|By Journkid (Journkid) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 08:18 pm: Edit|
Hi, everybody. I posted this on the chances board earlier, but I thought I'd do it on here since Dartmouth is my first choice. If you've seen it already, sorry. I'm applying as a Government/German double major.
1500 SAT (750 V, 750 M)
800 Writing, 730 US History, 690 Math IC (retaking, damn the curve) SAT II's
3.9 UW, 4.6 W
Top 5% of class
9 APs total/17 total AP/H classes (4 on US History exam)
Senior APs are: German 4, Psychology, Economics, Government, and Calculus AB
Took two summer courses in Composition at local college, received As (both terms completed before junior year in high school)
Editor-in-Chief, newsmagazine. I know EVERYONE has this, BUT I'm hoping to stand out a little due to the fact that not everyone's paper is recognized by both the NSPA and CSPA (National and Columbia Scholastic Press Associations) as one of the top six magazines in the country. I've also won writing and design awards at the local, state and national level (superior national ranking in Review Writing from NSPA). I've been involved since sophomore year, and was feature and opinion editor last year. I'm also on my state's student press board, have attended every national convention since sophomore year, and go to every contest and seminar I can. The paper (as you can tell from my name) is my LIFE. It's a 20-30 hour a week deal, outside of school. And I'm hoping to freshen up the writing of The Dartmouth. ;-)
Editor-in-Chief, literary magazine
Publicity Head, NHS advisory board. Last year, I did publicity for pretty much EVERY big philantropy we did, so when they formed the advisory board this year, they made me PR head.
Academic Decathlon, state medalist, 3 yrs.
Relay for Life Publicity & Donations Co-Chair (a big marathon to benefit cancer patients; raised $27,000 last year).
County Youth Volunteer Board (school fairs, Head Start upkeep, nursing home work, etc.)
Young Democrats, founder & VP, only high school chapter in the state. Working for a state senate and congressional campaign. Also do Youth in Government (we write our own bills, present them and vote on them in the state capitol).
Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra (chamber does shows for governor's ball, large business dinners, and also volunteers to play at nursing homes, elementary schools, etc.). I play the violin, not well enough to stay serious with it, but I would like to play in the just-for-fun symphony.
Very interested in German and foreign languages. Part of what appeals to me about Dartmouth is the D Method for learning languages. I'd like to work for the State Department, so I need to know as many languages as I can.
Also do various school stuff, ie book clubs, math contests, fiction prize winner, PTSA first place state essay, school community service group, etc. Pretty generic. As you can see, my area of expertise is writing/literature/publicity/politics. Hoping to push this as much as I can.
|By Slipper2002 (Slipper2002) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 09:13 pm: Edit|
I'd say apply early and you'll get in with no problem.
|By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 12:42 am: Edit|
I'd say you would probably get in whether you applied early or not. I mean, Dartmouth is very selective, but when your scores are really high and you've obviously got some interesting ECs, I don't think you have much to worry about.
|By Massguy (Massguy) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit|
You sound like a strong candidate, but you should work on several things, as on paper you seem a bit scattered, and quite generic:
A word of warning about how you explained to us your main EC: You write that your Editor in Chief EC should have some more weight because your paper is so well recognized for being good. If you contributed to this reputation, by all means focus on that, not the publication itself. Don't put things about how your paper is a stand-out, unless you can back it up about how you contributed to that reputation. If you inherited a good paper, you can't get into college riding on its coattails.
Given that you state your interests are in working for the State Department, the publication thing might come off as a stale "did it to get into college" EC. However, since you say you are interested in writing for the campus newspaper, I know you are genuine. Just make sure you focus on seeming focused and not scattered with too many things on your plate. Link things together. That may be the key to your application.
