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09/07/2019

Is there anything I should do to strengthen my college application?

QUESTION
Is there anything I should do to strengthen my college application?
Hi, I worked hard during high school, and I am currently looking at top colleges, like Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, etc. However, I realize that they are looking for very well rounded, unique individuals. Could anyone tell me anything I should do/add to improve my application, or if I am alright .

**I AM NOT A TROLL LOOKING FOR ATTENTION, I ACTUALLY WANT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM!**

Stats:
GPA: UW: 3.98 W: 4.98
SAT: 2390 ACT: 36
Race: White/Irish (Grr why can’t I be navajo )
Gender: Male
Legacy: None
Family Income: Upper Middle Class/Lower Upper Class
AP’s: 14 AP’s, average: 5
Class Rank: 1/92
Schools Selectivity Index: 995

Note: My main Extracurricular focus is art =), mainly drawing (not sure if that being more unique than painting helps).

E.C’s:
-National Merit Semifinalist
-Have city art exhibits
-Art Club Pres.
-Worked with a state senator to throw a city art show for underprivileged kids, cost 2$ a piece, raised a lot for City Housing
-Student Council
-Class Press
-Interned at a my dad’s D.C. lobby firm
-Interned at a private hospital, saw how everything worked
-Public Pool Lifeguard
-Played 3 Varsity sports
-Built a park w/ friends
-Started an organization that raised money to build a school in Africa
– Went with others to help build the school
-Studied abroad in China (Beijing, Shanghai), Australia (Sydney)

Essay: My essay writing is very strong, so I believe that it will be a very good one .

Thanks for your help, any opinions/tips would be appreciated! I just don’t want all my hard work to go to waste.

ANSWER
The things you here about well-rounded individuals being the targets for colleges is completely false. Colleges want the students to all be different and excel in just one area, this way Harvard can say, “Well we have the best ______” rather than saying all of our individuals are pretty smart. You don’t have a main focus really. Although you have art in extracurriculars, you have to embellish that more so. By that I mean several competitions for drawing and art might do you well. Personally, I think you will get into AT LEAST one of what I refer to as HYPS (Harvard Yale Princeton Stanford) because very few individuals have started nonprofit organizations, but thats your real distinguishing point. I would send in a few of your best drawings to each school when applying to show them your talent. Don’t wish you were some minority. My sister goes to Cornell and kids who didn’t really have the qualifications for Cornell, but got in because of legacy or minority things mostly had GPA’s below 3.0 some as low as 1.8, and are in danger of flunking out. Obviously, you are smart. I recommend you apply early action to Yale or Stanford because they are not binding, then you can apply to the other places. Remember, there are plenty of kids who have done incredible things. I don’t see any competitions on there, which doesn’t seem great. Also, how do you know you are already a National Merit Semifinalist. I just got notified the other day that I got nominated. I really do think you will get into one of the HYPS, but I doubt you will get into them all. By the way, well-rounded and unique don’t really fit together. THey would prefer just unique. You also have to remember they are not just looking for the smartest of individuals. They each of hundreds or thousands of computers that can outsmart any of those students. They really care about how much the school will get out of you, and you really need to show them why they would want you there, not just why you want to go there, or why you are smart.