2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Unique situation advice.

Hi, I'm currently a Sophomore in High School in a suburban-ish town that has about 200 kids graduate each year (200/200 btw). My school is not one of those fancy schools that always send one or two students to T5 schools every year. So...

- I have had straight A's throughout all of my education (UW GPA after 3 semesters is 4.0 and W is 4.22),

-Participate in Spanish Language/Club, Social Justice Club, Marching Band, Renaissance Theatre and School Musical Productions, Scholastic Bowl JV Team Captain, Medalist in Science Olympiad, and have completed ~11 years (will be 11 in June) of piano studies outside of school.

- have completed 6 or 7 Honors classes and plan to complete all 3 AP classes my Senior year (huge number I know, but my school only has AP World, AP Lang, and AP Bio).

But... The interesting circumstances for me are that I will be studying abroad in France through Rotary International my Junior year (Aug. 2022-Sept. 2023).

I can't find much information to help me on my journey/goal to apply to my top 6 (Columbia, Yale, Harvard, UPenn, UChicago, Stanford) because of that 'gap year' I'm taking.

For anyone that can help, I will be earning some credits during my Exchange but I'm not sure exactly what (other than Foreign Language). And, my school requires Economics (Honors for me) and Civics for all Seniors.

With all of this Jumble of Information and useless blabbering... What ECs or Classes, or other, would you recommend I should do before applying to this Reach schools. Oh yeah, and I'm taking the SAT this May, Sometime Fall 2023 + Spring 2024, and the ACT spring of 2024.

Thank You


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1 answer

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Answer me this. You refer to your Junior year as a GAP year. Is it a GAP year because if so that means you have to complete both Junior and Senior year when you return from France. It is not a GAP year if you come back as a Senior in HS. So please clarify if you have 3 years of HS including France or 2 years of HS including France.

Regardless, I think all Ivys and Elite and Top Liberal Arts colleges would find your narrative more interesting than the typical applicant because of your willingness to take risks and challenges and immerse yourself in another culture for a year. I would think that Yale especially would reward you for this because it's something they encourage all their cohorts to do while studying at Yale.

Clearly in addition to Spanish, by the time you are done with your France year, you will be very fluent in French. Therefore, before you forget any French I would recommend that you sign up for the AP French tests with listening in the fall of 2022 and take the Test in May 2023 in France at a test center there. I'm sure you will get a (5) in AP French after taking a deep dive into the language for a year. That will give you 6 credits of language at all the Ivys if you get a (5), but not so if you get a (4), you get zero.

Since all top college look for some evidence of intellectual curiosity or vitality, it's important that while in France you do some research into topics that you have access to. I don't know where you will be in France, but I would research the city first and figure out what you want to explore and learn about your new temp. home before you go there and outline some sort of personal project that you can pursue and document. Maybe you can make a vlog about your year abroad and upload chapters once a week or twice month to YouTube and gain some followers.


What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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