You haven't done your homework entirely on the State Department. Most people who work for the State Department learn their languages FROM the State Department. Your interest in the language instruction at Dartmouth may also be genuine, but you can dig yourself a hole if its clear that you express having a "big" goal, with little understanding of what you need to reach that goal. (The same thing goes with the school itself. Do your homework. Does Dartmouth have a "just-for-fun" symphony? Probably not. Even if it has lots of non-music majors, it probably is a big time commitment as is any orchestra).
Furthermore, I doubt Dartmouth cares about your intended major as an applicant. If they don't and you play it up, it could backfire on you because you look too packaged.
I might suggest that you not retake your SAT II in math, unless you think you can raise your score 60+ points. Your SAT I is fine, and your overall SAT II record is satisfactory for this school, given that you don't claim to be a math/science type. Taking over the SAT II in math will only make you seem more grade/test centric than you want to seem.
|By Journkid (Journkid) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
1. I did not inherit a strong paper. It only started winning major national awards the year I joined (and hadn't won jack in the decade preceding that), and in my second year. I see what you're saying, but I guarantee that I didn't ride coattails, because frankly, there were none to ride on. I contributed to it in my areas: writing (the year we won the NSPA and CSPA honors) and designing (two back-to-back national top ten honors). I won't find out about last year's paper honors until September. And I won't know what awards it will win for my EiC year until AFTER I graduate. So it's not like I can use THAT.
2. I think journalism/politics are pretty closely linked, and the same with publicity. I don't really see how it's "scattered." I can assure you that I would NOT spend 20-30 hours each and every week on an EC ("publication thing") just to get into a college. I may end up going to KU, but if I were and I knew it, I'd still work just as hard for my paper. Please don't suggest that I'm working any harder on it just to get into Dartmouth or anywhere else.
3. The State Department is an example of the type of work I'd like to go into. Yes, I do know that they give primary language instruction, but learning languages in college can only help. They also have these crazy people called press secretaries...
4. By "just-for-fun" symphony, I was referring to an extra-curricular group that I could play with without having to major in music. That's it. I didn't mean to imply that I wanted to play with a "lax" group. And yes, Dartmouth has both chamber and symphonic performance groups. I did my homework.
5. Most people on here give some indication as to what their major is/will be, so I did, too. I do not intend to write Government/German major in bold print on every page of my application. Give me a ittle credit, please.
6. Why would I even apply here Early Decision, or mention that I was interested in languages (enough to MAJOR in one) if I wasn't genuinely interested? You bring up the validity of my interests twice, and I can't really understand why. Yes, I do a lot, BUT all of my things are in SOME WAY related to journalism, publicity, or politics, which in turn are related. I do a wide variety of things, but they all go back to my core interests. I would never do, say, the Science Olympiad and be bad and miserable with it just to get into a college.
7. Thanks for the SAT advice. That's pretty much what I was thinking, too. I don't think retaking Math IC will really help me any.
8. You said I was a strong, if generic (I even said so myself), candidate and that's all I wanted to know. Thank you.
|By Massguy (Massguy) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 07:24 pm: Edit|
I think maybe i brought up your true/genuine interests twice because, in hindsight, im probably a bit skeptical of anyone expressing an interest in foreign languages unless the purposes is to study literature or culture of a given language family/country. Your interests seem to focus on the practical use of languages. In fact, most colleges such as Dartmouth probably have a bias against students who express their language interest this way. Why? Because its not very intellectual. It seems more a characteristic of a student who sees college as a means to an end.
Please don't take my criticisms as anything but points that you could look at. I think you picked up on the fact that I was overly critical to give you things to think about.
Re: politics and journalism being linked. Yes, I know they are linked. I know you know they are linked , too. I think your goal is to not take that for granted, though.
You need to truly demonstrate in the highly competetive admissions process that your link offers a unique , informed perspective. At this point, its impossible to know if you can do this, but I am optimistic that you can. But it is almost imperative that you do to be a competetive applicant.
Your essays and interviews should be treated as opportunities to demonstrate the lessons and links learned.
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