What do universities look for?

The university application process can be a daunting experience for many students. The pressure of selecting the right university, writing a compelling personal statement, and trying to guess what universities are looking for can be a lot. On top of that, you are finishing school and dealing with the most challenging classes you could find, closing the sports season, planning prom, and dealing with your family’s existential crisis to see you grow so fast!

How about we take one thing out of the equation? Would it help if we just told you what universities are looking for and why? Yeah, thought so.

1. How to pick the right university?

Choosing the right university will ensure you meet all their requirements and showcase your passion and interest in their program. But, with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

The typical method would be to research each university’s requirements and programs to determine which schools are the best fit for your academic and personal goals. This method is good, but you might miss crucial information, and it will take you hours to finish.

The other option is to talk to us! GrantMe will make this process 30 minutes instead of 30 hours. With this method, you will just tell us what you want to do and who you are, and we will show you the best path to achieve your goals. With us, you will be able to speak with current students and alumni, review easy-to-follow online resources, and ensure you are following your passions and interests in the most effective way.

Confused woman wondering what universities are looking for.

2. How to Write Your Personal Statement

Another important factor that universities consider is your personal statement or essay. This is your opportunity to showcase your personality, values, and goals. Admissions committees want to see that you are a good fit for their institution and that you have a clear vision for your future.

Check out this video for tips on which structure to follow for your essays.

GrantMe will give you access to our essay editing team, which specializes in getting your message across. Not only will they help you with grammar and spelling, but they will also check if you are including the university’s values and if you are answering their questions correctly.

Universities are now looking for your ability to think critically, so their prompt is getting a bit crazy. Prize for the craziest prompt goes to… Chicago University, for making their students write an essay answering “What advice would a wisdom tooth give?” 🦷

Child smelling after loosing a tooth. Meant to illustrate the weird questions universities ask in their application process.

3. What Grades Do You Need to Get into University?

This includes a strong academic record, a high GPA, and challenging coursework. Admissions committees want to see that you have the ability to succeed in a rigorous academic environment, so it’s important to take challenging courses and maintain high grades.

University Committees will also look for the focus you gave to your courses. Got straight As in English, French, Law, and Physiology but are looking to apply to a Marine Biology program? That might make things harder for you. On top of nailing your grades, you will also need to nail your intention.

In addition to academic excellence, universities also value extracurricular activities and leadership experience. This can include participation in clubs, sports teams, volunteering, or other activities that demonstrate your commitment and leadership skills. Admissions committees want to see that you are well-rounded and have a passion for something outside of academics. Bonus points if this is also related to your future goals!

A group of girls at the beach volunteering to take care of a seal. Meant to illustrate what universities are looking for.

4. University application deadlines

The process of submitting all necessary documentation, including transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation, can cause significant anxiety. It’s crucial to keep track of all deadlines and ensure that all documents are submitted on time.

To manage this anxiety, you can use our Tasks tool. Here, you can include all the different deadlines for the different universities and the different scholarships and even some school events. Throw them in, and we will give you back a beautiful timeline that is easy to follow and achievable.

Multiple grandfather clocks. Meant to illustrate the pressure of university applications and high school deadlines.

What are universities looking for?

Universities look for a combination of academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, personal qualities, and strong recommendations. By highlighting these qualities in your application, you can increase your chances of being accepted to the university of your choice.

It is important to keep track of all of your deadlines, start planning from early on as Grade 9 and focus on classes and extracurriculars that will allow you to develop the right skills.

The application process needs to work like clockwork, taking action with the right intention in mind, making the pieces fall into place and keeping time in mind. Let us help you through this daunting and exciting process to ensure we cover all basis just at the right time. Book a free consultation here to learn about the next steps you should take!

Bonus Points

  • Make a list of your top 3 universities
  • Read this blog about deep focus and how to meet your deadlines!

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