PrepWell Blog


Will Mia Get into MIT?

As a college admissions counselor specializing in students with big ambitions (e.g. Ivy League, Military Service Academies/ROTC, Athletic scholarships), I have seen dreams realized, shattered, and everything in between.

Case Study

In this case study, I reveal what goes through an MIT college admissions officers' mind as they review Mia's application. What do they care about, what do they disregard, what jumps out, and what factors might seal the deal for her (for good or bad)?

Mia just finished her junior year at a big public high school in CA. She has a great GPA, killer SAT score, nearly perfect SAT Subject Test scores, and some impressive extracurricular activities.

Will this seemingly extraordinary application stand out?
Here are the summary findings for Mia:

Objective Academic Metrics:

  • SAT: 1520
  • GPA: 4.4
  • SAT Subject Tests: 800 and 790
  • AP Cal BC: 5
  • AP Physics: 4
  • Rigor of classes: very

Very strong. A combination of academics, work, STEM camp, internships.

Honors & Awards:
Very good. Nationally and Internationally competitive.

Letters of Recommendation:
strong across the board

Demonstration of Interest:
excellent (connected with professor, visit, tour)

Well-written and aligned with her interests

female interested in STEM

Will Mia get into MIT? Check out the video to hear my rationale.


  • Mia chose to play the long game. She started thinking about college in 9th grade when she enrolled in PrepWell Academy. This is how she racked up so many impressive extracurricular activities. When students wait until the middle of 11th-grade, they have a hard time catching up.
  • Mia did extremely well on her standardized tests, as do most students who apply to MIT. Test scores, however, are just one of many factors. Mia knew that she had to do more to stand out.
  • Mia focused her attention on a few significant activities that allowed her to dive deeply into topics she enjoyed.
  • Mia strung together a series of connected experiences ranging from social media influencer to bike tinkerer that painted a clear picture of who she was as a person, student, and citizen.  In other words, she made the admissions officer's job a lot easier.


In the end, Mia had a strategic plan. She had someone to prompt her at the appropriate times to think about: (1) class selection, (2) study strategies, (3) summer activity ideas, (4) essay brainstorming, (5) branding, etc.

If your child needs this type of guidance, enroll them in PrepWell Academy in 9th or 10th grade, where I provide them with weekly advice, recommendations, and inspiration via video lessons.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I hope to see your son or daughter inside PrepWell Academy soon.

If you want a copy of the "College Admissions Snapshot" to use with your child or students, please contact me and I'll send you one.

Enroll in PrepWell Academy


Keep Prepping,

Author: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.

Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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