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Should I contact my aspiring colleges in Freshman year?

BrodyMBrodyM 3 replies2 threads New Member
I am a freshman with all A's in AP courses with all honors. One of my problems is my lack of success in algebra. I have a low B in algebra 1 honors.

How should I get my foot in the door to Ivy League schools? Should I be sending emails or letters to the school just simply letting them know who I am and that im interested?

Thank you and please comment!
11 replies
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Replies to: Should I contact my aspiring colleges in Freshman year?

  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 691 replies1 threads Member
    It is very difficult to be admitted to top schools with low rates of admittance.

    Look into extracurricular activities for fun and community service, don't spend all your time studying.

    Consult your school college counselor since you will need letters of recommendation. Reps from colleges may be visiting your school or region and your high school counselor may be helpful in connecting you with colleges of interest, summer programs.
    Have you looked at Fisk Guide, Princeton Review? Or the college's websites?
    Discuss your goals with your parents as they might not be able to afford exclusive private colleges.

    If you continue on your academic level of achievement, you could win merit scholarships at a variety of public universities, liberal arts colleges, that you have not heard of before and be proud and happy to have those types of opportunities.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15792 replies1056 threads Senior Member
    Emailing Ivy adcoms as a freshman will make you look like someone obsessesed with prestige. The emails will likey be quickly deleted.
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  • brantlybrantly 4285 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Um, no. College admittance does not rely on networking. They don't care about you or that you exist. The only thing that will matter will be your application, which they will spend three to eight minutes reading. Sorry to be so harsh, but this is the reality.
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  • BrodyMBrodyM 3 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you all for responding.

    Should I try and pack as many extracurricular activities possible or focus on being really good at only one or two?
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  • happy1happy1 24031 replies2408 threads Super Moderator
    There is no secret formula for getting admitted into a top tier college. If there were someone would bottle and sell it!

    It is good to take school seriously and know that college will be on your horizon, but it is too early to start planning for specific colleges. I would highly recommend that you get off of CC (except for the HS Life page) until your junior year.

    For now you should focus on:
    --Working hard, learning, and doing as well as you can in the most challenging curriculum you can manage.
    --When the time comes study for standardized tests.
    --Get involved in activities you care about and work towards making meaningful contributions to those activities.
    --Enjoying spending time with your family and friends.

    When junior year comes asses your academic stats (including GPA, standardized tests, course rigor) as well as your financial needs and apply to a wide range of reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable (you will have to run a net price calculator for each school you consider) and that you would be happy to attend. You need to expand your horizons and recognize that there are many wonderful schools out there where you can have a great 4 year experience and get where you want to go in life.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    edited March 2
    Do not contact admissions to tell them you are interested. The tippy tops you aspire to don’t care. They don’t track interest.

    You should do what interests you. Want to be president of the student council? Go for it. Want to knit doggy sweaters for shelter animals? Go for that too. But only do those things if you’re really interested in them. There’s no formula for getting into top colleges.
    edited March 2
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  • califmom23califmom23 46 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I agree with everyone here. I have a senior and a sophomore and my experience is that my senior has changed his college list throughout HS. There were a couple of schools that he loved as a freshman that he did not end up applying as he discovered new interests later on. You are going to evolve so much during the next couple of years. Also packing classes with all AP's and Honors is not necessarily the best if you are struggling in Math. Talk to your parents and GC and find a good balanced and challenging curriculum for "you" next year. The same goes with EC. Find something that you truly enjoy and somehow your passion for it will come through. And don't forget to have fun with friends. Everything is balance in life. Good luck and enjoy HS!
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  • brantlybrantly 4285 replies78 threads Senior Member
    BrodyM wrote: »
    Thank you all for responding.

    Should I try and pack as many extracurricular activities possible or focus on being really good at only one or two?

    Don't do anything that is solely for the purpose of your college application. Do what brings you joy. Do whatever you would do if extracurriculars were NOT part of a college application. Colleges admit people, not resumes. Therefore you should do whatever suits you, the person.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2281 replies36 threads Senior Member
    You can certainly contact them to get on a mailing list. Students sign up for informational mailing all the time. It’s useful to know the school, the culture, areas of study, etc., when making decisions about where to apply in a few years. It may even help with the “why xxxx” essays.

    Just don’t be under the impression that it provides any advantage in the admissions process, other than possible noted above.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    There is no need to contact an AO to be put on a mailing list. Doing that right now, when they are at the busiest time of year, is a great way to annoy them. Anyone can sign up for the mailing list simply by looking on the website.

    One of the golden rules about contacting AO’s is to not contact them with frivolous questions. Contacting about things not easily found or clearly explained on the website is fine. Asking them how to sign up for the website is frivolous.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 562 replies7 threads Member
    Why do you want to go to an Ivy? What do you plan to major in? Will an Ivy help you reach your goals?

    I would STRONGLY encourage you not to spend the next 4 years planning all your classes and EC's towards the goal of getting into an Ivy or other top school. My D had friends who did this, didn't get into the schools they wanted, and basically ended up feeling like they "wasted" 4 years. There is no set formula to get into any highly competitive school. You can try all you want to check all the boxes and then still be denied over a candidate with lower grades and scores. It's just not predictable. Every top school gets WAY more admits with top grades and scores than they can admit. They will be looking for students who are interesting and will offer something to the admitting class. Not just another smart kid who was the president of NHS.

    It's too early for you to be so focused. You have no idea what your grades will be throughout high school or where your test scores will end up. Your career interests will develop and change which might have a major impact on where you want to go. I would recommend studying hard, having some fun, joining clubs and activities that interest you and continue to develop those interests over the next 4 years. Try to figure out what you enjoy.

    Attending an Ivy does not guarantee happiness or success.
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