Raftrey College Advising






2225 E Bayshore Road #236

Palo Alto, CA 94303


What All Colleges Look For

  • Strength of class schedule is where colleges look first. Challenge yourself, but don’t burden yourself. Match strength of schedule to the selectivity of your schools.
  • Top grades in academic subjects are the key to admission. Your real GPA is your un-weighted GPA.
  • Although very important, test scores generally rank below grades. You can’t coast through classes and make up for it with a high SAT score.
  • Essays are especially important if you are on the borderline of being admitted or if you are applying to a selective school that is building a diversified class.

What Small & Medium Colleges Want

  • To know who you are before you apply.
  • Recruited athletes for up to 20% of their class.
  • A portion of students who don’t need financial aid.
  • To admit a good portion of their class during Early Decision. (Many, not all)

What You Can Do To Help Yourself

  • Be realistic when you build your college list. Harvard rejects hundreds of class valedictorians. Stanford rejects over 5,000 students with 800 Math SAT’s.
  • Allow time for up to five re-writes of your essays.
  • If you had a personal tragedy that affected your grades, make sure your high school counselor knows.
  • If you don’t know where to find a small school, check out “Colleges That Change Lives,” ctcl.org.
  • If you want to go to grad school make sure you attend a college where you can get A’s.



Thinking About College

John's Blog From the Palo Alto Weekly Online

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