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What Skills are Essential for Admission to College?

High school is a time when students begin to develop skills that will be impactful in college and beyond: skills developed in the classroom, during school activities, or delving deeper into academic areas of interest. This skill development has an important impact during the college application process. Colleges and universities look for students who challenge themselves academically in rigorous courses, are impactful in their school and leadership activities, and are intellectually curious and insightful.



Below is a non-exhaustive list of skills that students can develop in high school as they seek admissions to college:


  • Time management. Perhaps the most important skill to develop is time management. High school is a busy time for students as they not only have to balance their academic and extracurricular pursuits, but they also need to make time to develop outside interests and passions and bonds with friends and family members. Thus, students must be able to manage their time wisely and develop skills to prioritize activities and projects which will be used as part of the college application process. This is particularly true for college as students go from the structured life of high school and living at home to the less-structured environment of college.

  • Study skills. Learning is the most important activity in college. High-achieving students may be able to do extremely well in high school without doing much studying. However, college classes are a different animal that require hours per class per week of individual study. Developing these skills early will not only help with the college transition but will help the student start to develop the intellectual curiosity that institutions seek in applicants.

  • Not being afraid to ask for help. As high school students, those who ask for help are often seen as “less bright” than other students. However, much learning is done by seeking help, particularly when something is not easily understood. College classes cover high-level intellectual material at break-neck speeds, and if students are not willing to ask professors or teaching assistants for help, they will be quickly overwhelmed as the semester advances. Thus, students who are willing to ask for help early in their careers will do better academically in both high school and college. Additionally, the college application process can be confusing for students and families to navigate; thus, seeking college admissions help from an experienced admissions consultant will help the student put their best foot forward in the process and help clarify any confusing aspects.

  • Seeking outside guidance. Life is a confusing process, especially for those who have not experienced much of it yet (e.g. high school students). Thus, seeking outside guidance and feedback will help students navigate their studies and careers. This guidance can come from parents and family, mental health professionals, teachers, and professors, professionals in their chosen career fields, college academic advisors, or even Ivy League admissions consultants. By seeking this advice and guidance, students can navigate difficult situations in their personal and professional lives.

As noted, high school is an important time for personal and skills development. By building these skills and proficiencies in time management, studying, seeking help academically, and curating outside guidance during high school, students are able to set themselves up for success during the application process, during their academic careers in college, and their professional careers after graduation. If you'd like to take the step of seeking outside guidance now, why not contact us? We'd love to help.