The College Bound Student

College Bound?
College Bound?

Colleges use some, if not all, of the information listed below when determining whether or not to accept an applicant.  Individual colleges, however, differ in how they evaluate this information.  For example, one college may place a great deal of importance on test scores, another college may not. 

1.  Grade Point Average (GPA):  Even though individual colleges use their own criteria when evaluating prospective students, colleges generally consider student's GPA to be the most important criteria for college admissions.  GPA is simply the average of a student's academic courses starting from freshman year.  Pitman High School uses courses in the following areas to determine GPA (Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies and World Language). 

2.  Class Rank:  The student that has the highest GPA is number one in any given class.  In order to have an impressive class rank, it is necessary to have a high GPA.  Class rank is generally written as follows:  28 out of a class of 137 or 28/137.  The first number represents class rank, and the second number represents the total number of students in that particular class. 

3.  Strength of Subjects:  Students are encouraged to take courses that strengthen his/her academic standing or GPA.  Students that take honors or advanced placement level courses will receive additional points in his/her overall GPA when calculated.  Students at Pitman High School that take an honors course get 5 additional points added to his/her final grade and 8 additional points if taking an advanced placement course.  Colleges look for students to challenge themselves on all levels. 

4.  SAT/ACT Scores: These national tests are often required of college-bound students.  There are some exceptions, but all students that intend to apply for college (especially a four-year) are strongly encouraged to take one or both of these tests to be considered for admission.  Many colleges require the SAT to be considered at all.  Search College Board on line or contact your child's guidance counselor for testing dates and locations. 

5.  Extra Curricular Activities:  All levels of higher education, from Ivy League to Community Colleges, expect students to be involved in high school activities.  This has become a major factor in which students get accepted into colleges and who does not.  It is strongly encouraged, from freshman year, that all students participate in as many activities as they can while still maintaining a successful academic schedule.  Students can join clubs, sports, out of school activities, be volunteers, helpers and even leaders.  All of these interactions are important for the overall success of students while in high school and beyond.

No matter the time you have remaining in high school students should never wait to start building for tomorrow.  The college bound student must take each and every day as if it's a determining factor of the future.  Will every student end up as number one in his/her class...impossible, but with drive and determination every student can and will do his or her best and be successful long beyond their years at Pitman High School.