What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

HYPMS - How Important Are Extracurriculars?

Aspiring HYPMS applicant here! 🔥 I know GPA and test scores are super important, but I've heard that extracurriculars can be dealbreakers too. What kind of ECs do these schools typically look for? How can I strengthen my candidacy outside of academics?

7 months ago

You're right, extracurriculars are indeed important for HYPMS (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford) candidates. While GPA and test scores demonstrate your academic abilities, top colleges like HYPMS want to see that you're passionate about something outside of your studies and have achieved a high level of accomplishment or leadership in that area. This is often known as a "spike." So, a well-developed specialty, rather than just being well-rounded, can increase your chances. It's better to be highly involved in a few activities that showcase your interests and skills than to have a laundry list of generic extracurriculars.

Top colleges typically value extracurriculars in a hierarchy known as the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars. They range from rare, national/international-level achievements (Tier 1) to general club/sports/musical membership and volunteering (Tier 4). Focus on developing your interests and passions into strong, meaningful activities that fall into Tier 1 or Tier 2. By demonstrating exceptional achievement or leadership in your chosen area, you will bolster your application and become a more attractive candidate to the HYPMS admissions committees.

7 months ago

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