What are the requirements for entry as a freshman at say, MIT? (Studying physics of course). I've heard its highly competitive... All and any help would be greatly appreciated!
So you need extracurricular stuff also for the graduate programs or research experience, top GPA and good GRE scores are enough?
Judging by your responses in this thread, you have no hope of going up against the best of the best in a test of math/science ability. Your best bet is to fill some niche position in their incoming class as the admissions folks are much easier on people with rather rare talents (at least by a technical school's standards). You might play in your city's orchestra in your spare time, for example.
From what I gather, the money shouldn't be a problem though, (IF by some miracle I get in) because (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this applies to international students as well) MIT waives the fee if your families net income is less than $75 000 p.a.
Judging by your responses in this thread, you have no hope of going up against the best of the best in a test of math/science ability.
Selecting students isn't simply a matter of ranking test scores or high-school grades. Athletics is the most visible factor, but other non-academic factors can make a difference as well.
Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three and the cry of the critic for five.
Re: the "Special and precious flower" (lol) theme that many have mentioned: Hopefully my personality will help me.
No insult to your personality intended, but don't you think that *everyone* applying to a top university is passionate about their intended career choice?
The contrabassoon example is a good one... you really *do* need something like that that will make you stand out from the pack of students with straight A's and perfect test scores.
Yeah, I was afraid of that... Statistically, MIT recruits about 0.5 South Africans yearly, so the odds are not looking good...
I don't think that learning to juggle this summer will help much...
It seems as if MIT doesn't have much annual quota for South Africa.
It is basically you versus everyone else in your country that apply.
Since they usually take only one or two applicants, they simply pick those schools that either sent students here in the past or are at the very top of the country. At my university, the list of admitted international (I worked past time at the admission office) has the same high schools year after year.
Also (clutching at straws here), the fact that so SA applicants get in probably means that US universities will have very little data on previously successful schools, and will therefore not consider it important. I don't know...