What we look for
HOW TO STAND OUT
If you’re looking for guidance on what high school activities make for a strong college application, or how to navigate the application process, we have resources to help.
You’ve probably thought, “Wait, the average GPA / ACT / SAT is what?” Don’t worry. Take a deep breath, read on, and keep these words in mind when you start stressing about grades.
- Be balanced. Academics are important, and GPA is crucial. But don’t focus on academics to the detriment of extracurriculars, or vice versa. They should enrich one another, not keep you up at night. Even engineers have to sleep sometimes.
- If you’re in high school, study for standardized tests. Starting early and taking even fifteen minutes a day to run vocabulary or take a practice test can make a huge difference. Find tips to help you prepare for the ACT and SAT.
It’s important to balance your schoolwork with activities that showcase your passions and leadership ability.
- Engage in something creative. Participate in any activity that allows you to express your imagination. Stretch your skills by trying your hand at painting, the writing club or constructing sets for your school play. Or showcase your skills by pursuing robotics or the Science Olympiad.
- Extracurriculars aren’t like Pokémon; you don’t have to collect them all! Instead, focus on one or two that you’re really passionate about and participate as deeply as possible. The point is to do something that engages you, not amass a resume you think will be super impressive to admissions.
- Develop leadership skills. Apply to be your group’s president, treasurer or secretary. Or start your own student organization. Take the initiative and begin your journey as a leader.
- Have a job that doesn’t allow much time for anything else? Think of a way that your work fits into larger academic goals. You can put work experience on your application, too.
- Attend summer programs. Summer is the perfect time to branch out and explore the world around you. You can get a feel for potential research and study abroad opportunities that Michigan Engineering offers with summer programs offered by the university, or find your own opportunity.
Every bit of work you do in your community, however small, impacts the world and makes a difference for the better. Showcase your commitment to making that difference.
- Get involved. Take advantage of local opportunities to create, grow and improve the world around you. Participate in any sort of community service, whether it’s a large organization or simply volunteering time at your local youth center. And if you see a need that hasn’t been filled yet, take action!
- Branch out. If you have one cause that you’re extremely passionate about and in for the long haul, that’s fantastic. But if you divide your time between different programs, that’s great too. Helping more people is always encouraged!