Blogging has brought me to a new adventure which now includes interviewing high school and college graduates about their journey in high school. As I embark on this new journey, I have learned many new things about teen life and teen struggle. Among the things that I have learned, I have also been fortunate enough to interview a recent high school graduate who has been selected into Johns Hopkins University. As you may already know this university is a world renowned university and with an acceptance rate as low as 14.1%, it is even considered a new Ivy League. So without further ado, here is the interview and the top 8 questions which run through a teens mind about how to get into an IV university.
Before I started with the questions, I asked about some background information including many of the basic scores:
College attended: Johns Hopkins
SAT Score: 2380 (Old SAT)
Number of AP’s taken : 6
In your opinion, what was the number one factor which helped you get selected to attend this university?
The number one factor that I believe helped me get into Johns Hopkins university would be my uniqueness. Most top colleges look at how unique you are compared to the rest of the thousands of people applying. Since I was really into music, I decided to pursue this passion by building guitars of my own and using them to make my own music. To me this was a hobby, but it also helped me be different from other students who were applying. Another important factor would be that I was very well rounded. My GPA and SAT were above average and I was also captain of the tennis team at my school. Along with my GPA and SAT or ACT scores, these two factors were the most important in helping me get selected.
In your opinion, were academics the most important aspect of you getting in this college?
In my situation, due to my high scores, I believe that academics was probably a huge factor into getting in this university but that isn’t the case for everyone. One of my friend who also got selected to attend this university did not have high academic scores. Instead, he did something out of the ordinary by starting his own company which was later successful. Academics are a very important part of you admission which is why you should take them seriously. People who aren’t good at academics are rarely selected in colleges such as Johns Hopkins.
What extracurricular activities played a role in helping you get into the college?
I was part of many extracurriculars but only some were necessary and actually played a role in getting selected for Johns Hopkins. For example, I was on the debate team but didn’t actually get a chance to go to a state level which is why it wasn’t much of an achievement. Some of my friends did really well in debate and got to a national level which helped them in their college admission. I think the clubs which helped me the most were being on the tennis and ping pong team because I was the captain for both of them. In my opinion, extracurriculars only help you get into a college if you do something extraordinary in them.
What extracurricular activities were not as important in helping you get into this college?
As I said before clubs which I didn’t perform well in did not play a big role in helping me get into this college. Even though this was the case, I still enjoyed many clubs because it was a place for me to learn new things. Without going to any clubs, you won’t be able to pick what interests you in life which is why it is important to try clubs for fun as well.
Did you start any clubs or any volunteer/intern/research work which might have impacted your acceptance?
Since I had an interest in the medical field, I focused on volunteering and interning at medical related places such as the hospital. Colleges look at something called the ‘common thread’ which means how well everything you do compliments each other. So if you are really into the medical field, you should try to do extracurriculars and volunteer at places which are related to a medical theme.
Did you participate in any sports in your school and do you think it might have helped you get into your college ?
Sports played two roles in helping me get into this college. The first role was possible because I was the captain for both the ping pong team and the tennis team. As I said before, colleges look for leaders so being the captain for the teams definitely impacted their decision. The second role was because it helped show the university that I am well rounded. Being well rounded is important and since I was good at sports and academics, I was given priority over people who were only good at one of the two.
What advantages or disadvantages did you have against other students applying for this university?
A couple advantages I had were that my location was close to my college, and that I went to a pretty a big high school. What I mean by this is, colleges usually compare you to your peers and since I did go to a bad high school, I was above average which made it easier for me to get selected. I don’t think I had disadvantages which really affected my college admission.
What things did you make sure to include in your essay which distinguished you from other students?
For the essay, the college looks for something which is unique about you. For this, I made sure to include my musical journey and why I built guitars. To make your essay engaging, you have to include interesting and unique information. You also want to make yourself sound legendary so that colleges know you are confident. The essay is an important part of a college application but should come naturally through your high school experience.
The last tip I have is that you should try to figure out what you like sooner than later. This might sound obvious but many people have no clue what they want to pursue in life.Try to figure what you like in the beginning of high school so that you can do clubs and other activities related to them.