|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Friday, February 01, 2002 - 06:23 pm: Edit|
Hi, I'm a senior from Ohio that really wants to go to college in California.
My SAT score is 1560 (800-math, 760-verbal), and my SAT 2 scores are 720 (Writing), 760 (Chemistry), and 780 (Math IIC). I'm currently ranked 4/474 at my school (upper-middle class suburban). My calculated GPA using the UC system is 4.51. As a freshmen, I've taken Honors Geometry and Honors Algebra 2 at the same time and received A's in both classes. Also, I've taken AP Calculus BC (3 on the AP test but A in class) and AP Chemistry (4) my sophomore year. As a junior, I took AP US History (5) and AP Physics B (5). This year, my AP classes are AP Literature, AP Government, and AP Biology. During every summer in high school, I've gone to an accelerated summer program to take advanced classes. Summer of 1998- Chemistry Honors (A,A) at Northwestern, Summer 1999- Trig-Analysis Honors (B,A) at NU, Summer 2000- AP Literature (A,A) at NU. On top of this, I've taken many college level courses during the school year as well as in the summer. At Ohio State, I've taken Honors Accelerated Calculus H161 (B) and Chemistry 123 (B). At Stanford (summer 2001), I've taken Linear Algebra with Multivariable Calculus (B) and Intro to Human Physiology (B). This semester, I'm taking HA Calculus H162(same as above) and HA Calculus H263 at Ohio State. Most courses I've taken in college are very difficult even for college students.
EC- President of Japanese Club (3 years), Candystriper at a local hospital (3 years), interned at Columbus International Program and Children's Hospital (6 weeks each, 10 hours/ week), paints and plays piano for hobby (2nd place painting for a competition sponsored in Hong Kong opened to international students). I'm also in NHS (2 years) and Math Team (4 years, 4th in state), and tutors geometry/biology at school. On weekends, I volunteer as a teacher's assistant at OCCS Chinese school (4 years). I've also placed 1st in Chemistry Olympiad in my region.
The schools I applied to are UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Caltech, Stanford being my first choice. From the information above, how much of a shot do I have to get into those schools? And finally, thank you for reading this far :-)
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Friday, February 01, 2002 - 06:37 pm: Edit|
In addition, I applied to University of Chicago EA and was accepted. I think U of C is a fairly selective school, so does that mean I would probably get into UCLA? Also, does being female significantly increase my chance of getting into Caltech ?
|By Scott on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 05:04 pm: Edit|
Not even close, you don't stand a chance at any of those schools.
Obviously I'm just kidding. I would say even at Stanford and Caltech you are almost a lock. Stanford can be kind of tricky though and their admissions can be kind of difficult to figure out.
|By Dave Berry on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 07:59 pm: Edit|
Lisa, I believe that you'll be very competitive in all the applicant pools you mention. Just be aware of the unpredictability of elite admissions.
I think you're in at UCLA and, indeed, Caltech is always on the lookout for sharp females to help balance out their 2/1 male/female ratio.
I assume that your essays were superb. Superior essays can tip the balance when two otherwise equally qualified candidates are in contention.
When the fat envelopes start arriving, please check back with us and share your good news. Best wishes, Lisa, for a mailbox filled with acceptances!
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 11:14 pm: Edit|
Thanks Mr. Berry and Scott. I feel a little better about my chances now. It was just that I hear about all these accomplished people applying to the same list of schools that the whole process of applying to selective and well-known colleges was making me anxious. Hopefully, I'll get many fat evelopes (one from Stanford?), and I'll gladly tell everyone about the good (or bad) news :-)
|By Chicagoboy on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 11:55 pm: Edit|
Geez. You are all set.
|By test on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 10:47 am: Edit|
OT; but how is GPA calculated for the UC system?
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 08:59 pm: Edit|
honors, ap, and college level classes are weighted, in which they are worth 5 if A, 4 if B, etc... everything else is A=4 B=3, etc.. at least that's what i think
|By CjR976 on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 05:10 pm: Edit|
Hello. I am a Senior male from Colorado and I just finished all of my applications. I scored an 800M and 670V on the SATI and 750 on IIC, 690 on Physics, and 630 on writing. My GPA is 3.7 unweighted and 4.3 weighted. I got almost all B's my freshman year and have had straight A's since then. My extra curriculars are kind of weak but I got third place in my DECA (marketing club) state competition and am a national merit commended student. I want to study engineering but my satII physics score is weak because I hadn't taken pyhsics in four months and I didn't remember any equations. I am the top physics student in my school of over 2000 kids and my teacher said he has never seen anyone who understood the concepts so well. I want to tell the colleges that but I can't. All they have is my physics score. Anyways, I applied to Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Berkeley, and U.C.L.A. Do you think I will get into any of them? I'm not an incredibly strong writer, so my essays were probably not as good as most of the other applicants. I'm very worried. What do you think? Thanks for your insight.
|By Dadster on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 05:21 pm: Edit|
>>I want to tell the colleges that but I can't<<
If you use that teacher as a recommendation for those schools that use them, HE can tell them.
|By Dave Berry on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 05:45 pm: Edit|
CjR976, what other schools did you apply to? The five you mention are all tightly clustered at the high end of the elite admissions scale with acceptance rates ranging from 13-33 percent. That's not an easy task. A group like this is what's known as an elite "cluster."
