|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 12:24 am: Edit|
Harvard's one of my top choices and i just want to know what my chances are. I know that no one here can really give a precise answer, but i just want to know my relative chances.
-SAT: perfect score, first time (i studied, it was a combination of hardwork and luck... people keep on thinking it's impossible to prepare for the SATs)
-SATII: 800, 800, 800 (Math iic, Writing and Bio)
-IB Diploma Candidate (so hardest courseload)
-I can try to get a few teachers of mine to be creative for the recommendations.
-I have a job and i work 20-30 hours a week, so my ECs are really lacking. I basically have none. <--- this is the main reason why i'm here, everything else is OK, but top schools of all sorts seem to emphasize ECs so strongly that i'm kinda freaked right now.
-I'm in Peer Support and i'm a Yearbook Editor (but that's it!)
-Family income is under 30k a year
-Vietnamese and Canadian (asian and international, this can't be good :P)
... Please no sarcasm... I'm not too worried about my SATs (why should i be?), but everything else seem to be up against me.
Oh, and i can write a killer essay (or atleast they're killer when i read them, people have diff. opinions, and this kinda scares me a bit, but i have confidence). If i write a few killer essays... What are my chances of getting in now? Am i still screwed? And what other schools should i apply to? What other schools do you think i have a good chance at? I already have safeties, so don't worry about that part. I just have a problem with choosing good matches and reaches.
*no, i'm not a prick who wants to go to Harvard because of the prestige (although it is enticing), i just like the academic, "i can save the world" atmosphere (and the class discussion is rumored to be killer, i like discussions)... I just want to know my chances of even getting in, so i won't be crushed when they send the letter, or too surprised (i hate surprises in general).
I'm thinking of Cornell, Yale, NYU (i like New York), UCLA (it's hard for internationals to get in, so don't laugh at me), Berkeley, MIT, Caltech, Stanford... And if any of you are british, i'm thinking of applying Cambridge, maybe Oxford...
*once again, i'm not a prick, i'm Canadian (that didn't sound good did it? hahaha)... i'm applying to top Canadian schools i'm for sure going to be accepted to. And i was just thinking that if i was to leave Canada, it would be for the BEST schools. If i don't get into the best, why should i pack my bags? Just go to a good uni in Canada instead. So that's why i'm basically in need of knowing my chances at the best (and have very little "just" good colleges on my american list), because there's no need for me to move to a "just" good college in USA when i can get that in Canada... cheaper too.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 12:26 am: Edit|
I'm also in the top decile, if that helps...
*i'm just kinda freaked... just a bit, aftering seeing ten different people on these boards with ECs that'll fill up a novel...
|By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 12:54 am: Edit|
Well, your lack of ECs isn't terrible if it can be compensated by something like a job, which is obviously the case for you. Taking this into consideration, I don't think you'd be hurt too much overall by the lack of too many ECs. Also, your socioeconomic situation does play in your favor. Are you the first generation to go to college? Anyway, what WILL hurt you is the fact that you're international. Schools like Harvard accept an extremely limited number of international students. So if you want to stand out amongst the competition, write some REALLY killer essays.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 01:14 am: Edit|
I'm going to be the FIRST person in my family to go to college. My dad has a HS education from Vietnam, and my mom finished grade 3 (or was it 2?). We were basically fishermen back home, no one really had the money to send anyone to college. My dad's side usually ensures that the men of the family will get atleast the basics of all education, but the money usually ends there.
|By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 03:03 am: Edit|
If you are considering Harvard then Caltech is NOT the place for you. It is strictly for hardcore engineers.
I dont know what the ACs will think of you, but I think colleges should give respect to people who hold down a real job, I think that is as strong an EC as any
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 12:12 pm: Edit|
Caltech has good science programs don't they? I'm very much into the Sciences, so i wouldn't mind it at Caltech.
|By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 02:54 pm: Edit|
While caltech does have good sciences, they are combined with the engineering. I consider myself a math-oriented guy, but Caltech was too extreme for me when I visited it
|By Apguy (Apguy) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 03:00 pm: Edit|
How are you an IB Diploma candidate with poor ECs? How are you going to get your CAS hours done?
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 03:24 pm: Edit|
Well, Peer Support and Yearbook Editing takes up way more than 100 hours already, all i need to do is volunteer a bit over the summer and i got the required hours. I'm not worried about that.
