RD applicant, please tell me if i am stretching myself here

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Discus: Ivy League Schools: Harvard University: 2004 Archive: RD applicant, please tell me if i am stretching myself here
By Peacemakeriv (Peacemakeriv) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 02:25 am: Edit

I'm chinese male, lived in Canada for 5 yrs, enrolled in a pretty good public school. Applying to Harvard, MIT, Princeton and Cornell.
Please rate me and tell me what kind of schools should i be looking at.


GPA: 96%, so 3.9 in american
Enriched courses, i think they count same as AP?

verbal : 660, math 800
math IIC: 800, physics, 790, writing 660 =(
TOEFL: 240 - 297, essay not marked yet, but i did ok

- 4th in intel ISEF (international science and engineering fair)
- gold medalist in region fair, invited to ISEF and another international fair in Russia. (lots of awards came with it, like the Yale innonvatoin award, intel youth innovation etc)
- 4th in Canada on CCC (canadian computing contest)
- math contests: 2nd in canada in grade 9, slipped lately, but still well within top 50 in canada on all the major math contests, including many with the top 10. Invited to Canadian mathematics olympia, asian-pacific math olympia, etc
-american math awards: top 200 in AMC 12 and AIME for 2 yrs, 11th and 13th in the ARML (american regional math league) in past 2 yrs
-bronze medalist in FIRST robotics canadian division
-comp sci student of the yr

-sr basketball team (10+ hr/week) (currently)
-sr volleyball team (10+) (season ended, 3rd in city, gold medalist in some tourny)
-cross country team (10+, last yr)
-lots of clubs, such as environment clubs, world affair clubs, math clubs, comp sci clubs, robotics clubs), around 10+ hrs a week i would say
-research at the local university (6-7 hrs/week)
-special math classes: 5 hrs/week

ok, so i SUCK at english, but ok in math and sciences, what r my chances and what other schools should i be looking at? Thank you for any comment!

By Ajhayes (Ajhayes) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 03:06 am: Edit

It's not a stretch, go ahead and give it a shot. Harvard admissions are odd. They may take you over someone with superior stats because there's something about you they like. Good luck!

By Coinkydink (Coinkydink) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 09:10 am: Edit

Go for it. Work really hard on the essay because that is the one thing that can really show your personality which, I think, is really important to the adcoms at the Ivies. At that level of school, admittance can come down to simply whether the adcom likes you are doesn't.

By Zeytin (Zeytin) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 10:22 am: Edit

Peacemakeriv: I would apply only if Harvard really mattered to you. When I applied EA, the name of no other school even crossed my mind which I truly believe is all reflected in essays and in application. First decide which school you want, decide what your HEART wants not what your mind tells you - I know most apply for also the "name" of the school. I got accepted with 1450 sat, with no 800 SATIIs but I really worked hard on my application since I wanted it so much. I always believe that it is the ESSAYS that create the difference - imagine an admissions committee member with 100 applications to read that day and trying to choose between all these brillant kids with perfect scores, GPAs, recs and awards and after reading hundreds of applicants he will forget all the scores and maybe it will be an essay he really loved that he will remember the other day. No I am not telling you can get in with an SAT of 1000 but after you reach a certain level, between deciding applicants the 30 points difference will not be the criteria.
Also write the optional essay. Don't let your essay be of the typical pile - the summer camp, how I help others essays. Use your imagination. Coinkydink is right: decide how you are different from the pile and show it in the essay.

By Ajhayes (Ajhayes) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 04:38 pm: Edit

Zeytin, you're right. But it's MUCH easier said than done.

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