How do I actually get into top tier schools?
Hi! I am aiming for top tier schools. I am a current freshman, 4.0 GPA. I do student council and mock trial. This year I took one AP and advanced class, next year I will be taking 3-4 AP classes. I am interested in zoology, pediatrics, youth advocacy, law, and government. What can I be doing to get into a good university? (Are my EC’s enough? I know I don’t have music or a sport)
Here are some general suggestions for what you can do to increase your chances of being admitted to a good university:
Maintain a high GPA: Continue to work hard in your classes and strive for academic excellence.
Take challenging courses: It's great that you are planning to take more AP classes in the coming year. Admissions officers at top tier universities like to see that students have challenged themselves academically.
Get involved in meaningful extracurricular activities: Your involvement in student council and mock trial are great starting points, but consider branching out and finding additional activities that align with your interests in zoology, pediatrics, youth advocacy, law, and government. For example, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter, intern at a pediatric clinic or with a youth advocacy organization, or participate in a political campaign.
Pursue leadership roles: If possible, try to take on leadership roles in your extracurricular activities. This could involve becoming a captain of a sports team, serving as the president of a club, or leading a community service project.
Build relationships with teachers and mentors: Developing strong relationships with teachers, counselors, and other mentors can be invaluable when it comes to college admissions. They can provide guidance, advice, and support throughout the process.
Prepare for standardized tests: Most top tier universities require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. Start preparing early by taking practice tests and identifying areas where you need to improve.
Conduct research or pursue independent projects: If you have a particular interest in a field, consider conducting research or pursuing an independent project related to that field. This could involve working with a professor or mentor, or conducting your own experiments or investigations.
Remember that admission to top tier universities is competitive, and there are many factors that go into the decision-making process. However, if you continue to work hard academically, pursue your passions, and demonstrate leadership and initiative, you will be putting yourself in a strong position for admission.
For example, look at Wellesley College in Massachusetts:
These colleges are trying hard to reach out to students across the country who might not otherwise think to apply there. For top academic students with outside interests and strong intellectual curiosity, they can offer significant funding support (don't let the listed tuition price scare you off...these colleges often have large endowments and are able to offer excellent financial support to accepted students).
Good luck and please stay in touch as additional questions arise.
It seems you are on the right track. The one thing you could do is volunteer in the legal field. Ask around some law firms or even in house law firms and see if you could shadow a paralegal or lawyer. The other thing is that you could see if there's any opportunity for internships in the legal field. This would set you apart from other applicants that are applying to law school. A summer job would also be affective in bumping up your application.
The reason is that a substantial majority of all applicants (70+% at my college) are equally qualified, but there's physical space to admit only a very small percentage (6% at my college)
Therefore, Admissions accepts applicants who can fill one of the many roles needed on campus: if the tuba player is graduating, Admissions seeks out a replacement tuba player. Same for sports, theater, singing, college government, etc. etc.
So be sure to emphasize what you have contributed to your highschool community; it may not be what the college needs, but if it happens to be, you'll get in!!
Edward recommends the following next steps: