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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What types of skills are colleges looking for in applicants?

Hi everyone! I'm trying to prepare my application and was wondering if anyone has insight into the types of skills colleges look for in applicants. Is there a certain set of skills that admissions officers value over others? Thanks for the input!

6 months ago

Hi there! While colleges do appreciate a well-rounded applicant, they're particularly interested in those with a "spike" or highly-developed specialty in a specific area. Consequently, the skills colleges look for can vary depending on your personal strengths and the programs you're applying to. That being said, there are some common skills that admissions officers generally value. Here are a few examples:

1. Leadership: Admissions officers appreciate students who have proven leadership abilities, whether it's through club participation, student government, sports teams, or community service. Demonstrating your ability to lead and have a positive impact on your surroundings can help you stand out.

2. Initiative: Colleges often look for applicants who are proactive and take initiative in pursuing their interests or passions. This could be seen in starting a club, organization, or project that tackles a problem or addresses a need in your community or school.

3. Collaboration: Teamwork is key, and admissions officers value students who can work well with others. This can be showcased through class projects, extracurricular activities, or athletic involvement. Evidence of successful collaboration can make you an attractive candidate.

4. Problem-solving: Being able to think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems is highly desirable. Colleges want students who are resourceful and adaptable. You can demonstrate your problem-solving abilities through your activities, projects, or even employment experiences.

5. Communication: Effective communication, both written and verbal, is essential for success in college and beyond. Your application essays, teacher recommendations, and even your extracurricular involvement can all be platforms for showcasing your communication skills.

6. Passion and commitment: Admissions officers appreciate applicants who dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their interests. Consistent involvement in extracurricular activities, taking on leadership roles, or persevering through challenging experiences can demonstrate your passion and commitment.

While these are just a few examples of skills that colleges value, remember that each applicant has unique strengths and qualities. Instead of trying to check off every skill on this list, focus on your own strengths and make sure those shine through in your application to present an authentic and compelling image of yourself. Good luck!

6 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.