a year ago
Admissions Advice

Entering high school, want to make a competitive profile

So I am entering high school in the fall, and I want to know, how can I make my application the most competitive possible? I am thinking of academic competitions and awards. I consider myself smart as I can easily grasp most concepts, although my biggest weakness is thinking that coursework is boring. I want to go into economics and was wondering what can I study and what should I prepare for to get in competitive colleges? Also, any advice you have on making yourself focus on a subject would be appreciated. For further information, I am taking the equivalent to a Calculus BC course in the fall at the U of M, aka UMTYMP. I am taking APUSH and AP Physics as well. SO, what is the most grueling preparatory work I can do?

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

So great job on getting started early a very catch all list for new high schoolers is

A: Have good grades a bad one can axe your chances

B: have as much rigor as possible and you seem to be doing well in that regard. Try taking AP micro and macro ecomimics if your school offers it during high school not necessarily freshman year. Rigor includes IB AP CLEP.

C: have meaningful ECs

Join apprx 2-5 ECs freshman year and if you don’t like one you can drop it. A lot of the most impactful ECs are at the age of 16.

D. Awards are overestimated unless it’s very competitive. ECs are king

E: Have a plan to do coursework to not get distracted that can be homework 45 mins then “me” time for 15 then repeat or you can tell yourself in order to do x I have to do y.

F: never neglect SAT/ACT prep start doing free review sophomore year and if at all possible take the PSAT.

G: A pure economics course load is impossible so make sure to meet graduation requirements and if different college admission requirements. In my state 3 years of math is required for graduation but my dream school requires 4 years.

H: Pcae yourself and don’t overdo it mental health is important.

Side note reach out to schools late sophomore year and y’all with admissions and or visit campuses you are interested to get a feel of student life and campus vibe.

Also great job at being invested in college early few do so. But make sure to apply yourself to school and not overestimate your grades. I unfortunately did so and had to pull them up last minute.

For ivies you should have 9ish ECs with leadership in 3-5. Have it be impactful so don’t be part of history but not DECA if you are a business major. Quantify it/ note achievements. Have it be meaningful not just 30 min meetings once a month.

Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.

a year ago

@DebaterMAX covers the majority of what colleges look for. However, a few things to add:

1. Yes, ECs are king, however colleges really look for commitment. Show that you can do one activity throughout all of high school. Or, have you played a sport/intrument/etc for your whole life? Include that in one of your essays when that comes time.

2. Try to involve yourself in "different" or unique extracirriculars or clubs. (Some directly relating to your desired major, if possible)

3. Admissions officers, particularly from the 'elite' branch of schools, read thousands of applications. Think now about what you could get involved in now, that would make you different from other applicants.

4. DON'T take the ACT/SAT more than 4 times. Some schools require all scores, and it looks bad if you take it a ton of times.

5. Elite colleges don't want people that they think are burning out. Enjoy your high school years, because that's something I forgot to do in the midst of college applications. Take classes that are the right fit for you, only airing on the side of challenge. Don't take the SAT a ton, especially if you're happy with your score (mid/high 1500 for an elite school).


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