In my experience, those with strong, memorable essays and / or some experience in leadership positions (clubs, leading volunteer initiatives, etc.) really help you stand out to an admissions director and become much more dimensional than just an application on a piece of paper. While it can be important to have really good grades or high test scores, lots of times admissions directors or counselors want to see more of the real person in the application rather than just some numbers.
However, I seem to remember from when I was applying to college, different admissions programs weight parts of the application a little differently. Some are a lot more focused on pure academics or test scores, where others might value . As I said above I would think a well-rounded application and an essay, but sometimes it does depend on the college or university, so I would reach out to them as well.
Claire recommends the following next steps:
- Reach out to contacts in the admissions offices of your top choice schools. Even if you are unable to see them in person or tour the campus, letting them know who you are and getting their perspective of what's important in an application is crucial.