It was always the top goal in my mind to be able to attend Michigan and thankfully I've been blessed with that opportunity. If it's always the number one priority, and if your kid is smart, he'll find a way to get in.
Tips for Getting into M
Please be good at football.
Have him grow to about 6'8 290lbs and that should be no problem at all. Seriously though you should be proud you have raised a kid who is so focused in his goals at a young age. Something tells me you don't have anything to worry about, cream always rises to the top.
I know it's way in the future, but make sure he applies EARLY. I waited too long and got stuck on the "waiting list."
Applying early not only improves a students chances of getting in, but also improves the number and quality of scholarships available. Plan to submit the application by the first week of september. That's not a joke. As soon as high school starts, get the transcripts/teacher recs. Get it done fast.
Yes. Definitely apply early. That happened to me too. Applying earlier is the difference between me getting to go to Michigan and me being at Purdue.
Honestly, make sure he applies the first day possible. It's like a car off the lot after the first day his chance drop dramatically.
What on earth makes you say that?
This is less important than it used to be. M used to do rolling, so the earlier you applied, the better your chances of getting in. Now it has changed to an Early Action/Standard Action system, where the first round of admits are accepted mid-december, for which the deadline is november 1.
I attended M from out of state, and my brother will be attending next year. While the follwing info will help, these are general standards on a national level. The fewer kids that apply to M from your state, the lower the admissions standards will be.
As for your son's chances, Good grades are essential, but make sure he takes high quality classes. Showing that he took on challenges will certainly help.
In addition, good test scores (ACT 28+) are important. As for extracurriculars, a few should be fine, as long as those 3 or so involve significant commitments: it is better to lead 3 things than to participate in 10.
However, your child isn't going to apply for another 7 years or so, and this info is likely to change. Currently, it is projected that the number of college age students peaked last year, and is now falling, meaning that admissions should get easier.
Hope this helps.
BBA 2010 MAcc 2011
This isnt necessarily true anymore, this year they just deferred all of their early applicants.
Erm, actually I got in with my early application.
His grades need to improve every year. They need to be good to begin with, but must show PROGRESS. And Don't waste time with the AP courses... its better to have an A in a regular course than a B+ in AP.
Erm....I'd disagree with that last statement. My niece just went through the whole application process. My brother mentioned several times how college admissions officers wanted to see the AP in lieu of straight A easy courses. I suppose the best course of action is taking APs and getting As in them.
I brought in a gaggle of AP credits to Michigan. I got 24, count 'em, 24 college semester credits for all the AP scores I brought in (mostly 5s, one 4 in Physics BC). As a result, I finished all of the required courses, except for my senior recital, my junior year and got to take a year of courses that I truly was more interested in than, say, Advanced Tonal Analysis, which is still the hardest class I've ever taken in my life.
This is the third time I've heard about that class being ridiculously difficult. I never saw it in the course guide before I graduated (then again, I wasn't looking for it).
I found this online for Advanced Anl Tonal Music: "In-depth analysis emphasizing elements of structures evident in various important examples, offering a variety of analytical problems; readings on tonal forms."
Is it a mathematical analysis of music or just recognizing tones by listening? Care to elaborate on why it was so difficult? I'm obviously in the dark so if I'm way off, be gentle.
Music theory is a required field of study at all conservatories and schools of music that award reputable music degrees. At the undergraduate level, there are two components to the class: Lecture, where the basics of notation, the names of pitches, chord progressions, figured bass (this has to do with reading a single bass line and being able to fill out the whole harmony on the keyboard), analysis of representative compositions (I analyzed at least 6 different Beethoven piano sonatas, in whole or in part), and forms of pieces (how sections repeat, how the piece is organized as a whole, different ways of organizing music from different time periods) are taught to bright-eyed undergrads at 8:30 AM. The other component of the class is ear-training, which is usually taught by GSIs, and has to do with learning to aurally recognize different tones, chords, and effects when they are played live on a piano or on a recording, and different ways to conceptualize the things we hear in music. There is some overlap between the subjects, but both parts of music theory are pretty hard in and of themselves, and Michigan's music theory department is one of the best in the country. I ended up taking "Accelerated" music theory, and thus completed my required basic courses in three semesters instead of four, earning A's along the way. So, I was decent-to-good at music theory.
Advanced Tonal Analysis was taught by Prof. Petty, who is one of our best theory professors, and an outstanding pianist. He's a very smart man and I have a lot of professional respect for him. The text we used for the course was the "Beta" version of a book that Prof. Petty was writing called Basic Tonal Analysis, distributed in chapter packets from week to week, and it was less a "textbook" than "100 miles of bad road that will punish you for ever wanting to be a musician." It was well-organized, insightful material, but I just did not understand what was going on, even with the help of office hours and other people taking the class at the same time. Aural and written components were taught concurrently, and I didn't understand much in either. It was music theory taken to a higher plane of existence than the one mere mortals like me live on, and I simply did not understand the material at the same level that Prof. Petty did.
I got a D on the final, which lowered my overall grade to an 83, but I was so happy to a) get a passing grade on the final and b) get a B in the class. That was the hardest 83 I ever earned in my life. I hope this all makes sense WRT the perspective of a non-music major.
