Evaluate a Senior!

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: Evaluate a Senior!
By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 08:42 pm: Edit

Senior here finally facing the fact that I am going to have to really start thinking about admissions. I would like to know what kind of chances I have at Stanford, Columbia and Princeton. Also I would like to here what I should work on.

1520 SAT
720V, 800M
4.0 uw GPA
1/180 rank
I have not taken the SAT II yet, but from practice I should approach 2300

Captain, varsity Water Polo
Captain, varsity Swimming
Varsity Soccer
126, 140.5 and 139.5 AMC
4, 5, 7 AIME
2nd in State Math comp

Founded peer-editing system at my school
Varsity Mock Trial, 1st in state, 6th in nation

50 hours tutoring
50 hours volunteer football coach

30-35 hours/week Construction work for the past two summers

By Zephyrmaster (Zephyrmaster) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 09:47 pm: Edit

I have not taken the SAT II yet, but from practice I should approach 2300

You got a 2300? That's interesting...

By Bigman82085 (Bigman82085) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 10:01 pm: Edit

3 tests combined, aka possible score of 2400

By Nealp (Nealp) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 10:06 pm: Edit

um when i see "water polo" i think "gee, rich spoiled kid..." may not be the case but sure is the first impression. kinda jk. also, hear, not here.

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Water Polo does not equal rich and spoiled.

You're within range for the schools you listed, but those schools reject hundereds of kids like you each year. So basically your chances are good, but those schools are still reach schools for everyone.

Where else are you applying?

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:12 am: Edit

My family has plenty of money, but my Water polo team doesnt exactly fit the demographic you ascribed to it. I go to a private school but travel to a nearby public school to play. Now POLO on the other hand...

I am also planning on applying to Pomona, Claremont-McKenna, possibly Harvard (depending on visit), and possibly Berkeley.

Pomona, Stanford and Columbia are tops on my preference list as of now

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 07:08 pm: Edit


By Rubenizm (Rubenizm) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:46 pm: Edit

"Water Polo does not equal rich and spoiled."
you play it too don't you clickspring. Polo is worse than golf...MUCH worse.

By Quakerboy2 (Quakerboy2) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 09:12 pm: Edit

Are some people here confusing water polo and polo?

1)Polo - a game played on horseback, rarely in high school, and you're trying to hit a ball around. Normally associated with the very rich.

2)Water Polo - Imagine soccer in the swimming pool. You have a ball, you pass and throw it around, you can't touch the bottom of the pool, and you have two goals at either end of the pool. Not so sure about the associations, except that at my school only goobers played it. Didn't have so much to do with socioeconomic status.

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 03:51 pm: Edit

thanks for clearing that up, anybody else have anything to add

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 07:09 pm: Edit

should I retake that SAT? (i got 77V on psat)

By Neo (Neo) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 09:09 pm: Edit

Unless you really have nothing better to do with your life, I wouldn't recommend retaking your SAT I's, seeing as you already scored a 1500+. Use that time to write a better essay, or to study for your SAT IIs -- these are almost as important, if not more than, your SAT I score.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:25 pm: Edit

I think that many colleges would be quite interested in hearing more about that "construction work" depending on your attitude and outlook. A construction worker with a 1520 SAT score is hard to resist liking---right up there with athlete-scholars. I see great possibilites for a winning essay.

You'd be making a big mistake to downplay this... and since you mentioned it dead-last, you don't seem to recognize the potential.

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 02:44 am: Edit

okay thanks for the advice, I got the job through my dad, which hopefully wont detract. It's not like I was paid under the table; it was a real job.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 10:16 am: Edit

You have great credentials. If you want to play water polo in college, find schools that have the sport and contact the athletic director and coaches. An athletic hook is very powerful.
Morgantruce is right about the construction. It is an interest factor. As far as redoing the SAT1, you are better off since you are a senior, focusing on the SAT2s (you have no score till you take the tests!!) and other aspects of your application. Including essays, visits, collecting info on the schools, working with those who are recommending you, showing the schools how interested you are in them, etc. Your SAT scores put you well into the range of all colleges. It's the other stuff that makes it a crapshoot.
Also take time to pick a few schools that are not so selective. A safety or match or two that you can really like is something to research. Anyone can get enamored with the name brands from afar. It's harder looking into lesser known schools that have everything you want to make it home for the next several years. Those schools should get your attention too.
You sound like an excellent candidate.
Rubenizm and NealP, I'm not sure why you are so down on students that are well to do. That alone is not something that should get someone's ire up. I have 9 kids ( blended family, adopted, nieces nephews,etc) to get through college so I have had to be at the mercy of financial aid. Very much at its mercy for choices. But that does not make me look down on those who can pay their way or play water polo or polo for that matter. If they have the money and want to do that for recreation instead of bowling or baseball, that is their business. I know many kids who fund their golfing through caddying and have saved alot for college through those jobs. What difference would it have made if Jimjunior were super rich? Where do you draw the line for wealth?

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 11:24 am: Edit

When you are writing an essay, you are under no obligation to tell about every last detail. Most people, when talking about their employment, do NOT divulge how they came to get that job. Whether you work for your Dad's friend or your Dad's company you would feel a special obligation to perform your duties even more thoroughly than if you worked for a complete stranger.

Here's why I think you may have a great essay in the works: itís one thing to be a construction worker; it's another thing to be a construction worker that has taken notice of:

* the way the job goes---from morning to quitting time.

* the way the foreman gets things done.

* the way the owner of the company has a special pride.

* the way you feel good about accomplishing things.

* the way the project will be used by the clients.

Writing about things like that would indicate a thoughtful construction worker---and that is what would appeal to a college admissions committee in a very big way.


My younger daughter worked two years part time and for the summer before college carrying out groceries in a supermarket. Now, you have to admit, supermarket carryouts and construction workers have little to do with the college experience. But she wrote a college application essay about her job using exactly those points I mentioned above----and was accepted into her first choice college!

You may have other topics to consider, but this topic has the potential for obtaining you a nickname in the admissions office: "Let's look at that 'construction worker' guy again..." That's always a good thing; it makes you stand out from the crowd.

Great grades and SAT scores do not make you stand out from the crowd at good colleges. It takes something special.... in addition to the numbers.

By Jimjunior (Jimjunior) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 01:14 am: Edit

Thanks for the extensive post. You have some great ideas, and I will strongly consider them

By Alimshk (Alimshk) on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 04:27 pm: Edit

You're in.

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