Searching for the right school

November 18, 2016

It is also important to look and apply to a variety of schools, ranging from different acceptance rates, sizes, and areas. “It’s a really fun process, let it be fun. It can be a little bit daunting and scary, navigating an ambiguous place,” Kremer said. “Know that there are a lot of people like myself and people that work in admissions offices across the country that are waiting and ready to accept any questions that you have.”

Iowa State University Director of Admissions Operations and Policy Phil Caffrey also shares some of the things a public research school looks for in high school students. “At a university like Iowa State, I think one thing that makes our university different from a lot of other schools, is that our admission requirements are extremely transparent, and they’re extremely objective,” Caffrey said. “We basically state out there to the public, ‘if you meet these requirements, you will be admitted.'” Iowa State uses the Regent Admissions Index (RAI) formula to determine what students are admitted by looking at their ACT/SAT scores, number of core courses, class rank and GPA. “There’s nothing subjective about our admissions requirements.” Caffrey said.

Caffrey explains that the RAI score of students is what Iowa State admissions officers primarily look at when admitting students. “While we would love to take in what kinds of extracurricular activities they have been involved in, what kinds of leadership roles they have held in their own school system or out in the community,” Caffrey said. “The reality is it really just boils down to the RAI score.”

Though the RAI score is the main admission form at Iowa State, students who hold leadership positions are still looked upon highly by different schools. “All colleges and universities are going to want to enroll students who are going to be very engaged and active within their campus.” Caffrey said. Caffrey tells that research has shown that high school students who hold a leadership position are more likely to be involved and engaged in college. “Students who are really engaged and connected on campus have a significantly greater chance graduating from the university than the students who don’t get involved,” Caffrey said.

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