AP classes are imperative. Michigan doesn't want you to cop out and take easy classes. Academic rigor is one of the biggest factors for admission, and trust me, they don't want to see you taking six woodshop classes.
I strongly disagree with this. I went to Michigan now in med school never took an AP class in my life. Just be well rounded, I think thats the most important, good scores are obvious as well, but the other stuff makes up for it.
Things are harder now though then when you went here. I know people with 3.7's that had 6 ap's and a 27 on the act that got in and people that had 2.9's with a 29 on the act but only had 1 ap and didn't get in. Not to mention the second person was invovled wayyy more. At least with my experience, ap's are VERY important.
Can we assume you meant 3.9s? Also some schools offer more AP classes than others and the admissions staff takes that into consideration.
Thats what I heard went I went to Michigan...that it is "now much harder to get in than the past".... Fact is, it is all relative... If it is "harder" as you say, then high school must generally be "easier" now, too.
My son has applied and has virtually all honors and AP classes. His grade point is .3-.4 lower than a kid in his school with the same ACT and no alumni parents. Kid with the higher gradepoint without honors or AP classes was accepted to Engineering while my son has been deferred (applied early October - I don't think applying early helps anymore). With the increase in applications due to the move to the Common App I think they don't look as closely at the actual classes taken.
This year is a bitch to get in, I think it will be better in just a few years. However I think they are really pushing for out of state students to get more $$'s as the state cuts aid to the U.
First get good grades (in the hardest classes you can get A's in), score high on the standardized test, show leadership/sports/etc. Don't sacrifice grade point to max out on AP classes unless you can do well in them.
GEE !!!! I was right, then, yet neg-bombed.
One person with an individual case study agreed with you and that proves you're right?
It continually amazes me how people can have such a feeble grasp of logic.
I"ve always wondered that. Thanks.
Which advice are you citing as poor...with all the differing responses it's hard to tell.
Very curious, have a son starting HS in the fall and lining up AP/AC classes.
I'm guessing the part about not taking them.
And I completely agree with Shoe: Don't shy away from AP courses at all. Worst case scenario, your son will have to work harder to get good grades, but that will pay off when he:
A.) Gets credit for the courses and doesn't have to take them in college OR
B.) Doesn't get credit but knows most of the material, allowing his freshman transition to be easier OR
C.) He has to work hard in high school and learn how to study/do homework to get good grades and then he shows up at Michigan with actual study skills after not coasting through four years of high school AND
D.) I CANNOT stress how much it sucks to have online Physics/Chem/etc. homework due every Thursday night when you've got this cute girl from 3rd Reeves that wants to pregame and then go to a house party with you and she's got her hot friend over that your buddy saw at the cafeteria yesterday and won't stop talking about but you have this damned homework you had planned to do Tuesday but then you ended up playing Halo 2 because it just came out and you hooked up two televisions and two xboxes so you could play 8 friends together...shit, I think I just dated myself. Still, get the crappy annoying classes out of the way with AP credits (or take physics in the Summer).
I see no disadvantages to taking AP courses unless the student simply isn't ready for them and isn't learning. Michigan is a tough school to get into, but if he's doing alright in AP courses then he's on his way.
Actually no....its spot-on. Read the case above.
Sorry makes no sense at all -of his grades are nearly perfect throughout but don't improve, he dominates anyone who started out merely good and BECAME almost perfect.
And definitely not true about the APs either, especially if you come from a school thry aten't confident they can evaluate and you did well on the AP tests themselves
We had college reps come in and tell us that a B in AP is better than an A in regular sooooo
they are looking at how you handle the competition of the tougher classes. at michigan, the courses are taught out of the same books from teh same piss-poor teaching profs as lets same University of Toledo (yes I have degrees from there), but the difference is that everyone is uber smart andor highly driven.
at UT, i was the big fish in the small pond in grad school; at umich, i was just another fish in the large pond and I worked my ass off for the same gpa in my grad engin degree, msfe, from umish that i got coasting at utoledo, msee.
"its better to have an A in a regular course than a B+ in AP. "
Michigan is supposedly as hard to get into from out of state as Harvard. If he wants to be in a position where academic matters don't hurt him and it's just a question of how well-rounded he is, he should take AP classes and get As in them. This was, incidentally, the advice of a Yale admissions person who came to my high school a decade ago. The guy put it even more bluntly by saying Bs in AP classes, like As in easy classes, just weren't good enough.
It is true that it doesn't matter very much if your early grades are bad as long as your later ones are perfect, but it's going to be indicative of more talent in the eyes of admissions folks if the grades are there all along.
Anyway, that's just how things are if you want it to be clear that, academically, there are no questions about ability. But it's also possible to get in with more dubious grades by being sufficiently interesting (and managing to convey that on an application).
It sounds irrational, I know, and did not believe this when I was in high school, either.
It's not a matter of it being irrational, it's just wrong. There's a difference.
