting. As an Independent College Counselor, she helps students and families on an individual level with the entire college selection and admissions process. With her permission, this is some of the data Allison presented to a group of high school dads recently.

College Admistions By The Numbers
35% of first time freshmen apply to 7 or more colleges; 80% apply to at least 3
484 – The average caseload for high school counselors in Georgia
854 – The number of college applications reviewed by the average admissions officer
$44 – average cost of a college application; larger colleges and highly selective schools tend to have higher fees
$16,852 – COA of UGA with Zell Miller Scholarship
$76,953 – COA for Harvey Mudd College (the most expensive university in the USA)
$39,400 – the average student loan debt for the Class of 2017
356% – The number of applications to Georgia Tech has more than tripled since 2008
1400 – The average SAT score for an admitted student to UGA

What is important to colleges?

Grades & Strength of Schedule
• For the majority of colleges, Grades & Strength of Schedule is the most important factor
• Many colleges will recalculate your high school GPA- most focus on core GPA
• Core classes – English, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Language
• Strength of schedule, within the context of your high school
• Students should choose challenging, yet appropriate courses
• Colleges are looking for an “upward trend”- increase in rigor overtime
• Senior schedule matters!

College Fit

Not just physical location & weather, but also political & social climate. Think of this factor outside of the context of cost- otherwise you will automatically eliminate schools that seem like a financial reach just because they are out-of-state.

Questions to Consider
• How far away do you want to be from home?
• What is the surrounding area like?
• How big is the campus (both physically and population)?
• What is the student body like (demographics, liberal, conservative, religious, etc)?
• Are there people like me at this school?

The goal here should be not to go to the hardest school you can get into, but the school you can be the most successful. Think “big fish, little pond” .

Questions to Consider
• How do I learn best, and is that teaching style available here (lectures, discussion-based, experiential, etc.)?
• What kind of relationship do I hope to have with a professor?
• Am I looking to attend law school or med school? If so, what support does this school give me, and what are the placement rates like?
• Do I fall in the top 25% of students accepted?
• What would my major look like at this school?

Most likely, your student has been involved in extracurricular activities during high school. How can your student get involved in college?

Questions to Consider
• What intramural sports are available?
• What is the Greek scene on this campus?
• Where can students study abroad?
• Are there internships/co-ops available for my major?

Visiting campus is a must before a student commits to attend. If possible, visit when school is in session, not summer or college breaks.

Questions to Consider
• What do you imagine your campus to look like?
• Describe your future classmates.
• How safe does this campus feel to you?
• Do you see yourself living here for the next four years?

Be honest about your ability to pay for college. Find out your families Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and look at the Net Price Calculator (NPC) for any school your student is seriously considering.

Questions to Consider
• Does this school meet full financial need?
• Does this school offer merit aid? If so, how much do I qualify for?
• If I’m staying in GA, do I qualify for HOPE? Zell Miller? How will we pay the difference?

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