A 1st-Generation Sri Lankan Immigrant - Destined for the Top

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: A 1st-Generation Sri Lankan Immigrant - Destined for the Top
By Thegreatice (Thegreatice) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:26 am: Edit

As the subject line says, im a first-generation immigrant from Sri Lanka. I've gone through the entire naturalizatino process and just recently became a US citizen... last month, actually.

Here are my stats, as horrible as they may be:

GPA (worst of all): 2.4UW, 3.1W
SAT: 1410 (720M, 690V)
ACT: 35 (36M, 34 Everything Else)
SAT II: 780 Math2C, 770 Writing, 700 Physics, and planning on taking Chemistry, US History, and Spanish
AP: English Lang. 5, USH 3, planning on retaking USH along with both Physics C's, Physics B, English Lit., Stats, and Calc AB (I'm really really determined on getting the National AP Scholar Award)

All Academic Subjects Taken:
9th Grade:
Algebra 2 Honors
Physical Science Honors
Plane Geometry Honors
Pre-AP English 9
Spanish 2 Honors
World Cultures Honors

10th Grade:
Biology I Honors
Chemistry Honors
English 10 Honors
Spanish 3 Honors
Trigonometry Honors

11th Grade:
AP English 11
Spanish 4 Honors
Calculus Honors
Physics Honors
AP US History
American Government Honors

12th Grade:
AP Physics
Analytic Geometry Honors
Probability and Statistics Honors (2nd Sem.)
Latin 1 Honors
AP English 12
AP Calculus

"As Schools Match Wits" Team (4), On TV for 3
Debate Team (4), Captain (11,12)
Academic Decathlon (4), Bronze in Math and Gold in Science, highest overall science score (10)
Key Club (3)
Ecology Club - Nature Oriented Service Organization (3), VP (11), President (12), Helped found Outdoor Club (12), as a more fun alternative to nature lovers who'd rather hike than clean up trash (not me, I like doing both, preferably at once), dedicated to both
Math Team (3)
REACH/FPS (3) - 3rd Place at State Bowl (9), 2nd at State Bowl (11)
National History Day (2) - 1st Place at Regionals, State Qualifier (11)
Chess Club (2)
Tutoring (2) - lower-grade kids (8th Grade-Juniors) in math and science about 2 hours/week/kid (usually 2 or 3 kids at a time) throughout the year

So there's my life in numbers and a few letters
Tell me my chances, this is where I am applying:
U of Hartford, WPI, BU, BC, NYU, Tufts, Harvard EA

Yes, I know... Harvard!? you're exclaiming to yourself... with that GPA!? But hey, it's possible... look at my last post, my friend got into Harvard not nearly having done the stuff ive done, and he was merely Hispanic, and born a US citizen... so give me a good eval... really tell me what you think...

By Anduin (Anduin) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:46 am: Edit

I'm afraid that your GPA is likely to sink you with respect to Harvard EA. However, your EC's are pretty good and your URM status is a big plus. So, you'd better pray that the Harvard adcoms absolutely love your essay and rec's. I would be really surprised if you were accepted early action, but you might get a deferral.

By Thegreatice (Thegreatice) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:50 am: Edit

Thanks for being so positive... I hope to God I get at least a deferral, because I'm doing really well in my classes this year, and I know my essays will be awesome... to the point, yet as flawless as i can make them... and my rec's are coming from the best teachers ive ever had... one whose had me for three years, and one whos changed my perspective on the humanities - both department supervisors...
You wouldn't believe how happy you've made me with that one simple post.
Thank you so much!

By Cmaher (Cmaher) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:54 am: Edit

There is no way you will get in.

Sorry, that GPA is like a C average.

You don't have to be the best, you know.. There are thousands of good colleges out there and you aren't "good enough" academically for Harvard or most top 50 colleges

By Thegreatice (Thegreatice) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:57 am: Edit

No, actually... It's B+... maybe I was using a faulty conversion method, but my average is 86.74 out of 100 UW... and I'd like to think that I at least have a small chance at Harvard...

By Abz1986 (Abz1986) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 01:10 am: Edit

3.0 is B average actually. Sorry but Harvard is too far up in the top for you to be destined in (its probably the hardest or second hardest school to get in). They reject hundreds of kids with 1500-1600 with 4.0 GPAs. I think you're gonna need a couple of backups. Your acedemic stats screams you study hard for those 3 hour tests, but when it comes to long term grades, you slack off. Your friend is a URM, which helps him out alot.

As audulin said, you better pray 24/7 that your essays and recs are the best damn things that ever passed through the Harvard Admissions Board. Plus do an interview because that is important for harvard.

As I said, get some backup schools. And you don't need to take those 3 SAT IIs you're planning to.

By Thegreatice (Thegreatice) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 01:19 am: Edit

In response to Abz:
I don't really study for those "3 hour tests," I just go and take them and I get what I get. The only reason my grades are as low as they are is because I was a very lazy little boy my first two years of high school... I had the brains for all the honors classes but no determination. But here I am now, with a 95 avg my junior year, and looking more and more like 98 or 99 this term this year, and im planning on keeping it up (with 3 Aps, thats pretty hard, but i know i can do it if i just study). And why not take the extra SAT 2's? It doesn't matter if it will help me get in or not... it sure won't hurt given the scores are high enough, and Tufts gives advancement credit for language Sat 2's
And believe me, I am praying...

