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Getting into a Good College: Grades

Good grades are the key to standing out in the competitive college admissions process

There is no doubt about it; getting into a top-tier college or university is challenging. Over 300,000 students applied to top U.S universities during the 2018-2019 school year, and just over 26,000 were accepted for admission. With such a crowded field of applicants, how do students build a competitive admission portfolio that will win over admissions officers?

In a word? Grades. When it comes to choosing an incoming freshman class, colleges are looking for the absolute best and brightest. This means that outstanding academic achievement is essential for students who plan to pursue post-secondary education.

A student’s grades are one of the most important factors that colleges and universities look at before considering him or her for admission. A student who can demonstrate high achievement in high school with top marks stands a much better chance of being admitted than a student whose grades are mediocre.

How grades affect college admissions

When it comes to creating a college admission portfolio, grades are the gold standard. While standardized test scores and extracurricular achievements are also important, they do not carry the same weight as a high GPA. This is because a student’s high school grades reveal more than just intelligence or knowledge. They are indicators of a student’s ability to perform consistently at a high level over time.

A student can study hard to receive a high SAT score and still lack the vital characteristics that make up an excellent student. How does this person’s attitude and behavior contribute to his or her school and community? A standardized test score will not be very revealing but quality grades will.

Good grades reflect a student’s attitude and growth throughout his or her high school career. They demonstrate that a student can juggle many expectations and assignments from different instructors at once. They show that a student can produce quality work based on his or her instructors’ expectations, including evaluations of a softer nature such as attitude and perseverance.

This is not simply a matter of perception. Research shows that high school GPA is a greater indicator of student collegiate performance than standardized test scores. College admissions teams know this and consider a student’s grades very carefully when reviewing applications.

Therefore, a college-bound student should be intentional about making sure that his or her GPA is a top priority throughout his or her school career.

When to buckle down and get serious

Most people already know that good grades are important. After all, why would schools have evaluations if they did not matter? The common pitfall for many families is not failing to strive for good grades; it is striving to get good grades too late.

A fantastic junior or senior year is not enough. Preparation for college starts in the early stages of a child’s education. If a student waits until he or she is an upperclassman to pay attention to grades, it is going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to achieve the necessary GPA to secure admission to a quality college or university. Earlier is better in this instance.

Building a college portfolio at American Heritage Schools

Building an attractive application for collegiate admissions is an intimidating task. At American Heritage Schools, we believe that developing the whole student is critical to creating the foundational pillars of success. We are committed to helping each student build his or her portfolio slowly so that each student can graduate with a demonstrable long-term record of achievement and success.

We work closely with students starting in middle school, helping each person to develop his or her grades and his or her unique passions. Counselors encourage each student to take the initiative in high school and college planning, to act on emerging or established interests, to search for colleges and majors, and to prepare for tests (visitations, SAT, ACT, and AP courses).

American Heritage Schools students have matriculated at top colleges and universities throughout the U.S., including Ivy League and “Most Competitive” colleges, according to Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.

Some of the colleges and universities American Heritage Schools graduates have attended in the last five years include Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, MIT, University of Chicago, Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and University of California at Berkeley.

American Heritage Schools is committed to student development. Please browse through our website to learn more about our school and all of our offerings. Contact us to schedule a personalized campus tour so you can see for yourself why we are the best.