Couldn't disagree more with the advice to ignore AP classes. Take all that are available. Not only do they look good on transcripts, but they save you valuable money and time. Plus, it is going to be easier to get an A in an AP calculus class at school than it will be to get an A your freshman year at Michigan so it will help your college GPA some, too. What you need to avoid are any duel enrollment type programs where you take classes at a local community college during your senior year. I took English 101 and 102 at Mott CC during my senior year of H.S. and Michigan laughed when I tried to get credit for them.
AP classes are great and look good on your transcript, but the don't necessarily save you money - for me, I came in with a bunch of credits from AP and some community college courses I took in HS. All the credits transferred, but not necessarily to useful categories for my degree. Because of these extra credits, I had to start paying "upper division" tuition in my sophomore year (a big jump in the Engineering college). It still saved money for me, since I was able to graduate in 7 semesters, but it could cost you a few grand if you get enough AP to go upper division early but not enough to graduate early.
That said, smart kids should take them. The most valuable is the "BC" version of the AP calc test, which is worth 6 credits and two classes at UofM - a huge advantage if you have to take calculus for your chosen field, as I hear the initial calculus classes at UofM are known weeder classes and just generally suck.
That also said, THE KID IS TEN - if he's personally driven, fine, but also encourage him to enjoy middle school and build social skills. He should do extracurriculars because he enjoys them, not to build his resume. It is definitely ok to not know what college you want to go to WHEN YOU ARE IN 5th GRADE. I knew a kid who absolutely killed himself taking all sorts of random resume pads to get into an Ivy League school - it worked (he went to Dratmouth) but his high school years were a living hell. There but for the grace of god go I, because I was almost that guy (I knew where I was going and what my major would be in 8th grade). Don't burn him out by sophomore year of high school.
Anyway, remember that getting into Michigan shouldn't be the end goal, it's preparing your son for success throughout his life. And that takes academics, but also balance and a passion for personal growth for its own sake, not just to get into the "right" school.
That's simply the best thing you can do right now. Nothing else will keep him focused on his goals throughout the years.
Yess!!! I see so many kids trying to make their resume longer but not deeper -they dont get very far with elite schools.
Cobtrolling his interests does notvwork as well...let him do what he loves as intensely as possible, end of story.
Some sort of performing arts or visual arts, even if it's for just two years or so, is always helpful. Team sports are good too; I did cross-country for two years and improved from the second-slowest guy on the squad to the fourth-slowest guy, and had a blast doing it.
I'm currently a student there and based on my friends who had higher scores/grades, lower scores/grades, and also those who had equivalent ones to me and either did or did not get in, I would say put great emphasis on essays. Theres a guy from my high school graduating class who had a 34 ACT/4.0 GPA and didn't get in and I think that this is due to the fact of the great emphasis based on pieces other than high credentials. So while hopefully your son gets great grades/test scores, I also know a girl who had a 23 ACT (not a bad score, but by no means elite) and got in. So from what I am saying, good grades are worth alot in the application process, but I think that also extra cirriculars (sports, etc) and well thought out and written essays are very important. One last benefit that I think helped me, was applying early. I think the people who apply by the early application deadline are helped greatly through the application process. P.S. Sorry for all the spelling errors I donated blood earlier/ am running on very low sleep. Hopefully this is helpful for your son.
It astounds me when I read writing from college students these days. Its terrible. Simply learning how to write well will instantly put him ahead of 90% of the other applicants.
The ability to write is a rare skill among high school students, let alone grads of many colleges. Good writing stands out.
I'm a business major and TA for a business class... I dread grading essays. Amazing the amount of students who avoid hitting spell check. The lack of literary skills coming into college is a true disappointment. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO WRITE!
Also, my experience was three fold. I applied to the school on the first day and had 4 individuals review/edit my essays. While I participated in extracurricular activities they were only sports (wrestling, football, and track). Finally, I enrolled in various AP classes and scored 4's on the exams.
you wanted to be a plumber when you grew up???
(Old ChE joke.)
Try to make sure he does as many extracurriculars as he can. National Honor Society, volunteering, sports teams (shows teamwork) even if he may not be an allstar, academic competitions all look pretty good. It also isn't a bad idea to try to found a club or become a leader in an existing club in high school. However, getting great grades and having high standardized test scores along with great teacher recommendations is the most important part, along with applying to college early. However, none of this really matters until he enters high school, until then just make sure he does well in school so he's on the right track.
Encourage him to lead some volunteer program or activity...e.g. Organize or coordinate a literacy program for adults/foreigners, participate in a volunteer event abroad. Apply for National Honor societies. Pick up an instrument (play in the school band.)
Tell him to ask himself these questions at the end of the day:
1) Am I a good person?
2) Am I a great student?
3) Am I well-rounded?
If he can confidently say 'yes' to those statements and back it up on paper, he'll have no problem.
He is in football and wrestling. Great idea in organizing a volunteer program.
Only 2 sure ways I know of:
Dedicate a building, or
I was accepted to Michigan but chose to go to the University of Texas because out-of-state tuition is so incredibly high. On my academic tour of the campus the counselor broke down how they look at potential students
Grades and rigor of academic classes: I was enrolled in lots of AP courses and made good grades (top 10% of my class).
Extracurriculars: Lots of volunteering, community service (National Honor Society looks great), and perhaps a job or internship.
