GRADES ARE #1
Grades are always the #1 thing colleges examine for admissibility. #2 is the rigor of courses you are enrolled in: college prep, honors and AP courses. If you are easily earning As in college prep courses, colleges expect you to move up. #3 are test scores (ACT or SAT). Are you scores consistent with your grades? A student with a 3.9 GPA and 550 SAT scores indicates a terrific work ethic that is overcompensating for average test scores. A student with 640 SAT scores and a 2.8 GPA is an underachiever: the test scores say the student is far more talented than the B average he or she is earning in high school. At most colleges, scores and GPA must be commensurate. Students with the high GPA and so-so test scores should consider test-optional colleges, and students with the B average & high test scores need to work on their grades as much as possible, especially senior year. Use collegeboard.org to see which colleges are a good match for you.
I visited Mr. Cilley's Ignatian Leadership classes in April 2017 to answer their questions about college. Here are the most frequently asked questions:
what's a good SAT score? 550 on each section is the national average, and that's a good score if you have a B average at Cheverus. If you are an A student, your scores should be commensurate, in the 600s and up.
There's a lot of interest in going to college in Europe. Not just for a semester with a study abroad program, but the whole 4 years. Cost is a factor driving this interest: most countries offer college degrees at a lower cost than the U.S. However, there are differences, especially in campus life: student housing is not as community minded as a typical U.S. residential campus. Here are some resources to locate the right European college for you:
Summer Internships for students interested in STEM http://www.msgc.org/students/internships/highschool/ Preview a College Course Yale and MIT provide free and open access to a selection of courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars. Before applying to either college, may I suggest you preview a course? It will make you a more informed applicant. Highly selective places like Yale & MIT would expect that you are involved in learning outside the Cheverus classroom. Have you explored Khan Academy? (free!) Check out Engineer4Free which offers college-level math, science & engineering classes.