2 years ago
Admissions Advice


Hi guys!

Can you please write down on the comment your extracurriculars because I am really anxious about mine.


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1 answer

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

After reading your other questions, you must live in another country not the US. Therefore, you ECs are going to look very different than a typical American student. Plus with COVID-19 policies in your country, perhaps there were not a lot of opportunities to do certain kinds of things. Besides listing your ECs on the Common App or Coalition App, I would direct you to use the additional information section to explain your personal situation and what things either positively or negatively impacted your high school career.

I don't think it serves any practical purpose to compare your ECs to those of Americans. And I stress this to any International Student applying to the US Colleges. Your application will be weighed and judged mostly on other students applying to the same schools from other countries or nearby countries. So if you live in Poland, maybe you will be lumped into basket of applicants from Czech Republic or Belarus and Slovakia. And your grades, course rigor, test scores, etc will be evaluated against peers from this area, not from the US.

Americans applying to Top colleges like Ivys have a higher bar or threshold to pass because there is an expectation that Americans in general have more resources and opportunities versus International students. So as a rule of thumb, if you have fully taken advantage of what is available to you then you are in good shape. However if you didn't attempt to learn as much as possible or do interesting things outside of the classroom, you will not be viewed as a strong candidate.

Fit or how well you are perceived as fitting into a college is something many International students do not understand because in their country, education is a meritocratic process and the best students are the ones who get the highest test scores and get admitted into the best colleges. In the US, colleges are more than academic institutions, they are autonomous self contained cities with in the confines of a college campus. They have their own unique identity, brand, reputation, prestige. They have their own housing, dining halls, clubs, (some have Greek fraternities and sororities), sports culture, and for lack of better term "VIBE". Some colleges are very progressive and liberal and LGBTQIA+ friendly and others are more conservative either in values or religious practices.

I think you should focus on doing ECs that are impressive for someone coming from your country and not so much worry about competing with Americans and their set of ECs. Some top students in America have world class ECs so you really don't want to start comparing "apples to apples" it will not go well if you are thinking you need to be Division 1 athlete or operate a Podcast with 2 million followers.

Good luck.

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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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