I'm hoping that your candidates included some ballpark schools and a well-considered safety or two. Did you project a positive tone in your essays and display some of your creativity in your apps?
|By CjR976 on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 10:58 pm: Edit|
Yes, I also applied to U.C. San Diego, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and C.U.-Boulder. I really want to attend one of the previously mentioned schools, though. I did have my Physics teacher write a recomendation that is awsome but I'm not sure that can overcome my score. I'm actually worried that if they see that my teacher thought I was so great and then I scored only a 690 that the rest of my recommendations may be discredited a bit. What do you think about the first schools though? Thanks a bunch for your help.
|By Dave Berry on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 03:49 pm: Edit|
I say you're in at UCSD, Ann Arbor, and Boulder. However, your non-Cal residency will probably work against you at Berkeley and UCLA. Of the remaining three, I'd say NU is your best hope, but I wouldn't put a lot of hope in Duke and, especially, Stanford.
There's one possible dark-horse factor in all of this, though. If your essays, recs, and general application approaches bring out your "late-bloomer" hook (moving from mostly Bs to all As), then you may well be getting some fat envelopes from the long-shot schools I identified. I certainly hope you do, CjR.
Will you stop back and let us know what the mailman brings? We'd all like to hear. Best wishes for success!
|By CjR976 on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 06:13 pm: Edit|
Thanks. I will be sure to let you know what happens. I really appreciate what you do to help us through this scary time. I only wish I had found your site before I finished my applications. Thanks again.
|By Sai Hei on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 09:48 pm: Edit|
Wow, after reading Dave's response to CjR's inquiry, I feel a lot better for myself. Im a junior at an lower-class public school in Connecticut. A big percentage of my school are consisted of minorities. Although I haven't taken my SAT's yet, I expect to get around a 1350 (Math-700's, Verbal-high 500's)based on what I get on those practice SAT exams in the 10 real SAT book. My gpa will be around a 3.8, like CjR, my freshman year kinda hampered me in the rankings. My junior grades thus far is straight A's and I believe I can keep it that way by the end of the year. But with the 3.8 I should be in the top 20 out of 400 students. Currently, I'm taking only one AP class, as AP classes are limited in my school and believed to be only taken in the senior year, and only in junior year if you demonstrate the that you are capable. But next year I plan to take 5 AP classes, which should look good on my application. My EC's are kind of weak, (play soccer, joined some clubs, are in the NHS) but that is because most of my time out of school I have to help out, and support my family in the restaurant, I'm the main waitor/receptionist in my Chinese Restaurant (40+ hours/week). Also I hear my first-generation status, my nationality of Chinese, and the fact that both my parents never completed high school would benefit me in admission pool. Also, English is actually my third language(mandarin and cantonese my first two), I speak only Chinese to my parents and brother but my English isn't that bad as I have lived in America for 7 years, would the fact that English is my third language benefit me? My intended major is most likely engineering as my strong point is Math. I plan to apply ED to one of these schools: UPenn engineering, Columbia Engineering, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, JHU, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, U of Illinois Urbana Champaign, NYU, and Northwestern. My dream schools are actually UC Berkeley and Stanford but I don't think I stand a chance. Can you tell me if I stand a good chance at any of those if I were to do ED. Also, I would like to know what are some good engineering schools that would match my stats. I would also like to say this website has helped me a lot in understanding the college admissions process and Thnx a lot.
|By Dave Berry on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 10:24 am: Edit|
Thanks for the kind words, CjR976 and Sai Hei. It's always nice to know that we're appreciated.
Sai, I admire you very much. You have a wonderful, practical grasp of your situation and I feel that with the proper preparation, you could very possibly land some admissions to the schools in your candidate circle.
One quick comment, don't underestimate the admissions-influencing power of your work in your family's restaurant. That speaks quality on several levels, mainly your devotion to family and motivation for honest, character-building work. If I were advising you, I would use that work experience as a centerpiece for building your "hook" qualities (to use a rather unfortunate admissions term).
If your projections are accurate, you may well end up as a top-5% student with an impressive course load. I believe that you have the raw horsepower to realize your college goals, but--as is always the case with elite admissions--much will depend on your approach to your total application package. You know, it's the old "profile marketing" challenge.
You may already have seen this while cruising our site, but you may be interested in reading about the kinds of things it takes to leap over the Ivy gates these days. Check out America's Elite Colleges, a book I co-authored that shows actual Ivy League applications, essays, and strategies. Please note that this is not a crass, commercial spam announcement. I truly think you may learn some things from it.
Keep us posted, Sai, and let us know if we can help. Also, keep up the great work. Maybe we'll stop by some day for some Chinese cuisine!
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 08:12 pm: Edit|
San Hei, I'm also a first generation Chinese student with English as my third language (Mandarin and Japanese being my first two). I feel that many top colleges are looking for diversity in any form (hence the rural school recruiting some colleges do), so being able to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and a possible fourth language from school might give you an edge. Also, if you have significant experiences from when you were in China, that could also be your "hook" because it differentiates you from many of the applicants... <- that's what I focused on in my essays
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 09:06 pm: Edit|
Which group do the admissions people at Caltech perfer? Females or underepresented minorites? Thanks!
|By GreenGuy03 on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 09:11 pm: Edit|
Females ARE an underrepresented minority at Caltech...
