I'm going into 9th grade next year, and my dream college is Harvard. What can I do to maximize my chances of selection?
-Class of 2024
-I'm a year younger than normal, as I skipped a grade. (Ex: will graduate HS at barely 17)
-Involved in band, choir, theater, swimming, speech, and knowledge bowl
-Will be joining community service programs such as volunteering at nursing homes
Basically, I just want to know what I can do to improve my chances, because Harvard is INCREDIBLY selective and it would mean the world to me if I were Accepted.
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So another person asked about as a rising freshman what to do to prepare for Harvard and I copied it from galphonse
First off, hats off to you for taking initiative in the college process so early on! It's a long, arduous process that some high schoolers don't even think about until their junior year so the fact that you're searching for information to help you out is a great first step.
In 9th grade, it's all about building a foundation. (I'm going to assume that you have not completed any courses for your high school transcript as most usually haven't by freshman year except for some) Freshman year is when you start taking high school courses such as Algebra I and English I as well as a few others. Right now, your job is to stay focused on getting good grades in these courses. This is where most people mess up as they joke around their freshman and sophomore year and then their transcript and GPA are lacking because of it. As you want to go to Harvard, in order to compete with other applicants, I'd say have mostly As in these courses, sprinkled with some Bs here and there. Remember that you don't have to be perfect to get accepted into Harvard.
Another tip I have for you as a freshman is to start ACT/SAT prep NOW. A lot of people may argue with me and say oh, it's too early, but I have a feeling you're a pretty ambitious student like I was in 8th/9th grade. Because I started this prep early, I now have a leg up to the rest of my fellow rising juniors. While they are struggling to get benchmark scores, I'm simply brushing up on material to get the score that I want. I'd highly suggest starting the prep at Khan Academy. Since you're only a freshman and probably haven't taken the SAT yet (unless you participated in the Duke TIP program that's available to 7th graders), it won't be personalized yet, but if your school offers the PSAT to freshman, you can link the two accounts and start prep from there.
Hope this helps! :) Good luck with the start of your high school junior; it's surely one you'll never forget.
And then I’m copying my answer from another student wanting to prep in 9th
1: Have good grades a bad one can axe your chances but a “B” is not the end.
2: have as much rigor as possible and you seem to be doing well in that regard. Try taking an AP class in our field or area of study so for buisness related ECs micro and macro ecomimics are good if your school offers it during high school not necessarily freshman year. Rigor includes IB AP CLEP.
3: 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.
4: Awards are overestimated unless it’s very competitive. ECs are king
5: never neglect SAT/ACT prep start doing free review sophomore year and if at all possible take the PSAT.
6: 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.
7: Pcae yourself and don’t overdo it mental health is important.
Side note reach out to schools late sophomore year and visit with admissions officers virtually 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.
Sorry for the wordy responses and hope this helps!
Comment if you need clarification.