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Applying to College is Not What It Used to Be

Over the past five years, the college application process has undergone some considerable changes, so you want to be sure you're not sending out your applications with the same "tried and true" formula your parents (or maybe even your older siblings) used.

Here are just a few of the ways in which the process has evolved:

  1. More emphasis on holistic admissions: Colleges and universities are increasingly moving away from a purely quantitative approach to admissions and placing more emphasis on a student's overall profile, including factors like extracurricular activities, volunteer work, long-term projects, and personal essays.

  2. Greater emphasis on test-optional policies: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities have adopted test-optional policies, allowing students to apply without submitting standardized test scores, so it's important that you understand how this might affect your application process. If you have a 25 on the ACT, for instance, you'll want to be clear on whether to submit your score or leave it off.

  3. Greater focus on diversity and inclusion: Colleges and universities are increasingly focusing on diversity and inclusion, with many schools actively recruiting students from underrepresented backgrounds and seeking to create a more diverse student body. You need to understand how that affects you.

  4. Increased competition: With more students applying to college than ever before, the competition for admission to top schools has become increasingly fierce, leading some students to apply to more schools and pursue more extracurricular activities to improve their chances.

You'll need to be prepared to navigate these changes and take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you.


- Randy Biggs


Owner, Heritage College Prep


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