An (often) Overlooked Part of College Applications

Applying to College, Building Your College List, Miscellaneous

As a college applicant, you will probably spend hours pouring over your essays and your apps, making lists of requirements and deadlines and studying diligently for tests. After all, you want to make sure everything you present to the colleges is as strong as it can be.

But did you know that there is one important component of your application that you actually have no control over? Something that is often scrutinized by college admissions officers before they make a decision about your future? I’m not talking about the teacher recommendations – most students (hopefully) know they may never get a chance to read what their teachers say about them.

I’m talking about a lesser known item called a School Profile. This is a 1-2 page document put together by your high school and usually sent to the colleges you apply to. It is designed to give context in which to understand a student’s transcript – and the information included on your School Profile could impact the way admissions officers view your academic record.

When I was a school-based college advisor, I was the one who created and sent out the School Profile, but I never had any students or parents ask to see it. Yesterday, there was a very thoughtful article published in Forbes that I feel is worth sharing – it explains the School Profile in detail and how the information in it may play a role in the college admissions decision. The author also recommends that parents and students ask for a copy of the School Profile, along with their transcript, to see if the information included is clear and informative. While I don’t suggest that you begin harassing your poor school counselor, I do think it’s a great idea to check out your School Profile, and then compare it with your transcript, to get a sense of the context in which your academic record will be evaluated. This can help you better understand where you stand as an applicant as you build your college list.

To learn more about School Profiles, read the Forbes article here.