What Top Universities are looking for in a successful applicant?
- June 1, 2011
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
Applying for university studies is not something one can decide to pursue overnight rather; it is an in-depth process that requires preparation and thought, especially when students set their sights on the top universities. When applying to such universities, it is critical to remember the top requires the top.
When organizing your thoughts about university selection, it is very clear what one is looking for in a university, but what is it that a university is looking for in an applicant? Are they looking for the brain? The jock? The budding thespian? The community minded volunteer? The answer is that the university is not looking for one type of student- rather each campus is searching for students who have demonstrated the ways in which they would contribute intellectually and socially to the life and diversity of the university through extracurricular activities and life experiences. Simply stated, the university wants to admit students who will not only benefit from becoming a member of the university community but also students that will contribute to the university.
The first step to determining if one is eligible to apply for admissions is to take a quick look at the application requirements. When looking at the application requirements, it is important to ask yourself if you have completed or can complete the admission exams, such as the SAT General Examination, two SAT II Subject Examinations, and, if English is not your native language, either the TOEFL or IELTS exams. Of course, the rigor or your academic curriculum is an important factor and universities in the US will indicate on their admissions websites the recommended college preparation courses as well as number of years a student should be enrolled in such courses. If you do not meet all the requirements that the university has taken the time to list for your application for admissions will be denied.
In selecting students, a university does not make its admission decisions solely on the basis of a student’s academic record and each admissions committee will take a holistic, individualized review of the many facets of every application received. This includes activities and accomplishments, educational goals, academic preparation, special talents, and a student’s personal background as seen through the personal statement.
A personal statement presents the chance for the applicant to make a lasting impression on the members of the admission committees. Typically, a personal statement will require the applicant to detail an event that impacted their life, while others will simply ask why a student is applying to the university and why they are pursuing the particular major. In this portion of the application, there is no right or wrong answers; students should write from the heart. Having thoroughly researched a university, its mission statement, and major department will no doubt aid you through the 500-2000 word statement. Additionally, experiences outside the confines of a classroom will make the statement easier to write.
Admissions is more art than science: the admissions process is designed to consider all aspects of an applicant’s record and experience and is not intended to admit applicants solely on the basis of grade point averages, test scores, or any other single criterion.
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