If I have a productive gap year where I take college classes, boost standardized test scores, and partake in noteworthy activities, can I significantly boost my admissions chances?
– Dimitri, a student in Astoria, New York
A article in The Atlantic last year noted that in most selective colleges, the once two most-important aspects of college admissions have decreased in relatively importance among admissions staff: GPA and test scores.
For decades, a high SAT or ACT score and perfect GPA meant strong chances at getting into most schools of your choice.
Now, other factors like demonstrated interest, extracurricular involvement, and ability to pay oftentimes play a bigger role in whether you’ll get that “yes” letter or not.
Eric J. Furda, Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania said this:
Our evaluation process looks at where they are right now and what can we expect from them once they come to our campus.
Yes, your gap year can boost your admissions chances. But be intentional about what you do that year.
3 surprising things to do during your gap year to optimize it
1. Periodically check in with your favorite schools and show them what you’re up to.
You might have heard that college admissions is “arbitrary.” An applicant with lower grades and scores gets in, but his more qualified peer gets rejected.