5 months ago
Admissions Advice

What ECs can I add to improve my profile in social sciences (specifically political) to get into Ivy League schools?

I'm a junior interested in going into the social sciences, I'm thinking of political science but I'm not 100% set on it yet. I think I have a pretty strong academic profile of 3.97 UWGPA, I'll have an Associate's Degree by the time I graduate high school, I've taken the hardest classes my school offers and done well in them fr the most part. Now I'm just focusing on raising my SAT score.

I know for a fact that I will get into my safety schools, but I would like to aim as high as I can (or at least get great scholarships at my safeties and targets).

I want to work on extracurriculars, right now I have 70+ hours of volunteering in the form of tutoring, PSIA* training, teacher assisting, event organizing, fundraising, etc. I was also the head of marketing and PR for my school's MIST** team, raising $2k+ in funds. I won 2nd place in social media and qualified for nationals at MIST, I began a student activism club (it's fairly new though, I wish I'd thought of it earlier), and I've been part of the student council all 3 years, I am the student council vice president, aiming for president next year. I'm part of a book club and I do videography/video editing and a bit of photography on the side, I have a couple of school/family/friends videos for that. I am fluent in Bengali and Arabic (reading too) with basic speaking skills in Urdu and Hindi and a bit of American Sign Language (although I sort of stopped ASL so I can focus on Urdu and Hindi). I enjoy learning about cultures and ties between multiple ones (I'm thinking of minoring in some sort of cultural study).

I would say I have a pretty good amount of extracurriculars but only the club is really centered on social science (I only gained interest in it this year). I think I might start a blog through the club. I also want to reach out to someone in the political sciences field like a legislator or a professor so I can intern for them or something but I do not know how to start it.

By aiming high, I mean I want to take chances and apply to a few prestigious schools and even an Ivy League or two. I'm looking at NYU (hard target), BU (target), Colgate (target), Rice (hard target), and then Harvard (reach) and Columbia (reach) for Ivy League.

Anyways, any other EC ideas would be helpful!

*PSIA: Private Schools Interscholastic Association (I trained kids who participated)

**MIST: Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (it's mainly for Muslims, but it's open to all nation-wide and in Canada)


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
5 months ago

I think you have a pretty good spread of extra-curriculars. What you really need to do now is buckle down and really create an impact in the ones where your most passionate. You should focus on creating a hook for yourself because you already have a pretty good resume in general; you just need to stand out as a specialist. The Associate's Degree and the multicultural angle are things I would lean into. If your Associate's Degree is in the social sciences, that would look really good and show that you are capable of handling rigorous coursework. As for the multicultural thing, being trilingual or quintilingual is a really great and pretty unique thing. If you really are interested in the study of different cultures and the way that ties into political science, that could be a great angle to work. In terms of adding extra-curriculars, all your resume really needs is a spike. The Associate's Degree is pretty good, but since you're a junior, you might have time to create a project of your own. Think of something that you really want to do that incorporates your passions. The blog idea is really good, as long as you're willing to devote the time and energy needed to make it really succeed. It doesn't need to get 100,000 followers or anything. You just need to show that it has a quantifiable impact, like 1,000 regular viewers or getting featured in a local magazine or something. If you want to reach out to a political sciences professor, the best thing to do is just to look on the websites of different universities and find professors that you're genuinely interested in working with. Then, you can cold email a bunch of them telling them your story and why you're interested in political science and specifically interested in what they do. I don't know much about reaching out to legislators, but I imagine that it would be helpful to start small and local, then branch out your connections and networks from there. I hope this was helpful!

4 months ago

So I'm also a high school student who wants to into poly-sci when I'm older and I've been scrambling around on internship recruitment websites looking for a politician or attorney that I can intern for because my applications need a bit of a boost, but I've found that the easiest thing to do is just look up your district representatives, legislators, DA, etc. and shoot them an email with your resume and why your interested in interning with them (if they have a website look for instructions on there first). Also, here's a really helpful article from college vine: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-high-schoolers-interested-in-studying-political-science/. Let me know if any of this helps! :)


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