What do Colleges look for?
Universities look for well rounded students. View this graphic for a visual and see below for the explanation.
Universities follow the holistic approach. They will look at everything you did over your high school years.
- Grade Point Average: A 3.0 GPA is required for most universities. The higher your GPA, the better! They will see your weighted and unweighted GPA. If you are applying to CSU/UC, they will only count your 10th/11th grade GPA but will expect 9th grade and 12th grade to be free of D's and F's. Under CSU, for STEM majors, the requirements may be higher.
- SAT and/or ACT score: Many universities do not require the SAT/ACT and are test optional (you can submit it) or test blind. However, there are some out there who do require it. Take a look at your list of schools and verify their requirement.
- Awards and Recognition: Make sure that you save your awards. If you feel you may lose them, take pictures of them. Awards should only include those you received in high school. They can be school awards or out of school awards (religious, orgs, league sports, etc).
- Community Service: Make sure that you are serving your community. If you need assistance with finding locations, please see your counselor. Please make sure to log in your hours. (See community service section for sample doc).
- Challenging classes: AP, Honors and if possible, community college classes (see college page).
- Taking the correct classes: A-G Requirements, refer to the A-G requirements page for more information. Make sure that you are taking the recommended extra year of Spanish, Science and/or Math. You do not need to do all three required courses but it is highly recommended.
- Extra-curriculars: Clubs, sports, work (not required), programs, internships, religious activities, etc