The “Ideal Student” – How to Maximize the Potential of Your University Applications


Just as students search for their dream school, universities are also on the lookout for their ideal prospective student. When you submit your post-secondary applications, not only are you showcasing your grades and academic standing, but you are also showcasing who you are on a more personal level. So, what are universities looking for in a student, anyway?

Potential for Growth

One of the most important traits that schools look for in a student is their potential for growth. Are you stretching yourself? Trying new things? Challenging yourself? All of these factors can influence whether an institution will see you as a student who will enrich its student body. Some ways you can work on this may be by starting your own club at school, tutoring your peers, or running for student council.

Commitment and Well-Roundedness

Another factor that post-secondary institutions will take into consideration is a student’s out-of-school engagements. Do you have any passions? Do you take part in sports, volunteer, or have a part-time job/other obligations? How you spend your time outside of school tells universities how well you commit, and you can boost your appeal to these institutions by engaging in extracurriculars that you enjoy and are passionate about.

Personal Qualities

In addition, post-secondary institutions want to know that they are accepting someone who is determined, curious, and enthusiastic about the school and their chosen program. These are just a few qualities that a university will take interest in, so it is important to let your personality shine through in your personal profile and written supplements. Of course, you should keep your writing clear and grammatically correct, but be sure to express yourself within your answers and show that you are more than just words on a page.

Remember, the individuals reviewing your application understand you are a high school student, whose current life experiences may be limited, especially throughout the last year and a half of the Covid-19 pandemic. Focus on highlighting what you’re proud of and reflecting on what matters to you, and your character will shine through. If you need some additional guidance, you can contact our office to make an appointment with a writing coach.

We help you navigate the complex post-secondary selection process in Canada, the United States, the UK and abroad.

We construct progressive action plans for the future, based on each student’s individual strengths, values, and interests.