Preparing for Liberal Arts College
If you are considering applying directly from high school to a liberal arts college, your post-secondary planning process should begin early. Liberal arts colleges--or particular programs within an institution--can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Your area of interest will determine what you should take. If you are considering pursuing a Bachelor of Science, you should be sure to have courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools that make your list. Communication skills are always important, in virtually every field, so don't forget your English! In general, English and math are the most-often required courses for all fields of college and university study. If you are going into a liberal arts program for a Bachelor of Arts, then go for breadth: take courses across the curriculum in social science, science, humanities and creative arts. Find out what the university or college's policy is on pre-requisites, because if you are missing a required course, some institutions will offer specific courses to help you complete what's needed.
Taking the required courses, though, isn't necessarily enough: you should also be sure to keep your grades up. Most liberal arts colleges in the US have a minimum cut-off average for general admission. This required GPA varies according to the school you are applying to. Quota or other highly competitive institutions and/or programs may require a competitive GPA of up to 85%. The competitive GPA can change from year to year as it is based on the quality of the applicant pool and space available in the specific program.
In addition to your academics, there are several additional things you can do to prepare for success in your application to a liberal arts college:
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