By Giants (Giants) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 11:21 am: Edit

I just read your post about your friend, and I'm trying to figure out why you are even bothering to post. You won't listen to anyone who says that you won't get in because your friend got in with stats lower than you. Additionally, you said that the board is worthless because people said your friend wouldn't get in and he did. If you think the board is worthless, than why are you posting other than to pump up your ego? I have to be honest in saying that I don't think you are going to get in because I don't think that your friends stats are worse than yours at all. His SAT may have been 40 points lower than yours, but his GPA more than compensates for that gap. Finally, he was a URM, which you aren't. Nevertheless, I wish you luck.

By Thegreatice (Thegreatice) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 12:13 pm: Edit

I'm not a URM??? Are you kidding me? I'm freaking Sri Lankan! There's only 20 million of us in the world! He was Hispanic, the URM status he got should be at least equal if not moreso to mine. Oh, BTW, Harvard's last Sri Lankan graduate was CO '95, and Tufts has one currently as a sophomore in the med school... There's not too many of us around these parts.
Furthermore, I'd be more than happy to agree with you that this board is simply a tool for me to boost my ego with, but it certainly is not. My head is very large as it is, and I doubt it could expand anymore, and I'm only using this to get others' opinions, because not everybody has the same one. Most people on this board may be pessimistic, or maybe they just feel threatened about other people's postings so they discourage as much as possible in order to maximize their own chances. I've already experienced that from a Harvard alum who cursed at me not to apply because he wanted his daughter, who would have rather applied to UMass, to go there.
And yes, although this board is very unreliable, it paints a good picture of what my worst-case scenario would be. And it's fun to read other people's posts. Wouldn't you say? otherwise, you wouldn't be reading mine, would you? No, you'd be posting your own. Maybe just to pump your ego, eh?

By Giants (Giants) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 01:04 pm: Edit

I'm already in college so there wouldn't be any reason for me to pump my ego up on a board like this. I don't think that people are being negative because they are trying to enhance their own chances at Harvard. Your ACT score (I hadn't seen it earlier) is extremely good, but your GPA is terrible. You better have a very good explanation why your grades are as low as they are because I think you have almost zero chance otherwise.

By Miamiman (Miamiman) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 08:10 pm: Edit

geez you seem kinda dumb if you ask me. Sri Lankan which falls under "asian". Asians make up about 3-4% of this countrys population but they make up 30-40% of ivy league schools. Hispanics which make up around 13-14% of the u.s. population, only make up 5-8% of the ivy league schools. same thing for blacks. so clearly hispanics and blacks are the under-represented minorities. Asians are the wayyy wayyy over-represented minorities but they still get a boost, although not as much as Hispanics and Blacks. your stats arent horrible, and you should still try for Harvard and not let anyone tell you that you cant get in. I mean your chances arent 100% and no one has a 100% guarantee of getting in. its like they say its based on luck, so good luck trying to get in!

By Cmaher (Cmaher) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:41 am: Edit

Almost everyone one of us would like to go to Harvard and would do well there..

Just because you feel you should get in and that you are qualified.. this means nothing.. you aren't destined for Harvard because you won't get in, like most normal good students.

I would apply, but you aren't a URM and you are not remarkable at all

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:10 am: Edit

You are not URM. You are asian.
If you havae your heart on Harvard, by all means apply. Give it your absolute best shot. Just be aware that many, many have applied and been denied with far more stellar aps than you are sporting. And few have gotten in with less stellar aps than your. Any of the highly selective schools, those with less than a third of their applicants accepted, are lottery tickets.
I have seen kids with extenuating circumstance get in with stats that are not as good as yours. That packaged with excellent essays and heavy support from their schools. So, no, it is not impossible. However, you should start looking at other schools as well. Get a varied group of schools with variety in the acceptance rates so that you are well covered.
It is the strength of American colleges that they do not use a formula cut off on stats. But it is also the source of much frustration because it makes the processs even more mysterious .

By Pacman (Pacman) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:37 am: Edit

Thegreatice, you won't get into any top schools. They will all reject you. Believe me.

By Winterfresh (Winterfresh) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 02:44 pm: Edit

University of Hartford will accept you in a heartbeat.

Actually Abz, everything between a 2.67 to a 3.66 is a B average.

By Arab_Student04 (Arab_Student04) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:23 pm: Edit

A 2.4 is deff a C, theres no way it can be a high B, a a high B is a 3.2-3.4, so even weighted u have a solid B. You could get in i mean who are we to say what the admission office thinks, but usually ppl that do get in have some kinda hook or excuse. It doesnt seem like u have a good hook and being lazy is deff not a good excuse for bad grades. Also being sri lankan deff marks u as asian, from what i was told sri lankans are technically indian which would in turn be asian

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:23 pm: Edit

Your chances are highly unlikely for Harvard. Are you looking at other schools, I hope?

You are not considered a URM. You're Asian

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:32 pm: Edit

in truth you are a URM but colleges don't recognize this since you fall under the Asian category. only hispanics and african-americans who are either US citizens or permanent residents are considered URM.

it might be hard to get into harvard though with that gpa. all the rest are very good. best of luck to you.

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