Students (and parents) agonize over GPA's and test scores, activities and leadership resumes as they consider which colleges are likely to accept them. All of those factors are very important in admission decisions made by colleges and universities.
An overlooked factor is personality or how the student acts in the world. Is the student altruistic? Is the student a person who will contribute to campus life? Are the student's values consistent with some of the core values that the university seeks in a student?
Colleges gather an impression of a student through personal interactions with the admissions staff, student guides, alumni and recruiters at college fairs, on and off campus interviews and campus visits. They also begin to see who the student is through the thoughts, emotions and values expressed in the essays that the student writes. Additionally, some colleges get an impression of the student in relation to the student's web presence.
Because colleges like to accept students who will add their own uniqueness and diversity and also blend harmoniously with the existing student population, how do you think your student stacks up? It is a question worth considering in a sea of applications with similar GPA's, test scores and resumes. Make sure your student takes full advantage of opportunities for interaction with colleges. Help your student see that he can show, through his public presence, all that is unique and wonderful about him. Encourage your student to show the admissions staff what makes her the best candidate for her target colleges.