University of chicago?

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: University of chicago?
By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:14 am: Edit

I'm planning on majoring in probably both Int'l Relations/studies/whatever and East Asian or Japanese Studies and I'd like to become fluent in two languages whilst in college.

my list previously was
brown (super reach as in i have more of a chance of passing ap physics c than getting in)
nyu (reach)
middlebury (match)
johns hopkins(reach)
george washington(safety)

however, now i'm looking at the u of chicago and it seems great. does anyone know how good the aforementioned programs are? how are languages in general? i know modern greek is offered which makes me SO happy.

i'm considering dropping brown for uchicago. brown was always kind of my dream school but my chances of getting in are close to nothing (for instance, my gpa is a bit below a 92. which sounds okay, but that+brown just does NOT happen at my school. it's generally 94+, maybe ONE 93 and regardless, it's spotty for all gpas). and i recently decided that as much as i love brown, i'd probably go to middlebury over it if i got into both. midd just seems more suited for my academic interests.

and lastly, is it insanely competitive and unhappy like everyone claims? i'm used to competition which i've grown accustomed to (and i think i've become incapable of thriving in a non-competitive environment).

ahhh help! i only get 7 schools.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:18 am: Edit

There are five schools that I recommend you look into more closely. All of them are excellent in East Asian Studies and Japanese:

Chicago (arguably #1 in JApanese and East Asian Studies)
Indiana University (excellent safety for somebody wishing to major in East Asian Studies and Japanese)
Michigan-Ann Arbor

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:01 am: Edit

not applying to cornell.

i love penn. i won't get in. when i visited, a girl from my HS was with us on the tour and we were asking her about how to get in, and she said something along the lines of "well, it doens't have to be that high. i mean, i got in with a 94.6, though i think i was the lowest from our school." yea, 94.6, 91.8. i'd rather not waste an application on a school i won't get into. i already have a fair amount of reaches on my list.

i think earlham's supposed to be an awesome safety for japanese.

well. now i'm just kind of trying to figure out which of the schools to remove from my list and replace with uchicago.

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:08 am: Edit

and on that note, does anyone have rankings listing/information on school for IR or Japanese or East Asian studies?

don't talk about georgetown! oh how i wish!

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:53 am: Edit

Christ, their application requires one humanities teacher and one math/science teacher. What I have is a Japanese teacher (for 2 years) and my AP US History teacher (1 year). Math/science isn't relevant for my major!

I'm so upset! Is there any way around this? Jeez, way to suck at life, uchicago. :(

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:15 am: Edit

Ahwsoq, at that level, your grades alone will neither condemn you nor absolve you. It is your essays that will carry the day or damn you to hell! So do not...I repeat, DO NOT, give up on Penn. It is like any other school. Sure, it is selective, but if you are thinking of Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, Penn is not that much of a stretch. What did you get on your SATs? Did you take any AP classes/exams?

Anyway, rankings at the undergraduate level are never accurate, so do not make a decision based solely on the rankings. The difference between the #1 department and the #10 department in a field is generally tiny, especially at the undergraduate level.

So, according to the Gourman Report:

#1 Tufts
#2 Princeton
#3 Johns Hopkins
#4 Georgetown
#5 Penn
#6 Harvard
#7 Cornell
#8 Wisconsin-Madison
#9 MIT
#10 Stanford

#1 Harvard
#2 Chicago
#3 Penn
#4 Columbia
#5 Cal-Berkeley
#6 Cornell
#7 Michigan-Ann Arbor
#8 Washington-Seattle
#9 Wisconsin-Madison
#10 Stanford
#11 Ohio State
#12 Yale
#13 Indiana University-Bloomington

#1 Harvard
#2 Cal-Berkeley
#3 Penn
#4 Columbia
#5 Chicago
#6 Stanford
#7 Cornell
#8 Indiana University-Bloomington
#9 Princeton
#10 Michigan-Ann Arbor
#11 Yale

