a year ago
Admissions Advice

Ivy league's opinion

I've been running two stores, one a restaurant, one a truck stop. I have family ties to them but have been dealing with all the customer service, loans, accounting, and managing since I was 8. I understand it sounds weird for an eight-year-old to be working at a restaurant, but I did well, had prices memorized, worked the grill, and helped clear the registers. When I was 13, I did 12-hour shifts, cleared everything myself, help manage loans and priorities. Currently, In school, I sell ads to local businesses. I consider myself to have a strong interest in business and wondered if Ivy league schools need me to show even more interest in my major. I have a 3.9 GPA, A few college courses. I took one regular English class in 10th grade instead of honors, which might hurt me. I also took one regular world history class in 9th grade instead of honors. So in all that, 7 Honors classes, 4 Dual enrollment classes, and No Ap classes since the school doesn't offer any. I could have taken two more honors classes, but 9th and 10th grade me was naive. Currently, my ACT is kinda low, but I only took it once after 10th grade, and I think I can get it up to the '30s, but if I have to, I'll apply "Test Optional." I'm in 11th grade right now. Vanderbilt is my dream school, which isn't Ivy League but pretty close. Is there anything else I can do to increase my chances of getting accepted?

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Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

First of all, huge props for considering Vandy your dream school, Anchor Down!

One thing I noticed through my application process is that Vanderbilt places a huge emphasis on leadership and the qualities that come from it. If you have been doing any of your extracurriculars for a while, aim to get a captain/president spot and show why you are fit to be a leader. Your restaurant job is very impressive; perhaps you could write about your experiences there in your essay.

Another thing that I find helps a lot, in general, is writing a strong essay. It's never too early to start; your personal statement can literally be about anything. I wrote mine about sticks and catching a big bass with one. The supplemental matters too; it's a chance for you to talk more about your extracurriculars, which is another chance to establish those leadership qualities. I'd recommend starting writing drafts before the school year ends.

Now is also the time when you should start forming closer connections with your teachers because I honestly thought that my recommendations carried me a long way.

In terms of ACT, I find that while Vanderbilt is test-optional, statistics have shown that it is far harder to get in without a test score than with one. Try your best to aim for at least the 25th percentile or a 34 superscore. Even a 33 would be acceptable; while it may not help you, at least it wouldn't hurt you too much.

Also, apply to ED1!!! Getting in from RD or even EDII at this point has gotten extremely difficult, and if it's your top choice, it doesn't hurt to apply ED. The acceptance rate is raised nearly sixfold from RD to EDI.

Finally, take as much rigorous coursework and keep doing your extracurriculars, but maintain a sense of direction. A school like Vanderbilt wants you to know where you are headed. Best of luck with your applications!

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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