A friend of mine, a deeply experienced college admissions counselor, recently came across a Gallup-Purdue index (published annually) which delineates key components of a successful college experience. He accurately surmised that there is a high correlation between these characteristics and those which accrue to the advantage of high school seniors seeking admission to post-secondary institutions. And, the more selective the institution, the more significant these characteristics will become. Some of these pertinent characteristics are:
Having a professor (or teacher) who cared about them as a person or a mentor who encouraged them;
Working on a project or research initiative that took more than a semester to complete. In high school this might take the form of some kind of capstone project;
A high degree of involvement in extracurriculars;
Having a job or internship related to a specific field of interest.
All of these have obvious parallels in a high environment and offer opportunities for students to distinguish themselves and set themselves apart in the college application process. It’s not all about grades and test scores! Questions to ask of any high school you are considering should include:
A consistent record of successful college placement—e.g., list of schools where recent graduates have been accepted; percentage accepted at college of first or second choice;
Having a knowledgeable college placement person on staff whose primary responsibility is college/career advisement;
Faculty who know your student well and can speak and write persuasively on his or her behalf.
This may well be some of the most important research you can undertake for the welfare of your children. School Search K12, with its depth of experience and expertise, is prepared to be your helpful partner along the way.