How to Increase Your Chances of Getting into a Highly Ranked School in the United States

While the university you get into certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all, it absolutely plays a crucial role in your career and future. Can you make it big with a community college degree? Absolutely. It’s just harder. Going to a top-tier university means gaining a more competitive education, meeting key figures that will help build a stellar network, and giving yourself access to opportunities that can help you launch a successful career or even business venture sooner.

Learn What You Need to Be Competitive

The challenges of applying and getting into a top university are even larger when you’re an international student. Canadians don’t take the SATs usually, for example, which means your strategy will need to go above and beyond to make your university dream a reality.

Top-tier schools are highly competitive. The schools themselves will have a flood of applications coming in, and only so many spaces can be filled. This means only the best of the best will actually be accepted. To be competitive, then, you need to know what the real grade benchmark is, so you can then exceed it. Thankfully sites like have made it easy. Not only can you calculate your current chances of getting in, but you can also easily see what the current average is and what you’d need to exceed it. Take UCLA, for example. The average GPA for incoming students is currently 3.89, which means to stand out, you’ll want to strive for a 4.08 GPA.

Start Prepping for the SATs

You can take the SATs in Canada; you just cannot do them through school. You’ll need to find an SAT prep course, which will help you revise everything you’ll need and then make you eligible to take the exam. Though most of what’s in the SAT is what you should have learned already, it never hurts to refresh yourself.

How to Make Yourself Stand Out

There are many ways that you can stand out. Join and be an active member in a sports team or club, for example. You can also work on projects and enter competitions. Other ways to improve your application are to volunteer or to intern. Many areas in Canada require their students to finish at least 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate. Simply start early and try to get as many hours in as possible to help you stand out while also showcasing your values. To do that, partner with a cause you care about, especially if it relates to your dream field.

Start Your Application Early

Start working on your application as soon as you can. You’ll want to get those SAT scores, for example, in Grade 11. This will give you enough time to comfortably study for it throughout the year and will mean you’ll have the score and your grades by the time it’s the deadline.

In your application essay, explain how your life, interests, and passions can both benefit the school, and how the school in question will benefit you. This will help you stand out from a world of competition, especially when your application comes with great grades and excellent extracurriculars on it.

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