How do admissions officers choose among applicants who are on the bubble?

As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the experts. Here are their answers.
Bill Pruden Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

“On the bubble” can mean two very different things in the college admissions process, It can mean that a student is marginally qualified, in which case a year at a junior or community college or even a post graduate year at a secondary school can help demonstrate both one’s commitment to improving and pursuing further education as well as greater readiness for the college experience. If “on the bubble” means fighting for one of the last available spots in the entering class, then it is less about the student than about the school seeking to determine who will best fill its institutional needs. A selective school has the luxury of selecting a single applicant from a number of qualified ones and so they have a responsibility to make sure that certain talents and certain demographic needs are met. In that situation there is not much the applicant can do.

Zahir Robb College Counselor The Right Fit College

This is where the “less important” factors of the applicant come into play. For example, demonstrated interest can help sway those admissions decisions in your favor. If they are selecting between you and another bubble candidate, your campus visit, meeting with an admissions officer at a college fair or registration for the campus admissions mailer, can push you over the edge. Maximize your chances for admission by building up relevant reasons for a college to choose you and it may move you from on the bubble to admitted.

Michael Puccio President/Advisor/Life Coach Future First Advisors, LLC

My experiences with admissions officers who are reviewing “on the bubble” applicants have typically been very positive – as long as the applicant is showing that they are trying to make improvement and are invested in furthering their education. Don’t just send in the paperwork and cross your fingers; take an active approach to the application process by requesting an interview with an admissions officer. Teachers and/or guidance counselors will vouch for you in a shining letter of recommendation if you have proven to them that you are trying. And, of course, a high school transcript that shows improvement in academics and an attempt at taking more challenging classes will only help you.

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