Average grades at one time meant that you would get accepted only into the average college. Top colleges were reserved only for the elite. Now, it seems as though no college is off limits to the average student if they know how to properly market themselves and prepare. Getting into a top college with average grades is not especially easy, but it is highly possible if you are willing to put in the effort and time to do so.
The first thing is to take the right classes. Where colleges are concerned, an average grade in a tough course is better than a top score in a average course. They want to see that you are challenging yourself. Do not take easy courses and think that it will pad your GPA and get you into a top college. Certainly it is okay to take a handful of these, but by and large you want to challenge your mind. This will prepare you for the college education you are looking to gain as well as make you more attractive to the top colleges.
Next, you need to concentrate on an extracurricular activity of some sort. It might be the school newspaper, yearbook, student office, or even a sport. Whatever the case, it is vital that you have some social specialties to put on your application. Many students will shoot wide with this and join everything. This is fine if you are truly good at them all. If not, you are just setting yourself up. Find a few things you are genuinely good at, and stick with them.
Prepare yourself before you visit the school. When you go for your visit, it will be your first impression. The last thing you want is to appear indifferent to the people that might invite you to attend. Go in with some intelligent, well thought out questions that are not your average questions. Avoid asking questions that you should already know the answers to. This time should be for you showing that you are a cut above, and not the everyday student.
When you apply to the school, take advantage of every opportunity. That is right. Every single question or request in an application package is an opportunity for you to show them that you are a good fit for their school and someone they should pursue. If there is an essay, knock it out of the park. Take your time and make it the best essay of all time. Do not just type something out in one evening and think that it is good enough. Have friends, family, and teachers read it and critique. Fine tune it to as near perfection as possible. When it asks for recommendations, stick to those you worked for or learned from. A recommendation from Mom is not going to mean much, no matter how true it might be.
Shoot a wider net when considering schools. Many high school students do not look outside their own cities or states. Look at schools anywhere and everywhere. Many schools are looking specifically for students from other states. In some cases, this is even true of other countries. The learning opportunities are limitless when you widen your college boundaries. This is the biggest key to getting into a top college with average grades.
Getting into a top college with average grades is all about the packaging. If you show your talents well, and present yourself as more than just a GPA, then the colleges will take notice. It is very important to score great grades, but you must do more than just that. This becomes even more important in those situations where you are an average grade student. You must be great at something. Find that skill, and show it off. Do not accept rejection the first, second, or even third time. Perseverance is the key to getting into a top college with average grades as well.