Some universities base their admissions decisions only on the grades you get. Others, particularly in the USA, look carefully at your profile and it is important to make it stand out if you want a place at a great university and to get a good scholarship.
Here are 7 top tips to make your profile stand out:
1. Start early. Universities look carefully at how long you have been doing things for. They are impressed by long term commitments. They are not impressed by activities you start a few months before the application deadline to make your profile look better.
2. Make sure you are doing a range of extra-curricular activities or are really committed and passionate about one activity, in years 11, 12 and 13. Universities particularly like activities in which you undertake a leadership role. Some universities also like at least one of your activities to be linked to the major you want to study.
3. A willingness and commitment to doing for others is an important live skill. Universities therefore value profiles which contain a commitment to charity work. A regular weekly or monthly commitment during years 12 and 13 is best. This should include actually doing things through volunteering not just giving money.
4. Admissions officers sometimes read thousands of applications a year. Make sure yours contains one thing that makes it memorable. For example, you have published a book, you helped set up a mobile stretcher service in a remote part of Vietnam or you teach computing every week at an orphanage.
5. Talk about results not responsibilities. Universities are interested in hearing what you have achieved more than what you have been responsible for. Don’t write ‘I was the sales manager for the Breezeway coffee shop”. Do write ‘During my time as sales manager for the Breezeway coffee shop, sales increased by 50% following the social media advertising campaign I led.’
6. Produce several drafts of your university admissions essays and talk to teachers for advice and help. It’s important that you find your own voice as well a have a strong idea.
7. Remember that the purpose of a great profile is to show who you are, and to sell yourself a bit, so that the university will want to have you on their campus. Admissions officers will be looking for clear evidence of what your interests are, what your personality is like, what motivates you, how you use your time and how you relate to other people.
During their education journey, especially in late highschool year, students at BVIS have access to a comprehensive university guidance service and our College and Universiy Guidance Counsellor - Mr Luke Curran is always happy to talk individually to students about how to improve their profile.
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