POLITICAL SCIENCE (USNWR Rankings, graduate schools):
#1 Harvard
#2 Cal-Berkeley
#2 Michigan-Ann Arbor
#2 Stanford
#5 Yale
#6 Princeton
#8 Chicago
#8 Duke
#11 Columbia
#11 MIT
#11 Rochester
#11 Wisconsin-Madison
#15 Minnesota-Twin cities
#15 North Carolina-Chapel Hill
#15 Ohio State
#18 Indiana-Bloomington
#18 Washington University-St Louis
#20 Cornell
#20 Northwestern

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:36 am: Edit

That was helpful, thanks.
My other "stats" (I hate this part, it seems like boasting) are:
psats: 1240 and 1360 [soph+jr years]
SAT - 1460 [taken once]
US Hist - 800
Writing - 770
Math IIC - 750

I took AP CS and AP US this year, along with the test for AP English Language. CS-2 [hah], US-4, Eng-5. I don't plan on announcing the CS until it's time for placement. :D

Next year, the only AP I'm taking is Calculus AB. There's a chance I'll be in Environmental Science. As for non-AP, I'll have a full schedule with the following classes:
Japanese [year 3]
Italian [year 4]
Great Books [college level]
Economics [US Gov - spring term]
Poetry [Fiction Writing - spring term]
Calc AB
Science 1 (hopefully enviro)
Science 2 (depends on what's available, it will not be AP)
lunch, gym.
Spring term, Gym + one science are replaced by Advanced Woodworking for my double-period technology requirement.

I'll be taking a course in either American Govt or the Presidential Nomination process or Sociology at a community college this fall.

On top of that, I tutored 3 children during fall term of sophomore year. Ive tutored one girl for all of junior year and will continue for senior year and will be adding another tutoring job this year. I have about 5 ECs that are long-term (I'm taking, anywhere from 6 - 8 years). Only one is within the school. I don't have many school-related because I was a freshman during september 11th and thus during freshman year I was required (by my parents, also partly on my own accord) to come home straight after school [concerns about air quality, it smelled like burnt bodies until november]. First half of sophomore year, I had a job 3-4 days a week directly after school. I had time for one club. Other kids already had all the "leadership" positions lined up; though, if you ask me, sitting in a circle and leading a discussion once a week means nothing when it comes to leadership. I can lead discussions, I just do it with my friends in situations where it's not restricted to a certain hour once a week.

...I don't know what else to say. My only downfall is science. Ive taken
freshman: Physics
soph: Chem
Jr: fall: Anthropology
spring: nothing
Sr.: will be taking 3 science electives. [For graduation, ugh. I hate science].

While all of THAT sounds all good and dandy, my grades suck. Seriously. For my school, at least. 10% of my class have averages of 95+. That's 70-80 kids. I guarantee you that there are at least 100 kids each with 94s and 93s and 92s. We don't rank/do percentiles. If we did, we'd be screwed. With a 92, I'm probably in the top 3 or 4 hundred.


By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:45 am: Edit

Dude, don't give up on Penn if you love it. Your SAT and SAT II are above their mean. So what if your grades are slightly lower than Penn's mean? You have a realistic shot. It is not a great shot, but then again, most people who go to Penn did not have a great shot.

If you are applying to 7 schools only, definitely apply to Chicago (match), Penn (reach). The other 5, you can pick from a multitude of schools. Schools like:

Georgetown (match/reach)
Indiana-Bloomington (safety)
Johns Hopkins (match/reach)
Michigan-Ann Arbor (match)
Middlebury (awesome LAC with great language program) (match)
Tufts (match)
Wisconsin-Madison (safety)

I would not recommend NYU or George Washington. They aren't that good at what you want to study.

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:54 am: Edit

for the record, here's what penn accepted of this year's seniors:

Accepted 97.9 1510
97.7 1550
96.7 1570
95.9 1550
95.8 1520
94.1 1430
94.0 1580
93.7 1470
93.6 1580
93.1 1530

out of 70 applicants.

UPenn ED:
Accepted 97.3 1540
97.2 no sats
96.6 1550
95.9 1490
94.4 1430
93.4 1490
92 1430
91.5 1500
out of maybe 25 applicants.

