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How do my grades/attendance/and behavior records affect my applying to colleges like Harvard or Yale?

I only have one thing from when I was in my Freshman year of high school that would or may not affect my college application, I got ISS for one day. Then my attendance is all Absences Excused or Test Taking. For this year (Sophomore year) I have two tardies which are fake because I was never tardy, never am tardy for class. Then all my grades are all fairly good. I don't know what my Junior or Senior year would bring, but I believe if I put my heart into it, I could make it.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Emilie’s Answer

Hi Kayla, first I would recommend meeting with your school counselor/advisor to discuss your concerns and also help prepare you for your college application process. Second, I would recommend broadening the colleges you are interested in based on who has the best program for your desired major, as well as location, etc. College visits either in person or virtual are very helpful when you are deciding where to apply.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Kayla
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Vipul’s Answer

Hi Kayla, you're asking the right questions. For most universities, especially IVY, they're looking for a well-rounded person that will add value/make an impact in their academic community. Quantitative things like grades and tardies are important and also in your control... be diligent about them, stay on top of it regularly checking in and making sure you're on the right path. Volunteering and showcasing leadership skills are also very important. Understand that the acceptance rate at schools like Harvard and Yale are very low... so you have to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other high schoolers applying.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Kayla
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Rachel’s Answer

I suggest concentrating on aspects within your grasp. Consider what actions you can take to distinguish yourself from fellow students, such as participating in clubs, gaining volunteer experience, and acquiring work experience. Concentrate on crafting an outstanding letter of intent and developing an impeccable resume. Kudos to you for pursuing excellence in distinguished educational institutions.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Kayla
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Aishwarya’s Answer

Hey Kayla,

It's awesome that you're thinking about how your records will impact your college applications. Colleges appreciate seeing progress, so even if you had a few attendance problems in early high school, demonstrating improvement can make a big difference.

For prestigious schools like Yale or Harvard, interviews might be part of the application process. During these interviews, it's crucial to acknowledge any mistakes you've made and discuss how you've grown or improved from those experiences. If your records show progress, schools can focus more on your grades and extracurricular activities.

Top-notch schools search for outstanding students who are not only well-rounded but also possess leadership abilities and the drive to excel in their passions and interests. Good grades and test scores help you "get your foot in the door" during the initial application stage. Engaging in extracurricular activities displays your interests beyond academics, such as sports, arts, music, community service, debate, educational contests, and more. Pick activities you're passionate about and find ways to shine in them. Demonstrating leadership and initiative will show schools that you're more than just a good student and have what it takes to stand out.

Also, chat with your guidance counselor about identifying some "safety" schools with programs you're interested in. This way, you'll have options when it's time to choose a school.

Best of luck for your future!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Aishwarya for the advice. Kayla
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Houcine’s Answer

Dear Kayla,

Your academic record, attendance, and behavior do play a role in college admissions, including prestigious institutions like Harvard or Yale. Colleges generally look for consistency in academic performance, a strong GPA, and a challenging course load. Your current good grades are a positive factor, but it's crucial to maintain and improve them in your Junior and Senior years. Regarding attendance, having a record of excused absences is generally acceptable, but strive to attend classes regularly.

The incident in your Freshman year with a one-day ISS might not heavily impact your application, especially if it was an isolated incident. Focus on highlighting your growth, achievements, and commitment to academics and extracurricular activities. Colleges appreciate students who demonstrate dedication and a willingness to overcome challenges. As you progress through high school, engage in activities that showcase your passions and interests, as these can also play a significant role in the admissions process.

Remember, each applicant is unique, and holistic admissions take various factors into account. It's essential to stay focused, continue working hard, and aim to showcase your strengths and potential.

Best regards,
Houcine
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