Applying to a top college requires a lot of research, planning and work. You want to project your best and systematically work towards that for many months (or years). In addition to this, it’s also helpful to know what Admission Committee’s normally look for, in an application.

It goes without saying that each college follows it’s own criteria, but few trends have emerged over the years:

The 1st step involves reading and evaluating your Personal Profile and comparing it with other profiles. At this stage, the admissions board is (normally) not looking for a particular experience / profile, and there are no right or wrong answers. Your profile will be assessed against their own criteria, which may even differ from course to course – within the same college.

Engagement and accomplishment

  • How do you pursue your interests and manage your responsibilities?
  • What do you do with your time when you are not in class?
  • What would you (or others in your community) consider your most significant contributions and accomplishments?

Whether it’s winning an international award or taking care of a younger sibling, any experience can teach you something about yourself and the world around you. Admission committee’s want to know what you have been doing and what have you have learned from your experiences…and specific examples always help.


Have you undertaken responsibilities and activities that have benefited those around you or contributed to your community in a meaningful way? If so, what have you learned about yourself and others in the process? Leadership can come in many forms. Any act of responsibility or initiative that serves others, is a form of leadership., and can be demonstrated in a formal role, within a group (e.g., being president of a club or captain of a team), or in an informal role, as an individual (e.g., taking it upon yourself to help in your community). And remember – it’s not just about being in a leadership role, it’s about what leadership has taught you.


Have you spent sufficient time reflecting upon what you want to say in your application? Have you answered the questions in a detailed and meaningful way? Is the content of your Personal Profile superficial or clichéd, or are you presenting interesting, well-thought-out, and relevant ideas? Remember that trained readers will be reviewing and comparing thousands of Personal Profiles. The best way to stand out is by making sure you have something meaningful and insightful to say.


Communication is important. Have you written a Personal Profile that is genuine and unique to who you are? Does your profile authentically reflect your own words? Will your voice stand out in a meaningful way, or will your profile read like many others?

Remember, the reason that colleges ask for information about your activities outside class is because they want to understand you as person, and do not see you just as a sum of your academic scores. So, give it the time it deserves.

 If you’re thinking about applying to the best universities in the world, we’ll be happy to partner you on this journey. Connect with us today !