How to Score an A+ with College Admissions Officers

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Be a Triple Threat: Combine Academics, Activities and Community Service

(ARA) - "How can I improve my chances of getting into the college of my choice?" That's a question that college admissions officers hear frequently. It?s a good question since competition toughens each year as the number of college applications continue to climb. Admissions officers consider many factors when selecting members of each new freshman class. Good grades will get a student's foot in the door, but a strong mix of athletics, extracurricular activities and community service will help them get through the doorway. Colleges want students who can succeed in and out of the classroom.

With this in mind, many high school educators are focusing on communicating how important it is to become a well-rounded student who shows a passion for the triple '"S" -- scholarship, sports and service. In some cases, administrators are partnering with organizations and companies that promote extracurricular activities and reward students for their efforts via national recognition programs. In fact, a growing number of scholarships are given to students based on their overall achievements rather than strictly on academics or sports.

According to ACT (American College Testing) chief executive officer, Richard L. Ferguson, the Wendy?s High School Heisman (WHSH) award exemplifies an honor that specifically recognizes a senior male and female each year who both excel not only in the classroom and in the field of play, but also in their community. By answering the questions on the WHSH application, students gain a sense of what college admissions officers look for.

"When teachers get involved right away, students begin the process of cultivating relationships with faculty and other students," says Ferguson. "In doing this, students gain fundamental skills such as leadership and the importance of giving back to the community. This is why many high schools now require some form of service learning to graduate."

In the 10 years the Wendy's award has been given, high school principals around the country have nominated nearly 100,000 seniors for this prestigious honor. Besides excelling in academics and athletics, Wendy's High School Heisman nominees have also held other notable positions including class president, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and led community drug-awareness programs.

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