The top 5 qualities colleges look for in a high school student are personal qualities. There is no denying the importance good grades, high SAT/ACT scores and ample extracurricular activities play in a high school student’s ability to get accepted into their college of choice, but that isn’t the only thing that admission directors look for when determining acceptance-worthy qualities in a potential candidate.

While good test scores and a high GPA can definitely get your child’s application a second look, these days, the personal qualities of a student’s character are coming into play more and more as admissions officials seek to build a well-rounded and diversified class.

Top 5 Qualities Colleges Look For in a High School Student

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Here are the top 5 qualities colleges look for in a high school student

Strong Work Ethic  If a high school student has high marks in school but also spends their after school hours helping run the family business or working to save up to afford college, that speaks volumes to an admissions officer about not only about how much of a priority the student is placing on their future, it often shows that their determination, work ethic and drive will translate over once they get into university as well.

How to showcase a strong work ethic to college admissions officials:A great way to let admissions officials know about the hardworking character of a student is through letters of recommendation. Letters from teachers who’ve seen first-hand the sacrifices the student has made for their education are a great way to get this point across.

It’s not surprising that one of the most highly valued traits of college applications is leadership. When a school decides to send an acceptance letter to a student it is often with the hope that not only the student will thrive in the environment but that the student will in some way add to the betterment of the school as a whole by stepping up and leading change.

How to showcase leadership ability to admissions officials: One of the best ways to show off a student’s leadership qualities is by highlighting the different activities they’ve been involved in. Were they  student class president or did he or she found a new club? Actions of leadership are great to highlight in the application process.

Top 5 Qualities Colleges Look For in a High School Student

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Sure, college administrators get excited by athletes with skills like Kobe and brains like Einstein, but they also place a high importance on community service. If students who are passionate about serving others and have proved that passion throughout their high school career will solid and actionable results, they will always win points.

How to showcase service to admissions officials: Students who’ve made a difference in others lives would be well advised to ask the very people that they helped, to help them. Such stories will tug at the heart strings of an admissions officer and often result in an acceptance letter.

Naturally curious people are often great problem solvers and in a number of cases, have been shown to be more successful than their more intelligent counterparts because they can think outside of the box and strive for something others might not see. Admissions officers know this. They also know that a curious student can often spark other students and create a more dynamic class.

How to showcase your curiosity to admissions officials: Curiosity may seem like a tough characteristic to highlight on paper application, but one of the best ways to do so is through your personal statement in your application. Talk about how your curiosity has helped shape your life and experiences and how those experiences will benefit you as a student at their university.

Let’s face it. People like people they relate to. The same is true for admissions officers. If they have a have a polite, friendly and likeable candidate sitting across from them, they are more likely to want to

offer you a spot at their school.

How to showcase likeability to admissions officials: Admissions officers read a lot of essays and interview a lot of candidates. Let you’re true self shine through in these situations and don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor or your charms. Chances are it will pay off in the long run.

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Kristy Hessman is a freelance writer who guest blogs at a leading provider of graduation stoles and sashes.

Top 5 Qualities Colleges Look For in a High School Student

Click here to purchase book