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How can I improve my resume for mid to higher selective universities?

marco18181818marco18181818 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
Hi! So I am about to start my junior year. I’ve been thinking about college a lot, since before even high school started, but I know I only have about one more year to strengthen my application. There are many mid-level schools like SLU and Loyola Chicago that I am considering, but also more selective schools like UCLA, Northwestern, WashingtonU, etc. I’ve read and heard that often times it is better to have fewer extracurriculars that show genuine interest rather than joining a ton of sports and clubs. Currently, I have done many volunteer hours for peer math tutoring at my school & volunteered at many elementary schools to help out with events. I’m also a peer leader at my school for freshmen, and help organize and run our freshman orientation / welcome event, as well as be a peer leader and give advice throughout the school year for them. I also have a summer job as a lifeguard, which has kept me busy in my summers. This school year I plan to also join NHS, and Spanish Club (I love spanish and am doing 4 years of it) as well as try to volunteer at the hospital when I can.

My GPA is currently 4.1 weighted and 3.7 unweighted. My first ACT score was a 28, which I know needs to come way up, but I plan on doing more prep (I had done zero prep and practice prior to my first ACT attempt). I’m enrolled in these classes for junior year, if relevant.


AP English Language
AP Chemistry
Honors Precalculus
Honors Physics
Spanish 3 HONORS
AP US Gov (S1) / AP Psych (S2)

I took AP US History my sophomore year already, and earned an A both semesters with a 4 on the AP exam (that’s why I am taking Gov & Psych rather than US History).

Taking all this in, how does my application shape up thus far? And most importantly, what advice does anyone have as to how I can strengthen it my junior year!

Replies to: How can I improve my resume for mid to higher selective universities?

  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,397 Forum Champion
    1) You are taking two lab sciences...you don't have to do that. You can take one and then take AP Chem next year.
    If you do take both, work very hard to get good grades.
    2) Worry more about ACT scores than Extra curriculars. Get it above a 30.
    3) Talk to your parents about what you can afford. UCLA is a great school, but if you don't live in California it is a very expensive school. So run the Net Price Calculators for each of those collegs with your family. See what you can afford.
    4) For ECs...don't worry about what colleges want...do what interests you. It is great that you are showing leadership!
  • marco18181818marco18181818 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    I’m taking AP Chemistry because I genuinely enjoy it and I want to go into science! :) Thank you though, and I will keep your advice in mind!
  • pinklover331pinklover331 Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Were you involved in any clubs freshmen and sophomore year? An AO might look at you joining clubs junior year as "you are just trying to impress adcoms"
  • marco18181818marco18181818 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    Sophomore year I did my volunteering & math tutoring as well as got my job. A lot of this other stuff was just made available to me junior year.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,168 Senior Member
    No science-related ECs? I looked at your history (tutoring, working with kids and in schools) and thought you might have the makings of a career in education! Science teacher, perhaps?
  • marco18181818marco18181818 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    I love science! I enjoy working with kids and helping people, but my passion lies in science. I really want to help people in the medical field ideally, if I could :) I believe in myself
  • pinklover331pinklover331 Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    I guess from my perspective the late involvement is odd (just for your school in general, as most students take on leadership positions junior or senior year, but if the clubs aren't even offered until junior year...) anyway but that should be addressed by your counselor in the school profile what clubs are made available to students and when.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,773 Senior Member
    Just my opinion: I think that you are doing very well. Your being a tutor is impressive both because it is genuinely helpful to many other students, an also because you have stuck with it and showed a commitment to it. Tutoring also shows that you have a solid grasp of the concepts.

    True leaders don't get that way by bossing others around. True leaders get that way by helping others, and by making the people around them do well.

    I would suggest that you work hard to keep your grades as high as possible for this year, continue with what you are doing, and apply to a range of universities a year from now. I don't think that you need to change anything.

    I also agree with your plan to do more preparation before retaking the ACT.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,167 Senior Member
    The weak part of your application right now is your ACT score. Focus on that and don't worry about the rest. Just do what you love.
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