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Sophomore trying to get into Stanford

module9module9 Posts: 36Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2008 in Stanford University
I'm just wondering what kind of school Stanford is, from the student perspective and not the historical/other perspective you find online at their website and in the news etc. What kind of students does the university look for, and what should one do if he or she wants to get into Stanford? Thank you guys!

Do I have a chance?
I'm currently a sophomore with a 3.67 unweighted GPA. This will be 3.83 by senior year. I scored 2000 on the PSAT (600 reading 600 writing 800 math) and expect to receive 2250-2300 on the SAT. I took the SAT Math IIC and got an 800 on my first try. I plan on majoring in either engineering (possibly mechanical) or mathematics (to become an actuary? truthfully not sure yet). I'm playing no sports this year, but will next year. I ran cross country, track, played tennis, and wrestled last year. I will most likely attend Harvard's SSP Summer Program this summer and Oxford's Summer Program next summer. I'm attending the HOBY leadership conference this summer and plan on attending West Point's Leadership Seminar and Boys State next summer.

This year's classes: Chem Honors, World History Honors, Precalc Honors, English 2, Leadership, Korean 4, Leadership
Next year's classes: Physics AP, Calc AB AP, English 3 Honors, US History AP, Korean 5, XC/Track, Leadership

Who I Am: Vice-President of Sophomore Class, Vice-President of church Student Council, Secretary of District's Youth & Government [state-wide club that is recognized by the government (the governor of CA comes to our last convention)], Short-term missionary (I went to Kenya for a month for missions), Music Volunteer for Kaiser Permanente (200+ hours), Snowboarder (started when I was 7 years old)

I don't have a ton of leadership positions yet, but in the next two years I plan on being...
Junior Year: Junior Class President, CSF Secretary, Youth & Government Secretary/President
Senior Year: Student Council President, Youth & Government President, Officer in Civil Air Patrol, CSF President/Vice-President

Please tell me what I need to work on. I'm trying to be as well rounded as possible.
Post edited by module9 on

Replies to: Sophomore trying to get into Stanford

  • forgottenmuch987forgottenmuch987 Posts: 176Registered User Junior Member
    It's way too early to tell. You should be looking out for more leadership positions/EC's and find your passions. Work on raising your gpa as it is slightly slow among stanford applicants. Whatever you're weaker in, let's say gpa, must be overshadowed by an amazing ec.

    Good luck!
  • module9module9 Posts: 36Registered User Junior Member
    forgottenmuch987: Somebody just told me that I should have some strong talents. What would you suggest I do? I'd say that snowboarding and math are my top two talents, but I don't know exactly how I would show colleges that I am talented in those two fields. Joining math club wouldn't be enough. A good percentage of students across America are in math club. I could, however, try to join a sponsored snowboarding team. It might be difficult to do so, but I think it's possible.
  • Johnny BearJohnny Bear Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    You aren't taking enough AP next year. Your scores are low. Your GPA is low. Stanford rejects 50% of 4.0 students who apply to their school. As for ECs, compete a lot and win awards, preferably ones that have been heard of.

    Stanford is better than you can imagine. It's full of compelling people. Sure, people will say that about other top schools out of political correctness. But Stanford is different; their students really are amazing (but not cutthroat competitive). There's no one type of Stanford student. They try to admit very different people. If you're a generic 4.0/2300 prestige whore they will see it on your application and reject you.
  • skatearabiaskatearabia Posts: 124Registered User Junior Member
    Just be different from every other applicant.

    And that's not exactly a tall order, either. Be yourself, and you'll be different. That's all you can do, because unless you've got some abso-freaking-lutely amazing awards on your side, you won't be getting in based on test scores and GPA (or even a list of leadership positions). Take some time to do some truly interesting things (and that by no means implies expensive international help-the-needy trips, which are about as transparent as scotch tape). Come across on your app as a person that people will be glad to have met---those are the people stanford is filled with.

    Of course you need good scores and grades to not get rejected at first glance...but you have those. Don't worry about getting them perfect. It's not necessary and you'll do much more for your chances by developing your own personal interests and exploring them.

    As for the student perspective of the school, it's amazing. Whatever you want to do...academics, clubs, sports, drinking, drugs, video games, board games, mind games...it's all there. The people, especially, are unforgettable.
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