Can I get to an Ivy League School? (Please Help!)
I am a rising sophomore with a GPA of 4.00 (unweighted) and 4.36 (unweighted). My school does not offer honor classes nor AP classes/tests. I do take college class from Bakersfield College during school.
I have not taken the ACT/SAT and I don't think I will because school has gone "test-optional".
Extra-curricular: Not much other than Varsity Soccer, Varsity Track&Field, Varsity Cross Country, Band, and Church Community.
I haven't been doing volunteering, joined clubs/competitions due to COVID-19 so I'm way behind on curricular.
Do I have a chance? What should I do?
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Yes you can get into an Ivy League college if you want to. With regards to your personal situation, keep up the grades, continue with taking dual enrollment or college courses, look into free online courses like eDx.org which has classes from MIT, Harvard, etc. (you can take some this summer since its open enrollment), find something you are passionate about like a hobby you can do by yourself at home, and study for the standardized tests. Although 95% of the elite colleges are test-optional this upcoming cycle it might not be the case for the class of 2026. You should start early and start an account on Kahn Academy and do SAT test prep right away and take some practice tests this summer. Better be more prepared than underprepared. Also, grab a copy of Frank Bruni's book "Where you go is not who you will be" which is a good book about different college paths of successful people. It will help you decide whether or not an Ivy education is necessary or not. Many famous and successful people did not attend Ivy colleges and you should know that its who you are that is important and what you can do, not where you attended. Also, watch some Malcolm Gladwell youtube videos about higher education. He has a really good lecture about why you shouldn't go to Harvard if you are not going to be top of the class there. It only makes sense after you watch the whole lecture. Good luck and remember that you can get an excellent education at most top 75 schools.
Ivy League schools, as well as many other colleges, mainly look at your grades during your junior year. Your GPA is great as it is but you must keep it up! Even if schools have gone "test-optional", taking the ACT/SAT would be a great way to differentiate yourself from the other students who are applying since many won't be taking those exams. For extracurriculars, you should find a club in your school (or create one) that you're very interested in and committed to. You must have extracurriculars that you really care about on your application, not just random ones. (quality over quantity!!) If there's a National Honor Society in your school, I recommend trying to join that because it's a great way to get volunteer/community service hours. To answer your final question, everyone has a chance! If you truly want to get into a certain school, you can. Good luck with everything :)
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