Skip to main content

Make Your Mark

What's Your Mark?

Colleges and universities are looking to admit students that enrich and provide a diverse make-up on their campus.  Although grades are important, colleges tend to look at the holistic student when making their admissions decisions.  At New Tech High, the portfolio can be a launching point for displaying what makes you "unique" as a student.  For students that take their portfolio serious, they have seen the reward.  A recent grad used their portfolio to help secure admission into a prestigious design school.  Another recent grad continued to use their portfolio in college and landed a top notch internship in Los Angeles with it. 

In working with college admissions offices, we know that a fully immersive project-based learning environment is rare.  It is vital for students to articulate and display the quality and depth of their real-world work in their applications.  Colleges want to know, "What mark have you left and what mark will you leave on their school?"

Extracurricular Involvement

New Tech High students are able to participate in a plethora of extracurricular activities on-campus, at their neighborhood high school, and even outside in the community.  Colleges want to see students that are passionate about the activities they are involved in.  There is no magic formula for what extracurricular involvement matters to a school.  Some students choose to invest in a wide variety of opportunities, while some take a deep dive into one activity only.  One is not better than the other; however the alternative of doing nothing will not help you.

When it comes to community service, students should accurately log their involvement in X2VOL.  This will allow them to have a running record for when they need to update their resumes or fill out a college application.  Remembering what you have done for the last four years can be tricky, so we advise students take advantage of tracking their involvement.

Arts and Athletics

Some students may be interested in the athletic recruitment process. Students should talk with their respective coaches and the counseling office about what the pathway to playing college level sports looks like.

New Tech High has many students that are talented in the arts.  Each school has a varying pathway to entrance in their programs.  Students should check the submission and timeline requirements for each individual school. Most schools will require some sort of portfolio submission or audition process.

Family Legacy

Most schools will ask if your parents or siblings attended the college. Children of alumni, often called "legacies," often have some sort of an admissions advantage. At some schools, legacies are given an extra boost only during the early decision period. If you are a legacy applicant, ask the admissions officer if the school takes legacy status into account during the admissions process.

Why Should They Accept You?

Because colleges want to admit students who are likely to enroll, a growing number of admission offices now take account of how well informed and serious a candidate is about the school. When a choice has to be made between two equally qualified applicants, your interest can provide the necessary edge.

How can you show you're interested in a school? Starting in junior year:

  • Go to the school’s website and sign up to be on their mailing list.
  • If the school sends you email, open it—and click on one or two of the links in the body of the email.
  • Chat with admissions representatives who visit NTHS.
  • Send your admissions representative thoughtful questions via email about academics, housing options, extracurriculars, and campus life. “Thoughtful” questions are those that seek information that cannot be found on the college’s website. But please do not flood your admissions representative’s inbox with emails— don’t send more than one email every other month.
  • Visit the campus, if possible
  • Set up an interview if they are offered.
  • Send thank you notes after tours, interviews, and meetings.

Please note that not all colleges track demonstrated interest. Neither large public institutions nor most of the most highly selective research universities in the US have the resources or desire to consider this as a factor in reviewing applications.