|By Sai on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 10:33 pm: Edit|
Thnx again Dave and Lisa, I have just placed an order on your book America's Elite Colleges, your words won me over, hehe. There was only two copies left too, so I bet the book is selling like hotcakes. Anyways, after surfing the web for college information, a whole bunch of new questions came to my mind so here we go: How accurate are those rankings on the USNews based on a specific major, I mean for engineering, they rank Penn State as one of the tops while colleges like Harvard or Columbia are down at the bottom. Would it actually be better to go to Penn State rather than the Ivy leagues if you plan on engineering? My second question is what qualifies you to be eligible to take the TOEFL, and in my case, would taking it benefit me in admissions? My third question is whether going to a summer college-prep program in a specific school would give you an advantage in the admissions race to that school. I have talked to my parents about it and they encourage me to go but I feel the prices are a little high (most I've seen are around 3k to 4k). Plus if I go my parents might have to hire another receptionist for the restaurant, thus costing more money. My final question in this run-on mssg regards to Cornell U. After surfing their site, I have become really interested in their engineering programs and they are ranked pretty high in the USNews rankings. Although they have a admissions stats section on their site, they do not show the chances of a male getting into their engineering school. Where can I find specific information such as this? And would it be wise to choose Undecided as major then switch when getting in? Hehe, I admit these are some crazy questions for a junior who has several months ahead of him before applications but I hope you guys can clear my curiosity. Again, Thnx you guys for a bunch and I will sure update when I receive good news.
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 12:06 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the promising word on our book sales, Sai. Maybe they'll do a second printing soon. If they do, I'd like to make some minor editorial changes. There are always odds and ends to clean up.
Anyhow, to comment on your last post, the U.S. News rankings aren't the Holy Grail of College Knowledge. Use them as one of a number of guidelines when you consider college choices. That's about all I'll say about U.S. News.
I'm a Penn State grad, although not in engineering (I'm not THAT smart! ). My personal feeling is that for the right student, it's very possible to get a Harvard- or Columbia-comparable enginnering education at Penn State, especially if you're part of their Schreyer scholars program. However, there are a lot of other considerations regarding the "match," such as location. PSU is in the boonies in central Pennsylvania. Harvard and Columbia are in meccas of social and cultural possibilities.
Regarding TOEFL, is English a second language for you? If it's not your native tongue, then I think you would qualify as a TOEFL candidate. You can always check the TOEFL Web site to find out.
"Prestigious" summer programs can make a difference if you connect with a professor who gets to know you and who may be able to intercede for you with admissions in the form of an "insider rec." However, as I mentioned before, your family-related work is a very strong aspect of your profile. If your family can afford a carefully selected program and you can do well, it might be a plus on your resume, but it won't be a deal-breaker if you can't or won't go. If you could go to something like your state's Governor's School for the sciences, however, that would be a big plus.
As for your Cornell male-admissions-percentages question, the best way to get an answer is to call their UG admissions office if the answer doesn't appear on their site. You may also be able to save some time by directly calling the engineering college and asking them.
Keep us posted, Sai, and let us know if we can be of further help in your college quest. Enjoy the book!
|By CjR976 on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 05:55 pm: Edit|
O.K., one last question. I just recieved a letter from U.C.L.A.. I'm not sure if it's an acceptence, likely letter, or what. The key statements are:
"Your academic achievements have placed you among the outstanding applicants for the major of Mechan. Engineer. and, on behalf of HSSEAS (school of engineering), it gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Faculty of HSSEAS has recommended your admission to the director of Undergraduate Admissions. More info. about your acceptance will be contained in a formal letter of Admission from Undergrad. Admission."
"I am pleased to inform you that UCLA is able to guarantee you on-campus housing."
"I hope you will join the UCLA community."
Am I in? Thanks.
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 07:08 pm: Edit|
Yes, CjR976, you are in. That's a classic likely letter or, as I like to call that genre: a love letter. Congratulations! UCLA is sending you their early indication of admission to get you all excited in hopes that you'll think most fondly of them because they're among the first to give you a positive response. They want you.
This bodes well for you. Hopefully, your momentum will carry you through for success at your other schools to. Keep us posted, will you? Way to go!
|By CjR976 on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 08:29 pm: Edit|
Thanks again. I'm so happy!!
|By Dadster on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 08:38 pm: Edit|
Hey, congrats, CjR! Time to stock up on sun block!
|By CjR976 on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 08:30 pm: Edit|
Does UCLA send these letters to eveyone accpeted into engineering or only the top applicants. The reason I ask is that if only top students are sent these, then I should have a decent shot at Berkeley, I think.
|By sai on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 02:44 pm: Edit|
Hey Dave, finished reading your book and loved it. I loved the sections about self-marketing, plan B (deferral/waitlist), and the essays. The essay about Banana Girl was just incredibly genius work, I can't believe anyone could have written that well (but i guess its just that my writing skills are horrible). I am now seriously looking forward to apply ED to Cornell U Engineering, in which I feel my stats are in range. I have few more questions to ask based on applications.
1. In your section about how under-represented students get an advantaged, I was glad to see that I'm considered one as both of my parents never attended college. I was wondering if its wise to stress in the essay about how this had been a great disadvantage in school against other students as mostly all my accomplishments relied on self-motivation rather than assistance from parents. Do colleges already know that from the general information section? Would stressing your minority-status in essays hurt?
2. You have suggested on a earlier post that my 40+ work in restaurant to support my family would be a great hook and I think I will definitely use your suggestion. But I was wondering how can I show all my accomplishments in the restaurant, unlike other ECs such as music where you can send in tape recordings to show your talent, working is just working. Plus, I was looking through an application of Cornell, they have a section that ask about your most valuable EC or work, I figure that if I write about my work accomplishments there, it would mean I have to write about something else in the Big Essay to be original. What do you think is a good solution to this problem.
