If you want to know how to improve your chances of admission or if you are wondering:
What will make my application stand out?
That's a tough one, since we do not admit students based on one singular achievement. You are more than the sum of your accomplishments.
More importantly, several people read applications: admissions officers, faculty members, the whole admissions committee. They're not all looking for one special thing. They're looking for your potential to succeed, collaborate, and be creative at Caltech.
So what can you do to stand out?
We want to see what inspires you, and we will see that in what you choose to do outside of class. We'll see it in your essays. And we'll see it in what others say about you in your teacher and counselor evaluations. We know you don't have a lot of free time, so what you choose to do tells us a bit about what's important to you.
Show us your STEM.
How do you engage with STEM? How do you know that you want to continue your studies in your chosen field? We're interested in seeing what you do to explore your interests, and we'll ask you about this on your application. What else do you do? Do you work with a robotics club? Have you done research or an internship? Are you involved in science fairs, competitions, or clubs? Tell us about it. Geek out. We get it.
Maybe you're an athlete who loves biology. Or an astrophotographer who makes music. Perhaps your interests lie in both engineering and model UN. Or you love math so much that you seek out puzzles and challenges wherever you can find them. What does that look like in your life? How are you fueling those interests?
We especially want to know how you engage with STEM. You've already figured out that you want to apply to a school that focuses on STEM research. What have you done to determine what you want to study? Or how do you know what you don't care to learn?
Only you can be you.
We want to meet you through your application. We know it's a snapshot, and we want you to tell us as much as you can through the picture that you paint of yourself. Colleges admit you for who they believe you to be. Don't lead them astray with what you think they want to see. Show them your authentic self.