GRADES ARE #1
Grades are always the #1 thing colleges examine for admissibility. #2 is the rigor of courses you are enrolled in: college prep, honors and AP courses. If you are easily earning As in college prep courses, colleges expect you to move up. #3 are test scores (ACT or SAT). Are you scores consistent with your grades? A student with a 3.9 GPA and 550 SAT scores indicates a terrific work ethic that is overcompensating for average test scores. A student with 640 SAT scores and a 2.8 GPA is an underachiever: the test scores say the student is far more talented than the B average he or she is earning in high school. At most colleges, scores and GPA must be commensurate. Students with the high GPA and so-so test scores should consider test-optional colleges, and students with the B average & high test scores need to work on their grades as much as possible, especially senior year. Use collegeboard.org to see which colleges are a good match for you.