Application essays: Make it personal, make it believable, make it something you are knowledgeable about - don't sound like you copied and pasted from somewhere.
Teacher rec letters: Teachers have to be able to write favorably about your child from a classroom and personal perspective. Advise your child to really get to know a few of his high school teachers well, as well as the guidance counselor
Hope this helps!
I'm a currently deferred prospective student and i can tell you that the admissions process is getting much more difficult. They had a 20% increase in applications this year, possibly from their switch to the common app. For extracurriculars, try to specialize in things he likes. If your son likes politics try debate team or mock trial, if he likes science try looking for some kind of internship at a hospital or something. However with the acceptances i've seen this year I can honestly say that even if he is overqualified there is a chance he may get rejected. Though Michigan takes a holistic approach and a strong body of work is important sometimes it can come down to a little bit of luck. Hope that helped.
good luck! im also deferred haha
hahah thanks you too!
He's 10? He shouldn't even be thinking about college right now.
make sure he enjoys his time in middle school and high school...I focused way too much on academics and athletics, and while I got into Michigan and have had a little success, I still feel my high school years were more of a chore than they should have been....
Exactly my thought too. Let him be a kid for a few years, and revisit this in 8th grade or so.
Except that he should start band and a foreign language in 6th grade.
You should check out my old post about it (from earlier this year), I got a lot of good information from it.
My best advice is have your son figure what he wants to do and then determine if going to UM will help him achieve that. I was dead-set on being an engineer, and I tailored my studies, my essays, my extra-curriculars, etc. toward that. Ultimately, most colleges want students to succeed, and having a clear plan and rationale for where UM fits in that plan will go a long way.
Also, if he winds up being 6'4" with 4.5 speed wouldn't hurt either.
I don't know if this is terrible advice, but I disagree.
The great thing about Michigan is that you can go to school thinking you really want to do something, get into it and find out that it doesn't fit you, then transfer to another program and it will still be a top-10 program in the World.
I'd say the exact opposite: Michigan is the PERFECT place to go if you're not 100% sure what you want to be when you grow up.
It took me until senior year to decide what I wanted to do. I got a BS, got into grad school, and am now doing something I love, not something I thought would be a good career.
4 years at UM changes people. If I could give my 10 year old self a piece of advice, it would be this: work hard and don't worry about what you want to be when you grow up. When you're in college it will come to you.
I'd disagree wtih your disagreement, to a point. Because Michigan is such a huge place with so much variety, it is way too easy to get lost if you don't have some goal in mind. It's a very fine line from the kid who uncovers a true passion he didn't know he had after taking a few classes, to the kid who spends three years "finding himself", taking on a lot of college debt, and ending up a Blockbuster manager with a UofM English BA.
By the time you're 18, you should have at least some idea of what interests you and what you want out of college. That goal may change, but having a goal will at least give you an anchor. My advice would be to have a good idea of what you want to do, and a plan to get there, but to be open minded to other possibilities - take some time to explore as a freshman and maybe sophomore.
as someone waiting to hear back now, i think i might know more than some on the board. I had above average test scores and a what i thought really good gpa..but im deferred right now. Make sure he keeps up with his grades and takes hard classes(APs and honors courses.) make sure he does a decent amount of community service/volunteer work bc that really helps. make sure he is involved with something after school either a sports team or academic team. Student government definitely helps and clubs are never bad. the thing they look at most now is gpa more than test scores. Also, it no longer matters when he applies. U of M is no longer "rolling" and they just release decisions whenever they want. I applied in october and am still waiting :/ anyways, good luck to you and him
If you are a deferred applicant, one of the best things you can do is get in touch with your regional University of Michigan admissions officer. These guys are busy, but you wouldn't believe how willing they are to provide feedback or answer questions that prospective students have about the university or the application process. Often, inquiring about your status and updating them on your grades, leadership, and volunteer efforts in a short professional email will go a long ways toward bumping your name from the deferred to the accepted applicant stack. Just a few years ago, my brother found himself in this position. The admissions officer basically said to explain the reason why a grade was low, and he was willing to change his status to accepted. Now my brother instead had his heart set on GVSU and graciously declined the offer to UM, but it just goes to show how understanding and willing admissions officers can be. Obviously not every case will go this way, but at the least, it can't hurt to send the email. Good luck!
thanks a lot, ill send one monday when the office opens back up and i can get his email address
I'm a senior and will be attending Georgetown next year. Without the extra curriculars I took, I'm not sure I would have gotten in.
I am on a Varsity sports team (Tennis) - we got 3rd in state
I play an instrument (viola)
I am on my school's debate team - which is really good for college (number 2 after being an Eagle scout?)
4 year emcee of my school's talent show
That along with a 3.5 GPA got and 29 ACT got me into Duke, Stanford, and Georgetown. Hope this helps
why did you choose Georgetown over Stanford and Duke?
That's a great question.
Stanford and Duke didn't give me any money - I got a good amount from Georgetown
Viola players shall rule the world!
while this may not have been a primary focus of yours, it will still be a HUGE side benefit (assuming you're a guy)...the place is a GOLDMINE for women...attractive, smart, independent females everywhere...don't let it be too much of a distraction though haha..
