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Summer Activities

mhouse21mhouse21 0 replies6 threads New Member
Does anybody have recommendations for some summer activities that really pop on college admissions? The past few summers I have spent my time volunteering and working, but this summer I want something that's a bit more unique.
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Replies to: Summer Activities

  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6508 replies206 threads Senior Member
    Most colleges are more impressed by someone doing the same volunteering/working two years in a row, versus one. They are even more impressed by doing it 3 or more years in a row, vs 1 or 2. Don't underestimate the value of showing your commitment to volunteering/working/any EC.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5656 replies124 threads Senior Member
    To restate what @Gator88NE said in a slightly different way...colleges see right through this ploy and tend to gloss right over it. It's not deep enough to be meaningful.

    It's important to know that most highly selective colleges regularly receive 10 times (or more) FULLY QUALIFIED applicants than they have slots for. No matter what you do over the summer, it's very unlikely that you will get into the Stanfords and Harvards of the world, even with great test scores and GPA. As a result, rather than unsuccessfully trying to game the system, do something you enjoy. At least some of that time should be just hanging out with your friends and family. Those opportunities are fading.

    Good luck!
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad 7485 replies132 threadsForum Champion Engineering Forum Champion
    Some (most?) "highly selective" colleges also specifically recruit students to apply who they know will never get in solely to pump up their rejection numbers, so I wouldn't put any stock in the idea that all of those extra candidates are fully qualified.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5656 replies124 threads Senior Member
    @boneh3ad, I guess that's a matter of definition. I'm simply restating the general gist of what we heard from dog and pony shows. The admissions director at Brown for example said that they'd received over 30,000 applicants of which roughly 25,000 were "fully qualified to matriculate." They had a little over 2000 first year slots.

    There are roughly 35,000 high schools in the US. If we assume they limit to one valedictorian, which many don't, that's a big pool that are confident that they have a shot at Stanford's roughly 1700 first time freshman slots. And that's ignoring salutatorians.

    About 65,000 score 2100 (an average of 700 per section, 96th percentile) or better on the SAT. Only a couple of questions, depending on the curve, distinguish a 700 from an 800. Most admissions staff would acknowledge that those scores, from a success prediction standpoint are functionally the same. That's a lot of people who rightly feel like they have a chance to be one of Harvard's 2000 admits.

    It's certainly painting with broad strokes and ignoring things like level of math achieved, but it would be tough to say that those students aren't, as well as anyone can predict, "fully qualified" to study pretty much anywhere they want to. That's the problem.

    Certainly schools reach out to applicants that they will reject to improve selectivity. They don't tend to be under qualified though. They contact students based on test scores that would at least put them in the hunt. My son started getting deluged by Vanderbilt when he was in 9th grade.

    Back to the OPs original question, I'm simply trying to put things into perspective regarding the impact an isolated 12 week activity can make...not much. That's why I agree with @Gator88NE, stick with something, something you like to do, because at the end of the day, that's all there will be to show for it, good memories. Gaming the system doesn't really change already long odds.

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  • Beyou2022Beyou2022 49 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Best advice I ever read about applying to colleges: https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/
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