Recognize that colleges seek to balance genders and backgrounds in different programs and applicants that provide that balance are more valuable to a college. For example, women earn over 57% of all bachelor’s degrees, but only 19% of engineering degrees. A female applicant with a demonstrated interest in engineering may stand out more than an equally qualified male applicant as admissions officers strive to create a balanced and diverse class. The same would go for a male applicant that applies to a nursing program. At Soaring Eagle College Consulting, we work with applicants to make sure that they apply to majors that fit their interests and application theme, and wherever possible, boost their odds of admission. Remember, major selection is not set in stone. Most colleges allow students to changes majors rather easily. Check with the colleges your child is applying about their policies for changing majors.
Many applicants focus on presenting what they think makes them unique and hope admissions officers appreciate those traits. With so many talented applicants, it is challenging to stand out. Instead, ask what admissions officers value, and prepare accordingly. Admissions officers look for students that will propel their college forward by competing for their sports teams, playing in the orchestra, and leading organizations and causes that advance the student body forward. By highlighting skills, passion, and interests in these valued areas, your child can present herself as a more attractive applicant. Your child can apply this mindset when applying for a coveted job or graduate school.
The only thing more daunting than getting into college, is figuring out a way to pay for it. Beginning in ninth grade, your child should spend a few hours per month searching for scholarships. Local scholarships sometimes receive few applicants and provide your child with excellent odds of receiving one. Consult with your child’s guidance counselor and use www.scholarships.com to find applicable scholarships.