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Developing a College Application


Hi! I need some help based on how to strengthen my college application. I am looking to major in some form in engineering, here is a little about me.

school: stem based high school - engineering pathway, i take an engineering class and advanced math and science, concurrently enrolled with along my regular high school.

EC's: sci oly, math & science honor societies, model un, piano & singing (10+ years, rcm certification in piano), math tutor, i am doing clinical research internship this summer, taking EDX courses this summer, SCA, will have leadership in some of these clubs next year

future EC's: nhs, yearbook maybe, community service clubs, SCA

GPA: approx 4.3 but will go up

AP's (by the end of 12th): APWHM, Biology, APUSH, AP Lang, Psychology, Computer Science, BC Calculus, Physics C: Mechanics, AP Gov, Chemistry, APES, Statistics, Music Theory (maybe)

any tips on making my application more stronger, I intend to apply either chemical or bme engineering for undergrad. Thanks!

What grade are you in?
im in 10th right now, i take ap bio and apwh

3 answers

answered on

So unless you want to go to Ivies Id say you have a great chance at all public schools. The only thing I can think of is some form of retail/restaurant job to give non-club experience though that's kinda covered by the internship. Honestly, at most schools, I'm looking at I have 90%+ at top Midwest Public schools and you have me beat in most categories.

However as a sophomore look to take on responsibility in your clubs. Honestly, the only thing I see breaking your resume at top schools are ACT/SAT, essays or immaturity (ex have a 20 dollar bill on a paper application or have bad social media presence) The most room for growth is standardized tests and essays but as long as you get above a 28 ACT and have halfway decent essays you should have near 100% chance at top public schools.

answered on

I know a lot of colleges really want you to contribute something unique to their schools. So if you are especially passionate about engineering - or even other topics that are completely unrelated - make sure you express that especially in your essay!

Overall, you have little to strengthen. The only area I would say is GPA because the rest of your college app seems ivy level, but your gpa is a little low. If you do want ivy or a similar top school getting your GPA up to a 3.4 or 3.5 will make such a difference. Also make sure you do well on ACT/SAT bc that is so crucial and one of the biggest things colleges look at. But in general you have a very impressive college app already just make sure to keep your GPA up and do well on SAT/ACT!!!
answered on

The only big unknown on your profile right now is test scores, and given that we have no idea what SAT/ACT requirements will look like in two years (though I'd assume, after the pandemic ends, they'll settle back to where they were before). But if you're a sophomore about to enter junior year, now is the time to begin preparing for those exams. With the uncertainty involved right now, I wouldn't do any kind of prep course you need to pay for, but free ones like the SAT courses on khan academy would be an excellent use of any free time you have moving forward.

Secondarily, the next step for someone with as comprehensive a profile as yours is to have a few leadership experiences and positions throughout your clubs. You mentioned you'll have some next year, which is great—once you have them, make sure you actually use them. What I mean by that is that, by the time you actually apply to schools, you should be able to say something more than just "I was the President of X club." You'd ideally have specific initiatives or achievements you can point to and potentially write about on your application.

Beyond that, I would focus on practicing and improving your writing. If you're applying to very competitive schools (public or private), essays are going to be an extremely significant component of your applications. While you shouldn't start before your senior year (because the prompts for that year won't be released until then), don't underestimate their importance, and you can absolutely start looking at examples now.