Students who plan to attend college should carefully select their high school courses. Admissions requirements vary greatly among two-year community colleges, state universities, and private four-year colleges. Families are urged to carefully consider course selections for the remainder of their student’s high school career and keep in mind the following items as they build a four-year plan:

  1. Check the entrance requirements of all possible colleges a student is considering.
  2. Maximize options by taking more courses than just minimum requirements. Students should carry as rigorous a course load as possible, both in terms of the number of courses taken and the ability level offered.
  3. Review the high school subjects required of freshmen entering community college transfer programs and public universities set forth by the State of Illinois Board of Higher Education. At some universities, specific departmental requirements may vary.

Minimum Public College/University Requirements

Units Subject
4 English
3 Social Studies (emphasizing History and Government)
3 Mathematics (generally Math 1, Algebra, Geometry, & Advanced Algebra)
3 Science (Laboratory Sciences)
2 World Languages*, Music, Art or Vocational Education

*Some majors require 4 years of World Languages ot complete the degree.

College Admission Factors

The following represents the six most commonly considered factors used by college admissions officers when reviewing applications:

  1. High School Grades.  Grades are the most important factor because they are used to compute grade point average.
  2. Standardized Test Results.  This includes tests administered by the College Board (SAT & SAT Subject Tests), and the American College Testing Program (ACT).  Each college determines the required tests.
  3. Courses completed in high school and their level of rigor.
  4. Participation and/or leadership in school, community and volunteer activities (including employment).
  5. Counselor and teacher recommendations.
  6. Personal factors.  This may include qualities such as motivation, enthusiasm for learning, social adjustment, emotional maturity, sense of integrity and responsibility and special aptitudes and skills.