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The 5280 College Admissions Test

College admissions deadlines begin November 1. How well do you know what it takes to matriculate? 

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For most of us, October is a time to relax after summer road trips and before the holidays begin. For high school seniors, though, it’s time to start sweating. And filling out forms. Those seeking early admissions to some of Colorado’s more than 20 public and private nonprofit campuses face a November 1 deadline. Assess your knowledge about the Colorado application process with this 5280 admissions test.


1. If you’ve earned a 3.0 GPA and scored 21 on the ACT, your chances of getting into Colorado State University are:

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A. Good
B. Average
C. Poor

Answer: C. The Colorado Department of Higher Education calculates an “index score” based on GPA or high school rank and test scores (ACT or SAT), and the higher your score, the better. Each school sets a different index score requirement that freshmen must meet. At CSU, that’s 101. A GPA of 3.0 and ACT of 21 net you a score of 96. That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get in, but it’s a longer shot.


2. True or False: Calculus is required to get into Colorado School of Mines.

A. True
B. False

Answer: False. Trigonometry, geometry, and two years of algebra are required, though Mines prefers that students applying to the engineering-focused school take pre-calculus or calculus.

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3. True or False: You must remove your hard contact lenses for 21 days or soft contact lenses for three days before taking the Air Force Academy’s medical examination.

A. True
B. False

Answer: True. Seriously. Contacts—even soft lenses—affect unaided vision. And depending on your career goals (pilot versus ground crew, for instance), the Air Force requires a pretty high standard of vision without glasses or contacts.


4. True or False: The application process at Colorado Christian University requires proof of your spirituality.

A. True
B. False

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Answer: True. Colorado Christian University requires a recommendation from a pastor or spiritual mentor who “can speak to the applicant’s Christian testimony and growth.”


5. The top out-of-state school for 2013 Colorado high school grads was:

A. University of Nebraska
B. Arizona State University
C. Brigham Young University
D. University of Wyoming

Answer: D. Three hundred and forty-seven Coloradans became Cowboys.


6. True or False: Athletes don’t have to meet admissions standards for grades and test scores at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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A. True
B. False

Answer: True. Ish. CU’s admissions department considers 17 factors when assessing applications, with grades and test scores among them. CU must show that 86 percent of students admitted meet the state school’s minimum index score, based on grades and test scores. But 14 percent may fall below that score when other things—such as superb three-point shooting ability or a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash—are considered.


7. Which of the following might improve your chances of being accepted to the University of Colorado Boulder?

A. Being a first-generation college student
B. Being a veteran
C. Being a skilled performing artist
D. All of the above

Answer: D. CU considers a host of factors for admission, including whether an applicant is a first-generation college student, a veteran, or a performing artist.

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8. True or False: Metropolitan State University of Denver doesn’t require essays from its applicants.

A. True
B. False

Answer: True. Metro has a modified open enrollment in which students 20 and older with a high school diploma or GED aren’t even required to take the ACT or SAT. Test scores are required for applicants 19 or younger (unless they have a GED). But no essays are needed from anyone.

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