How do I better my extracurriculars to improve my chances of getting into UPenn (Wharton)?Answered
Hi! I'm a junior with a 3.88 GPA in all honors/APs. I haven't taken the SAT yet but am planning to study for it more after getting a 1360-1380 on the PSAT. My main extracurriculars are piano, a music-related community service club, DECA, subject-specific honors societies, and my job. I also have other activities/achievements from the past like lacrosse, sailing, and small math competitions. I recently realized I really want to go to UPenn Wharton to major in entrepreneurship. Right now, CollegeVine says my chances of getting in are ~19% before college recommendations + summer programs I want to apply to. It looks like my GPA and coursework are strong for the school, but my extracurriculars need improvement. I am planning on making this my early decision school because if I get in, I am absolutely going, so I have 10 months to make these changes.
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More specifically, I would be careful which UPenn program you sign up for. The one you want is the Pre-Baccalaureate Program at Wharton which is only available to high achieving Juniors and Seniors and allow you earn college credit. This is the most rigorous program and allows you to take college level intro business courses like STATS001, MARKETING001, and FINANCE001.
Keep in mind your 19% chances score is for UPenn not WHARTON specifically. Wharton admit rates are about 4% vs 6% for UPenn so keep that in mind. While applying ED will give you a boost, that boost is only beneficial if you are a top contender and have a high test score to submit. Last cycle the middle 50% had 1490-1560 for the SAT and 35/36 for the ACT. 63% of applicants submitted a test score and 76% of admits had submitted a test score so you can immediately understand that applying test optional to UPenn/Wharton is not such a good idea since more than 3/4s had submitted test scores. So it's important that your goal SAT should be like 1520/1540. If you find yourself not breaking 1500 by the beginning of Senior year, use the remaining months to get that higher score and delay your application to RD. Applying with a sub-1500 ED is a risky move.
If your intention is to attend Wharton, remember you are competing not only with other high achievers but many of them have some ECs specifically focused on running a business, either a start up or trading stocks or "crypto" or running a 503C non-profit.
I don't see any business related ECs on your statement so it would be a good idea to do something relevant to your intended major that shows AOs empirical evidence of your intellectual vitality in the area of business outside of HS curricula and after schools ECs.
Also, I didn't read any impressive ECs related to community service like serving on boards or steering committees. It's important to have some authentic leadership experience on your resume because many Wharton admits have such things. If you don't have any direct personal experience with entrepreneurship or making money, it's kind of a yellow flag to attempt to teach younger kids about such subjects if you haven't done them yourself. So do them yourself first, then you can teach someone else how to do it based on your successes or failures.
Something that could really get you to stand out at Wharton could be applying to their pre-college program i know their application just opened. Extracurricular wise you have to have a Tier 1 Extracurricular something that shows your passion and can take full-on leadership some may call it a Passion Project. Therefore there isn't a single club to join that can guarantee you an admission spot but getting extracurriculars that are outside of your school to require your leadership and your time about a cause that impacts your community. Some examples i can provide you with that might steer you in the right direction are starting a program that teaches young kids about entrepreneurship you can start this by asking to visit local middle schools or elementary schools and asking if you can come in to talk to the kids about entrepreneurship and etc. This shows personal passion and leadership taken outside of school that requires your time. I hope i could help !
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