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Would I benefit from a Postgraduate year (at top prep schools)?

avgsopho1223avgsopho1223 39 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Okay, I'm about to pour everything into this so I'm sorry if it's long.

GPA: 3.9 uw, 4.45 w
SAT: 770 verbal, 750 math
SAT IIs: 800 math I, 800 literature, 800 biology

Extracurriculars:
- President of Research team, 2x international awards, 3 years
- Vice President of Debate-style club, 1x state award, 3 years
- Secretary of a service-style club, 2 years
- Model UN member, 4 years
- Misc. volunteering and work with a non-profit

Why a Postgrad year?
My class rank (16%) is not great for top schools (Georgetown, Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, Ivies) I'm aiming towards. At the beginning of high school, I had no idea what I was doing and didn't sign up for enough APs (taken 5 already, taking 5 more in my senior year). I am also 16 years old, will turn 17 in late July. Because of this, I have been ineligible for a lot of extracurricular research and volunteering opportunities. However, I have a lot of activities "in the works" and I think that if I were given the rest of the year + the summer to strengthen my extracurriculars, I could stand out a lot more as an applicant.

Concerns about a postgrad year:
I'm worried that even if I were to strengthen my extracurriculars over the year and during the summer, I would essentially "reset" in my postgrad year, and then would be competing against students who have had 4 years to gain leadership positions and involvement in their activities. I'm also worried that it would not even benefit me in terms of college admissions as they may be confused about why I would even take a postgraduate year if I am not an athlete.

I plan to apply to colleges normally this year and if I get accepted into a top prep school (Philips Exter or Andover), then I will consider attending. However, even putting together applications for these schools would be time-consuming and may detract from time spent towards my college applications. Do you guys think it is worth it?
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Replies to: Would I benefit from a Postgraduate year (at top prep schools)?

  • PublisherPublisher 8084 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 22
    No, I do not think that a PG year is worthwhile in your case because you are not an athlete, do not need a year of assimilating to the English language & the US, and because you do not need academic help.

    If you feel too young for college, then a gap year should be considered.
    edited September 22
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 447 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    Agree with @Publisher , who laid out the three scenarios where PG years make sense. And as s/he says, you don't fall into any of them.

    Make sure to have some good match and target schools and you will do just fine with college admissions.
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  • avgsopho1223avgsopho1223 39 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 23
    Nevermind, I just realized that I would be applying to colleges within a few months again in my postgrad year and that would not make any sense.
    edited September 23
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