<p>Say, someone has really good ECs,but, other parts of his/her app are weak. To what extent, can those ECs offset the weak aspects at the top schools? I think this is a question driving many of us insane? I'd appreciate any input!</p>
<p>Can you define "really good" EC's? That will make a difference in the answers you get to your question. :)</p>
<p>For me, really good EC's would probably
- Be focused on what you want to pursue in college.
- Be well-rounded. But, not in there just for the heck of it.
- Show your interest and personality.
- Highlight your abilities and capability to handle college-level classes.</p>
<p>That's all I can give you in a generalized sense, I guess. I could probably give examples from my own EC's, but I doubt they're really good(compared to all the awesome stuff on here). Plus, it wouldn't really be the same for someone else, right?</p>
<p>Go to the Common Data Set for that school and look at the stats for the students offered admission. If 95% of the admitted students graduated in the top 50% of their class, you can pretty much bet that you have to be in the top 50% of your class unless you have something really unique to offer them. If you are in the bottom 25% of admitted students in more than one area (grades, test scores, class rank), figure you are looking at a significant reach, irrespective of your ECs.</p>
<p>Okay, let's say, you're border-line to the bottom 25% of just one area, then?</p>
<p>If you lack something in one category, you need to make up for it in another. Rank is difficult because there's thousands upon thousands of high schools and if yours is one of the top-100 ranked, highly competitive ones you might get some slack as that 10% that comes from outside of the top-10% (just my opinion). But if that's the case, you want to make sure that not only are oyur EC's good, but also you have good grades with a rigorous schedule and great ACT/SAT scores for that school. </p>
<p>Just one does not put you out of the running by any means, you just need to understand that some other part of your application needs to make up for it because that school has other qualified applicants to choose from.</p>
<p>Since the bulk of colleges don't consider ECs whatsoever, this person should probably match his/her college search list to the academic record. ECs won't factor much at all. Only at very selective colleges where an abundance of super academics apply, do ECs come into play, generally.</p>