From Quora: "How can I get into an Ivy League/top university? What can I do to help me and make me stand out as an applicant?"
The same thing everyone [else has already] said. Work hard to get a high GPA and class rank. Hopefully, you also attend a school that’s recognized as a feeder for Ivy League schools, but if you don’t, a top class ranking will do. Study hard for the SAT and/or ACT, as well as the SAT subject tests relevant to your intended college major and career choice.
Do something with your spare time that shows leadership and initiative. Be a leader in a school club, or better yet, START a school club. Play a sport or at least do something athletic (even bike riding, walking, or jogging counts). If you can get an internship at a college, nonprofit organization, government agency, or an actual business, do that, especially one related to something you might want to do for a career (e.g., if you want to be pre-med, see if you can volunteer at a hospital). You may find out you don’t want to work in the field you wanted to, and that is perfectly acceptable. It’s fine to explain to a school that you tried something and it didn’t work out - it’s not fine to never have tried at all.
Finally,what are you doing right now? I assume you are in “shelter in place” and can’t go to school, etc. (If you are still in school, just go to school and do normal extracurricular activities). I guarantee you that ANY good college will want to know how you spent your time off from school. So make sure you studied something, tried to learn about something that really interests you, volunteered with a charity if possible, did something (NO illegal activities, please) to earn money, got yourself in better physical shape, etc. Basically anything other than “I watched tons of Netflix, and basically laid around doing nothing (or getting high, or drinking, etc.)…” Colleges already have tons of those people, aren’t going to recruit more.
Basically, when you go to college, you’re not just a student; you’re a teacher. Schools want interesting, intelligent leaders, not boring, dumb followers. Be a leader! Hope this helps.
Author: John Linneball Who did you think? ;-)
I'm the proprietor and only tutor for this business; that's why I named it after me.