5 months ago
Admissions Advice

Important questions for top 10 school-

1) How do I improve my extracurricular activities in a fun way? Italy does not have that much to offer. I don't like sports that much, it is nearly impossible to create a club and I don't know whether volunteering is boring or not.

2) Do admissions officers count GPA for Italian people? Some of the professors never give votes higher than an 8 for example even if you ace every question and score perfectly.

3 How much does a 115+ TOEFL score boost my chances of getting into a top 10 school. Does it boost it at all?

Thank you for the consideration.

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3 answers

5 months ago[edited]

1. First of all you are asking the wrong question. EC's are not supposed to be fun. They are supposed to show that you are a serious, passionate, and compassionate human being that is multi-faceted and capable of doing great things outside of the traditional classroom. Perhaps if you are a famous club DJ and have 1 million followers that's fun, but most DJs with 1 million followers are not applying to Top 10 colleges in the US.

Italy is one of the richest countries on the entire planet, the birthplace of the Rennaisance, the Center of the Catholic church, the origin of Financial Markets and banking, the epicenter of food, wine, fashion, art, sculpture, architecture, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis, organized Crime (Mafia), Italian League Football and Federico Fellini and you are actually stating that Italy doesn't have that much to offer. Again, you don't seem to appreciate your country. If Italy sucks, why do so many sophisticated, educated, eccentric, successful Americans and other Europeans and Asians flock to Italy every chance they get?

In order to get accepted into a Top 10 college or even let's say for argument's sake a Top 40 college these days, you have to be something special that the other applicants are not. If there are 60,000 applicants (10,000 Intl applicants) and the acceptance rate is 4%, then 57600 applicants will get rejected.

The ones that get in have done amazing things besides getting excellent grades and test scores. Some have written books, started multi-million dollar businesses, volunteered 500 hours to help their community prosper, have nursed their sick mother with stage 4 cancer while working 3 part-time jobs, have made the Olympic team, have helped 10,000 people get registered to vote, have won no less than 50 medals for their musical performances, or are Principals in a Ballet company.

You have to change your notion of what an EC is. It's not about what is easy and fun for you to do. It's about challenging yourself every single day to be your best version of yourself as a human being. I don't think you understand that that is the most important thing a Top college is looking for. If you are not going to be a great human being, and give back to society, you will not give them much of a reason for educating you and you will not be leading others to do the same and not be future donors or benefactors of the institution.

Top Private American colleges are businesses, and they all make very complicated calculations to determine who are the very best applicants to hire for 4 years that will benefit them the most in the future. If you are only wanting to attend a Top 10 college for yourself, they will see that a mile away, and pay you no mind.

2. All American Top 10 Universities have admissions officers that specializing in translating Italian secondary school transcripts into their usable scales. My recommendation to you is to have as many "Ottimo" 9.0-10.0s as possible, mostly "Distinto" grades 8.00-8.99, and Very few Buonos 7.00-7.99. You want as close to an 8 Average on your transcript if you are applying to the Top 10 colleges because the rest of Americans and other international students have Perfect GPAS or near Perfect GPAs.

3. If you have a 115+ TOEFL score to report, you will satisfy the English proficiency requirement however you will not get rewarded extra for having a good English score, since Top 10 colleges which are ranked highest among the 4300 colleges, expect all Intl students to be excellent in English. Perhaps you get a boost if you apply to a Top 200 college, I'm not sure.

5 months ago

1.) You could look for online opportunities. ECs don't HAVE to be through your school; you can do ECs by yourself, with a group of friends/family, with a church youth group, etc. I do several service projects through my church. I take private piano/cello lessons. I perform in string ensembles with my siblings and friends. None of those activities are/were through my school.

2.) I don't know

3.) I don't know

5 months ago

In terms of activities, here's what the admission officer's are tired of hearing. Volunteering, starting a club or an NGO and then not doing anything about and just being a team member. The way I see it is that Italy has a lot to offer. One aspect is its food and culture. Integrate that into an activity and that can help a ton in your application. Maybe starting a weekend food stall that you can earn money from and promote Italian cuisines/drinks? Perhaps, filming that process too to showcase your skills and creativity.


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