3. Are recommendation letters to be sent only by the teachers themselves or can I send it in along with my application. The reason I ask is because I have an English teacher who will be retiring after this year and I would really want her to write my rec (she compliments me on daily basis and I'm ranking #1 out of her 4 classes totalling 80 students). I was wondering if I can ask her to write it this year and I'll send it in during application time.
4. My fourth question is more like a comment. I been browsing through the mssg board of review.com, and was overwhelmed by posts about students with 1500's, valedvictorian status being rejected by hard-butnotimpossible schools such as Brown, Cornell, and NYU, even under ED. How could something like this happen especially under ED, I really doubt a majority of those applicants have nearly as impressive stats as those students.
5. My last question of my never-ending posts is what do you think the competition of Ivy-league admissions is for high schoolers graduating in 2003. I remember readin in the book about competition changes each year, although it tends to get tougher year after year.
6. One more question, (I promise), Which do you think is better form of application: electronic apps, printed apps, or hand-written ones(which I probably wouldn't do as my handwriting is close to chicken scratch).
Well, thnx again for answering these tough questions. I understand Im being way too hyped about college right now but I believe early preperation can lead to success.
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 03:24 pm: Edit|
My guess, CjR, is that they send likely letters to applicants who exhibit some facet they're looking to pursue in their incoming class. Maybe they'd like to have more students from your part of the country, or maybe they like something about your profile, other than your obvious academic qualifications.
They may also send likely letters to most, if not everyone, who's going to be accepted in order to get their bid in early on applicants who no doubt have also applied to other top engineering schools, just as you have. The competition for top candidates is fierce. Likely letters are a way of currying favor with applicants. I'll bet when your got UCLA's, you thought pretty favorably of them, huh? See there. Their ploy worked!
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 03:54 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the kind words about the book, sai. It was meant to help people just like you. I hope you can incorporate some of the ideas I mention in it.
Some quick answers to your questions:
1. Mentioning the obstacles you had to overcome as a result of your parents not having any higher education could add some dimension to your profile if you handle it carefully. Try not to make it sound like you're whining about your "difficult circumstances." State your case objectively and always balance an obstacle with a personal victory.
2. Writing about your restaurant work presents some unique opportunities for personal marketing and humor. Here's a wild idea that might work. You may want to save writing about your work for the "work" essay. To show your accomplishments at the restaurant, maybe you could submit, as an attachment, something that looks like the restaurant's menu. Instead of the food items being described, however, maybe you could write descriptions of what you do, in the manner of "appetizers" about your work characteristics. That would get their attention. Maybe you could even include some testimonials in quotes from your favorite customers under "Desserts": ("He never lets my water glass run dry!" [Garrick Chow, NYC]). That would be a subtle way to sneak in "mini-recommendations."
3. Just give the retiring teacher a pre-addressed envelope and let her mail it from her home. That's a very common situation.
4. Welcome to the real world of elite admissions. Remember what it says at the beginning of my book: "Adjust your thinking." It's much harder than it appears at first glance. Better read my book again!
5. By the time you graduate, sai, elite admissions will be more difficult than ever, unfortunately. Better read my book a third time!
6. If a college offers the electronic-app option, then it's okay to use it. As I mention in the book, I prefer the paper app to the Common Application, but there's nothing wrong with electronic apps. I just feel that paper offers a greater degree of flexibility, control, and opportunities for ancillary materials to augment the student's profile.
Final thought: You're not being too hyped too early. You're going to face a real challenge this fall. When the time comes, let me know if I can help. Good luck, sai!
|By CjR976 on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 11:48 pm: Edit|
I do think very favorably of UCLA. They are tricky!!! I just planned a last minute trip to go to their Engineering open house this weekend. I was never SERIOUSLY considering UCLA, but since the letter came, I'd say there is a good chance I'll end up there. Thanks again.
|By Dave Berry on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 01:55 pm: Edit|
Never underestimate the power of a well-planned marketing campaign. Hey, CjR, so us a favor, will you? Report back to us here at this thread and let us know what impressions you got from your UCLA trip. I'm sure we would all benefit from hearing what you thought. Thanks!
|By CjR976 on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 03:49 pm: Edit|
I will report back for sure. Thanks again.
|By CjR976 on Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 11:36 pm: Edit|
I just returned from the airport. I LOVE UCLA!! I thought the campus would be kind of in a ghetto area, but it is in Beverly Hills and Bel Aire!! The little neighborhood is awesome. The campus is beautiful, one of the three nicest I've seen (along with Colorado-Boulder and Northwestern). I'm absolutely enamored with the architecture. It is very southern-cal-ish but there are also big green trees and the library is gorgeous- definitely the nicest I've seen. I never hear about it being a pretty campus, but I think it is wonderful.
|By Dave Berry on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 09:07 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the update, CjR. It's great to hear that you love them, now that we know that they love you. (Remember my comment about "love letters" up above?)
Can you tell us about any of the academic aspects or physical resources you saw? What did they have planned for you during your visit? How was the nightlife? Speaking of physical resources, are there any women at UCLA?
|By CjR976 on Monday, March 11, 2002 - 10:59 pm: Edit|
Their engineering department seemed huge. There were several buildings that were strictly engineering. We visited some of the different types of engineering rooms. There was a giant machine shop to which students had access. They said you could basically build anything out of any material there. I visited an engineering lab, and the professor showed us some experiments. They were awesome and some were quite huge. We also spoke with several current students who showed us their inventions. We saw the UCLA Engineering "battle bot" that will fight on TV in a few months.