ED is sososo much more promising. But I need lots of financial aid. Then again, to go to a school like UPenn I wouldn't blink twice about taking out $120,000 in loans if I had to.

Though, early, my GPA is 91.333333repeating (I think that's cool :D) and for RD with first term sr year added I'll have a 91.8. I know .5 isn't much of a difference, but you know.

You may have persuaded me to applying to upenn early. I'll hang it all on you if I enter a depression upon rejection. though if I get in, I'll gladly allow you to help me pay off my debt. ;) Thanks for the support!

Ideally, I'd apply to the Huntsmann program [combined language + int'l business] but that requires 720+ on an SAT II in language and I don't think I can pull that off in either Japanese or Italian. I simply don't know enough Japanese [though really, it's only the kanji holding me back] and my Italian teacher is awful. We'll see. Thanks a lot!!

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:59 am: Edit

UChicago - match
UPenn - reach
Georgetown (match/reach) - honestly, I'd rate the college as a reach but the School of Foreign Services is what I'd have to apply to if I wanted to major in IR. And that is just impossible. I know, I know, but still. I think it's just as hard as harvard-yale-princeton-etc to get into.
Indiana-Bloomington (safety) I'll look into it.
Johns Hopkins (match/reach) <3 them.
Michigan-Ann Arbor (match) I think this is more of a safety than a match, though not a 100% safety.
Middlebury (awesome LAC with great language program) (match) i love them.
Tufts (match) definitely more on the reach side though a lot less than upenn or gtown.
Wisconsin-Madison (safety) again, i'll look into it.

I'd rather have one 98-100% safety, and apply to the rest as match/reaches. I'm pretty confident about Midd & obviously whatever my safety is. Thanks again! You and I should be best friends!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 04:41 am: Edit

Earlham, Indiana and Wisconsin are all 100% safeties. Michigan is tricky. People think it is a safety because it accepts 50% of the applicants and the mean SAT score is 1320. However, the schools of Arts and Science and Engineering are more selective and even more so for out of staters. But you certainly stand a good chance with Michigan. Same with Chicago. At any rate, you have a group of awesome schools and you have good credentials. A recap:

Johns Hopkins
Michigan-Ann Arbor

By Fonzie (Fonzie) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 06:52 am: Edit

just apply to UM and UW now. Chances are best at this time and you'll have two fat packages before New Years. And indiana too. So make that three.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

Fonzie is on target - U Mich has rolling admissions so it's to your advantage to apply as early as possible. You should get in without too much problem if you do so. I think you have a good choice at all of the reaches on your list - do add U of Chicago as I think you'd find it a nice fit for your interests.

If you're interested in a safety that isn't in the middle of Indiana like Earlham, take a look at Dickinson in PA - excellent international relations and outstanding languages and east asian studies programs (they actually graduate more language majors each year than any school in the U.S.) - It's a bit bigger than Earlham (2200 students) and they can sometimes be very generous with merit money for students in your range. In any case, you can consider it a safety, especially if you're a male or from outside of the northeast - two types of students Dickinson is trying to attract.

By Mini (Mini) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Earlham isn't in the middle of Indiana! (LOL!) In fact, it is in the Ohio timezones, except (or is it only?) during daylight savings time (which drives other folks from Indiana nuts!), and is exactly one mile over the border.

Actually, they never know what time it is there (which is why all the students have to go abroad.)

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit

Can you apply to a school with rolling admissions and also a school with an ED policy? I suppose if you get in ED you can withdraw from the rolling admissions schools, but is that legal? I thought you apply ED and you can't have been accepted by another school already.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 04:08 pm: Edit

No, there is no rule forbiding you from applying early to a school like Michigan since the ED university will not guarantee your admission and applying later to Michigan would hurt your chances. If you get into your ED school before you hear from Michigan, you call Michigan and stop the process. If you get into Michigan before, you wait to hear from the ED school and if you are admitted to the ED program, you simply call Michigan up immidiately to tell them you will not be going.

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