College Preferences

<p>I am currently ranked the top of my junior class and will be finding myself applying to many prospective colleges next year and I'm wondering if Ivy leagues or other prestigious universities are more interested in applicants with higher act scores with little involvement in extracurricular or a very involved honor student with a high, but not too incredibly high ACT score?</p>

<p>As I said, I am ranked 1/143 and I scored a 27 on the ACT last year as a sophomore and have yet to taken it again this year, but I'm going to retake it of course. I am also wondering if I should take the SAT because I prefer the formatting of the SAT over the ACT (especially the english part). I am active in Key Club, French Club, 4H, Stu. Co., School Newspaper, NHS, Scholar Athlete for Varsity Soccer and perfect 4.0 GPA, unweighted, and 4.013 weighted GPA. I also have many other volunteering experiences and am planning on traveling to France this coming summer.</p>

<p>I have seen other honor students with ACT scores in the 30's (which I hope to score when I retake it after taking higher sciences and maths this past academic year) but with very little EC involvement and they have been matriculated into great colleges and I'm worried I may be far behind other students that I'm competing with just because my ACT score is not incredible.</p>

<p>Prestigious schools are interested in applicants that have good grades/scores AND be involved in extracurriculars. They receive so many applications that they don't need to settle for students that only have one or the other. </p>

<p>Now, if you were comparing a 36 with no involvement, vs a 34 with tons of involvement, they'd probably prefer the 34. But that's a different issue than say a mid-30s vs a 27.</p>

<p>If you're really hoping to get into a top 20 school, a 27 will put you behind the competition. A 27 is below the average score at these institutions, which doesn't make it impossible to get in, but makes it more difficult and more unlikely. Definitely retake it over the next year, and definitely try out the SAT. Good luck! Congrats on your GPA and rank.</p>

<p>Definitely practice and then take the SAT. For some, the format makes a big difference. As stated, your 27 is too low for the most selective schools but no reason it can't be improved with practice. </p>

<p>And remember, it's the quality not the quantity of your ECs that matter so don't pad your resume with lots of stuff that you aren't putting a lot of time into. Pick a few things and invest heavily so you really make an impact and get the most out of it. Going to France really doesn't add anything to your application (it just says your family has money) unless you are going as an exchange student for an extended period of time. I'm not saying you shouldn't go - but only that traveling isn't unusual or considered an EC.</p>

<p>Thanks for both of your advice. I really hope I can obtain a 30 or higher on my ACT when I take it again soon and I am planning to take the SAT even though my high school does not offer the SAT because we are such a small rural school. I am very invested in all of my EC's and hope universities will see that. I only mentioned my trip to France because it means so much to my hard work ethic and dedication because my family is far from being or economically stable. My eldest sisters (one whos already graduated from college and another who is a senior in college applying for law school) and I will be the first generation of our family to go to a full four-year college. I am paying for the trip all by myself with the money I earn working at the library. Again thanks for your advice and hope you had a great holiday!</p>