It seemed like their enginering department was very strong and the school as a whole seemed to really value the engineering students. The library I mentioed above was GINORMOUS. I have never seen such a huge library. Several professors spent the day with us, so I feel pretty confident that they value students and not just research.
The staff was very hospitable. They had all sorts of food and drinks out and were very helpful. There were quite a few hotties. I was not disappointed in the female population. "I wish they all could be California girls!!"
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 09:44 am: Edit|
"GINORMOUS." Is that a composite of "gigantic" and "enormous"? I like it.
Thanks for the details, CjR. Keep us posted on your other college candidates and visits. Remember that there are women at other schools too!
|By CjR976 on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 09:14 pm: Edit|
|By CjR976 on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 11:52 pm: Edit|
One opinion question for Dave and other posters. Do you think UCLA has a prestigious connotation? I kind of think more of athletics for some reason and not so much academic prestige (but this is also wrongfully the idea I have of Duke). What do you think? Does the average person think of UCLA as a school with very striong academics? I know this shouldn't be importatnt, and it won't ulimately change whatever my final decision will be, but I'd like to hear other people's viewpoints.
|By Dave Berry on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 11:29 am: Edit|
"Prestige" is in the eye of the beholder, IMO, CjR. While UCLA isn't commonly thought of in terms of a prestigious academic institution by some people, that certainly doesn't mean that you can't get a world-class education there. Duke is in the "prestigious" category all around, especially in the basketball realm, as you mention. OTOH, Duke might not offer you the better education. It's all a matter of individual needs.
Don't allow what others think sway you from what you believe is the best match for you. Everything is relative. I've seen threads on other discussion forums where high school kids argue about which colleges don't belong in the Ivy League because of their relative lack of prestige. Now THAT's how ridiculous things can get.
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 05:00 pm: Edit|
Okay... my first acceptance since EA, and it's... UCLA! I got in, and now I have an option at California
|By Dadster on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 05:04 pm: Edit|
|By Dave Berry on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 06:49 pm: Edit|
Way to go, Lisa! Now you and CjR can compare notes! Congratulations!
|By amd on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:18 pm: Edit|
'I've seen threads on other discussion forums where high school kids argue about which colleges don't belong in the Ivy League because of their relative lack of prestige. Now THAT's how ridiculous things can get.'
I thought the most ridiculous it can get is dividing IVy League into Upper Ivy, Lower Ivy, and Middle Ivy
|By Scott on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 01:29 am: Edit|
I got into UC Davis and UCSB, waiting for Stanford, Berkeley, and UC San Diego.
|By Dave Berry on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 10:39 am: Edit|
You're looking good, Scott. Let us know about those other three when they come in, will you? Good luck!
|By CjR976 on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 07:54 pm: Edit|
Into UCLA, but rejected from UCSD. Go figure. I'm kind of confused because I was quite sure that UCLA was more selective than UCSD, but I don't know. Oh well, I wouldn't have gone to UCSD after being accepted to UCLA, but it would have been nice to be admitted anyways. What is up with that?
|By Dave Berry on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 08:33 am: Edit|
Welcome to the seeming randomness of high-end college admissions, CjR. In thinking about the seeming disparity of your two applications' results, the only general comment I can make is that perhaps your overall numeric profile was more impressive to UCLA than it was to UCSD. UCLA is more selective than UCSD, but UCSD, being smaller, puts more emphasis on personal qualities and relative intangibles like essays, ECs, and so forth (not to imply that UCLA doesn't care about those things).
Don't take the UCSD rejection personally. I always say that applicants most times end up going where they "should" go. Obviously, UCLA is where you should go. The other wildcard factor about you is your geodiversity. Maybe UCSD didn't need someone from your part of the country as much as UCLA did. Who knows? Bottom line for you: A superb acceptance and college experience at UCLA. Besides, you can always do a road trip to UCSD and show those California girls there what they're missing!
Congratulations, again, CjR. We're proud of you and we appreciate your sharing this with us.
Oh, one more thing. Please don't forget us. Feel free to stop back and ask questions or post information from time to time. In fact, we'd be interested to hear your analysis of your high school friends' application results. It's always good to get an analysis from those "in the trenches." 'See you soon, CjR. Be well.
|By Lynn Walker on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 01:45 pm: Edit|
CjR, all I can say is that UCLA's admissions were "quirky" this year. There are many confused and unhappy as well as happy and surprised students out there. I don't believe that UCLA was strictly by the numbers or formulaic in their approach to admissions. I have a hunch that both UCSD and UCLA looked more closely at the type of EC's and essays in choosing their fall freshman class.
If you read the forums at USNews or Review, there are many threads about UCLA admissions. Students with high SAT's (1450+) and plenty of strong EC's and honors, including at least a couple of National Merit Finalists, were rejected at UCLA while students with 1150 to 1350 range SAT's were accepted. I think the declared major intent made a difference. Obviously, some majors are more competitive. Also, those with the lower range SAT's seem to have developed one area or EC, e.g., piano teacher, accompanist, 15 years of lessons and another who started and developed a service club at her high school. I can only guess that UCSD was as quirky about admissions as UCLA, and likely we will be hearing that Berkeley is, too. On the other hand, some students with high gpa's and SAT's did get into UCLA as one would expect. I was shocked to read how many very highly qualified students were rejected. One person on the forum surmised that those students who were "over qualified" might have been rejected by UCLA to increase their yield numbers, the thought being that those students likely applied to more selective colleges (the Ivies) and would be accepted to one of those and not attend UCLA.
