What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What are the top characteristics colleges look for in applicants?

Hey, guys! As a junior starting to get serious about the college process, I'm a tiny bit overwhelmed. I know grades and test scores are important, but what other characteristics are colleges really looking for? Is there like a hidden checklist of traits or extracurriculars that admissions officers have? Would love to hear what y'all have learned or think about this!

7 months ago

Hey there! I understand how the process can feel overwhelming, but it's great to start thinking about these questions now. Beyond grades and test scores, colleges often look for students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity, leadership, resilience, passion, and a commitment to community service, often evidenced through their extracurricular activities. Regarding extracurriculars, there's no secret checklist, but aim to show a depth of engagement in a few areas that really matter to you. Colleges also appreciate applicants who show a 'spike' or a highly-developed specialty in a particular area, which indicates future success. Remember, it's less about the number of activities and more about how they've shaped you or allowed you to make an impact. If you're passionate about a cause or hobby, dive in and find ways to expand your involvement or take on leadership roles.

For instance, if you have a particular interest in environmental science, you could combine regular volunteering with a local conservation group, initiate a recycling program at your school, and perhaps lead a related research project. This combination would illustrate not only your dedication to the subject but also your ability to lead and innovate. Keep exploring your interests, and let your genuine self shine through in your applications!

7 months ago

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