how can I be a more competitive applicant as a homeschool student?
I am currently a junior in high school and I am about to start applying to colleges this winter. I am homeschooled and also en-rolled in a dual enrollment program where I will earn an associates degree/graduate with 60 college credits. I have a strong GPA and strong grades. I have yet to take the SAT so I can't make a statement about that. Because I am carrying a lot of classes that take up a large amount of my time- I haven't been involved in a lot of extra curriculars. I am not looking to be Ivy League amazing but I am considering applying to some lower acceptance schools (Northeastern, UC Berkley, Boston U. ) My question is how can I create my application to be competitive with other applicants? I have limited resources when it comes to clubs and opportunities. I have volunteer hours and will have more before I apply. Thank you!
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So some ECs that I think are great are making a blog (preferably about your major) and if you update it weekly it shows dedication which is not just a throwaway EC where you attend so I think a blog is a great idea I use google sites. A few other ECs that I think you might be able to do is some sort of job like taco bell Wendys etc and if you get promoted that's great. Though that may be a bit too intensive.
Also with your profile Id say you probably only need 1 semi great EC and a blog could do that
College admissions will view your application from a different perspective than students who are not homeschooled. To stand out in college admissions, you do not necessarily need to have access to traditional high school clubs and sports, etc. As a homeschooled student, taking advantage of the opportunities in your community is important. You are already on the right track with volunteering. If, as you say, you do not have as many opportunities around you, there are plenty of things you can do on your own.
One of the best things to do would be to start a passion project. Especially with the pandemic right now, you can take advantage of the time you have this summer before college admissions. Since most summer programs will probably be cancelled anyway (depending on the state you are in but generally they are), you can get an edge over most applicants by focusing your energy on a passion project.
Your passion project can be anything of your choice. However, to make it strong for college admissions, there should be an ultimate goal that will have a lasting impact on your education, your community, or even more. I suggest taking your best subject or an area you are really passionate about. It could be anything from dance to sociology to math to art history. However, the thing about a passion project is that it should be personal; it should be something you connect with or have experience in. To complete a passion project, you should go in depth about this topic, in order to complete your goal. This goal could be writing a book, making a website, founding a non-profit, organizing a fundraiser, conducting research, building something, etc.
For a better explanation of passion projects, I suggest checking out Iris Fu's YT channel and her videos on passion projects (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxyKnMLKWfI).
I hope you find this helpful!
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