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09/04/2019

College Admissions…Where do I Stand?

QUESTION
College Admissions…Where do I Stand?
I’m about to apply to college, and am comsidering some Ivy League schools, especially Columbia U. My major interest is Art History. Here are my stats…Are they good enough for top-tier schools?

GPA is 3.9 (give or take with AP inflation)
SAT Scores: V- 690 M- 680 W-670
ACT Score: 29
Took/ an Taking 6 AP classes (so far got a 4 and two 5’s on exams) and multiple Honor’s classes.
Played Volleyball and Varsity Tennis
Co-Pres of Student Council, NHS member, Orchestra
Attended Youth leadership Conference Junior year
Attended Uarts PreCollege this summer
1st place in Scholastic Art Competition- 2 years
Decent amount of Volunteer work (could be more)
Worked at TV station 3 years

ANSWER
Maybe, maybe not. Make sure that you have some good back-up schools to which you apply. Why? Because schools like Columbia get so many very strong applicants that they reject perfectly qualified candidates. You’re going to need more than grades and a list of extracurriculars to make you stand out from the masses.

What I often recommend is that students start thinking about what, out of everything they have done, they’ve enjoyed the most. Ideally, it should be something you’re passionate about. It doesn’t have to be the thing you’re best at – but what did you enjoy the most, spend a lot of time on, etc. Maybe it’s one of the volunteer assignments you’ve had. Maybe it’s that tv station. And use that in your essays.

Also think about anything that you did excel at. Did you advance within the tv station, or end up leading groups as part of your volunteer work? Again, perfect for an essay.

Thing is, Columbia and schools like it do reject people with perfect grades and etc. However, they also admit people with less-than-perfect grades, because they feel that student will add something to the class. You’re trying to bring out personal factors and character – things beyond the stats.

So, think now – how can you show them that you are special, wonderful, and perfect for their school? Because you are – you just need to convince them of that!

But again, also pick some strong second-choice schools, to which you’ll also apply and which you’d like to attend. If you like Columbia, for example, you may also like Northwestern, U Chicago, Boston University, Duke, Georgetown, Boston College, or NYU.