How have you already heard back from Duke????
Unless you are the son/daughter of someone very famous this is unlikely...you couldn't have applied early to all these schools and there's no way Stanford and Duke would have admitted you early (let alone at all) with 3.5/29.
Congrats if you are telling the truth, but there is a 99.99% chance you are just trolling.
- Get good grades in all your courses, and take the toughest courses you can.
- Volunteer - Habitat for Humanity is a fun and easy way to get volunteer hours, take him on a voluntourism vacation.
- Join a non-sports extracirricular (National Honor Society, spanish club, whatever)
- He should also strive to be a leader in all of his extracirricular activites - Team captain in wrestling and football, and president or someting of the club he joins
This is a lot, it's time consuming and tough, but it's a sure fire way to get in.
Unless he wants to be a rocket scientist - Michigan is a great school for that.
Don't think about what he can do, think about what you can do. Donating $100 million would make up for whatever shortcoming your child might have in eight years.
My advice? Take the top courses, get good grades, stay out of trouble, and stay well rounded. It's generic, but that's pretty much what it takes. Tell your son that they like good people, not just good students. Be a good person, be good to people around you, and get involved in everything your are passionate about.
1. Take tough courses and get good grades
- Have your child take multiple of AP courses as long as it's a reasonable work load and that he can succeed, not struggle. It's fine to take a couple of easy classes just to take breaks from heavy academic course load (whoo to taking 3 gym classes! and a couple of art classes).
2. Extra-cirricular activities
- Doesn't matter what you do as long as you show passion for it whether if it's playing sports, being involved in drama/plays, being part of band/orchestra, any clubs. Just make sure that it's meaningful, not just resume booster.
- This is probably the most important because it's an easy way to stand out from applicants. If you write well and write from the heart, it will shine in the essays. I didn't have the greatest GPA(bad GPA in freshman year), and wasn't involved as much as most people are(thanks to my commitment with 3 sports), but the essays, IMO, are the one that got me into Michigan.
Plenty of people nailed the basic idea (demonstrate that you have boundless energy and at least 98th-percentile bandwidth). I'd like to make an additional suggestion. It would be great if your son *enjoyed* as many of those things as possible. If not, his relative risk of becoming a high-functioning but soulless corporate automaton (which may be absolutely low) will increase.
Congratulations on having a son with priorities in the right order! : )
I just graduated from Michigan last year as an out-of-stater. I think my experience is useful for extrapolating from because I was something of a tight admit; I absolutely bombed my first year of high school (sub-3.0) and as a result my final HS GPA was only about a 3.5, which is pretty tight for getting into "M." As such, I think the following factors were pivotal in my getting in (because heaven knows it wasn't my GPA):
- Crushed the SAT; 1500/2275 (with writing): Because of the sheer volume of applications that Michigan gets, larger schools like Michigan rely more heavily on SAT/ACT scores than a lot of smaller schools to weigh applicants. Really think it saved me from my 3.5.
- Took as many AP classes as possible, ending up with four 5s my senior year (Most of my friends at Michigan had taken a decent number of APs also)
- Steady improvement from freshman (sub-3.0) to senior (3.8) year
- Solid extra-curricular (High school debater)
I think my essay was pretty mediocre but my letters of rec were solid, FWIW; I don't think either played much of a role in my admission, though that much is guesswork on my part.
Given that your son will hopefully be annihilating high school from Day 1 the improvement issue isn't as important, though it would be wise to not have his grades weaken as HS goes on. Focus on good grades, take CHALLENGING classes rather than easy ones to boost GPA; in my experience Michigan values difficult courseloads more than 4.0 semesters consisting of woodshop and geometry.
With all that said, your son has one advantage I didn't: passion for Michigan. I developed my love for Michigan in my 4 years there, but with his passion (and legacy?) I'm sure your son will rock it. Best of luck to you both!
Finally, as an aside: One of my roommates flunked a brutal CS class senior year which he needed to finish his major. He had a plum job offer contingent on him graduating, and had fulfilled every other requirement for grad. Panic time. He went to meet with an adviser to see if there was any way to grease the system... and found out that he actually had exactly the right number of credits to graduate. His AP CompSci class from senior year of high school which he had forgotten about actually gave him the last 4 credits. He passed, graduation was a success, much rejoicing, he's now working at a baller Fortune 500 company... and all because he took as many AP classes as possible.
High School Debate :)
Econ 2006 - Masters in Accounting 2007
My stats when I got in:
GPA: 3.75, but I have heard that they take out some classes. Gym and Art may not be included when they recalc your gpa. When I talked to my councelor at Michigan Freshman year they had my high school gpa as 3.9. I got a C in gym due to missing a lot of days due to hockey and debate.
ACT: 27 maybe. I took the ACT twice, no studying. I got the same overall score each time, but I had also heard that they take the highest score in each section assuming you have not taken it more than 3 times. I would have had a 29 then since I bombed the reading the first time. Dont drink the night before the ACT.
AP: Took everything I could except for AP Chem. This means Calc, Eng, US Gov, World Gov, History, Physics, and I may be missing one.
