Are spectacular ECs with leadership positions necessary for Harvard?

<p>or for Yale, Stanford, and Wharton, for that matter?</p>

<p>I have fairly good IB grades and SAT scores (higher than the mean/median for these colleges), I imagine my teacher recommendations should be great if not exceptional, and I think I can write pretty personal and engaging application essays.</p>

<p>My problem is, however, that I don't have tons of ECs and leadership positions that many other candidates will have. Sure, I have MUN, Princeton University Language Project (translation work for charities), global issues group, cross-country, badminton, piano, and have done some volunteering, and have gone to a couple of summer programs. I also did an internship at a law firm last summer. But all these are nothing spectacular, and I'm not president or chairlady of any club or captain of sports team. </p>

<p>Should I still attempt Harvard or any of the schools mentioned above?</p>

<p>I know many Harvard students , and they are pretty amazing all around ! You have to stand out to make an impression . If money isn’t a problem , I would certainly apply . These kids have it all - grades , test scores , ECs , a total package .</p>

<p>Your resume doesn’t sound all that lacking to me! Certainly not so much so that you shouldn’t bother applying. Possibly the admissions office will find you exceptional, even if you aren’t sure you are; it’s not as objective as all that. Of course, anyone’s odds still aren’t great, but, as I said, your extracurriculars don’t look that bad.</p>