|By Theanswer_Is42 (Theanswer_Is42) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 11:02 am: Edit|
I guess I haven't previously bought into all this college message board stuff, but as the first semester of my senior yr. approaches, I've started getting increasingly antsy about the whole college process. I visited Dartmouth this past June, and absolutely fell in love with the school (location, people, the whole deal...one of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson, resides in Hanover, so that was an added bonus). Consequently, I'm now seriously considering applying ED, and, similarly to every other anxious high school kid posting messages on here, would appreciate any comments/advice/evaluations with regard to my acceptance.
IN PARTICULAR, I am interested in understanding the seemingly contradictory information about hard test scores (i.e. SAT) v. transcript/ecs/reccomendations/etc., as personally, the later is significantly stronger. Admissions information I received from Dartmouth states, "An applicant with a strong high school transcript in a strong course of study, demonstrated success in other pursuits, and modest test scores is still a competitive applicant in our pool." Yet, after reading information on this site, as well as similar material in book form, it appears that there is a lot of numerical formula type stuff surrounding the addmissions process at the Ivies in particular. I would appreciate any information on this topic in general. This would be especially useful in conjuction with my own academic standing, described in the following paragraphs.
I've taken the SATs twice, earning V 660, M 600 (which baffles me because I've always done better in math classes, been more interested in the subject, and would like to focus on math/science in college). That said, I did very well on my AP US History exam, scoring a 5...interestingly enough, AP US Hist. was NOT offered as a course at my high school, and I studied for it independtly. The transcript/ec/rec portion of my question, stands as follows:
My (public) high school utilizes block scheduling, which has allowed me to take 4 yrs of math (thru Calc I) in my first two years of high school, create several of my own Honors Research Projects (Current Controversies in Health, Music Theory, Music History) in order to study areas not currently incorporated in existing courses, as well as all offered honors classes. To date my weighted GPA is 4.4, unfortunately the guidance office is reluctant to relinquish unweighted GPAs, class rank, or much else useful information. However, I would estimate that I am well within the top 5 students (out of roughly 250) in my grade, possibly valedictorian (determined after 1st semester of senior yr....last year's went to Cornell).
Extra-curriculars that I've been involved in include:
General (each including at least 2 yrs of participation):
-Massachusetts Junior Classical League (including extensive organization of annual Certamens)
-Ntnl Junior Classical League
-Model UN (Bently, MIT, BU)
-Project Nepal (organization raising funds to improve education in Nepal combined with a pen-pal-esque exchange)
-Blue and Gold Key Society
Music Related (gets its own category...all on flute):
-Central District Band/Orchestra ('02-18th/80 whom auditioned, '03-placing 3rd/75)
-Umass Honors Band ('03-placing 2nd/40)
-MICCA Festival '01,'02,'03
-All-State Reccomendation '03
-Qu. Community Band '01, '02, '03 (including solo work)
-Magic Music Days Performance, Orlando, FL, '03
-Montachusett Chorale '02, '03
-Pit Band for high school production of "The Pajama Game"
-Class of '04 Rensselaer Medal recepient
-Coaches Award (basketball)
-Academic Excellence Awards in the following subjects (awarded by individual teachers, spanning 3 yrs of work): Honors US History, Honors Calculus, Honors Biology, Latin I, II, III, Honors World History I, II, Algebra II, Geometry, etc.
-theres also the WhosWho thing, however, I've read so much negative stuff about the program, I'm hesitant to even mention it
-Lifeguard at town beach, '02, '03
-Private Music Instructor, '02, '03 (small scale, only 3 students)
-Daycare Aide, '01 (learned what I don't want to do when I grow up)
-Performances with prefessional music group, '02, '03 (however, these are not at regular intervals, but rather scattered shows over the course of the year)
Additional Random "Stuff":
-2003, poetry class with local published author
-Presentation of independent enviromental study/testing of local watersheds to Mass. Teachers Association, 2003
Any info/comments highly appreciated, thanks!
|By Njboy (Njboy) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 11:22 am: Edit|
haha, yeah, I don't really read or post much in these college message boards either, but I occasionally look into Dartmouth, if only because i'll be going there in the fall.