Work: I worked at a movie theatre 2-3 days a week.
Sports: I played hockey 4-5 times a week. Captain of team for most of my life.
School Activities: Varsity Debate Team (5th, 6th, 6th in state), NHS
Boom, exactly. Don't turn your kid into a robot. Try and figure out something he can love and be passionate about. Getting into Michigan isn't everything, it's what he does once he gets there, and once he leaves. BTW I went to the university of Windsor and I would have had no shot at getting into a school like Michigan. I had good grades and some decent extra curriculars, but I spent most of my time drinking, smoking, and chasing girls. It's still my basic routine. So my advice may not be worth much.
Current UM freshman here, so I just went through the whole process.
- Extracurriculars! National Honor Society is a great one to get involved in. Even better to take an officer position within it. Sports, band, etc are also great to get involved in.
- Grades(of course). They stressed that taking AP classes if your school offers them was really important. When applying you have to turn in a form filled out by your high school counselor that gives information about your high school. If they find out that your school offered AP's and you didn't take them then they won't be happy. At my school they marked the magic number of AP classes to take at 5. I know people who got in with less, but as many as possible without overloading is best.
- ACT/SAT. This is also hugely important. Getting a solid score (28+ I'd say for M) really goes a long way to helping your chances. Retaking it as many times as needed is definitely reccommended.
- Early Decision Date. HAVE to get the application in by then. If not you are risking a lot.
- Essays. Essays can make it or break it if you are on the edge. Strong essays are important.
The path I followed that got me in was:
- NHS Treasurer, marching band, sports all 4 years of high school
- 4.0 unweighted gpa at the time of applying. I slacked off and got a B+ in AP calc & chem my senior year, but when I applied I was still good. When I applied though they counted A- as an A, and I've heard they don't do that anymore. Either way, high grades are important.
- I took 5 AP's. Bio(5), Psychology(5), Calculus AB(4), Chemistry(3) and English Comp(3). I didn't end up getting credit for chem and English, but the fact that I still took them looked better on the application. That and they better prepared me for my first year classes. I ended up placing out of gen chem and into orgo even though I didn't get credit for AP exam.
- 32 ACT
- And I turned in my application during the summer before my senior year.
And anyone notice how these threads tend to turn into everyone listing their high school achievements?
Haha yes, that's why I think it's healthy to also mention your HS shortcomings: humility + gives a sense of what you overcame to get into M. If you had a 4.0 GPA, amazing test scores, and were captain of 6 clubs, TBH, your advice is basically "be perfect," which, like, okay.
...and congrats on getting into M! You have 3.5 of the best years of your life ahead of you. Enjoy every second, because before you know it you'll be writing a "when I was an undergrad" post on MGoBlog...
If you are not in a hurry, then apply for a January start - there is less competition and people transfer, flunk out, leave, etc... and there are always openings come January. Take a semester off, go work and earn some money.....No need to be in a hurry anyway..
The Essay is critical, IMO. Make sure he reads a lot and that his teachers emphasize writing. When it comes time to actually write the essay, it should be unique and honest. I wrote mine about how I used to cheat on all my spelling tests in elementary school,
On another note, don't force him into anything he doesn't like just to boost his resume. I've see all these posts about how he has to get involved in sports and band. That;s great, if its actually something he's into, but if not, its just going to end poorly, His attitude, his grades, and his relationship with you will suffer. My parents were great because they pushed me hard, but they also allowed me to be a kid and have fun. I was a bit of a Calvin growing up in that I didn't like being in organizations. Eventually, in HS, I did some organizations (Student volunteers, track, NHS, Youth Group) so I wouldn't worry about it untill he gets older.
UNDERSTAND THE RIVALRY
The admissions process is formulaic to an extent, but I think that my letters of recommendation and essays set me apart. I had the typical stuff people have mentioned, like 3.8+ GPA, 29+ ACT, EC's , etc. A school like Michigan gets a lot of very strong applications, so doing something to set himself apart is key. If he wants to get in at all costs, he might do a lot of activities he might not really like just because he thinks it will make him look well-rounded. This is a mistake that was pointed out on many college visits by admissions counselors. Instead, hopefully your son finds his passion or passions and can concentrate on doing a few interesting things really well.
Like your son, I was dead set on attending UM since I was young too. I would still advise looking at other schools though. I visited many schools while in high school and before that when my older sister was looking at school, and it really helped to give an idea of what else is out there, and helped me be confident in my choice to attend UM.
If he's already thinking about school at this age and if he appears to be a good student, things will probably work out just fine. The college application process was pretty stressful, and I regret not having more fun in my senior year of high school, so make sure he doesn't think his life depends on someone else's interpretation of whether or not he is a fit student in Ann Arbor or wherever else.
Good luck to you and your son!
I got into Michigan even though I had a 2.9 GPA in highschool.
Of course, I went for graduate school.
"Amazing the amount of students who avoid hitting spell check." Rather than "amount," the correct word should be "number." This is a common error. If the referenced items are equally divisible, use "number," if not, "amount," is appropriate, e.g., "...a large amount of money..."
