<p>Aside from great essays, SAT scores, good GPA, athletic or arts skills - etc. what else can students do to better position themselves for admittance and even scholarship monies to specific schools? </p>
<p>FIND THE NICHE...Discover which specific interests, abilities, personal traits or situations (i.e. geographic, schooling, ethnic, parent in the military or ministry, etc.) different colleges seek in the applicants they accept. </p>
<p>I'd mentioned on another site that I'd heard bowling and golf scholarships at certain schools go begging for applicants. That sports like water polo and lacrosse players (even third stringers from my state) usually get into colleges (many with acholarship money.)</p>
<p>The best example I can give was our own experience last year when my S was applying to colleges. Trinity College in Ct. was one of his top choices. On researching the school, we learned that it:
1. had one of the highest prep school student bodies in the U.S.
2. had a very high percentage of students from New England and also from California.
3. was located in a not-so-hot section of Hartford but had just spent nearly $200 million dollars revitalizing the area around the school with Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.</p>
<p>Because of these things, we also learned that Trinity was making a concerted effort to broaden it's base and hence, sought:
2.more students not from New England or California;
3. more minority students;
4. more public high school students;
5. individuals who were significantly involved in, and committed to, community service activities.</p>
<p>My S hit all four of those criteria, was accepted into Trinity, and received over $30,000 in aid. </p>
<p>Now that was a fluke -- Trinity turned out to be a great match for him. However - I guess what I am saying is that if Trinity is a school that interests you and you know it seeks students dedicated to community service activities (and not simply token volunteerism), the sooner you find a volunteer activity and the longer you can commit to it, the more attractive you become to that institution.</p>
<p>It is the same for any institution I would imagine...UPenn has one of the best archaeology depts. in the US - if that field interests you -- even as a hobby -- maybe start volunteering at local archaeology digs. Dickinson is big on languages - so maybe consider learning two languages in High School and volunteering with a local ethnic group where you can practice one of the lamguages and do community service at the same time. Or take U. of Hawaii -- it has a wonderful world music/ethnomusicology dept. They also have one of the few gamelon troupes in the US. Have you lived in Indonesia? Is a parent Indonesian? Do you play any different types of instruments? -- if not, find one and start learning it. Princeton likes water polo players - Hopkins like lacrosse players. Find the niche that not many others can fill....</p>