Why ~90% of students who get 4.0 and above GPAs
and perfect SAT scores are NOT accepted into
or the top 10 universities (and what to do about it)
Proven methods and strategies for getting into better universities even if your child does not have the best grades or SAT scores
What universities actually want in an applicant
(but never say)
How to identify your child’s true interest and passion, turn it into a unique advantage, and use it to
get into a better university
The truth about certain extracurricular activities that actually hurt students’ chances of getting into better schools
What “value–added” college planning is, and how early you should start if you want your child to enter a top university (most parents get this wrong)
“Academic criteria are important to Yale’s selective admissions process, but we look at far more than test scores and grades… every applicant brings something unique to the admissions committee table.
Perhaps one application stands out because of sparkling recommendations, while another presents outstanding extracurricular talent; maybe your personality shines through a powerful written voice.”
“Even perfect test scores don’t guarantee admission. Far from it: 69% of Stanford’s applicants over the past five years who scored a perfect score on the SAT were rejected… we’re also looking for evidence that this young person has a passion, that he or she will bring something to our community that is unique.”
25,518 students had a
4.0 GPA or above.
For every 1 spot available at Stanford, there are 12 students that apply
with a 4.0+ GPA
UC Berkeley accepted
40,706 students had a
4.0 GPA or above.
For every 1 spot available at Berkeley, there are ~3 students that apply
with a 4.0+ GPA
UC Davis had 41,684 students apply with a 3.7 to 4.0+ GPA
Only 25,580 of those students were admitted
That means 16,104 students were still rejected with a competitive GPA for
These 3 factors are so powerful & important that universities are accepting students who have lower GPAs and SAT scores, but fulfill these 3 factors, OVER students with higher GPAs & SAT scores.
In fact, top universities COMMONLY reject students with perfect GPAs
and SAT scores if they don’t have these 3 factors.
No, we’re not talking about gender, race, or income.
These 3 factors are 100% within your control if you want to make sure your child has the best chance of getting into a top university.
And yes, you can even do these when your child is in the 6ᵗʰ–12ᵗʰ grade,
but the earlier they start, the more powerful it will be.
All will be explained in the webinar.
Alex’s daughter was in the 7th grade when she began her college prep guidance with Zenith Prep Academy. Although Alex attended a Top 30 university in the US himself, he realized how challenging the admissions process had become, and was unsure of what classes, activities, and competitions would help his daughter best explore her passions and find her area of interest. He was looking for a highly customized strategy for his daughter to build the right extracurricular profile so she’d be able to stand out from the tens of thousands of other students with similar academics. Alex has been so happy with his relationship with Zenith that he’s looking forward to signing up his younger kids when they’re old enough.
Lana had quickly realized her son’s school wasn’t challenging or engaging enough for him. He was a very bright, driven, and articulate student who had specific fields that he was interested in. He and Lana wanted to know how he could further his interests in these fields through more advanced classes and different competitions, projects, activities,
Having twin daughters with very different personalities, interests, and strengths was hard enough as it is. Guiding them through high school – with all the different options for honors/AP classes, clubs, competitions, programs/internships, and activities – with no experience ahead of the college admissions process seemed impossible to handle without help. Leo’s daughters were both accepted and joined our college consulting program in their 8th grade, as their family desired a partner in guiding and supporting the girls through junior high and high school.
Manisha’s daughter was an 11th grader when they started working with our college counseling team. A first–generation parent, she turned to Zenith to guide her daughter toward how to best use the one year they had left before college applications, highlighting her daughter’s strengths and interests to ultimately help her shine on college applications. With Zenith’s help, Manisha’s daughter gained acceptance into her dream university.
Phani’s son was in the 8th grade when they joined our college consulting program. His son was bright and doing well academically, though he had no exposure to any fields/majors. Outside of sports, he also hadn’t participated in any academic or extracurricular activities. Given that Phani didn’t have any experience with how college admissions in the US worked, his family sought guidance on how to help his son identify his interests and further develop his passion to stand out to top colleges.
Having gone through the college application process once with his older son and knowing how challenging and overwhelming it was, Manoj wanted to find a college consulting program for his younger son to stand out. They understood having a strong academic profile with lots of honors/AP classes, a high–weighted GPA (ex. 4.5+), and high standardized scores was not going to help his son get into the colleges he was looking to attend. Manoj enrolled him into our program early on in high school, towards the end of his 9th grade, to give him the right opportunities, exposure, and guidance that his older son unfortunately missed out on.
Although Robert attended high school and college in the US, given that his son went to a hyper–competitive high school (ranked top 100 in the United States), he wanted a highly customized strategy and plan for their son to further his academic interests and build the right extracurricular profile to stand out from his peers in their high school and in the college applications.
