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Guest post written by Ryan Faja, a current graduate student at University of Wisconsin:
Applying to college can be a headache and a lot of work; sometimes the more prestigious the university the more work and dedication in high school is required to ensure that you are accepted. My Alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, is one of the few dozen Public Ivies. It prides itself on high academic standards, strong research and being a pillar of excellence in the community, whether it is the city of Madison, Dane County or the state of Wisconsin. These core values are part of the “Wisconsin Way”, where the community benefits from the hard work done by and at the university. These key attributes are important when the University of Wisconsin considers applicants for admission.
While in high school I was involved in many activities, member of the National Honor Society, the German Honor Society, participated in sports and was a stage manager for several school plays and musicals. Being involved in extracurricular and volunteering along with getting good grades (3.5 out 4.0 GPA is a must) and ACT (27 or better) and AP (4’s and 5’s) exam score are important parts of the acceptance process, but they are not the only important elements that factor into your acceptance to such a prestigious university.
Perhaps the most important thing during the whole application was the essay. In this essay you must write about yourself, which is one of the hardest things you will have to do. Why should the University of Wisconsin accept you? How will you attending Wisconsin benefit the university? These are some important questions you must answer. Showing that you can contribute to the “Wisconsin Way” is perhaps the mot important thing you can do while applying to Wisconsin.
While your essay might be one of the most important parts of the application process, but being involved inside and outside of school along with good grades is very important. And remember, this perhaps the most important thing to remember, do not take the easy route senior year, universities look at that and take that into consideration. Public Ivies, like the University of Wisconsin, do not want slackers; they want motivated, driven individuals willing to work hard. On Wisconsin!