What can I do to improve my chances? I'm planning on applying REA next year.

<p><a href="https://www.parchment.com/c/college/view/?id=198980%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://www.parchment.com/c/college/view/?id=198980&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>That's basically my high school life in a nutshell. I'm a junior right now so the senior year stuff is just what I anticipate doing.
Also, by the end of senior year, I will have 9 AP classes/tests taken. Hopefully with good scores. ;)</p>

<p>With your interest in biology/neurobio, I recommend summer research experience. Have you considered applying to SIMR (see <a href="http://simr.stanford.edu/)?%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://simr.stanford.edu/)?&lt;/a> Students with strong grades, test scores, but no prior lab experience are great candidates for this program.</p>

<p>Do you have any suggestions for a program that's shorter? I'm not so sure if I can give up my whole summer this year, as much as I would love to. I'm planning on going on a trip with my Polish dance group, possibly Costa Rica for an international festival, so I would like to be home to be able to go to that. I was also planning on studying to take the SAT II's, volunteering, and possibly getting a job. So it's a little jam packed. </p>

<p>(Speaking of testing, do you think I should take the SAT I's? I'm from the midwest so ACT is the big thing for us. If I'm able to score, say, a 34 on it, would that be sufficient? I know I score worse on the SAT.)</p>

<p>Also, last summer, I spent 8 weeks in Europe. I lived with both sides of my family for about three weeks each, along with two weeks in Italy. Was this beneficial in any way? I feel like I kind of wasted a whole summer, but does it have any credit anywhere on my applications?
I'm thinking of writing about how my culture has influenced me to become who I am for my common app essay.</p>

<p>If you think you'd score worse on the SAT's dont take them. I believe most schools (including Stanford) weight the SAT and ACT the same. I'd like to think a 34 is sufficient.</p>

<p>Andrew Luck is graduating this year and they need a new quarterback. Go to quarterback camp over the summer and get noticed. Stanford is ALL about athletes, with a few Intel scholars sprinkled in.</p>

<p>Okay I'll definitely look into that. (: if I could get away without it, that would be awesome. :D </p>

<p>And I'm female.... So no football for me. Haha.</p>

<p>Should I even apply early? Will that give me a better chance?</p>

<p>I am in the same situation as yourself. It seems to me Stanford wants candidates who are potential movers and shakers. Students who show entreprenuership - someone who has made an impact. Oh..and throw in super academics, a musical or sports talent. Stellar recommendations, leadership.</p>

<p>Where does that leave (ordinary :) )folks who just to want to sample high school life, like I am interested in humanities and science and have a great gpa/score. No, I am not interested in starting a business and no, I love sports but not the top varsity player or anything. Honestly, I think chances are slim, unless you have done something beyond what a normal teen would do. Would appreciate if other stanford current students chime in..Good luck.</p>

<p>Editing to say - I would go with the polish dance thing..if that is what you love to do, go with that. SIMR may be good but unless you come out of it with a potential science fair winner, that won't give you any edge. Do what you love, if your essays show that passion, maybe the admission office will find you "interesting". EA is still tough as they cater to the perfect candidates.</p>

<p>Well, I'll tell you where it leaves you. REJECTED!</p>

<p>@StanfordCS - And I am fine with that :) We don't qualify for FA and EFC would be too high. </p>

<p>To the OP - yes, I did a bit of research in the accepted profile, and unless you have a hook (URM, science fair winner, olympiad winner, national level talent) it is very hard. You need to differentiate yourself from the 90% of equally qualified candidates. And I see super high gpa/SAT all across the board.</p>

<p>Well that's nothing new, I mean I know I basically have 1% or less chance of getting in, but either way, I'm holding on to that. ;) My original question was what can I do to improve these chances, but I think I'll just keep looking for that "hook." I wanted to start a happiness club at my school with a friend, but we got rejected because "they're not accepting any new clubs right now." Sigh. </p>

<p>Thanks for your input though, tryingforcollege! It's nice to see something in a similar boat, this place can seem so cutthroat and overwhelming sometimes. Best of luck to you! Wherever you go, I'm sure you'll do great! (:</p>