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There is a little-known secret method of getting a student admitted by top colleges and universities.
Getting perfect grades and admissions test scores is not enough to get into the most selective colleges and universities. College admissions offices want more than just great academic performance. They want students who go above and beyond.
There are certain summer programs and competitions that act as a mark of excellence. Students who attend these programs or earn the highest rank in these competitions are much more likely to get into the most selective colleges and universities.
One of these programs is the Research Science Institute (RSI) run by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE). CEE was founded by Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro more than 35 years ago to keep the U.S. strong in science, mathematics, technology and engineering. The RSI program is free to participants.
Most RSI alumni, known as Rickoids, enroll in some of the nation’s most selective colleges and universities. A third (33%) attend Harvard, 22% attend MIT, 10% attend Stanford, 5% attend Princeton, 5% attend Yale, 3% attend Caltech and 2% attend Duke.
RSI produces more finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search and other national and international competitions than any other educational organization.
RSI alumni are leaders in STEM, business and education. Famous Rickoids include:
- Dr. Feng Zhang, inventor of the CRISPR gene-editing technology and optogenetics
- Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, a pioneer in the field of mathematical epidemiology
- Dr. Kelley Harris, recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2017 Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI) for decoding the evolutionary history of DNA replication fidelity from whole genome sequences
- Dr. Terry Tao, winner of the Fields Medal
- Ben Silbermann, co-founder of Pinterest
- Dr. Shamit Kachru, an expert on string theory and quantum field theory and their applications to cosmology, condensed matter physics and elementary particle theory
There’s just one catch, which is getting into RSI.
RSI is more selective than MIT, Stanford, Harvard and all other colleges and universities worldwide. Only about 2% to 3% of U.S. applicants are admitted to RSI each year.
Other prestigious programs that also serve as pipelines into elite colleges and universities include:
- Clark Scholars Program
- Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSiM)
- Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)
- Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)
- Summer Science Program (SSP)
- Telluride Association Summer Program for Juniors (TASP)
- Women’s Technology Program (WTP)
Competitions that give winners an edge in college admissions include:
- Breakthrough Junior Challenge
- Davidson Fellow Scholarship
- Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)
- Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS)
- U.S. Olympic Athletes
- USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (USAAO)
- USA Biology Olympiad (USABO)
- USA Chemistry Olympiad
- USA Computing Olympiad (USACO)
- USA Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO)
- USA Physics Olympiad
Several of these competitions award generous college scholarships.