My daughter only applied to UC-Davis within the UC system and was accepted. She only applied to three schools, has been accepted to USC with Honors and is waiting to hear from Stanford. All of her friends who applied to UC-Davis were accepted, but they are a pretty active and smart bunch of kids. The UCLA quirkiness hit at her school, too. Two were rejected, a 1460 and a 1510 SAT, with 4.0 unweighted GPA's, outstanding SAT II's, and plenty of EC's (ASB Pres., Debate Captain, Varsity Tennis; the other with lots of performance and science EC's). Her friend who was accepted has a 1200 SAT I and a 3.4 gpa, but she has been very active in Future Business Leaders, starting the school chapter and going to state conference. While she is ecstatic about going to UCLA in the Fall, she is flunking several classes this semester (major "senioritis"). I don't know what UCLA's policy is about taking back offers of admission based on poor year-end grades for seniors, but she might be in for a surprise.
Best of luck at UCLA. It is a good school and you should feel fortunate that you got in.
|By Scott on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 08:39 pm: Edit|
I too was rejected from UCSD, but accepted to UCSB and UC Davis. Waiting for Berkeley and Stanford.... but getting rejected from UCSD does not make it look good.
|By CjR976 on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 08:47 pm: Edit|
Exactly my thoughts. If I can't get into UCSD, I feel like I definately can't get into UCBerkeley, and have no shot at Stanford, Duke, or Northwestern.
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 03:20 am: Edit|
i was in for an incredible surprise today. i completely forgot the existence of MIT after i was deferred back in December.. i figured they take around a hundred kids out of maybe three thousand that got deferred, so i thought i pretty much didn't stand a chance. well, i was ACCEPTED!!!!! as you can see, it's 3:20 in the morning right now, and i can't sleep they are also offering me money (over $15,000 plus work/study program) to go (while chicago is offering 0). therefore, i don't know what to do anymore. i used to have my 1, 2, 3 choice ready but now i have no idea. Please help!
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 08:38 pm: Edit|
I'd be awake too, Lisa. Congratulations! That's terrific. This is what I mean when I tell applicants, "It ain't over until it's over." That's an amazing feat at MIT. What is your situation so far with all your schools and what's your heart telling you to do? Have you visited all of them yet?
|By m on Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 06:37 pm: Edit|
Some people don't go to MIT or Caltech no matter what because the education isn't well-rounded. This is probably true, and it's not like getting an undergrad degree from MIT (if you're going to grad school) will help over getting one from Stanford or Berkeley.
Not that MIT's a bad place at all, but you'll probably be better off at a rounded school where students are actually happy. Stanford/Cal are excellent choices for undergrad, and probably Cal/MIT for grad.
Good luck, I feel like you're going to get in where you want. I also feel that many people on the PR boards exaggerate their stats when they get rejected, so don't take the events on that board for gospel. Out of the couple thousand or so kids that get admitted to these schools, I'd find it hard to believe you're not one.
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 09:11 pm: Edit|
I'm sorry for not replying for so long. I wanted to think things over before coming up with a tentative answer, and I've decided that I still want to go to California. Even though MIT's school and financial package is very tempting, I'm hoping that I can get into Caltech and "discuss" my financial situation with them (and also fax them my "MIT scholarship" offer). My first choice still remains to be Stanford, but if they do not offer me any award, I think I'll pick MIT. Finally, I don't mind that MIT and Caltech aren't very well-rounded because I'm a very hard-core science/math person
|By m on Friday, March 29, 2002 - 11:02 pm: Edit|
Tell us how you do @ Stanford. How did you fare at Berkeley?
|By Scott on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 06:28 am: Edit|
Figures.... UCSD, which I think was the perfect fit for me, denies me, yet I was accepted at Berkeley! Waiting for Stanford still, their website says letters were mailed Thursday, only 12% accepted..... yikes.
|By m on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 07:47 pm: Edit|
|By stat-ler on Sunday, March 31, 2002 - 11:08 pm: Edit|
What were your stats, scott?
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 03:45 pm: Edit|
Accepted: OSU, U Chicago, UCLA, MIT, Berkeley, Northwestern
I think I'll accept a place on the waitlist. It couldn't hurt Thank you for being so helpful throughout the process, and no matter what happens with Caltech, I know that I will get an amazing education at MIT. Also, to Mr. Berry and anyone else, may I have your email address? Thanks!
|By CjR976 on Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 04:20 pm: Edit|
I'm into Northwestern! I'm pumped. I'll have a difficult decision to make between Northwestern and Michigan. Northwestern is better overall, but Michigan is slightly superior in the Engineering department. What to do, what to do. Also, one of my best friends is going to Michigan and I know we would have a great time together. I'm worried about my future roomate if I attend Northwestern. My Michigan bound friend would be perfect because he studies hard and plays hard. I want a roomate to party with when we are not studying. Any advice? How am I supposed to make such a difficult and important decision?!?!?!? I'm only seventeen!!!
|By Lisa Zhou (Lisa412) on Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 04:24 pm: Edit|
CjR- i thought you liked UCLA so much... what happened?