Always nice to have that dream especially at such a young age. If he wants it bad enough he'll find a way to get in. I was put on the waiting list but got a little help from the military. Sports are great to have, but U of M is most interested in leaders. Not just participating in activities but being a captain, or the "orgainizer" always helps. Figuring out what interests/passions he has will be a good place to start. Even if thats not what he ends up doing just building that goal-oriented attitude will breed success.
Definitely have him do a variety of activities (sports, community developement, student government). Also start preping for the SAT early. Take AP classes and do well.
As a current student, I fee like I can lend some valuable advice. I am not trying to show off, but just using myself as an example because I don't know anyone else's personal info.
1) Be involved in activities in and out of school
- By the time I applied, I was involved in 10 extra curricular activitIes. I BELIEVE THIS IS THE I WAS ADMITTED TO U OF M!!
2 a) Apply Early
- I had my application in to U of M by the end of August
2 b) BE PERSISTENT!!!
- When your kids application has been sent in, have him call and or email the admissions office once every 2-3 weeks. Make sure they know that it is his dream school and, if admitted, he will attend. Show interest. Develop relationships within the office. (SIDE NOTE: I have heard of kids getting denied and they then called the admissions office and pled saying they would take summer classes or doing whatever it takes to get in... They were eventually accepted)
3) Challenge yourself academically
- Regardless of what has been said on this thread, it's VERY important to take AP and/or Honors/Accelerated classes.
4) Take leadership positions
- Could be sports team captain or student government. Starting a school club is also a great way to demonstrate leadership (and a great way for a student to also do something they enjoy instead of joining a club just to say you are in it)
5) Get a good GPA and ACT/SAT
- Personally, I was below the average admissions standards. My school was a well regarded public school in state, but I got a 3.7 GPA and a 28 ACT. I believe the school saw here that I took a lot of honors and AP classes balanced with a lot of extra curricular activities.
These aren't necessarily in any order (couldn't decide where to fit the last three points in the mix) but everything included here is very important. I know this was a long post and I apologize, but I hope I helped out a little. I stuck to these things and got into my dream school and I hope your kid does too!
(P.S. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GREAT REFERENCES. HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH AT LEAST TWO TEACHERS IN HIGH SCHOOL WHO WILL GO TO BATTLE FOR YOUR KID)
also wants to go to UM. We'll going to try and get him in with his Baritone horn skills. It's worth a shot.
Help your sons organize a not for profit, get it recognized by the government (laywers fees, but nothing exorbitant) and then have your child be the CEO/President for 3 years. It looks amazing to the committee and the non-prof can be as simple as a blanket drive one a year. Works for Harvard applicants, it will work for M applicants.
Sign him up for Mgoblog and tell him to make lots of smart, witty comments. I hear that 100,000 mgopoints is the new 30+ ACT score.
Brian had better get voting back up. 100k points is a lot of posts. Pro tip: Diaries are 10(!) points!!
I go to private school, have a good GPA and got a 30 on the ACT (first time without studying) any tips?, I am relatively involved in extracurriculars. Is there anything y'all have heard UM really likes?
It depends on what state you are from. I got in from Louisiana where it's easier to get into Michigan than from New York.
My daughter is a freshman this year fulfilling a desire she had at a young age to be a wolverine like her mom and dad. I do think taking her to Michigan football games at a young age had something to do with it, too. She remembers very clearly that she was at the first overtime game ever at the Big House.
Anyway, AP courses are important to demonstrate a willingness to take an academic challenge and those courses really do prepare kids for college. I took 0 AP classes back in the day. My daughter placed out of two semesters of chemistry, a semester of calc, needed to take one semester of spanish to fulfill her language requirement. She is taking freshman physics and it's just like what she did in high school, so it's easy for her while it kicked my butt. She's taking organic chemistry and it seems easy to her. Proves the point. AP classes get you ready to meet the challanges of college academics.
Contributing to the university and being involved can only help. I've been a steady contributor to the Engineering school fund (not big $$, just contribute annually), stay in touch with the engineering alumni office, attend alumni events on homecoming weekend, and made sure they knew about my daughter's interest in attending Michigan. She met the dean of the Engineering school, took tours, got to see what it was all about when she was a sophmore in high school. She got her application in early and received her acceptance letter on Dec. 20th or something like that. Oh, yes, she's in LS&A right now, but I anticipate a transfer to Biomedical Engineering soon. The apple never falls far from the tree.
Good luck. You have a long journey ahead and who knows what will happen, but football saturdays do help.
Kind of funny that I'm also a freshman who started out in the college of engineering to do biomedical engineering, but I'm in the process of transferring to LS&A since calculus and such just aren't my cup of tea.
I remember getting an A on the first physics test, thinking "this is just like high school."
Then the rest of the semester happened.
I hit that moment second semester of sophomore year - I recovered fairly quickly, but I was definitely doubting my intelligence for awhile. Never let your guard down.
I only did soccer and band and got in. Also I went to a SAT prep program that really boosted my SAT scores.
