Fatal flaw or simply human? chances at top-tier schools.

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Fatal flaw or simply human? chances at top-tier schools.
By wonderin on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 04:34 pm: Edit

I'm a model student in every realm except one. Near-perfect on testing (800v/790m/800writing/790lit/770IIC),
most rigorous courses taken (Nat'l AP scholar by the end of senior year, hopefully)-- and leadership in state and nationally recognized organizations.

However, my activities demand so much time that my GPA is merely above-average (3.5 unweighted), and my class rank has suffered accordingly. I know there are students that can juggle everything and still have great grades, but I have demonstrated an upward trend and I really, REALLY spread myself thin--- (a journalism EC demanding 30/40 hours a week, easy) ...

essays and recs are great.

how bad am i hurt?

By la on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 04:53 pm: Edit

bumpity bump

By killer on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 05:25 pm: Edit

what type of school do you go to?

above-average public school, magnet school, parochial/religious school, elite private prep school?

if you go to a super competitive private school (1300+avg sat, 100% olege acceptance, etc.) then you should have no problem getting into really good schools. especially since those schools get you brownie points from admissions officers. but if not, you still hav a shot.

what classes are you taking? is it the most rig curriculum...if you're going for national ap scholar then it probably is.

so no worries, but try to keep the grades up. your guidance couselor or prinicipal can explain the 3.5 away.

By a on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 07:54 pm: Edit

A 3.5 isn't that bad. Although this MAY prevent you from getting into the ivies, even 4.0 1600s don't get in. It sounds like you can get into top-tier, highly-selective colleges that are just a step down from the ivies. (UChicago, WashU, Colby, Haverford, Wesleyan, Tufts.)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:58 pm: Edit

I wouldn't rule out the Ivies, either.

A lot of people on this board make it sound a
lot more numbers-driven cut-and-dried deterministic
than it is. If I were an AO, what little you've
posted would make me want to look at the rest
of your applications file.

By wqr on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 11:16 pm: Edit

well, let's just thank the gods that a retard like thedad is not an admission officer.

inability to manage your time/lack of priorities/lack of natural brilliance is not an excuse for performing poorly in school.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 01:42 am: Edit

Tell you what, wgr. Let's see you pull off a meaningful EC that takes 30-40 hours a week, do well with the EC, get those kind of test scores, and then see what kind of GPA you have. You clearly have a future in medicine...as a proctologist's delight.

I'd take a kid who stretches over someone like you any day.

And you know what? So would a lot of AO's.

By reality check on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 01:50 am: Edit

Ivy League schools are not going to take some kid with a B average just because he didnt realize that he couldnt handle such a huge commitment along with school. I dont understand why people seem to think that having a mile long list of ECs is going to make up for the fact that they dont have the grades. Transcripts are the most important factor, EC's are just the icing on the cake. Maybe colleges will like that he's dedicated, but if he can't pull off good grades on a tight schedule in hs, who says he can do it in college?

By wgr on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 01:55 am: Edit

you are obviously retarded.

do you know how many kids exaggerate on their extracurricular activities?

even if you did do something that is very time consuming, the admission officers will assume 99% of the time that you are just lying to excuse the poor grades.

seriously now, don't live your life through your daughter, you are just putting pressure on her, and ruining her life.

and guess what? i play soccer from 7 to 9 five days a week, and have an after school activity from 3 to 5/6 most parts of the year. so that is like what? 20 hours a week?

and i still have great test scores (those shouldn't be time consuming, unless you are a preparer, which the colleges despise), and great grades (it is easy to negotiate the deadlines when the teachers like you).

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:15 am: Edit

Look, wonderin has some serious academic chops. The 3.5 combined with National AP Scholar combined with test scores that are probably better than yours--and I note he didn't wimp out and take the Math Ic--all say something. Plus leadership in state/national orgs...it would be interesting to see what those are.

As for his EC, it demonstrates something very vital: passion. If he's putting in that amount of time and it's that important to him, it will pop up in his recs, his essays, everything will show it. And journalism as an EC can't be faked to the degree this guy is talking about...there's a paper trail a mile wide and ten feet deep.