It is indeed important to have competitive standardized test scores, but the hype surrounding it is certainly exaggerated a bit. Much of this is because of the book A is for Admissions, in which the author describes a numerical formula applied to test scores that supposedly play a large role in admissions at IVY schools.
Having said that, to be completely honest, a 1260 is a weak SAT score. That, of course, can be partially offset by your high class rank. However, you did not mention your SAT II scores at all. If those, too, are weak, then your chances at Dartmouth are most likely slim.
Your extracurricular activities and work experience are sufficient. They are at least much better than mine were.
And certainly apply ED if you are sure you want to apply to Dartmouth. It seems your love for Dartmouth is genuine; make sure that comes out during your interview and/or essays, and show your true interests. Good luck pal.
|By Theanswer_Is42 (Theanswer_Is42) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 07:05 pm: Edit|
Your response was indeed quite helpful. "A is for Admissions" is actually exactly what I was referring to. I didn't list SAT II scores as I haven't yet taken them, and had read in Dartmouth admissions material that ED applicants need not necessarily submit II scores with initial application stuff.
As for my essays/reccomendations/interview, I can most certainly guarantee unique, high-quality, material, and will keep in mind, as you mentioned, expressing my sincere adoration of the school. I understand that comparatively, 1260 is relatively wimpy, however, as I would argue the score is not indicative or wholly reflective of my level of work or intelligence, it has concerned me that it might be perceived as such by an admissions committee. One additional question (asked an admissions rep this and got one of those answers that wasnt really an answer), do you think my being a girl interested in the sciences, primarily physics, might work in favor of my being accepted to the college, as women, traditionally speaking are somewhat underrepresented in math/science? I know Brown, for example, has an "All other things being equal, favor a female scientist" policy, and haven't been able to really dig up any similar material within Dartmouth publications.
Also, if the Nj portion of your username happens to stand for New Jersey, you should definitely check out the song, "I'm from New Jersey", by John Gorka. Thanks again.
|By Njboy (Njboy) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 10:51 pm: Edit|
I didn't apply ED, but you're right, you don't need to submit SAT II scores initially, although the admissions committee does expect you to submit them at a later time by a certain deadline. As you probably know, you should take at least three SAT IIs: the writing, the math (usually Math IIC), and one other.
To answer your question, being a girl interested in physics will probably help a little. Dartmouth, as with all other colleges, is always interested in diversity. As to the extent with which it'll help, i cannot even pretend to know. But my guess is that it helps only marginally.
Oh, by the way, one thing that probably helped me a lot was the peer recommendation. I had an absolutely outstanding peer recommendation by one of my really good friends, and he cited specific events that really captured "me" and my personality. I think it really gave the admissions committee a different slant on me, you know, not just some kid represented by a bunch of numbers, test scores, and activities.
Anyway, yeah, that's just some stuff from my own experience.
And yup, i'm from NJ. I'll check out that song for sure. Aight, cool, i hope I've helped a bit. Later.
|By Yankees927 (Yankees927) on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 01:18 pm: Edit|
sorry to interrupt the convo, but could i get into Dartmouth?(this is all my info, including my upcoming senior year - I know what positions i will be holding in clubs already)
Outdoor track (not amazing in any of 3)
rank top 10%
5 APs all together
several honors courses
sat 1280 - 1350 (??) and will take 3 sat2
Quill and Scroll
President of Americas Teachers
President of Student Government
Editor in Chief of School paper (turned crappy paper around)
writer for teen section of local newspaper
involved in catholic church
Tulane University summer camp- 2 summers unpaid volunteer work, 1 summer paid
other little random stuff too...think thats it~ please all feedback welcome1!
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