If you dream of getting into a top-tier university, then know it’s going to take a lot more than smarts and hard work. You’ll need to be strategic. Regardless of whether this is your first time around or you’re going back to education after a full career, you’ll need to know the standards you’ll need to meet and then how to make yourself stand out. Sometimes it’s as simple as playing to your strengths. In other cases, you’ll need to try new things. Either way, the process of bettering yourself to get into a top-tier university alone is worthwhile, so start today with this guide: Academia research programs are beneficial for students in a variety of ways. These programs can help students gain valuable experience and knowledge in various topics.
- Understand Your Competition
When a university has an acceptance rate of around 5%, you know the competition is going to be fierce and meeting the minimum requirement is just not going to cut it. This is on top of already high admission standards to begin with, but when the university that you want to go to is a top-tier option like Stanford, it’s the way things work. To help increase your chances of getting in, you’re going to first want to understand your competition. With such a low acceptance rate, you need to really go above and beyond for your application to stand out.
This means starting with learning the real Stanford GPA requirements. This is the average GPA that incoming students have achieved and therefore, the standard you need to exceed to help your application take center stage. For example, the current average SAT score held by Stanford students is 14870. To help stand out, aim for 1580 instead.
- Improve Your Grades
Understanding the competition will give you a benchmark. If you’re at that benchmark, congrats! Just keep up the hard work. Otherwise, you’ll want to improve your grades. Rather than try to sit down and study harder, study smarter. This means breaking up your study and homework periods so they aren’t as daunting. If you don’t understand something, go online for video explanations, or get a tutor.
- Lead a Club or Sport
When it comes to club or sports participation, it’s important to lead. You could lean in terms of skill, or by being in charge. Either way, you want to be able to clearly identify your contributions to these school-based activities, so you can use them towards your university application.
- Compete and Strive for Awards
Other ways to prove your talent, dedication, and values are to compete. This starts at school by just looking at what you’ll need to earn the school’s awards. From there, go beyond. See if there are competitions in your interests. This could be an art competition, a dance competition, and so on. Compete and get used to the competition. If you win an award, great, but more than that, learning how to get up and try again after you fail is an excellent showcase of character you can still use on your university application.
- Volunteer or Intern
Volunteering and interning should be done throughout high school and university. It’s the easiest way to get work experience, long before an employer will hire you. It’s also an easy way to focus on your interests and values, which will once again look great on your application.