Not that schoolwork isn't important, but it turns out there are other ways to get into elite colleges like MIT.
Take the story of Malvika Raj Joshi, a 17 year-old from Mumbai who recently received her acceptance letter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Despite dropping out during Class VII school (the equivalent of seventh grade in the U.S.), Joshi was very active in international computer science competitions, which attracted MIT's notice.
It started when Joshi and her family members made the decision to "unschool" her, something they initially found risky, reported the Indian Express. Only one Indian college, the Chennai Mathematical Institute, would take her.
From there, she started competing in the International Olympiad of Informatics, where she's placed for the last three years in computing, with two silver medals and one bronze.
Image: INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIAD OF INFORMATICS
Turns out, MIT noticed and offered her admission in its computer science program. So it's possible to drop out of school and still end up in one of one of the most prestigious schools on the market. Just win some Olympiads.