College Admission Questions
Q. What do colleges look for in a transcript?
A. Colleges look for a strong transcript, both from a performance and a selection standpoint. So not only are they looking for good grades, they are also looking at your course selection. Did you choose courses that relate to or prepare you for your major? Did you take coursework beyond what was required for admission? Did you take a wide variety of courses? Did you challenge yourself through the courses you selected? And, of course, did you perform well in those courses? In terms of real preparation for college, the rigor and variety of your course selections is probably most important. However, the fact is that a higher GPA will get you scholarships. So it could be argued that an easier schedule would help in that regard. Obviously, that is a short-sighted strategy! Finding a balance between challenging yourself and making the best grades possible is your best bet.
Q. How important is it to fill up your transcript?
A. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “fill up” your transcript, but I definitely recommend taking a wide variety of courses in high school. At least expose yourself to foreign language, computers, and/or the arts, and take as many math and science courses as you can stand.
Q. What courses would you suggest for a person interested in international business/marketing?
A. I would recommend language courses – at least two years of one language, and then either more of the same language or a little of a different language entirely. Take anything that includes study of the world outside of your own, like geography or international studies. In addition, a study abroad experience would be very valuable, and one or more trips overseas could accomplish the same thing without demanding time away from school.
For the business/marketing side, I would recommend higher level math like calculus and/or statistics, as well as economics, psychology or sociology. In addition, any business courses available could be helpful, as could journalism, yearbook, and/or newspaper (so you better understand the media).
Q. Would you suggest staying "in-state" for college and having it be less costly, while you could get a better education at an "out-of-state" college but have it be more costly? (relating to international business/marketing)
A. First, I must tell you that I have two degrees from and have worked for twenty years at a state school, so I’m a bit biased! I would then remind you that “out-of-state” to you is “in-state” to somebody else… So simply leaving your state to go to school may not gain you anything in terms of quality education or institutional reputation. I understand how going out-of-state to college is perceived by others, but would caution you that high quality academic programs are often found at state (public) schools, and are routinely overlooked and undervalued by residents of their own state.
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