Grades and Top Colleges

<p>I am applying to several Ivy Leagues with pretty focused/passionate extracurriculars a 2380 SAT. My only worry is my grades.
Not that they are bad; I have straight As and A minuses. It's just that they are not as stellar as those of many others in my school, and I definitely won't be valedictorian or salutatorian. What kind of achievement in school would be considered sufficient for a school like Harvard to ditch the transcript and focus on the ECs for admission?</p>

<p>You shouldn't worry about the miniscule difference btn you and the others in your HS. You've definitely achieved the academic threshold for most any school. Now what you (and they) are looking to present is something that will catch the attention of your file readers. In this way, you're on a level plain with your top achieving classmates. You may or may not have that spark. They may or may not have that spark. But no one is going to line your app next to them and pick the one that has 10 more SAT points or a .055 difference in GPA. That wont' be the determining factor at this point. OK? Stop comparing yourself to them. Also val or sal is pretty much useless as an evaluation point.</p>

<p>You asked what kind of achievement would get the committee to pay attention: The kind that they haven't seen on every one else's application. Figure out what you have to offer that no one else can offer, why a prof would want you in their class rather than the other top student, what you can contribute to the school that would make it a better place...At this stage, there is nothing you can do to change your past, so it's about how you present what you've become or achieved thus far.</p>