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What can I do that can really make my college application shine?

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Okay so I am a Junior at Northeast High school, I am #1 in my class, and I have a 4.0 GPA. Yes that's good but my extracurricular activities seem mediocre for my rank. I am adopting a street to clean, planting trees in my communities, and was accepted as a semifinalist for a really competitive summer program (Governors Honors Program) (results of those who are accepted come in April). Surprise surprise, I want to go to Harvard, so I feel that I need more unique extracurricular activities. I participate in a multitude of clubs and organizations at my school and I am a leader in most that I am in, but I need more summer programs and Internships. I am writing 3 novels and hope to have them published by the end of this year.I am learning French and I help French people learn English for free. I am looking for prestigious Summer programs or internships that will really help my application shine. :)

help
dont think i can really help but look into other ivies and any recommendations harvard has for ECs

2 answers

answered on
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Honestly, you should start to focus on essays at this point. Having worked with students who applied to Ivies, Harvard included, your extracurriculars are in pretty great shape. There's a law of diminishing returns that applies to things like ECs, where once you have a bunch of strong ones, additional strong ones are going to mean less and less. You can only include 10 on your application in any case, and it sounds like—while it might not feel like it—you have more than enough. Things like your novel writing, volunteer teaching, etc. are all "activities" too, and all of them are going to need to fit into that list.

Furthermore, at this point, there's no telling what kinds of summer programs and internships will *actually* be available this summer due to COVID-19. There's a pretty good chance that anything that would have begun in June will either get pushed back or cancelled, and a there's a chance that even later programs in July or August might not end up happening. If you do want to add more extracurriculars still, I'd suggest looking for an opportunity to get involved in community relief efforts or something of the like. The opportunity to do so is basically staring you in the face, and I'd hazard to guess that colleges next year will look pretty favorably on students who got involved in those types of efforts this year.

But back to essays—if you want to go to Harvard (or somewhere like it) this badly, essays are now going to be the most important thing for you at this point. Schools like Harvard use academics as a kind of opening cutoff that you need to be above, and they use extracurriculars to sort students into different "buckets," basically deciding who they're going to take more of. Then they sit around a table and look at a group of say 20 students to fill 1-2 spots (after all it's a ~5% acceptance rate), and the determining factor in that will be how strongly your essays resonated with the adcoms that read them. If you start building them now, you'll have plenty of time to get to the point where they'll really stand out.

answered on
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my score is passed graded and ok

I like to continue to studying the college now.