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Limited options at a small school

13CollegeGirl1313CollegeGirl13 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited October 2010 in College Admissions
I'm a sophomore who go to a small school...a very small school (about 300 students k-12) and there are very few honors/AP classes and ECs avalavable. I really want to go to a school like Cornell with a strong math and physics program.

I take the hardest classes offered at my school/ several online that arn't, and have a 4.0 gpa. I run track, and cross country. I will also be in a ski cadet program, and by either my junior or senior year i will probably be a ski instructor. I am also on the knowledge bowl team. Im looking into community service opportunities that i can do (I currently peer tutor), and will probably have a lot of community service hours. I've always had good test scores and expect to score high on the SAT/ACT and will also be taking several SAT Subject Tests. I also participated in EPGY's Stanford summer program in Cosmology.

I'm doing the best I can with what is avalable to me but im still really worried about not having a strong application. What else can i do to improve my chances of getting in to a school like Cornell?
Post edited by 13CollegeGirl13 on

Replies to: Limited options at a small school

  • paperbackheadpaperbackhead Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    you won't be penalized because of the way your school is set up; that isn't your fault. You just need to show that you are capable of doing college-level work. Your test scores will help with that, as will the Stanford program. I'd say that you should challenge yourself as best you can with the opportunities available to you. If you can take extra classes outside of school, perhaps you should consider that. Otherwise, don't worry about it. It's not in your control to change the setup of your school.
  • 13CollegeGirl1313CollegeGirl13 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Yeah, i will probably take severaly online classes over the summer (including extra math classes). Currently im taking Spanish 2, and Algebra 2 (so i can take calculus senior year) online. Im going to be doing running start junior and senior year, and am slowly getting ahead in my classes so by senior year i can take extra classes.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,132 Senior Member
    colleges don't penalize you if you're taking what you can at your school, even if it doesn't match up to what bigger HS's offer. However I do have a comment about your ECs. What I see is "member of this, participant in that". Building up a ton of community service hours, for example, will occupy a lot of your time but not impress any adcom. What elite colleges look for is leadership and/or achievement. Here, for example, is what Stanford says about how it evaluates ECs
    We are more interested in the depth of your commitment and achievement than in the sheer quantity of your activities. An exceptional experience in one or two activities demonstrates your dedication more than minimal participation in five or six clubs. We want to see the impact your participation has had on that club or organization, in your school, or in the larger community.
    In some sense, you have more opportunity for an exceptional EC than those at larger HS's where almost anything you can think of is already being done by some group. You have the chance to pioneer something at your school or in your community, which will be both personally enriching and a powerful statement on your app. Think about some area you have a passion for and ways to really stand out in it. For more ideas, while I don't agree with everything in these posts here are two links that may give you an idea of things you can do:How to Be Impressive Without an Impressive Amount of Work and How Could We Save This Ridiculously Overloaded Grind? Take a look at these 2 articles and I think you'll get some ideas.
  • 13CollegeGirl1313CollegeGirl13 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks, ill look at those articles :)
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