Every year, IECA (the Independent Educational Consultants Association) polls its member consultants to ask them what they have observed to be the trends in college admissions. After the data is collected, the list of The Top 10 Things Colleges are Looking for in Their Applications is published. Annually, without exception, the most important piece of an student's application is their transcript - how well have they done, and how challenging has their course load been. Further down the list fall standardized test scores and extracurricular activities. To read the entire list, go to http://www.iecaonline.com/PDF/IECA_CollegeTopTenList.pdf.