Can I makeup for mediocre academics with outstanding Leadership and service?

<p>I have made very average grades, But I have very impressive extra-curriculars. I have a few state colleges that I know I can get into and would be very happy to attend, but I am really interested in going to a more prestigious university. I would be thrilled to go to a top 25 or top 50... especially Cornell. </p>

<p>To be a little more specific:</p>

<p>Academically:</p>

<p>3.19 GPA; 4.15 wieghted
177 of 797
1860 SAT
191 PSAT</p>

<p>But I have taken difficult courses; 14 Pre-Ap; 3 AP; 1 dual college credit
I am also a National Hispanic Scholar</p>

<p>Not Ivy Material... TRUST ME, I know:/</p>

<p>BUT, Extracurricularly:</p>

<p>I have held a multitude of of leadership positions. Class Historian, President .etc; Student Body Secretary (two consecutive terms)</p>

<p>I currently hold a state office as Secretary of all the student councils in my state and I serve on the executive board of the largest student leadership organization in the world.</p>

<p>I have accumulated over 2000 community service hours and have initiated a statewide service/patriotism project.</p>

<p>I did an internship with a FOX Sports Radio Station
I Hold a full-time year round position as editor-in-chief of my cities newspaper
I am the head Sound and Media Tech at two churches</p>

<hr>

<p>I will do everything I can to express in my applications that my grades are not reflective of my dedication to my school or academic capabilities, only the byproduct of my extreme dedication to leadership and community service. </p>

<p>Anyone have any suggestions or experiences that they can share with me? Have you ever got into a top school with similar grades?</p>

<p>With those grades and test scores you won't get into a school like Cornell.</p>

<p>There is a reason why gaining admission to a school like Cornell necessitates having outstanding grades and test scores. The academics at this type of school are really tough and they want some assurance that you can handle them. Maybe you could have compensated for a grade point that is on the low side with outstanding test scores but without either you won't get in.</p>

<p>Very true, I know this... i was just kinda wonderin... and I forgot to mention that that was my first try at the SAT, I didn't use a calculator and I got there late... I know that I can do better than that... but still, I'm really just wantin to see if anyone on here has personally gotten into a top school with average grades. TRUST ME, I know my grades and test scores are not even close... im just curious.</p>

<p>I think you can get into some very good schools. I would look at some LACs that rank below 10 or so and Us rankig below 20--privates that can count race.</p>