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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, February 3, 2014
State of College Admissions
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) released it's annual "State of College Admissions" report last week, with welcome news for students who cringe at standardized tests. (Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit). High school grades are the most important factor in college admissions.

This should come as a welcome reminder to students who have performed consistently well in school over time. The NACAC report notes that colleges also place great emphasis on the rigor of the academic courses at a given school. They also tend to devalue things like class rank, since the difficulty of courses can vary so widely in schools in different regions.

For students shy of standardized testing, it may also come as a bit of a relief. Certainly, at the high levels of competition, test scores matter. A lot. That's mostly because many colleges receive such qualified candidates that they have to find a place to draw the line.

However, the emphasis on grades shows that most colleges are looking at the academic level students can sustain over time. Grades demonstrate a student's ability to perform across a broad arena of subjects, over time, in different settings, with different instructors and different examination methods. So if you're one who suffers from test anxiety, or simply doesn't excel in the multiple-choice, genre, this is good news.

This isn't new news, but it is valuable for students to remember. It is definitely a far more reliable objective measure of academic strength.

The people at NACAC should know. They represent an association of over 10,000 high school counselors, college admissions officials, financial aid officers and other independent college counselors. Their general goal is to help students in the process of transitioning from high school to college.


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