2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is it possible to get into an Ivy League with these extracurriculars?

These are my extracurriculars so far (sophomore year), I haven't taken the SAT or ACT but my GPA is 3.7

- STEAM Academy; 1 year (joined this year too)

- Editing (hobbies); 4 years

- DJ Light assistant; employment; 4 years

- Tutoring; employment; 2 years

- Student council; member; 1 year (also doing it next year)

- GWC; 2 week summer program- requires application

- MOMS; community service club; 1 year

- Gov STEM Scholars; 1 year

Is there anything more significant that I can do to increase my chances??

@afarley2 years ago

What are you planning on majoring in and what is your course load like? What APs are you taking and what is your GPA? Are you in leadership positions in any of you extracurriculars? To determine your chances at an Ivy league you need to look at academics and extracurriculars.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@julylilys2 years ago

I'm planning to major in computer science!! I'm going to be a junior next fall and I'll be taking 5 honor classes in total, no AP classes. My school only offers 9 AP classes so hopefully by senior year, I'll take 3 AP classes.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

The short answer is: yes, and no. The longer answer is that Ivy League schools, just like every other school in the country, do not have a magical formula of GPA, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, or anything that will get you in. This is the first trap of high-school students who want to shoot for the stars: despite what anyone might tell you, just because it worked for someone in the past, doesn't mean it will work for you, and just because it didn't work for someone in the past, doesn't mean it can't work for you. I have been both rejected and accepted by Ivy Schools, the fact is that no one knows what will work: I had people in my graduating class who were denied by UofI going to Duke on a full scholarship, others who were rejected by Wisconsin-Madison who are going to Brown.

If you want a truthful answer of how to significantly increase your chances of getting into your dream school, I'd suggest to immediately abandon the idea that there is a "formula" that can build your application to guarantee a spot in the Ivys. Rather, I'd even suggest cutting some of your existing extra-curriculars and only focus on the ones you are truly passionate about.

If you want evidence that isn't anecdotal, I'll explain it this way: Colleges in the past few years have been shifting away from preferencing the "well-rounded jack of all trades" student, more towards students with a "spike." It doesn't matter if you can do everything, because when you graduate from college, you are not going to be a photo-editing, part-time DJ, teacher who also has a hand in government while running a homeless shelter and handling a STEM career all at once. Rather, colleges are looking for students who are able to hone into specific activities and become the absolute best in them. They aren't looking for well-rounded students, rather a well-rounded class. (I have a friend whose sophomore extra-curricular list looked much like yours. Junior year, he quit all of them except Model UN and solely focused his time on that, eventually organizing his own conference and raising 17,000+ dollars for a non-profit... he was accepted to two Ivys.)

In the end, the only thing you can do is to work hard during your high-school years, so that when you turn in your final application to your dream school you can say with confidence that there is nothing better you could have done -- truth be told, even if you are rejected, it would hurt less knowing you literally gave it everything you had. If anything, spending time that could be used towards mastering more useful skills is much more productive than researching tirelessly online trying to find the "magic answer" that will get you in anywhere. College admissions are as brutal as they are sometimes random. Try your best because, in the end, that's all you can do.

2 years ago

I totally agree with @whynir. Ivies are random and don't count on getting admitted to Ivies but try top tier public schools a great resource would be US News top public school list. With the wisdom of applying to only 2-4 reach schools and 4 target and 2 safeties no matter what ivies are a reach. However if you want to do your best to go to ivies is that you have a spike as whynir suggested.

My ancedote is from my mom who read about a 3.3/4.0 gpa student be accepted to Harvard because of his extreme community involvement. But they do look for passion/spike but also want you to not just have a spike rather a spike with add sons. Like my spike is my youth groups student board but I am also a high level debater. You need to have passion and be invested in what you do and preferably tie it in to your major.

2 years ago

With these extracurriculars, you qualify for an Ivy League School. To significantly increase tour chances, make sure to do well during the next 2 years in high school, get strong ACT/SAT scores, and make sure to pursue your passions and extracurriculars related to your planned major. I hope this helps! Stay safe and stay healthy!


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