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How to Stand Out to Colleges

Preparing your child to get into his/her dream college can seem like an overwhelming process. In order to prevent a last-minute scramble, it is best to start preparing three to four years before your child graduates. One of the biggest things that admissions officers look for is academic achievement. Strong grades and test scores will immediately put you on top of the applicant pile, encouraging admissions officers to look deeper into your background.


Working with a tutor is a great way to help your child prepare for college. Even if your child is not struggling academically, a tutor can help them stay on top of their school work and identify any potential problems in order to prevent struggles in the future. A college admissions tutor will also be able to help your child identify the academic performance that their chosen school requires and create a plan in order to achieve this. Along with GPA, many colleges also look at scores on tests such as the SAT and ACT. Taking standardized tests can be very stressful, which can compromise performance. Working with a tutor and regularly taking practice tests in conditions that mimic the real test conditions can help your child gain confidence with the test, which can lead to improved performance.

Along with academic performance, college admissions officers are looking to get an idea of what a potential student will bring to their college. Colleges are looking for dedicated students who will be able to contribute on campus. Volunteer hours, club memberships, and working or studying abroad are just a few of the things that can help your college application stand out. However, participating in nearly every activity in your senior year is not impressive to admissions officers. Rather, it is best to demonstrate dedication to one or two activities throughout a three or four year period.


Working with a college advisor can help your child identify the activities they are interested in and learn how to make them applicable to the college and program they are applying to. It is also important to remember that the application essay is a large component of preparing your child to get into his/her dream college, as the information presented in this paper may be the only change that an admissions officer has to understanding the student’s strengths. Having your child participate in an online tutoring program that focuses on writing the application essay is a cost-effective way to support your child. Your child will be working with a tutor who understands what admissions officers are looking for and can thus help your child create a polished essay that will stand out to colleges.

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