2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Admission Standards

Does anyone have advice to get in some community service or other things to make admissions stand out? I am a junior with an unweighted GPA of 3.986, but I want to spice up my admissions a little more. Any suggestions?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

These days if you want to stand out with top colleges, how you curate your EC's which extends to community services matters greatly. Contrary to what how ECs were evaluated our parents generation, today they can make or break your college admissions.

In the past, you could volunteer 250-500 hours and that looked impressive. These days how your ECs narrative fits in with your academics, future aspirations, and identity as a steward of your community and example for others to follow matters more.

For example, if you want to be major in poly sci at a top school, then you have to be believable. You would have a better chance if you had the following:

Academics - AP US History, AP Euro, AP Govt & Politics, a course in US Constitutional Law

ECs - Captain of the Debate team or Model UN, Editor of the School Newspaper, holding a leadership position multiple years ASB or student council. President of either the young democrats or young republicans (party affiliation matters less than being committed to your beliefs).

Outside of school - If you are leaning liberal left, perhaps being a Board Member of some 503C non-profit advocating for women's rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, Black rights, Indigenous rights, Environmental causes. And maybe if you were a young republican, you would advocate for safer borders, keeping jobs in America, increasing military spending, supporting law enforcement, 1st and 2nd amendment rights etc.

Student member of your town's City Council. Self-engaged activist participating in protests, fund raising for impactful political candidates, getting people to register to vote. Using your voice! Being brave! Showing up!

So you see that the quality of your community service matters more than the hours put in. One could define quality as the impact you have by using your voice and participating diligently, passionately, compassionately and showing evidence of being a good ally.

If you wanted to be nursing major, or a doctor, or CS major, your ECs and community service would be tailored to meet those end goals as well.

I hope you see the difference between "spicing it up" to cooking a 5 course believable narrative that is aligned with the person you are and future best version of yourself.

Good luck.

2 years ago

First of all, it is very important to have personal acquaintances who will help you. This can be friends, relatives, professors, professors, etc. Here, for example, the student party site https://college-dorm-party.com/ has a lot of information, it's not an advertisement, it's an example. You can try organizing a party on your own with your friends, or you can attend parties organized by someone else. In this way, you are sure to make new acquaintances, which is what will help you get recognition. Good luck!

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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