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 04:32 pm: Edit|
Thank you for the final outcomes, Lisa. I'm sure you realize that there are many thousands of applicants out there who would trade their computers for an acceptance list like yours. Congratulations! Please keep us posted on your waitlist process.
BTW, my e-mail addy is daveb@CollegeConfidential.com
|By m on Sunday, April 07, 2002 - 07:40 pm: Edit|
Congrats, Lisa, that's a turnout many many people (including me) will envy next year.
Don't let Stanford get you down. I know some qualified people in my area let down, while others (not unqualified, but less so) here were accepted. People like you will be successful no matter where you are.
|By CjR976 on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 07:52 pm: Edit|
And all the letters are in. I got into Duke! Tough decision....I'm leaning towards Duke or Northwestern. I really don't know if I can make this decision...there's way too much pressure!!! Thanks for all of your advise and help. I'm really happy about how this turned out.
|By Scott on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 01:40 am: Edit|
accepted - Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Davis, University of Idaho
rejected - Stanford, San Diego
For stat-ler, My stats are a 1410 SAT I, mid 600's to 700 on my three SAT II's (can't remember off the top of my head, but my 700 was Chemistry). 3.92 weigted GPA (AP classes on a 5 point scale, everything else on a 4), rank 47th in a class of 468 (doh!) AP Chem - 5, AP Language - 5, AP Psych - 4. Taking AP Lit, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus this year. Publisher, Editor, and photographer of Anchorage's only professional sports team newsletter (Anchorage Aces, West Coast Hockey League). Second Chair violist school orchestra, sixth chair Anchorage Youth Symphony. National Merit Commended (runner up)
I'm fairly happy with the results, San Diego has me kind of confused. Really thought I would get in there. OTOH, I was expecting a rejection letter from Berkeley. I think I am going to attend Santa Barbara anyway, I think I will enjoy it a whole lot more and they have a great Chemical Engineering program anyway.
|By CjR976 on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 12:43 am: Edit|
Between Duke and UMich, what advise does anyone have? Duke is warmer (which I prefer), more prestigious, and a better university overall. Michigan is better for engineering (which I'm 90% sure I'll stick with), will be more fun (bigger party scene...important), and one of my best friends will attend. I would love to room with him b/c he is awesome and we get along very well. What do you think?
|By greenhornet on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 03:48 pm: Edit|
on situations like this, I would say let the financial aid numbers decide. But whatever happened to NU, I would prefer NU over both of those. NU is as prestigious as Duke, plus it has a great Eng program. and they supposedly give good financial aid packages.
|By CjR976 on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 09:18 pm: Edit|
My fin. aid is non-existant. I didn't even fill out the sections because I wouldn't get any money at all. So, with money out of the picture, what do you think? I don't really see myself as fitting in well at NU, so that is why I've eliminated it. advice??
|By Dadster on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 10:00 pm: Edit|
CjR976, you made the NU call - if you don't see yourself fitting in, then you certainly shouldn't attend based on name or US News ranking!
Sometimes it's worth filling out the financial aid forms even if no aid is expected. Occasionally, merit awards require the student to have filled out the aid forms even if there's no need. I don't think Duke does much merit aid, though - I think they have one or two full-ride scholarships, but if you haven't won the Nobel prize yet, or at least the Intel Science award, don't stay up waiting for the phone to ring! Are you headed for Duke, do you think? Or will you be wearing the blue & maize?
|By Michelle on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 02:51 pm: Edit|
Hi everyone...I was just browsing and wanted to share my thoughts on this whole college app process...
All I can say is thank goodness it's over. Last fall I applied to Stanford (early decision), Brown, UCLA, UCSD, and UCSB. Based on my academic merit, extracurricular activities (captain of three varsity sports, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, lots of community service activities), an insightful/funny essay about playing sports with a birth defect, and the fact that my entire immediate family and about six other relatives went/go to Stanford, I thought I had a reasonable chance at getting in. But lo and behold, there I was on December 18th holding my letter of deferral. I felt like such a failure, but somehow, life went on, and about three excruciating months later, I got into all three UC's. Since I had already done the whole "small envelope" thing from Stanford back in December, the second time around proved to be a little less painful. (I had no real emotional attachment to Brown and didn't think I would get in there anyway.)
In a few minutes my dad's coming over here to my mom's house and they're going to help me decide between UCLA and UCSD. All along they haven't told me where they think I should go--they're leaving the entire decision up to me, as long as I can tell them WHY I choose that particular school. It's a little frustrating, but seeing my friends be totally influenced by their relatively clueless parents makes me thankful for the way my own parents are dealing with this.
I like both schools a lot, but I think it will be UCSD based on the sheer "happiness" factor. What I wanted to share to everyone--prospective students, especially--is that ultimately our school of choice doesn't matter as much as what we do with the opportunities we are given. Unless you are a doctor or lawyer, most of the more selective UCs like LA, Berkeley, and San Diego will give you quite similar educational experiences. Relying on your gut feel and being happy with your decision is probably what's most important. This is such a cool time in our lives that most of us will have a wonderful time in college no matter where we go.
So that's my insightful moment for the day. Looks like my dad just pulled into the driveway, so I've got to go make a decision!!!
|By Kevin Lim (Calikid) on Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 12:33 am: Edit|
I've read about all the success these exemplary students have been getting and I was wondering if someone could give me a hand.