CAS isn't that hard to complete. It's just that i don't have many ECs/Clubs other than the two i have. If you've noticed the OTHER kids on these boards, they have way more than i can imagine myself having. If i didn't have a job and had a few connections, then i would do some laboratory researching or helping out the poor and have over two thousand hours of volunteering, but i have a job, and i'm not as privileged as other kids are.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 03:26 pm: Edit|
Hmmm, i actually think i might already have over 200 hours for the CAS, i just don't keep score yet (i should start filling out those forms). I'm worried about the amount of ECs i have, and the "excitement" of having something that separates me from the rest.
|By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 04:06 pm: Edit|
I think your accomplishments while working a 20-30 hour week job are amazing. That alone will make you stand out a mile from the students who have time to pad their resumes with extra curriculars. Don't worry about it. Just make sure through your application and essays that they know you are the first to go to college and that you needed to help support yourself. Your family must be extremely proud of you and I'm sure they will continue to be whether you get into Harvard or some other fine school instead.
|By O71394658 (O71394658) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 04:43 pm: Edit|
I think you're fine. You might even have a better shot of getting in, because admissions people have a great deal of respect for people who have high GPAs, yet need to work to "help out". They'll completely understand your situation...
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 09:28 pm: Edit|
I know my parents will continue to be happy for me. All i want to do is make them happy; to let them know that they haven't wasted their efforts with me; to let them know that they've done everything possible for me, and that i will use this to get the best there is out there. I know the chances are slim, but i'm going to atleast try. Most of you are students, sons or daughters of someone, you know the feeling right?
They've raised me well, but it seems like sometimes they feel sorry for me. They think they didn't give me the best there is. I just want to give them the message that they did, that i'm proud of who they are and who i am because of what i had gone through.
Senseless babble, but it's the usual stuff... And talking more about myself is more interesting then just bumping.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 09:31 pm: Edit|
I don't know, but a job sounds a lot less interesting than a research position or creating your own organization does.
|By Me1 (Me1) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 09:40 pm: Edit|
I think you're fine. Make sure to include the # of hours you work & colleges will realize that you don't have time for the usual list of a billion clubs. A lot of colleges are starting to prefer devotion to a few things over 15 min a week in 25 clubs. If you can write a killer essay including something to do w/your job, that should also help too.
|By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 11:33 pm: Edit|
Just be who you are on your application and in your essays. You sound like a fine person and I think that will come through clearly --someone who does not take opportunities for granted, and is worried about making sure his parents know he is proud of who they are. You have no idea how rare you are. Honestly, colleges do look for character as well as scores and they see through a lot of people who start clubs just try to create an impression that they care about someone other than themselves. Think of how many students are wracking their brains to find essay topics while you have your job, your relationship with your parents, being the first in your family to attempt what you're attempting, etc. No one can guarantee Harvard, but I'd be willing to put my money on you for a top school. I think they will recognize not only your intellect but your maturity and reward it, honest.
|By Zerg_Vvins (Zerg_Vvins) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 01:07 am: Edit|
hey you can always play the boy who comes from a poor and uneducated family who has to work to support his family and spent all his spare time studying ...blah blah blah
colleges will sympathize with those kind of things. And it will also explain why you can't and I emphasize CAN'T do any ECs.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 06:48 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the input... Any additions would be greatly appreciated.
|By Uncchlocalmayor (Uncchlocalmayor) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 07:36 pm: Edit|
if you speak the truth, then you're in at any college.
|By Tuannguyen (Tuannguyen) on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 01:52 am: Edit|
Wait, where should i apply EA or ED for an advantage? Who would understand my situation better, and at which schools would my situation actually be an advantage? Harvard, Yale, some other school? Swarthmore maybe, where? Who would understand?
|By Nuoli (Nuoli) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 10:29 am: Edit|
Buddy, you're in. Absolutely. If Harvard turns away your application, then I too will throw out my letter, rejection or acceptance.
Reading your post is almost heartbreaking; the rest of us here talk of taking it easy, of being laid back, of seeing college in the right light -- but you, you don't have such privilege, such perogative; you see college in the right light because of who and what you are. To have succeeded in such conditions is a testament to the American Dream (I include Canadia) and to the American spirit -- and I daresay that you have proven yourself more American than many of us who live and die in these lands. And, with or without luck, you will continue to do that in the future.
I say to you again: you are in. There is not one American college that will reject you for lacking in extracirricular activities for your duties to your family. Remember, extracirriculars are not some sort of test, a prerequisite like many here imply, but rather an affirmation that you have taken the initiative to explore yourself. You have not been afforded that opportunity! that privilege is not yours! and any person that reads your application will be hard-pressed to blame you for it. The question is not if, but when, you get in -- closer to any I have ever seen on these boards, you are a "Clear Admit." I look forward to your posts and pray I get to meet you come Fall '04.
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