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As a high school junior, how should I build my application for Emory?

AmbitiousIBkidAmbitiousIBkid Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
Hey everyone. I'm a high school junior pursuing pre med and I'm very interested in Emory. I'm in the IB (HL bio, chem, and history) and maintain a 4.0 GPA (4.8 weighted) with a class rank within the top 3% at a competitive school. I've only taken the SAT once so far; I got a 2240, but with my next attempt I'm estimating that I'll be able to breach the 2300+ range.

I have fairly solid ECs and awards with a focus in English and science (particularly biology), and I'm considering using this combination as a hook. I have several leadership positions in community service organizations. I'm also a dedicated ballet dancer and will have 250+ hours of hospital volunteering experience. Do you guys have any recommendations for me on things I can do within the next year to make myself stand out to Emory? I'm in the process of finding a research position to demonstrate medical interest and competency. Any other ideas?

Thanks so much for your help.

Replies to: As a high school junior, how should I build my application for Emory?

  • 6Jesus6Jesus Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    That's not a hook
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,391 Senior Member
    @AmbitiousIBkid Agreed with @6Jesus, that is not a hook (many at Emory double-major in things that seem completely different. For example, many neuroscience and music majors, also many chemistry and music majors) and nor should any position you take be geared toward demonstrating a pre-med or med. school competency to an undergraduate admissions committee (they will not necessarily be impressed unless the experience meant far more to you than demonstrating a competency). That certainly will not help you for Emory to be ultra targeted in that way. You should pick things you actually enjoy and do them as well as possible so that you legit have something to talk about in essays and/or an interview if you are in those cities. Do not laundrylist for Emory as you'll look too much like a stereotype which will certainly not help you especially if you are planning on applying Regular Decision to Emory and other elite schools.

    Also 2300+ vs. 2240 isn't going to make you much more competitive for Emory at least, maybe for other places you are applying if they are more stats sensitive than the normal school.
  • AmbitiousIBkidAmbitiousIBkid Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thank you very much for the responses, I really appreciate your thoughts and time.

    @bernie12 I'm very sorry if I came across as trying to "laundrylist" or pursue interests that are not sincere. I am very passionate about everything that I do and also very interested in doing research out of curiosity and a desire for the learning experience. I was only wondering if there would be things I could do for Emory to recognize the extent of my interest and devotion, as I'm quite afraid of my passion being subdued in perceived intensity by the generally quantitative nature of college applications.
    Also, thank you for bringing it to my attention that unusual combinations of interests are quite common. I was intending to use mine more as a basis for an essay topic; I was considering writing about how being interested in English and ballet in contrast to my scientific studies taught me to have a perceptive perspective that balanced the concrete with the creative/subjective (it's a work in progress, and only an idea at that).
    But really, thank you for your response.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,391 Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    @AmbitiousIBkid You just have to be careful about how you present your accomplishments to both us on CC and definitely to adcoms. If you present them in a manner that indeed looks like you are trying to hopefully demonstrate a competency to merely gain favor with the adcoms at a certain school, it just won't help. Some schools like to see achievements in said areas at very high levels (something beyond a local award or competition) and schools like Emory certainly like that but ultimately want to see how your activities contribute to the way you think and how you will bring all that experience to life if you choose to attend. This concept reflects in the Emory supplemental essay prompts which were the following for this cycle:

    Essay Option 1
    Last August, Susan Grant, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare, said this of Emory's choice to treat patients with Ebola: "We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion. We can fear, or we can care." Consider her idea of doing what is in the public interest despite potential cost. Please discuss an example in your life or the life of another that's come to your attention.

    Essay Option 2:
    In the spirit of Emory's tradition of courageous inquiry, what question do you want to help answer, and why?

    So while not as tough as old Chicago or as Stanford is now, these prompts require some reflection on your plight up until now. There isn't really anymore "Why Emory?" essay as a supplement anymore where you can kind of pitch your EC's versus the strengths of Emory in hopes that the adcoms recognize that you've sort of done research. Also, perhaps an independent project or something like an attempt to enter the Seimens Competition would be more favorable than doing clinical research in your senior year. I'm just throwing it out there that doing research sometimes doesn't make one stand out either as many applying to these sorts of schools do it (before senior year at that). It adds to an application, but not as much as one may think as in, not as much as a longer, more continuous experiences. Sometimes even varied research experiences or internships across HS summers or years can be looked well upon as it can show exploration and maturation towards an interest. For example, look at how this guy gained experience (6th person down): http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/08/er_bts_class_profiles/campus.html . It makes him look more like he merely wanted to "learn stuff" and try different things out.
  • AmbitiousIBkidAmbitiousIBkid Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thank you so much, I really appreciate the time you have taken to provide constructive feedback. I will certainly continue to reflect on my experiences and their value toward my goals and perspective while also pursuing my interests, and I will look into your specific suggestions.
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