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• 06/10/2020 at 05:12PM

Would applying as undecided to Ivy league universities affect my chances of admission?

Hello, I'm currently a rising sophomore in Canada and I'm planning on applying to one of the ivy league universities. My GPA is 4.0 weighted and I'm planning on taking 13 AP courses. My EC profile is not the strongest, but I am working on developing a spike. However, I'm not sure about my interests or my potential majors. Just wondering, would it affect my chances of admission as I would look kind of unsure about my future? Thank you!

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2 answers

• 06/12/2020 at 05:22PM

I want to add to @crsgo0422's answer a bit, because I think it's partially right but is missing some context.

Being undecided by itself will not disadvantage you applying to Ivies (or anywhere else for that matter). A large number of students apply undecided every year, and are admitted every year. But there are two different kinds of undecided—the kind where you're undecided between a couple of different subjects, and the kind where you have no idea what you want to do. The former is a better place to be in; the latter can be a disadvantage if you can't effectively answer questions like "what are your academic interests" or "why do you want to study the major you've indicated at this school." In a subjective process like this, being able to answer those questions effectively is crucial to standing out from other applicants to these schools.

What you really need to do is at least narrow yourself down to a couple of interests—less a giant list of options and more just a 2 to 3-pronged fork in the path in front of you. Then, it becomes less about you not knowing what you want to do and more about you using your first year or two of colleges to choose between a couple of appealing options.

So, that's all to say that it's not being undecided that inherently hurts you in the admissions process—it would theoretically be being unable to talk about what you want to study that could hurt you.

• 06/10/2020 at 09:14PM

It will be a bit of a disadvantage since most elite colleges want you to show a particular direction and path with your life. your extracurriculars should be centered around the GENERIC field that you’re interested in, i.e. international relations, business, stem, pre-med, journalism ,etc. you should some googling and find a couple of fields or college majors that interest you and see what the common theme is. since you’re only a freshman rn you have a lot of time to figure this out but really you should be joining clubs next year or even starting your own so that you can “level up” to a leadership/officer position when you’re a junior or senior. so applying undecided will somewhat affect you negatively cause you will appear as a “wild card” and admissions officers won’t really know who you are or what you are planning to do with your life. i know it’s stressful but really you have all the time in the world and if you spend 1-2 hours looking through some college majors at your dream schools, find a couple that you like and search out EC activities that match it and go from there! good luck :)