Erin-Elizabeth Purcell – Mustangs Ahead 

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Strong academics are obviously a vital part of a student’s application to college. But in today’s rigorous application process what else are colleges looking for beyond good grades and high GPAs?

LRHS college and career counselor Ricardo Acevedo said, “In the end colleges are looking for students to represent them and contribute to their reputation and success. Good grades are great but they don’t extend past your academic career. Leadership and community ties do, and colleges recognize and value that.”

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Many applicants see an increase in acceptance rates if they are more well-rounded and participate in activities or sports outside of school.

Additionally, many scholarships are offered for specific activities so the wider range of clubs and extracurriculars a student participates in increases the window of scholarships available to them.

“I have seen many students with higher Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), grade-point-average (GPA), and semester grades get beat out by someone with a lower average in these traditional academic measures due to the opposing student’s community participation. Universities these days seek students capable in areas beyond a classroom,” added Acevedo.