College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. Get your free copy of the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook and get helpful advice on how to choose a college, get in, and pay for it: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM
I'm a mixed white-asian student from the UK, thinking of applying to HYPSM this year. I've got back up applications in the UK, so my US applications are just dreams really
At AS-Level I got 6As (4As are considered equivalent to a 4.0 GPA) by self-teaching myself a couple of subjects. I also got an A* in an A2 a year early by self-teaching myself another subject. I have a 2200 SAT (760 CR, 760 maths, 680 writing, resitting in decemeber), subject tests in maths L2, physics and english lit pending. I'm ranked somewhere in the top 5 students in my year of 180 i.e. top 2.7% minimum.
I think the biggest strength of my application will be my extra academics. In my own time, I am doing a module from the Open University taken from the third year of their maths degree (it's very unusual for a 17yr old to be doing this kind of work). My first exam is in December, so I'll have some results to put on the application. I am also studying three edX modules (freshman courses from Harvard and MIT). In total, this extra academic workload is rated at 38hrs/week, on top of doing double the average school workload at a top 10 state school.
In terms of extra-curriculars, I'm a keen pianist. In December i'm sitting my Grade 8 piano exam, which is the highest grade in the UK, and this Tuesday I'm sitting the Grade 8 Music Theory exam, which is also the highest national standard. I'm self-taught for both these exams. At school, I'm the elected representative of my house on the school council and an elected House Official. I've arranged and conducted a variety of musical performances at school including a choir, jazz band and one-act musical, and I enjoy public speaking and debating.
I'm a regular volunteer at a dementia care home (>100hrs) and I've written a research paper about a new means of diagnosing dementia and lead a team to complete a nationally published research paper on stem cells. I've planned and completed a Gold Duke of Edinburgh's expedition. I also have a 10hr/week job, which I use to fund my university maths module.
As an international student, I don't know much about HYPSM admissions, so any chances would be much appreciated