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Will founding a club and programming your own game get you a good chance at getting into the Ivy League?

I am currently in the process of these 2 things and I'm not sure how to beef up my chances of getting into Brown/Harvard. Do I stand a good chance with these under my belt + president of another club + solid Ivy level academics?

Also I'm going into computer science, if that helps (or hurts!)

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Subject: Career question for you

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Janet’s Answer

There are many factors college admissions look for. Founding a club and programming a game may help but of course, is no guarantee. Colleges will evaluate your entire portfolio - grades, test scores, extracurriculars, personality, and what you can contribute to student life or the university. Share who you are and what you’re passionate about. If you founded a club, explain why and what the impact was.

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Noah H. I see that you posted this question a little while ago so I hope my answer to you (or others who may read this response) is still helpful.

Thanks so much for your question. I share with you that I am an Ivy League graduate, though I did not graduate from either of the two schools mentioned in your question. In general, my experience with finding a college/university that meets what a student needs and wants includes having a well-rounded highschool education, including participating in (or leading, which is even better) in school clubs. Founding a club is a very good add for college applications. As I write this response to you in the year 2020, having programming skills is definitely a plus as well. Showing how you have used those skills may be just as, if not more important as part of your college application.

As mentioned above, other aspects of a well-rounded individual that may be helpful for getting into the school of your choice would include places you may have traveled to and if you did something impactful while there. Or if you did something impactful, even in your own hometown. During the time of this pandemic, there are many many instances of young people doing work to positively impact their communities.

Certainly, grades and test scores (SATs, ACTs, AP Classes) will mean a WHOLE lot if your have your eyes on the Ivy League...specifically a good history of strong grades will matter a lot. Often times, many schools offer invitations or open house visits to perspective students. This gives the students a chance to get perspective on campus life. It is my guess that after this pandemic passes, there will be more opportunities to do live campus visits but take advantage of virtual visits if they are available.

I do hope you find this guidance helpful. Best of luck to you!
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David’s Answer

Hello Noah!

Unfortunately, I am not an Ivy league student, but my friend is one at Princeton. For him, he got in with a combination of the following: strong grades (he was valedictorian), strong essay, and volunteer experience. The grades are often dependent on what kind of school you go to. For example, getting rank 50 at an elite school is as impressive as being valedictorian at a low ranking school. Things like AP tests, SAT scores, etc. help you in this department.

Clubs definitely do help, but really the schools are looking at two things: academics and non-academics. You need to excel at both. Starting a club is a great thing to do outside of your academics. These schools look for leadership. Use that as an experience. Just remember to create a balanced and strong resume and you'll have a decent chance.