How Can Students Stand Out Beyond ACT & SAT Scores?

July 21, 2020

More and more colleges are no longer requiring test score admissions to accept new students. The growing desertion of looking into standardized test scores means that your children have the opportunity to develop other unique skills to get noticed by their college(s) of choice. So, how can your student stand out other than their ACT & SAT scores?? 

Keep reading to find out best practices your high-schooler can use to distinguish themselves among their peers, and to colleges…

Be Involved in Different Activities

It is important to be involved in a variety of different extracurricular activities. This shows an ability to handle a busy schedule, as well as any skills they have developed through them. Consider music, sports, learning a language, school clubs, and more as you help your student plan their high school experience. Activities like these will also be representative of what their college of preference can expect from them. Being active in high school participation indicates a similar drive to be involved in college activities. 

All these reasons are great ways for your student to stand out in their college applications; and have nothing to do with ACT & SAT scores.

(You may need to get creative with this, since COVID-19 is still a huge concern. Make sure that you are being mindful of social distancing as you figure out how they can be more involved.)

Go Above and Beyond

As you’re planning the best path toward their dream college, be sure to do more than the bare minimums. Instead of only taking as many classes as are “required,” add in some extra classes. This will help them go above and beyond the number of credits needed each year. It can also be helpful to take some advanced placement classes. This will show that your child has a high level of commitment to whatever they put their mind to. In addition to going the extra mile in high school, your student can even do so in their college applications. 

Some colleges have optional additions/expansions to their application processes. See what they are, and decide with your senior how many extras they want to contribute to make their application stand out. This will show the college application reviewers that your student is prepared to go the extra mile to achieve success. It will also make their college look good by doing so.

Contribute to Society

Volunteering and/or getting a job is a fantastic way to get your student to the forefront of attention in their college applications. Local charities and small businesses are great places to start looking for this kind of work. The more your high-schooler can show that they are responsible and contribute positively to their society, the more they will stand out to colleges that don’t care as much about ACT & SAT scores. Being able to keep up with so many responsibilities will also show that your child has the ability to handle the increased academic workload that inevitably comes with college life.

Know Which Courses to Prepare For

This is when planning ahead with your student can really pay off… When they know what field they want to major in, they can more easily prepare for the classes they will be taking in college. It is a good idea to combine this information with what we talked about above in the “Go Above And Beyond” section. Make sure that most of the extra classes your student takes in high school correspond with what they will be majoring in, while in college. This will not only give your child a leg-up to prepare them for what college will bring; but it will also show colleges that there has been a clear path being followed through with. 

Outside of ACT & SAT scores, being able to show that they are capable of following through with commitments is a wonderful way for your student to stand apart.

Think About Recommendations

As your student makes their way through high school, it is important that they consider the relationships they will develop there. Chances are, most of their letters of recommendation will be coming from the faculty of their high school. This is also where they will be spending most of their time! 

Help your high-schooler learn how important it is to make connections, and network with the people in authority around them. This includes teachers, guidance counselors, employers, peers, and anyone else they interact with on a regular basis. Being aware of how important this is will help your student be mindful of their behavior, and will shine brightly through any recommendation letters they receive for their college applications. Letters like this from respected members in the community will give colleges a preview of the character of your child, rather than their scores on an ACT or SAT test.

Be Aware of Their Online/Social Media Presence

These days, there are few things more detrimental to a person’s potential than what they choose to post online. This goes double for students trying to get into their dream colleges. Be sure that your high-schooler does a quick scan of any social media platforms they are a part of to make sure there is no questionable content. 

If your student is not very active on social media, but would like a platform that they can make work for them and their goals, consider spikeview as a viable option. spikeview is the perfect platform for students of all kinds. It helps them to be seen and heard through their interests, talents, and even their portfolio. The spikeview app is where your student can set up groups, connections, chats, and a completely customizable feed that they can use as another reference for their college applications. It is a great opportunity for all their information and uniqueness to take center-stage for any reviewers looking to make sure they are a person of unquestionable character.

All of the above are the best ways for your student to stand out other than their ACT & SAT scores. Implement them as much as possible, and the results will speak for themselves when those acceptance letters come flooding in.