Steve’s son joined our college counseling program as a 10th grader. Though Steve had attended high school and college in the US, he realized how much had changed in the college admissions process during his son’s 9th grade at an academically competitive high school. While his son was hard–working, Steve wanted someone who could motivate their son, help him identify his unique strengths, and most importantly, find an area of interest to pursue outside of school. Given various opportunities in terms of classes, activities, and competitions, Steve’s family wanted to make sure his son could reach his full potential by the time he applied for college as a senior.
Vincy came from a strong business background, having done her education at USC, a top 20 business school. Her daughter was a bright and motivated middle school student, but they wanted to expose her to different fields of interest so she could find a passion best fitting her college/career goals. Given how much has changed with the college application process (requirements, trends, and competitiveness), she wanted to make sure her daughter could build a comprehensive profile highlighting her strengths and unique talents on the college application.
Ramya and Govin’s son joined our college consulting program in the 10th grade. Although he was doing fine academically, they knew he would need a strong extracurricular profile to stand out to universities. With two years left prior to applying to college, they wanted someone to motivate their son, identify the best extracurriculars/activities that would help him gain an edge over his peers, and highlight his strengths so he’d gain admission into the universities that he deserved. Ramya and Govin were so pleased with the successful working relationship with their older son that they signed up their younger son as well.
Sa and David’s daughter was a very strong student academically, involved with various activities including sports, volunteering, leadership positions in clubs and youth councils, dancing, and more. Given that their daughter was in 10th grade, Sa and David enrolled her into our college consulting program to help provide resources, recommendations, strategies, and guidance on helping their daughter get into her dream university.
Aside from wanting guidance on navigating high school in terms of what classes to take, when to take standardized tests, and all the other traditional things that college counselors do, Yun wanted specific guidance on figuring out her son’s interests and the strategy/roadmap on what her son could do in terms of programs, internships, competitions, and other extracurricular activities to help him stand out to universities when he applied in the 12th grade.
Archana’s son, aside from being a bright student, was excelling in various extracurricular activities ranging from music to coding to debate. Feeling at a loss what would be most helpful for college, and unsure of how to continuously engage and help their son reach his fullest potential, they enrolled their son into our college consulting program towards the end of 7th grade.
Kunal and Deepal’s son was in the 8th grade when they started their college prep guidance with Zenith Prep Academy. They wanted to help their bright and extremely motivated son find his passion, so he could focus his hard work in one field and set himself apart as a singular applicant for universities. Given that they were both first–generation parents, they were overwhelmed with all of the different classes, clubs, and competitions their son could try. As a result, they wanted guidance and highly specific, customized recommendations to turn their son’s passion into activities, achievements, and accomplishments that would help him stand out to universities.
Being a first–generation parent, Nidhi wanted to help her son identify and develop his passion to get into the universities he wanted to go to. Although her son had not done much from an extracurricular standpoint, he was a bright and motivated 8th grader who always worked really hard and put his 100% effort into everything that he did. Seeing her son doing well academically, she enrolled him into our college consulting program so that we can recommend different classes, programs, internships, competitions, and other extracurricular activities that will help him stand out to universities.
Being first–generation parents in the US, Sanjay and Vaishali were unsure how to guide their oldest son to navigate through high school and the eventual college admissions process. Given the different classes a student can take inside and outside of school, the wide variety of clubs offered in high school, and the various extracurricular activities that they heard through various parents, Sanjay and Vaishali enrolled their son into our college consulting program in 8th grade to get a head start in planning for high school and college.
Given that his son was doing well academically, Rajesh wanted guidance on resources, programs, and classes that could provide his son with exposure to different fields and majors – in turn helping him identify his interests and turn his passions into activities, helping him attract the attention of his choice universities.
Mugdha & Vijay’s daughter was in the 9th grade when they joined our college counseling program. Their daughter was doing well in her classes academically, but they wanted a way to identify her interests and develop her strengths. Given that they had only done their post–grad education in the United States, they were unsure of how the college admissions process worked, but knew that it was very competitive. They sought Zenith’s guidance in order to help their daughter identify her area of interest, highlight her academic strengths, and use her passion to stand out to universities.
Seema’s son, a 7th grader at the time of joining our program, was a very bright and mature student who excelled academically and in his extracurricular activities. However, having moved to California from the East Coast, Seema was unaware of all the different programs, classes, and competitions that her son could do (locally, regionally, nationally). She wanted to find a college consulting program that specialized in her son’s varied interests and had the expertise to equip him with a strong profile for his top universities of interest.
Given that Priya did not grow up here and was unfamiliar with how college admissions worked in the US, her family was seeking our guidance on how to help their daughter build a comprehensive profile that would highlight her academic strengths while combining that with her extracurricular interests to stand out to universities.
Although their daughter was strong academically and had numerous extracurricular activities involving leadership, sports, and volunteering, Charu and Vivek wanted more specialized guidance on how to identify their daughter’s interests and what she could do in the 18 months prior to college applications to help her stand out to admission officers comparing tens of thousands of other students applying for the same colleges with similar academic profiles (grades, honors/AP classes, SAT/ACT scores, etc.).