How to Stand Out: What Admissions Officers Look for In Prospective Students
We asked a few college admissions officers what they look for in prospective students and how your teen can make their application truly stand out.
Admissions Officers: What to Do
The competition to get into college and score sought-after scholarship dollars can be fierce. So how can your teen get ahead of other applicants? We asked a few college admissions officers what they look for in prospective students and how your teen can make their application truly stand out.
“Students who take charge of their college process personally! Colleges love to see students being proactive. That can mean applying early, visiting campus, and reaching out themselves when they have questions. When all other things are the same academically, the student who has been more personally involved in the process stands out among their peers.”- Erin Ramsey, Associate Director of Recruitment at Samford University
“Universities always look for serious students who will be an asset to the student body. Applicants who have proven success in academics will stand out. We also love to see leadership and community involvement. Applicants who visit campus and participate in a tour will also stand out. Ask questions and participate in the campus visit! A good “fit” between potential student and university is very important, so make the visit count.” – Kate Bartlett, Admissions Counselor at Auburn University at Montgomery
“Auburn University looks at three aspects of an application when making an admissions’ decision: the ACT/SAT score, grade point average and quality of responses on the short answer portion of the application. Also, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. We encourage students to take the ACT/SAT more than once. Start taking it at the beginning of your junior year, if not before, since applications open August 1 following that year.” – Kali Tucker, Admissions Advisor at Auburn University
“We do a holistic review of all applications. Of course a high test score and grade point average will make an application stand out above the rest, but Auburn also likes to see a student that is well rounded.” – Kali Tucker, Admissions Advisor at Auburn University
“I suggest students take a campus tour of each school they are interested in. Visiting campus is the best way to get a feel for whether Auburn University, or another school, is the right fit for you.” – Kali Tucker, Admissions Advisor at Auburn University
Admissions Officers: What NOT to Do
“Do not wait until the last minute! Requesting transcripts and test scores early will ensure that applications can be processed in a timely manner. Keep deadlines, application fees, and deposits in mind. Be aware that different schools may have different deadlines. Also, parents should allow their students to fill out applications themselves. It is great practice for the transition to adulthood. When in doubt, call your admissions counselor. We are here to help, so don’t be shy!” – Kate Bartlett, Admissions Counselor at Auburn University at Montgomery
￼ ￼“If you remember to double-check your work, that will prevent much of this from happening. Avoid calling colleges by the wrong name, never use acronyms (LOL, IMO, etc) and remember that essentially everything you send us is a writing sample. In a remarkably fast communication age everything counts: emails, texts, handwritten notes— so make sure you double check everything before sending it our way!” – Erin Ramsey, Associate Director of Recruitment at Samford University
“Do not wait until spring of your senior year to start filling out applications. The scholarship deadline for Auburn is December 1, and students who apply by that date are automatically considered for merit-based or general scholarships.” – Kali Tucker, Admissions Advisor at Auburn University