Hi I’m in 9th grade and I want to get into Harvard but I have quite a problem. My school is very limited, it only offers two APs and has very limited extracurricular opportunities. I know that taking rigorous courses and having extracurriculars are vital to getting into an Ivy. What should I do to increase my chance of getting into Harvard?
Well, first off, colleges look at your coursework based on the resources available at your high school. If there aren’t many AP’s offered, that won’t be held against you. Just be sure to make it known on your application that you attend a small school with limited classes available. As for anyone who is reading this post who attends a large school with lots of AP’s offered, admissions officers do expect you to take advantage of them. My school offers around 20 AP’s, and I plan to take 12 of them. No matter what the size of your school is, all that colleges care about is that you make the most of what you have.
As for extracurriculars, you aren’t just limited to school clubs and teams. There’s a lot more that you can do outside of your academic schedule, like getting a job or starting a club sport. You can also find internships or summer programs to apply to. You could start a business or a blog, or accomplish something, like writing a book. Also, colleges care about quality, not quantity. Whatever extracurriculars you do choose to do, they should reflect your interests. If you want to be a fashion designer, you should consider a job that involves clothes. Everything about the activities you do should make sense and reflect you as a person. Admissions officers should be able to tell what your interests are without being outright told. Your chances are better with just a few exceptional extracurriculars rather many ordinary ones. I wish you the best of luck finding something to do after school!
You should start looking into opportunities outside the school.
1) Self-study AP exams
2) Do really well in the SAT or ACT to show your abilities
3) Take online courses and mention that in the application (Harvard allows you to put a certain number of links to online courses certificates on the common app)
4) Do major-specific activities (ex: help a professor doing research in your intended major)
1) Find internships and job opportunities from external sources
2) Enter online competitions
3) Form groups or communities that give a service (ex: start a community that strives to help the environment in your area)
4) Start something ( a business, a youtube channel, a blog, an educational account on social media) that makes a difference, show your interest in supporting yourself for college expenses, or both
5) Explore the possibility of starting something in your school
6) Start a hobby or a sport and develop it
8) Do creative or academic work (independent research, write a book, make serious art) that can be published or shared
Even if your school might have limited opportunities, that's a room to show Ivy leagues how you made an initiative.
For instance, it might be worth creating or arranging a cleaning event in your community than being a debate captain whose name number of club members decreased a lot on his/her reign.
Ivies value community services, therefore cultivate it.
Again, you seek for international opportunities like becoming an International Model United Nations Ambassador in your community, which comes with 5 weeks internship that is free of charge.
I believe you still have a room for development.
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