How do I strengthen my application, and create a “spike”, to help me get into Ivy League Schools?
I’m currently a sophomore at a public school. I have a 4.76 weighted GPA, and am expected to take 12 AP classes by the end of high school. My dream is to get into an Ivy League school, or ideally, Stanford. In order to get into a school like this, you must demonstrate extreme interest and involvement in a topic. I want to strengthen my application by showing my interest in the medical field, and science. I am currently a leader of “Club-Med” at my school, which is a club that allows students interested in the medical field to dive deeper into that topic. I’m planning on applying to research programs during my junior year, and emailing college professors about the opportunity to possibly shadow them during their research (a spot in either of these things are not guaranteed, which is what makes me nervous, since this would best help me stand out). I also want to volunteer at a hospital, and shadow a doctor. I am afraid this won’t be enough, considering most students that are accepted into Ivy Leagues do groundbreaking things like publish their own book or create their own business or nonprofit organization. Are their any things I can do (even during this quarantine) that will make my application stand out, and allow me to get into my dream school?
One thing is for sure: not every kid who gets into an Ivy does crazy things. The kids that publish books or create businesses are the obvious shoo-ins: they get to go to the school of their choice no matter what. We talk about them because we try our best to emulate them, but doing that is not easy. Your GPA is exceptional, as is you being a leader of a club as a sophomore. Research, hospital volunteering, and shadowing are three of the best ways to get experience in the medical field. I'd also recommend looking into volunteering for various medical nonprofits, like Alzheimer's Association or American Heart Association. You could also volunteer with the American Red Cross, who has many different forms of volunteers that can fit within your time frame. Furthermore, with technology playing such a huge role today, I'd also recommend joining/starting a tech club.
Additionally, your volunteering/activites doesn't strictly have to be medical. Sometimes, Ivies want a little diversity... if you're too narrow, they might worry you won't use their large course selection to your advantage because you just want a medical degree. Interships with a local politician is an excellent way to switch it up a little. I'd also recommend doing DECA/FBLA or starting a chapter in your school if it doesn't have one.
Best of luck with your journey... I hope you succeed!