What is a Selective College?

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After high school, you may feel excited to attend college and build a better future. However, entering college may be more challenging than it sounds to be. Some colleges are selective. So, what is a selective college? A selective college has qualifications and standards to follow in terms of enrollment.

Therefore, they do not just admit anybody. The students must be able to meet the qualifications. Most of the time, it often causes anxiety for the students. However, with the correct information, you are guided on how to increase your chances of being accepted into a selective college.

What Does a Selective College Mean?What Does a Selective College Mean?

A selective college has enrollment criteria in which not all students are given a chance to be accepted. For example, the college may set a certain percentage of acceptance. The lower the percentage is, the lesser the number of students accepted. The college may also look into some degrees, such as engineering and computer science, that they accept in the institution.

What Do Selective Colleges Look For?

What Do Selective Colleges Look For?

Selective colleges usually accept few applicants. It is because they have specific qualifications that they are looking for in an applicant. For example, to enter a military school such as West Point, you need to pass their physical assessment and get some recommendation from Congress or the Senate. That can be challenging to acquire unless you know somebody from the Senate or Congress. Another famous example of a selective college is the Ivy League School, such as Harvard University because of its strict admission procedure and lowest acceptance rate of 3.19%.

Selective colleges usually adhere to what they refer to as holistic reviews. Below are some of the qualifications that most selective colleges are looking for:

How do you perform academically?

It is the first and perhaps the most common factor that most colleges, even those not selective, look for in applicants. They will check your high school transcript to see if you have been consistent in your academic performance. After that, they would check your test scores, like your SAT and GPA. The higher your scores, the better your chance of getting accepted.

As much as possible, you need to get straight high As in courses and must belong between the top 5-8 in class. If you are in the 9th grade, it can be acceptable to get some Bs, especially if you are taking a very challenging course.

What is your major?

The enrollment officer will also look at the major you took in senior high school and the course you want to enroll in. In this way, they can determine if there is an alignment. If yes, you have a higher chance of getting accepted because your foundation on the said course is strong enough to build an excellent academic performance in both skills and knowledge. That’s why it is essential to decide on your major when you are in senior high school and see that it aligns with your dream college course to lessen the struggles during enrollment.

What’s in your student resume?

Often, students may pay less attention to their resumes, which could be better. Your resume will tell more factors about your that cannot be seen in your transcript and other documents. That’s why when you make your resume, it should stand out from the rest of the applicants. It can present your intellectual curiosity, another factor that most enrollment officers from selective colleges are searching for. What are your extra-curricular activities? Did you perform well in those activities? How about winning the contest? Have you tried being the school representative and won? How many hobbies or clubs did you join?

All of these should be reflected in your resume. In this manner, the evaluator of your paper will determine how interested you are in other fields besides academics. If you are doing great with high grades, then this presents an impression that you can manage your time effectively. Because of your many extra-curricular activities, you still manage to be on top of the class. That is another plus point in your application.

Did you have an impressive essay?

Another way the enrollment officers will know more about you is through your essay. You will have the chance to express yourself through writing. It is also one way of evaluating your writing and English skills. Some common questions are the following:

  • How do you impact the world around you?
  • How can you promote positive change?
  • Do you have an advocacy role in today’s common issues?
  • What did you do to serve your fellow people and your country?

If these questions do not come out in the essay, then these questions will be asked during the interview. It would help if you conveyed what you can do to impact the world. How strong is your enthusiasm for changing the world for the better? There is no wonder why most common scientists came from those selective colleges like the Ivy Leagues schools. It is because they would only choose a few applicants with unique skills, knowledge, attitude, and mindset.

What are the other factors?

There are still other factors that the evaluators will look at in the applicants. They may also consider your race, geographic location, ethnicity, culture, and exceptional talent. Most of these selective colleges want a diverse learning environment for the students. You can be an excellent musician and contribute significantly to the music industry and the entire community. In this case, you have the chance in a selective college. You can also significantly contribute to the field of volunteerism and community service. It is another factor. Other factors can be your outstanding writing and communication skills and your entrepreneurial skills.

Why Some Colleges are Selective?

Why Some Colleges are Selective?

There are many reasons why selective colleges are so picky with the applicant admission that you can check out below:

1. They are searching for a specific population of enrollees.

For example, Curtis Institute of Music only accepts students who are gifted musicians. The Dallas Nursing Institute only accepts students with excellent academic performance who will be trained to improve their knowledge, skills, and attitude. Military schools only accept students who pass the physical rigidity test.

2. They are looking for the enrollees’ overall excellent performance.

A good example is the member of the Ivy League Schools, which are Harvard University, Brown University, and Columbia University. They will look at your overall academic performance, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement. You have a higher chance if you have that unique qualification.

3. They maintain their reputation.

Selective colleges have been in the industry for many years. They have already established a strong reputation and want to maintain that. One way to maintain their good name is to accept only high performers, talented and proactive students.

What are the Acceptance Rates of Selective Colleges?

What are the Acceptance Rates of Selective Colleges?

Selective Colleges

The selective colleges have an acceptance rate of 60% of the total enrollees. Examples are Florida University, Ohio State University, and Penn State University. Your ACT score must be at least 25, and your SAT score must be at least 1,210.

Most Selective Colleges

The acceptance rate is gone down every year. The most selective colleges only get 10% of the total enrollees. That’s how selective these colleges are. Undoubtedly, those colleges which are a member of Ivy League schools belong to this category. Adding to that are the schools like Stanford and MIT.

Very Selective Colleges

The very selective college acceptance rate is 50% of the total enrollees. The ACT average is a 25% tile score, while the SAT average is 25%. Examples of these colleges are the American University, the University of Washington, and the University of Florida.

How Do You Get into a Highly Selective College?

How Do You Get into a Highly Selective College?

If you aim to be accepted into a highly selective college, you should be prepared ahead of time starting from high school.

1. You must have excellent academic performance in high school. For example, your grade point average (GPA) should be 90% and above; choose the most challenging AP classes, perform excellently, and produce a good research paper.

2. Another thing is you must create an impact on your community. You may actively participate in community outreach programs and other volunteer work. You may become a leader and promote your advocacy to the world.

3. If you have unique and incredible talent, that is a plus. Show it if you are good at writing, painting, dancing, or music. Aim to be recognized in many contests because these achievements will be added to your resume.

4. Having a recommendation from well-known people such as politicians and elite people can also help in being accepted to these selective colleges.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a Selective College?

What is a selective college? Again, these are colleges that only accept a few applicants. They only choose those students who are qualified based on their standards. Usually, they look for the applicant’s academic performance, skills and talents, and community work. They may also check on the applicants’ unique talents and skills and the recommendations from well-recognized people such as politicians.

If you have talents, do not be afraid to show them and earn recognition. It would help if you started working as early as high school to be accepted into a selective college. You must be working hard on your academics. If you have what it takes to be in a selective college, you must pursue your dreams.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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