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Steps to Get into Stanford Universities

With acceptance rates as low as 4% and an average SAT score of 2145, getting into Stanford universities can be challenging.

But with the right approach, it’s possible to get into even the most elite schools in the world—just look at Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates! Here are 10 ways you can do it, too.

1) Master an Advanced Math Course

Stanford is a prestigious university, so if you want to get in you’ll need a stellar application and excellent test scores.

Mastering an advanced math course and putting together an impressive high school resume. In addition, be sure to hit all of your extracurricular marks: volunteerism is highly valued, as are leadership roles in clubs and other activities.

If you can put together a high-quality application—as well as top test scores—you have a great shot at earning admission into Stanford University!

To find out more about what it takes to get into these prestigious schools, reach out to an admissions consultant today.

2) Have Extra-Curriculars

Extra-curriculars—which can be defined as all after-school activities, from sports to clubs and everything in between—are a great way to stand out from other applicants.

Demonstrating a commitment beyond your academic studies is important for college admission officers, who want to know that you’re invested in your future beyond simply getting good grades.

 From an admissions standpoint, it’s always better if you can participate in something that connects back to your interests or showcases any unique talents.

And even if there aren’t necessarily extra-curriculars at school that align with what you’re passionate about, don’t let that stop you!

3) Earn Great Grades

Because Stanford University only admits students with outstanding academic records, one of your best bets for getting into a great college is to earn straight as in high school.

Many universities expect high grades in major subjects, but Stanford takes it a step further and requires you have an A average overall.

This means you’ll need to get good grades in every class and make sure you’re taking challenging courses throughout high school.

If your GPA doesn’t meet university requirements—or if you don’t take advanced placement classes or score well on standardized tests—you’ll be at a disadvantage compared with students who’ve earned better grades during their years in school.

When choosing courses for your senior year, keep your final destination in mind: Make sure you’re making yourself eligible for admission by earning good grades now!

4) Work Hard

The fact that you’re reading an infographic on how to get into Stanford University shows that you know how important hard work is.

There’s no guaranteed way of getting into Stanford and there are no shortcuts, but if there is one thing, we can all agree on it’s that studying hard will dramatically increase your chances.

Make sure you know what it takes by reviewing what other applicants have done in previous years: 50% had perfect grades, 80% took a rigorous course load, 96% scored over 700 on their SAT or over 28 on their ACT.

Looking at these statistics it becomes clear that being in a great school district isn’t enough; you’ll also need stellar grades and scores if you’re going to get accepted. With hard work, anything is possible!

5) Volunteer Your Time and Resources

A great way to get into a prestigious school is by donating your time and/or resources. Volunteering for a local nonprofit or community organization will provide you with plenty of opportunities for networking, and it can help improve your leadership skills, as well. Just make sure you’re strategic about where you spend your time; don’t just volunteer for something because someone asked.

Make sure there is some benefit—whether from personal gain or professional experience—for doing so.

The more effectively you network while volunteering, though, the easier it will be to transition those connections into opportunities later on.

Also keep in mind that getting involved with extracurricular activities (think: joining an athletics team) will increase your chances of admission as well!

6) Show Personal Growth

Most admission officers are looking for more than just a high GPA or test score when they look at applications.

If you’re applying to highly selective colleges, they want to know what you bring outside of academics.

Emphasize your personal growth and how your experiences have shaped who you are as a person, but don’t make them sound like pity parties.

For example, did a tragic event in your life inspire personal growth? Did it make you learn how to deal with adversity and become stronger because of it?

Did it open your eyes up so that you now work with a charity or help people in need? Whatever it is, admissions officers want students who will do something meaningful after college—and college is just another step on that journey.

7) Have Extracurricular Activities That Exceed Expectations

In high school, it’s critical that you build a diverse resume of extracurricular activities. Do things outside of class that go above and beyond what’s expected of you.

At least one activity should be in a leadership role (e.g., your student government), but participation in other clubs or teams can also be valuable (e.g., varsity sports).

Be sure to have at least four of these types of activities on your resume by graduation time; more is even better because it shows dedication to community involvement and interest in many different areas.

8) Develop Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are in high demand right now, as employers look for employees who can step up and make decisions quickly.

The easiest way to do that is by developing some basic leadership skills through extracurricular activities.

Volunteer with a nonprofit or get involved in student government at your school; you’ll learn how to create goals, foster teamwork and give presentations in front of people.

Before you know it, you’ll be ready for any boardroom meeting!

9) Know Stanford Better Than Most Applicants!

Before you think about how to get into a prestigious university like Stanford, it’s important to make sure you know everything there is to know about it.

It’s your job as an applicant—as someone who wants in—to set yourself apart from all other applicants by truly understanding how difficult it is.

This means knowing more than just facts and figures; also research any controversies, related coursework, and student life so that admissions officers can see your interest in and dedication to their school.

If they want someone passionate enough to go above and beyond what they ask for, then show them you are that person! Start by studying our list of ways that get students accepted at competitive universities like Stanford.

10) Prioritize Diversity on Application Essays

The most important thing you can do is show how a challenging situation or adversity has impacted your life.

These essays are called background essays because they’re intended to give admissions officers insight into who you are as a person, not just what type of GPA and test scores you have.

Put your background in context; make it relevant to what you’ve learned from it and how it has shaped who you are today.

For example, if an essay prompt asks why your family moved across country when you were young, don’t just describe that move itself.

Highlight how moving helped to make you more mature or open-minded, or how a different kind of community may have taught greater empathy than if your family had stayed in their original home town.

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