a year ago
Admissions Advice

Extracurriculars and stats for t30 or t40 universities

How many tier 2 or tier 3 extracurriculars out of 10 activities are recommended to get into t40 universities?

Is it ok to have an SAT score is on the 50th percentile for the university?

What has more weight: extracurriculars or course rigor/SAT score/GPA?


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1 answer

Accepted Answer
a year ago

Generally speaking, it depends on WHAT tier 2 and 3 activities you are doing. For example, if you have some very strong ECs that are carrying your application, you can get away with fewer tier 2 and 3s. On the other hand, if all of your ECs are low tier 2 or below, you might have 10 of them and not be competitive for a t30 or t40. Personally, I'd aim for all 10 to be in the tier 2 category, because that will guarantee a strong EC profile, and aiming high in advance is the way to go. If you're a junior or senior and that's not feasible, though, don't stress. Aim for all your ECs in tier 3 or above, but don't panic too much if you have a few ECs that are lower than that. I won't lie to you, t40s are still competitive, so you want a solid EC profile to stand out against all the other competitive applicants.

For SATs, 50th percentile is pretty good. It won't give you as much of a boost as 75th percentile, of course, but it shows a university that you're basically on par with their average student. Basically, you're at the mean score, and the university still admits students whose scores are lower, so yours is fine. Again though, aim high, and if you really want to boost your app, sitting another SAT to get a higher composite is a good idea.

Personally, I think ECs would have more weight in a sense. Course rigor, SAT scores, and GPAs are all essentially just a check box for competitive universities- everyone who applies has good stats across these. Meanwhile, the ECs are what makes you STAND OUT against all these other applicants who might have the same SAT and GPA as you. Universities use holistic admissions, so they want to see you're a fleshed out person and not just a grade. They also show the AOs who you are, what you're passionate about, and what unique perspectives you bring to their university.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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