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College Applications

Important Perspective for Chinese Students Applying to Top U.S. Colleges and Universities

March 07, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

As an increasing number of highly-accomplished Chinese students are applying to U.S. colleges and universities—particularly the Ivy League—it is important to understand the differences between Chinese and American educational systems, as well as some ways that Chinese students may improve their chances of getting admitted to U.S. universities.

Differences between Chinese and American Education Systems

In general, the Chinese education system emphasizes strict discipline, strong work ethic, repetition, recitation, and drilling. Rote learning and memorization are common. Chinese schools also follow strict standardized, national exams, which dictate the elementary, high school, and university that a student can attend. Thus, students work for countless hours memorizing information to prove themselves on these exams. 

What Do Colleges Care About Other Than Grades?

March 05, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Note: This is Blog 3 in a series of 3: First read: "What do college admissions committees care about the most?" and "Why do colleges look at the rigor of your high school transcript before anything else?"

Once colleges have finished looking at the rigor of your high school transcript and the grades you received (and usually recalibrating your GPA based on their own matrixes), most selective colleges then look at your high school context (meaning how difficult your high school is known to be), your high school class rank, and your standardized test scores.

Why do Colleges Look at the Rigor of Your High School Transcript Before Anything Else?

March 04, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Note: This is Blog 2 in a series of 3: First read: "What do college admissions committees care about the most?"

Colleges care about, first and foremost, your commitment and passion for learning. Your transcript tells them whether, and how much, you challenge yourself. They want to see that you'll push yourself.

What Do College Admissions Committees Care About the Most?

February 28, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

A common misconception is that colleges care most about applicants' SAT or ACT scores, grades, and class rank. It's not true.

Most selective colleges (57%) first look at the rigor of an applicant's high school transcript. They then look at the grades you received in your courses.