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How to get accepted into a college/university?

As a sophomore in high school, how can I improve my chances of getting accepted into a college? (extracurriculars, awards, classes, internships, passion, etc) Thank you!

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Chirayu’s Answer

As a sophomore who still has two years left, I would suggest getting involved in the community, join school clubs, play a sport if you are interested in that. Colleges like to accept students who are involved in their communities, interact well with others, and work to develop their talents and passions. A student who participates in extracurriculars is more likely to do each of those things than a student who has no extracurriculars. This is because, there is more to college than simply going to class, getting good grades and graduating; colleges are full of opportunities to be active, interact with others, and give back, and schools want to admit students who will keep their campuses connected and interesting. You can improve your chance by getting good grades, exam scores, writing good essays for college admissions and also participate in extracurricular activities.
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Wayne’s Answer

Hey Lisa. Great question! You should challenge by having a diverse list of extracurricular activities and writing a strong admissions essay.

Many high school students fill their days with extracurricular activities and work tireless hours to achieve a perfect GPA in hopes of getting into their top-choice college. While academic performance and extracurricular activities are important in the admissions process, colleges also consider other factors, including whether a student will be a positive addition to the campus community, experts say.

Here are six tips from admissions staff on ways to set yourself apart from other college applicants:

- Have a diverse list of extracurricular activities. Every student has something they are passionate about, whether that's music, theater, writing, sports, community engagement, politics or activism. But to stand out from their peers, applicants need to diversify their resume.

- Challenge yourself. Experts advise college applicants to challenge themselves in high school. But that doesn't mean a student's schedule needs to be filled with all honors, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. Students can take an additional course subject outside of the standard requirements, for instance.

- Go beyond the norm in a college essay. Colleges are looking for adaptability and resilience in an applicant, and that can be showcased in the application essay. Speak generally about your experiences and then going beyond, such as describing how you stepped up to help your family or community members during the height of the pandemic for example. Remember, it's not just about finding the "perfect" subject to write about. Admissions officers also pay attention to the writing, so take the time to review before submission to avoid grammar or spelling mistakes.

- Show grades trending up. Academic performance is one of many factors considered in the college application process. But grade slips can happen, whether due to a death in the family, struggles with mental health, difficulty adjusting to high school or other personal reasons. That's OK, experts say, but it's important to show upward progression.

- Demonstrate interest in the college. You can express interest in a school in several ways, such as taking a college tour either in person or virtually; visiting with an admissions representative who comes to their high school; or engaging in an email exchange with an admissions staff member to seek out more information about the school.

- Schedule an interview if possible. An admissions interview is not required or even conducted at every college, but it can provide more insight into who you are as an applicant.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Do you have any tips on how to go "above-and-beyond" in terms of writing and extracurricular activities? Lisa
Thank you comment icon Make your story as personal and interesting as possible. What/who inspires you? What about your background prepared you for this moment? What have you done thus far and how can this opportunity help you grow and succeed? What are your future goals? Be as real and honest as possible. The story should tell anyone everything they want to know about who you are, what you've done, why you want to continue your education and what impact you plan to make when you graduate. Make it your real story. A fantasy story will never work. You are the story that will lead to your success. Wayne Archibald
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Alexa’s Answer

The best way is to set yourself apart from other people. Think of it like this, me and you both have the same gpa and SAT score. Why you over me? I think joining extracurriculars and community service is a great way to to that.

Have a great personal statement, it doesn’t have to be a pity party, but think about a time that developed you as a person and try to incorporate it in there .
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your advice! Do you have any recommendations or tips on how to write a great personal statement/college essay; and how to improve writing responses in general? Lisa
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Marisia’s Answer

If you want to accepted now there a few things you can do
one is to concentrate on your grades so you grade point average is impressive 3/0 or higher but at the same time what do u do for fun ,or for the community as this well help prospective colleges see u are well rounded individual .Start looking and applying in jr year because they gets them looking at you sooner then later. But the most important thing is to enjoy high school it flies by fast do the clubs, the dances whatever you like because what you like well ultimately lead to a major and/or a minor!!Good luck and happy studies!

Marisia recommends the following next steps:

Have fun
do your research
Improve your grades
Start thinking about the type of school you would succeed
talk to the high school guidance counselor
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Marisia! Lisa
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