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College requirements are more than what meets the eye

What colleges say they want versus what they expect.

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College is just around the corner for many students, and it is time to start preparing. Many high school students do not know what tests are required for them to pass, and what courses they should take. They base their applications on requirements printed by College Board.

Yet does College Board actually fill in the students on what they actually want? They list all their requirements, but do they accept students who just barely meet them?

Jenny Tang, a senior at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, said, “There’s not much information other than the required course load on the website so I was definitely freaking out a little on what else they wanted. But it is understandable because they don’t look for a specific package, so it’s hard for them to put requirements.”

The unclear requirements may have some students basing their classes and the tests they are taking off of their selected major.

http://school.familyeducation.com/
Family Education describes it's top 10 ideas as to what colleges look for. In number one, they believe course selection plays a major factor in attracting colleges.

Leyla Mammadli, a junior at Carlmont, plans to apply to Stanford. Mammadli said, “I want to be a doctor, so I am taking a lot of science classes, such as Human Biology. I don’t really know the requirements, but I am just going to follow my major.”

Karen Liao, a senior at Mission San Jose High School, has chosen nursing as her major.

“I took AP Chinese Culture and Language as a sophomore and AP Biology, Psychology, and Statistics as a junior. I am planning to take AP Chemistry, Calculus AB, and Music Theory this year as a senior,” said Liao.

Liao said, “Although going through the UC websites may be a bit strenuous, they do list enough to help you get through the whole process in applying to UCs. Basically, you must have required amounts of credit and a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply.”

“As Californians, we don’t need to give the UCs our transcripts, and we only need to submit one ACT/SAT score report to one campus in order for all UC campuses to view it. Also, there’s a whole online application for UC that needs to be completed, and it easily navigable website! If you have any questions, you can email the admissions office and they are very prompt with their replies too.”

Hard work is also the key to success. Mammadli said, “I think it matters more of how much effort you put in. You don’t just want to meet the bare requirements, you want to exceed them.”

When applying to colleges, many students forget the fun of volunteering. They focus on grades and only chose volunteer opportunities that they think are helpful in their college applications, rather than ones they actually want to do.

Tang said, “In high school, I didn’t really take steps to get into my ‘dream’ college because I think it’s more important to focus on your dream career instead of a college.”

“For example, I made sure I volunteered at a hospital to get at least a feel for what that environment is like. I shadowed an OB/GYN doctor for some clinical experience. I basically didn’t do anything ‘for college’ but just did the things I enjoy, and that’s still in my opinion the best way to go because your passion can show.”

“Since I enjoy teaching, I tutored kids at Alameda County Library after school for homework help and also during the summer in math. Finally, I volunteered with Furry Friends Rescue because I love dogs!”

“I think what got me into Cal [Berkeley] was not only my high GPA and test scores, but my abundance of volunteering that showed my passion for what I wanted to do,” Tang said.

Mammadli said, “It is a little unfair. If that student met the requirements, and then they get rejected, I will feel sorry for them.”

Sometimes people will not get into the college of their dreams, but will still be able to thrive and succeed.

Tang said, “MIT was my number one choice, and when I first found out that I had been rejected I felt a bit sad. I had worked hard to keep good grades, and taken a lot of AP and SAT subject tests.. But I am very happy at Berkeley, and I think I can pursue my dreams here.”

When applying to colleges, students should not focus on what college they get into. Instead they should focus on cultivating healthy learning habits for college and beyond.

“I think the most important quality for a student to have would be a tie between time-management and determination. I know both are very cliche, but at the same time, they are crucial qualities to have regardless.”

“High school life consists of juggling school work, extracurricular activities, and personal time with friends and family. It’s hard to find that balance, and it’s hard to not procrastinate. Eventually, if a student is able to manage their time efficiently and find that balance, life will be so much more rewarding.”

“I also chose determination because personally, I think high school is a very tumultuous time in life in which you try to grow up but end up making many mistakes along the way. It takes so much determination to push through the emotions, schoolwork, relationships, stress, and conflicts.”

“In the end, however, I sincerely hope that everyone can look fondly back upon their high school career,” said Liao.

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About the Writer
Holly Chen, Staff Writer
Holly Chen is a junior journalism student. Even with a busy schedule, she tries to find time to enjoy a good movie or T.V. show. She loves art and food. Holly’s portfolio: http://785763.wix.com/hollychen Twitter: @hollychen_61 (Visited 5 times today)
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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
College requirements are more than what meets the eye