Excellent grades + so-so EC's or good grades and excellent EC's?

<p>Curious.. Do you think that very selective colleges would pick someone with an excellent GPA (3.9+) and "okay" EC's over a student with a good GPA (3.7 - 3.8) and focused, excellent EC's? (Assuming that both students have the same SAT score + both are from large public schools)</p>

<p>I think the latter is better. There really isn't a difference between 3.7 and 3.8/3.9 to be honest. Both are academically capable but what they'll contribute outside of academics trumps a 2-3% higher GPA.</p>

<p>I think it's better to place these kids in the context of a good prep school rather than a large public. a) accounting for weighted GPA, these kids could be worlds apart in rank, especially with grade inflation, and b) at least in my area, kids in publics without 4.0s or close to it don't fare too well at top schools.</p>

<p>But, assuming they go to rigorous schools, a few Bs and one incredible EC, IMO, will get the acceptance letter. If they go to a so-so public, I don't think either of them will get in.</p>

<p>Also worth noting that the "ECs wins" won't hold true if the GPA drops below 3.75/3.7.</p>

<p>I think they'll pick option C, who has excellent grades and excellent ECs.</p>

<p>So is it unheard of for a kid with the most rigorous schedule, steep grade improvement (3.4 - 3.7 - 4.0) and amazing EC's at a so-so public to be admitted to top schools?</p>

<p>At Stanford + Princeton, freshman grades don't matter so what if the applicant had a 3.85 - 3.9 UW GPA? Then, would the applicant be accepted over one with a perfect GPA w/ not-so-special EC's?</p>

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So is it unheard of for a kid with the most rigorous schedule, steep grade improvement (3.4 - 3.7 - 4.0) and amazing EC's at a so-so public to be admitted to top schools?

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<p>Define amazing. Major accomplishments (TASP, Siemens/Intel, the olympiads, etc.) are worth a lot. So is overcoming a uniquely difficult background. But your run-of-the-mill Ivy-aspirant overachiever? That's different.</p>

<p>Actually, define top, too.</p>

<p>I agree with haavain that you need to define "amazing ECs". </p>

<p>If your application is filled with the typical laundry list of ECs that are commonly found on a high percentage of top college applications, then it's not going to add the value you're looking for.</p>

<p>At top schools, you're competing with others who have both top grades and top ECs.</p>

<p>Plus, if you do manage to pull off top grades and amazing ECs, then you need to be realistic that the top colleges your other threads refer to only accept 9%-15% of those who apply.</p>

<p>Shes planning on doing environmental work and etc. She makes a thread once or twice a week to ask the same questions.</p>

<p>The best advice I could give you, ctgirl, is to log off CC and don't come back until after April 1 of your Senior year.</p>

<p>The most competitive colleges have an overabundance of applicants who have excellent grades and excellent ECs, so those colleges don't need to choose one or the other.</p>

<p>Most colleges in the country, however, would choose the student with excellent grades over the one with excellent ECs. That's because the most important aspect of college (from the administrators' standpoint) is the academics.</p>