How to get accepted into college: 4 things colleges want

April 3, 2023 at 6:00 AM
Image of a college student who is wondering how to get accepted into college.

With college admissions becoming increasingly competitive, aspiring students need to stand out from the crowd. While test scores remain important, colleges now emphasize a more holistic view of applicants.

This blog post highlights four critical components colleges look for in applicants, beyond test scores, that can make all the difference in your college application.

By focusing on these areas, you can maximize your chances of acceptance and secure your future at the institution of your dreams.

Extracurricular activities

Engaging in extracurricular activities demonstrates your ability to balance academics with other pursuits and showcases your interests outside the classroom. College admission offices focus on creating varied student bodies who bring unique interests and skills to campus.

Colleges appreciate applicants with diverse experiences, including participation in:

  • Clubs
  • Sports
  • Organizations

When adding extracurriculars to your application, be sure to highlight any leadership roles you've held.

Activities and clubs often translate into valuable skills and connections during your college experience. By continuing to participate in clubs and organizations on campus, you'll have the opportunity to develop skills that will serve you through your academic and professional career, including:

  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Networking

Many students make the mistake of focusing too much on academics, so they don't have unique skills and interests to offer a competitive college.

Community involvement

Being active in your community shows colleges that you're not only a responsible citizen but also possess qualities such as:

  • Empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Dedication

There are plenty of opportunities to find communities to make a difference, such as local nonprofits, participating in community events, or working on service projects, be sure to include your community involvement in your application.

Once in college, engaging with the local community can further enhance your personal growth and provide opportunities for real-world experience.

This involvement can lead to critical benefits not only in college but beyond into your career, such as:

  • Internships
  • Job placements
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities


In today's fast-paced world, colleges highly value entrepreneurial skills as they showcase:

  • Initiative
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving

If you've started a small business, launched a fundraiser, or created a new product or service, highlight these accomplishments in your application.

As a college student, your entrepreneurial mindset will help you identify unique opportunities and drive innovation on campus, qualities that are valuable to admissions offices.

Student entrepreneurs will likely become involved in business clubs and incubators or even start their ventures on campus, building strong professional networks and developing their skills.

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An incredible application essay

A well-crafted college essay can be the key to differentiating yourself from other applicants. It's your chance to share your unique story and demonstrate your personality, values, and aspirations.

Take the time to:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Outline
  3. Revise your essay

Taking time with each step ensures your essay reflects who you are and what you can bring to a student body.

Once admitted, the strong communication skills showcased in your essay will prove invaluable in college. Your ability to articulate thoughts clearly and persuasively will mean excelling in class, collaborating with peers, and engaging in thought-provoking discussions.

In addition to the content of your essay, the way you communicate in writing gives admissions counselors an idea of your ability to succeed on campus.

Schedule counseling with Educational Attainment Services to learn more about how to get accepted into the college of your choice.

Your college application is more than just your test scores and GPA. Giving students who aren't as strong in academics an opportunity to shine by focusing on other aspects that matter to admissions counselors.

To maximize your chances of acceptance and secure the maximum funding available, schedule a counseling session with Educational Attainment Services.

Our experts will guide you through the application, financial aid, and scholarship process, helping you stand out in the competitive world of college admissions. Contact us today to take the first step toward a brighter future.