Your comment about living my life through my daughter is inaccurate, irrelevant, and ad hominem, whereas the statement "it is easy to negotiate the dealines when your teachers like you" is a terrific testament to your character...I really hope you use that line somewhere in each and every application you make.

By wgr on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 05:32 pm: Edit

lol, you truly are retarded.

and which part of the application would i use that line exactly? age? sex?

negotiation is another skill that is rather useful in real life. you would know something about that if you had a job and didn't post messages on here 24/7.

guess what? it is not about what you did, it is about how the college admission officers perceive you.

i know smart people that worked their asses off for the last four years and got rejected everywhere, and slackers that only did a few things that were unique and looked nice on an app, and got into top schools, and won a •••• load of scholarships.

um, and i can probably get an 800 on MathIIc drunk. it is 4th grade math, come on now.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:07 pm: Edit

You have a truly limited vocabulary and you're boring
to boot.

I've met kids who think they can negotiate anything and the just don't believe it when they run up against a brick wall. It's about a sense of entitlement, I think.

And a first LOL to you as you dig yourself in deeper. I work 8-10 hours a day but they're spread out over a 17-hour period. Oddly enough, negotiating is a signifcant part of my job and I probably see more contracts in a year than most people see in a lifetime.

And another LOL to you as your attitude is made manifest: it's how you're perceived, not what you do, eh? Well, yes, sometimes you can parlay that for a while but eventually the lack of substance shows, and/or the lack of character, and you wind up having to go somewhere where they don't know you to reinvent yourself all over again.

Go ahead and game the system kid. You haven't the faintest idea what you'll be missing.

So you haven't taken the Math IIc and you think it's fourth-grade Math and you know enough about being drunk that you know you could get an 800 on it. As dramatic exaggeration, you need a few more drafts. As a posture, it's rather pathetic. Tell you what, take the Math IIc and report back and then let's match your test scores against those of the person who asked the original question, eh, and find out whether you're an insecure blowhard or not.

By wgr on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:34 pm: Edit

you know me too well.

if you had any logical deduction skills, which you dont, you would realize that i would not make a statement like, "um, and i can probably get an 800 on MathIIc drunk. it is 4th grade math, come on now," unless i actually got an 800 on it.

need proof? gimme access to a server, i'll upload a scan of my score report.

i obviously touched on some nerves to cause this aneurysm. inferiority complex? probably. i truly feel sorry for your daughter who has to bear this insecure father who needs to redeem his failures in life through his daughter, and hence putting unnecessary pressure on the poor gal.

lol, and insulting my vocabulary? how low can you go? especially considering you didn't use any word beyond elementary school in your posts as far as i can be assed to read.

By wgr fan on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 11:34 pm: Edit

Nicely done wgr.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 12:28 am: Edit

Well, at least you finally can use a post w/o using the word "retarded." However, I suggest you don't major in psych as you are so friggin' far off base that it's hysterically funny.

Good writing doesn't have to use any fancy words and here I'm aware that I'm writing for a general audience.

Have a nice life...preferably someplace far away.
And maybe upgrade your level of sidekick some day.
I take your type a statistical near-certainty: in any large group there are going to be some remarkably ugly people...and I don't mean physical looks.

By Christine (Christine) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 12:35 am: Edit

Before we start idolizing kids who post messages with no other purpose than to argue with people, let's remember what wgr and thedad were saying in their comments. thedad was trying to build someone up by making a positive statement. wgr was insulting both the person who was feeling unsure of himself and the person who was trying to make him feel better. Though this was probably already obvious, I just wanted to point it out for people who need to be reminded that their heart is just as important as their brain. You may now go back to bashing eachother

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 12:44 am: Edit

Heh. Thanks, Christine, though I think it's funny in a way because there are a large number of situations where I'm fairly ruthless about getting the right thing done at the expense of someone's feelings.

