We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Julia Pelikhova, an experienced college counselor, former UC Essay reader, and professor at Loyola Marymount University about the most common questions she gets asked by University bound students and their families.
What are colleges looking for?
This is by far the most frequently asked question, with the most complicated answer. With each year, more and more universities are using a more holistic review and looking at the whole student.
Don’t get me wrong, quantitative numbers such as GPA and SAT/ACT scores still play a large role, but it is only a portion of the puzzle.
Colleges are looking for future leaders, that keep a busy schedule outside of their school time. Extracurriculars, clubs, sports, volunteer work, leadership experience play a critical role.
Last but not least, the Personal Statement, it is your opportunity to tell the University what kind of a person you are.
How many colleges should we apply to?
It is important to use time and resources for schools that you genuinely are interested in attending. We encourage parents and students to plan early and set up college tours, so that they get to witness the campus first hand.
It is recommended to apply to 9 to 12 colleges. 2-3 Safe Schools, 4-5 Target Schools, 3-4 Reach Schools.
Outside of the Personal Statement, the college list is the single most important part of your college planning process.
When are college applications due?
College application deadlines vary. Most California public university applications are due November 30th.
Private and out of state college applications are due anywhere from December 1st till February 1st. It’s important to plan ahead and know your deadlines so you can strategize your application timeline.
The college application process is a time of careful planning and strategy. The decisions on which you embark will shape the next years of a students life. Contact us today to see how we can help shape your college ambitions.
If you have any additional questions about College Counseling or about strategy for your University bound student, contact us at 818-850-6284.