8 days ago
Admissions Advice

What makes someone stand out

I'm a sophomore in high school who currently takes part in 4 extracurricular activities. I want to know what makes someone stand out other than grades. I really want to go to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Caltech or UCLA. I know these aren't "realistic" considering my background(1st gen African) however I really do want to go to an Ivy league.

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Let’s welcome @minyinta to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

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5 answers

Accepted Answer
3 days ago

Like @EvelynA said, being involved in extracurriculars and clubs that you find enjoyable will help your application. Getting officer roles in those extracurricular activities or achievements in those activities will support you more than just being in them. Getting internships and work or volunteer experience and hours will also help! I'm a 1st gen Asian student so I'm also on the same boat you are so I hope this helps. Good luck!

7 days ago

Hi @minyinta, I love your passion for learning that is evident through your academic goals and wish you the best as you continue in your high school journey. I would not necessarily worry about standing out if you full-heartedly pursue the things you are passionate about and your application and essays show that. I wouldn't be in orchestra if you hate music, but if you love drawing do art clubs and write about art in application essays. Be yourself. Don't try to be the ideal UCLA student, just be 100% authentically you and that is what will make you stand out. You are correct in that grades is not all they consider, but I think following your passions is how you will create an application of ECs and experiences that stand out.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best.

4 days ago

Ultimately do things that matter to you, be involved in the extracurriculars that you do find interesting. What colleges want to see is what you are passionate about.

8 days ago[edited]

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