Can I get into a top college such as MIT, Harvard, with a C in Math? I am a decent candidate...I hav

Can I get into a top college such as MIT, Harvard, with a C in Math? I am a decent candidate…I have good grades in my other classes but my teacher was not very good this year…what should I do to improve my chances and what are my chances?

I am a freshman btw…

I am a freshman btw…

If you are in 9th grade, the main focus should be to take the hardest course options available to you and earn A grades in them. Top end high school record is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for admission to a highly selective college. And strong high school preparation will be helpful even if you attend a college that is less selective – you are likely to be better prepared for any college.

Happily for you, MIT is genuinely helpful about this. Spend some time on the MIT admissions site, but start with this one:

Win the Google Science Fair or an international math/science competition. Those will increase your chances by quite a bit.

Go read my response to your other post, but:

  1. you are in 9th grade, so no, you are not a decent candidate yet- though you might become one in time.

  2. None of those schools are looking for ‘decent’- they want The Best- and they have tens of thousands of applicants to choose from.

  3. Really strong students typically succeed even when they have “a not very good” teacher

Why MIT? You will need to answer that question when you apply…and the answer can’t be “because it’s prestigious”.

Get the best grades you can. Get the best standardized test scores that you can. Do great and relevant ECs. Have great essays and letters of reference.

But even with that…understand that 95% or so of applicants get rejected from MIT. And amongst those are some very well qualified candidates.

The best advice I can give you is…sure…aim for the best (and affordable) college you can get into. But drop the prestige thing. It’s very likely that you can study in your area of interest at many, many different colleges. Start opening your mind to options.

Go back in time and get your parents to attend, or be born to very wealthy parents, and then attend a prestigious high school. Few other things will increase your chances in any meaningful way.

Here is the some reality - you are extremely unlikely to attend MIT. That’s a basic fact of life. In fact, you are also extremely unlikely to attend any of the most prestigious colleges. By “extremely unlikely” I mean that there is an over 95% likelihood that you will not attend any of them. So devoting the next four years to a plan that you have little likelihood of realizing is not a healthy way to spend your high school years.

However, the great thing is that there are literally hundreds of excellent colleges out there, each which will prepare you for whatever you want to do in your life.

Because that is the entire point of college - preparing you for the rest of your life. College is not a goal or a target. College is just like high school - a place where you will obtain the education which will help you with the rest of your life

You need to find a college which best fits you, not decide on a college because of prestige, and then do your best to fit the college.

Figure our what you like, take the high school courses which set you up best for continuing to the major in college, and do your absolutest best to make sure that all your courses are the most rigorous classes with which you can deal. Engage in extracurricular activity which either reflects your academic interests, your other creative interest, and the social causes about which you care. Invest yourself in them.

Don’t become that student who spending their entire 4 years in a constant state of stress because you’re thinking “OMG, am I doing enough to get into a prestigious college?”, and then ends up saying “I didn’t get into one of the top 20 colleges, I wasted all of my high school years”.

You do your absolute best in the most rigorous classes available to you, invest heart and soul into your ECs, and don’t forget a social life. Based on the grades you achieve, and what you achieve in your ECs, you will have an idea as to the colleges at which you will succeed and thrive.

If you do those things, and look for a college which fits you, you will likely attend a college at which you will succeed and thrive (it may be MIT, though it most likely will not). You will also take full advantage of your high school years.

What can I do to improve my chances to get into a very good college and how could I improve my chances…

The OP asked this question before under another account, which violates ToS:
Closing thread.