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)

Making colleges notice you

Hey guys! I'm just wondering what students can do to get colleges' attention. I'm interested in applying to some competitive schools, but I'm not sure what I should be doing to stand out from the crowd.

6 months ago

This is a good goal you have. It's important to focus on both academics and extracurricular activities to stand out in the college admissions process. Here are some strategies to help you grab the attention of competitive colleges:

I. Academic Excellence: Focus on maintaining high grades and taking challenging, rigorous courses like Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or honors classes. These show colleges that you can handle a strenuous academic workload. Also, prepare well for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.

II. Extracurricular Activities: Instead of participating in a multitude of extracurriculars, try to focus on a few that interest you the most and aim for leadership positions or notable achievements in them. Colleges are more interested in students who excel in a few areas (having a spike) rather than those who are well-rounded in numerous activities.

III. Tiers of Extracurriculars: Aim for Tier 1 or Tier 2 extracurricular activities, which demonstrate exceptional achievement or leadership at the national or international level (Tier 1) or significant achievement and leadership (Tier 2). These activities can significantly differentiate you from other applicants.

IV. Compelling Essays: College essays give you an opportunity to showcase your personality, passions, and unique perspectives. Avoid cliché topics, and instead, choose a subject that genuinely reflects your experiences and aspirations. A well-crafted, engaging essay can make a huge impression on the admissions committee.

V. Letters of Recommendation: Request letters from teachers, counselors, or other individuals who know you well and can vouch for your academic abilities, character, and potential. Strong recommendations can help you stand out from other applicants.

VI. Early Decision/Action: Applying to schools via Early Decision or Early Action can increase your chances of admission. Colleges appreciate students showing strong interest and commitment by applying early.

VII. Networking & Outreach: Attend college fairs, tours, and information sessions to learn more about the institutions you're interested in. Reach out to current students, alumni, or professors to gain insight into the school culture and programs. Demonstrating genuine interest can impact an admissions decision.

Remember that standing out in the college admissions process often requires a combination of factors like strong academics, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities. Focus on what makes you unique and what you're passionate about, and put your best foot forward in your applications. Good luck!

6 months ago

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