I managed to get in despite applying on the last day possible, from out of state, with a 3.4 GPA in high school. I think it's really important to take APs that are relevant to what ever major someone plans on applying to, and doing well in those AP classes. I'm also pretty convinced that having a really kick ass essay for your application can make all the difference. I don't think I'd of gotten in with an average essay.
A little luck can go a long way too, I'm sure I had some.
Get it on with the President's daughter/son (not judging).
Know someone (at least a janitor).
Good GPA, good showing on AP courses, and good SAT / SAT II scores. Nowadays a lot of schools love the SAT II stuff.
He's 10? Start working on his essay now. My teenagers procrastinated so long it just about killed me.
Don't know what the essay question will be 7 years from now? You can be sure it will have something to do with diversity. Every one of the schools my kids applied to had a diversity-related essay question.
I do not know if this is viable or not as this was 25 years ago. All my friends went to UM and I did not because I was a terrible student, at least compared to them. I had about 25 AP credits, a 2.8 GPA, and a 26 ACT score. My essay had "English as a second language", written all over it. Yes, I scored a 19 on the English portion of the ACT.
So even if you fail the first time, keep trying. I like to believe my experience made me a better student and person. My miserable failure just fired my ambition to finally study for a change. I attended EMU for a year. I aced third semester calculus. After aceing first semester college chemistry, I was admited to the chemistry honors class and had the highest score in the class. I took the hardest classes available. That was enough to allow me to transfer into LSA.
The school does not make us, what we put in makes us what we are. At some point we will have setbacks in life. So never give up. A few setbacks may fire your ambition. I have a lot of friends who had it to easy and never adjusted to the college setting. I did not have that problem because I knew what a precious thing I had.
He's 10. He'll change. Maybe you'll find that a smaller school is more appropriate for him, based on how he develops and learns. Maybe he has already won the genetic lottery and he will ace his SAT's. Maybe he's lost it and he won't. Much as I loved my time at Michigan, the key to college is finding a school that is a good match for the student. He is already motivated, just let him do what he enjoys and has a passion for, and encourage him to work hard. Then revisit this issue in 10th grade. When all is said and done, there are many roads to success, and the key is choosing the one you are comfortable navigating.
I'm currently a HS senior, and I have been deferred ( 3.8 GPA and 31 ACT), on the unfortunate chance that I do not get in, has anybody in here transferred into UM or know someone who has?
4.0+ GPA in high school but my ACT was awful -- 25. I was accepted into Michigan's College of Engineering. So it is possible to get into Michigan (Engineering no less) with a mediocre test score. I took AP classes and did well in them. I can't remember what I wrote for my essay but I remember being proud of my work.
I think it helps a little to have siblings or relatives that attend or graduated from Michigan. And it definitely helps if you can donate to the school every year.
I had ok grades (3.5) and an ok SAT (12something). I did however take math up through differential equations, calc based physics, and C++ programming in high school. I think taking classes like that matters more to the CoE than anything else. The engineering school is less concerned about well- roundedness than LS&A. Which is why most engineering students suck at writing and talking to chicks.
It's been said a couple times in this thread, but National Honors Society is a perfect topping to a sterling resume. The community service associated with it speaks volumes about an applicant. I strongly endorse this for any serious high school student.
Sports are great too.
My ten year old wants to be a fire truck, or sometimes a fierce dog with laser eyes. Do you know what I tell him? "Son, you can be anything thing you want as long as you leave me the fuck alone. Also, for the sake of Jesus Pete, learn to shit INSIDE the bowl." Needless to say, he will start at Michigan in the fall. He is about to Doogie Howser all over the quad.
one thing thats offered here in Washington is the running start program. It is a program that allows you to attend Community College and earn HS credits and College credits at the same time all on the states dime. I know plenty of kids that that graduated HS with their AA degree. Do you guys think this would count as AP? For example, If you take English 112 at the CC you'll get credit for your HS English class. I just wonder if its better to take a class actually listed as AP.
...at a community college in high school and transferred it to UM. I think that Michigan won't transfer credits that were required for your high school diploma. My suggestion for kids early in high school is to load up on community college classes in the summer and transfer them to your college institution. Michigan takes up to 60 transfer credits I believe.
That's why I suggest taking classes in the summer, where the average kid sits on his/her butt all summer doing nothing. And I took the class with a friend from high school so that made it fun. Although training to be a 5-star linebacker commit to UM is also a good use of time.
people we're not talking about Harvard... just get good grades in honors or ap courses (above 3.7-3.8) and get a good ACT... biggest thing is not getting a C, if he gets a C chances are he will be deferred. Also since UofM is rolling make sure he applies as early as possible (september/october)
You don't need to have him start some volunteer crap, if he doesn't want to do it why should he be fake just to put it on his college app... this is the problem with kids today all they are about is what looks good and not what they truly care about.
As a somewhat recent UM grad with younger siblings who got in, can't stress the importance of a job/work experience. Having a job in high school speaks to the independence, motivation, and other intangibles of an applicant that grades and test scores don't capture.
Seeing as most UM applicants don't need to work in high school, it makes your application stand out and shows your drive.
My grandfather served as the director of admission for Wayne State Univ. for 10+ years and talks about work experience as a huge X-factor.
Good luck to all!