I will be a Junior in the upcoming fall semester at my high school. Currently, I am ranked 1/641 with a weighted GPA of 4.59. I took AP Biology in my freshman year and scored a 5. I also took SAT II: Biology (M) and scored 790. My SAT score doesn't look so good...I've taken it once and scored 1290. I am Vice President of Leaf Club, Project Manager of Key Club, and Secretary of CSF (California Scholarship Federation). I have also volunteered for 74 hours at my local hospital, and am a member of the Red Cross Youth Division.
In my sophomore year, I took AP Physics B and AP European History. I'm planning to take 5 AP's my Junior year in addition to joining the tennis team and competing in Academic Decathlon. My high school is relatively weak in terms of test scores and academics...only 1 student is accepted to Stanford every 4-5 years. I've been dreaming of attending UC Berkeley and majoring in Computer Science ever since I was a child. With this in mind, how does my profile look so far? Do I stand a legitimate chance of being accepted to Berkeley (although it's a bit too early to say). THANKS!!!
|By Berkeleykid on Sunday, July 14, 2002 - 09:58 pm: Edit|
I think you have a great chance! Good luck
|By kleine Nixe on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 10:14 pm: Edit|
Hello, I'm a Californian who is going to be a junior this year, and I would like to ask your opinion on my current high school status =). I currently have a 3.93 GPA, and have taken the standard Honors classes (English, Geometry, History) so far. I scored a 4 on my A.P. European History Exam, and I plan to take four A.P. classes this fall (Chemistry, English, U.S. History, German). I was elected Freshman Class Officer, am a 2-years-and-running Peer Tutor at my school, active board member of Teen Advisory Group at local library, completed 200 hours of community service so far, was on JV swim team this spring, will be German Club Treasurer this fall, am an intern at an Assemblymember's office this summer, am taking a summer physics course at a college, won first place in the National Hai-Hwa Scholarship Essay Contest, and won 3rd place in National German Exam Endowed Scholarship Trip. I haven't yet taken the SAT I/SatII's yet, but am prepping for them right now. Even though this pales in comparison with the other exemplary scholars' resumes, I would appreciate some constructive critism. The colleges I want to apply to are (the usual arsenal =): UC's Berkeley, LA, Davis, and SD. Thanks to everyone for your help ^_^!
|By Amit Caspi on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - 02:49 am: Edit|
I have just finished reading all of your posts.
and I must say "Wow"
All of your stories about your individual college acceptances and woes are very inspiring. I just randomly found this site, and I am now very happy that I found it. Congratulations to Lisa! I know you from the Stanford Summer program. My name is Amit Caspi, I am not sure if you remember me, but I surely remember you. Congratulations, and I hope you have a great time at MIT!
As for me. I also went through this long and burdensome college application process. I had many doubts as to where I would get in, but I think that things had worked out. Ironically, the applications I had the spent the least amount of time on, belonged to the schools that ultimately accepted me.
In highschool I had a 3.79 uw / 4.36 w and a 1390 SAT. I applied all over, just to secure my options and was pleasantly surprised. I was admitted to NYU-Stern, Cornell, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, an UCLA.
I felt a gut feeling to attend Northwestern. Although I felt that Berkeley and Cornell were more prestigious, there was just something that kept pulling me towards NU. Hopefully the pull was all for a good cause, because I do admit, that sometimes I have second thoughts about giving up an Ivy-League university (Cornell) and passing up Berkeley. Deep-down, I think the decision will make me happy. I plan to study engineering and I hear NU has a great program, so thats where I will stay.
For all of you future college applicants. Please, do not stress! The stress is not worth the agony. Just enjoy highschool and enjoy life. Any school within the top 20 will "open-doors", and getting into college is not as daunting as it might seem. Just relax, and try not to freak out like I did :P
This seems like an excellent public posting, and I hope to hear from you guys soon. My email address is Onana97@aol.com and my screen name is Onana97. So for any of you interested in speaking with me, please send me an instant message!
Take care everybody. As for me, I am Northwestern bound (but sometimes I become insecure about the school's name recognition which doesnt seem that large)
Remember: Enjoy life!
~ AMIT CASPI
|By Blushingclover (Blushingclover) on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 11:23 pm: Edit|
oh wow ... this is like a board filled with geniuses. At this rate, I have no hope whatsoever of attending college >_< By the way, Northwestern is a GREAT school ... hehe.
You guys must be sick and tired of doing this but just so that I can prepare for rejection in the coming 2 months, can you rate my chances please? 1460 SAT I, 710/750/750 SAT IIs, 3.73 UW, 4.36 W, top 2% ... captain of tennis team, newspaper editor, pres. of key club and french honor society etc. I've applied to Northwestern, NYU-Stern, Berkeley, LA, Irvine, SD, UPenn (Wharton) (<--I know I need a MIRACLE for that ...), and Wellesley. Thanks! Oh btw, I'm from CA.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 12:28 am: Edit|
If you're a guy, I doubt you'll get into Wellesley.
You're a slam dunk on a reverse layup for Irvine, a probable for UCSD and in the running with decent chances for everything else. (Class rank trumps uw gpa.) At the top schools, being qualified is like having a reasonably good lottery ticket: when valedictorians and 800/800 SAT's are rejected by the dozen, you know the selection criteria are conflicted, multifaceted, and sometimes seemingly capricious.
Whups, you're from California...you're a BTA (better than average) for Berkeley and UCLA.
I say you get into two out of the four eastern schools; have no idea which two.
Of your EC's, I like the captain of tennis team the best...the rest are boring only in that so many applicants have the same ones. (Guy on the Adcom: "Jeez, not _another_ newspaper editor!")
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