Btw, I read the original post and wgr's comments to my wife, who is a fairly high ranking staff member familiar with the Admissions Department at UCLA and she laughed: "Oh, his position is that grade grubbers rule." Exactly...self-serving, self-privileging.

By Christine (Christine) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 02:14 am: Edit

Actually I just happened to read something that you wrote that I found rather unfair. I guess there's no hope for anyone around here. In that case, maybe I'll just state my own opinion of wonderin's situation rather than agree with anyone else. Being that colleges publish their average scores and gpa's for accepted students, it isn't too hard to see if you're in their range. You can even give your ECs a number rating, put your stats into a calcuation, and get a number that would tell you what admissions officers might think of you. On the other hand, the only thing you can be sure of by posting on this board is that you will be praised if something about you is excellent, scorned if something is bad, and scorned if you are average. The saddest part about this post is that it is past 2 AM and I am putting myself in a bad mood by thinking about this stuff, rather than sleeping. Then again, I don't have school until monday, so yey for snow! and Good Morning!

By 967 on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 04:54 am: Edit

thedad, what are you replying to wgr for?

he's obviously bitter and a real a*sehole, and you know yourself that'll do him in when it really counts - beyond if not in college.

besides, the original poster needs your help.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 09:44 am: Edit

967, you're right.

I've given the original poster my counsel, such as
it is, and he/she has not posted anything further, so here it ends.

By Jen on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 02:48 pm: Edit

Thedad- You are so sad. I would find it such a disgrace if my father sat on message boards such as this and started bashing and quibbling with children.

You fed the fire, so you are just as immature and irresponsible as anyone!

By #include on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Youngers must show elders respect. It is very bad for your karm (westerners know as karma) to disrespect elders. I believe that concieted youngers, sometimes including myself, get a big blow in life and realize the wisdom that elders possess.

It is troubling to see society today. No respect for who is older and who tries to aide others. Rather we bash others. Some have severe inferiority complexes. Others have no moral indignation to respect and show no kindness to others.

It is truly upsetting. I can say by the amount of racial and academic bashings at these discussion boards that I am truly afraid that some of these people may lead America.

Bash all you want, fellow friends. What goes around comes around, they say. And when it happens, some weep at the stupidity and ignorance of their past.

Good luck, wonderin, in all your endeavors.

By admit2ivy on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 11:51 am: Edit

The type of school one attends definitely makes a difference. If the school is a highly competitive public or elite private school, a student's grades can vary. An A at one school is a B at another. Colleges know the school profiles for the region they are recruiting. This is why the second most important element in admissions is the test score. It is the only instrument that removes the discrepency between grading practices and a curriculum's difficulity among various schools. Since all kids take the same test across the nation, no one person has an added advantage. Consistency in test scores as well as grades reflect a more concise picture as to the student's intelligence compared to others. So take it from a real admissions counselor at a prestigious school, your tough course load, test scores, and EC commitments will serve you well to get into any top school including the ivies. Given all the considerations, a 3.5 is still an admirable GPA

By test on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 12:27 pm: Edit


By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Thanks for the input, admit2ivy.

#include, thank you for your thoughts but I respectfully disagree. Respect, even for adults from teens or children, must be earned. Blind respect [for opinions] purely out of age--while very Confucian--leads to many not-so-good life decisions.

It _is_ true that one should be wary of leaping to conclusions as to why you think someone with more life experience is wrong until you've had ample time to evaluate both their advice and their experience.

Anecdote: some one much more experienced offered me some advice and I said, "You're full of sh!t."
Six months later, I spoke to the same person and said, "I can see why what you said is generally true but it doesn't apply to me because ________."
Six months later I had to humbly say, "You were right." Instead of embarrasing me, it taught me a lot. What cost wisdom, eh?

But, #include, what bothers me about some posters here is not the lack of respect shown elders--there are few enough of us around and I think virtually all of us have played to tougher audiences in arenas where it counts--but the lack of respect and outright abuse offered one's peers. Not only are the abusive not right nearly as much or as often as they think they are, but even if they happen to be right the accompanying arrogance displayed to a peer is a really ugly character flaw. All imnsvho, of course.

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