A large majority of students have 4.0 GPAs, 700+ on the math and reading sections of the SAT, and most likely 5+ AP and honors courses. Some students are AP scholars and pass more than 4 exams. Some students may receive a 700+ on the SAT II subject tests. By no means do top applicants have all of these accomplishments, but they can certainly help one’s case for admission.
Students and families need to understand how very competitive it is to get into certain universities. Today more than ever, students and parents have raised the bar for themselves and now admissions officers are seeing such great talent, that only the most-ready and career-driven applicants will rise to the top of the application piles. Now it seems as though college preparation should start as early as 8th grade and freshman year. Students, parents, counselors, and teachers need to come together for a common goal of inspiring students to reach for the stars and strive to make their potential a reality. It is never too late to embark on a journey to discover your passion and accomplish your ultimate goals.
Although the topics above do not capture all the nuances of the college application process, I would encourage students and parents to start early and enlist the help of others.