In the past week I have discussed the 2010 State of College Admissions Report and its findings on how private and public colleges differ in what they look for in admitting a student. Today I want to talk about how the highly selective colleges differ from those that are less selective.
Strength of a student’s curriculum is of considerable importance to 82% of the highly selective colleges while only 65% of the least selective colleges view this as considerably important.
Essays are of considerable importance to 48% of the highly selective colleges but only 14% of the least selective colleges consider essays this important. Teacher recommendations are like wise more important to the highly selective colleges with 24% assigning considerable importance while less than 12% of the least selective colleges give them the same consideration.
The other area where there is a noticeable difference between the highly selective colleges and the least selective is how extracurricular activities are considered. 25% of the most selective colleges consider activities as of considerable importance but fewer than 4% of the least selective colleges consider activities important.
I hope in discussing these various factors you have come to realize that colleges vary in how they each view admissions for their institution. Of course, these statistics are just broad brush strokes so that the relative importance of these various factors will differ even among the highly selective colleges. And they even vary from year to year depending on the needs of the college. Did a college over enroll last year? More factors may be of considerable importance this year when they try to reduce the number of acceptances they give out.
Bottom line is that grades and courses taken continue at all colleges to be the most important factors. The more selective the colleges you are considering, the more factors that may be considered in deciding who to admit for next fall’s class.