This is for those who are applying to college or a private high school. It’s hard, but not impossible. I have been chewed up and spit out by many private high schools. I am an average student and my parents don’t make half of a million dollars a year. The waiting list is apparently where I belong. But I have picked up on some things:
First, all the admission officers always says “be yourself” and “if this is the right high school you will be accepted”. Under those terms, if you are some unique, rich, genius, good-doer, with parents who are lawyers, you are basically accepted. That’s what almost all top schools are looking for in their students.
Being unique. This is very important. Try an unusual sport like polo instead of soccer. Unless you are a soccer prodigy, a sport that most people do not do will get you further. It would be best if you did a sport the school provides and an unusual one. Then, they would want to put you on their school’s team and want diversity within people’s sport skills. Private school’s care a lot about diversity. That is why if you are a multiracial person, you have a much better chance of getting in than someone who is just as incredible as you, but white. I’m sorry to all you Caucasians but this is true. Also, try to find an internship or an externship. That will help you get in. If you do that, the school you apply to will think you have your life together. Make sure it’s something you’re interested in though, or else there would be no point.
Most people can not help having an average-income family; just remember you will have less of a chance of getting in with financial aid, especially if you live in a wealthy area. Someone who lives in a bad neighborhood in the city with handicapped parents will have a better chance of getting financial aid then someone who lives in a nice suburb with an average family.
My suggestion to you on tests is to study for about a year for the SSAT, ISEE, SAT, ACT, or whatever test you need to take; but don’t get a tutor unless you really need it. A tutor will most likely go on your application, telling the schools that you are not usually this smart. Also, do well in school; they will all be paying great attention to your transcripts.
Start volunteering asap! Do something drastic like going to Hatti to help rebuild houses after the earthquake. If you volunteer locally, even if it’s for a longer period of time, it will not be looked at as highly as going somewhere international. The best combination is volunteering at a couple places for a year or two nearby then going somewhere outside of your country, to make a statement. Then include this in your essay or interview (both would be the best) so they won’t forget about it.
Your parent’s jobs are not your problem. But successful lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and famous people’s children have an acceptance letter up their sleeve. Getting in is all about connections. Therefore, you will have a better chance with your parents (or sometimes just anyone in your family) being anything on the list above; especially if they’re a successful businessmen or celebrity.
To some it up, you have two options. Be poor, African American, have a single parent, have a sibling with extreme mental or physical issues, live in a bad neighborhood, study extremely hard, and give back to your community often. Or be white, rich, have parents who are lawyers/well-known business people, live in a seven million dollar house, give a lot of money to the school, go on one two week summer vacation in Africa to build houses for people, have a sibling who went to that school, and get a tutor.