Final chances for jhu, emory, umich, uwis, vassar, others...

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: Final chances for jhu, emory, umich, uwis, vassar, others...
By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 05:51 pm: Edit

Hey guys... well I've posted on this thread once or twice in the past, but that was when I didn't have much info on myself. Now that it's been updated and that I have chosen my final list of schools, PLEASE give me your opinions.

GPA: 95.711 cumulative (weighted, this is the average used for our class rank). I have had many honors classes and by the end of high school, will have had 4 AP classes.
Rank: 13/267 (top 5%) in a moderately competitive class (70th rank still has a 91 or something).
SATs: 1320, 680 math 640 verbal (taking again, and I'm also retaking the ACT)


All the school stuff---
Model UN
Key Club
Student Council
National Honor Society (tutoring and such)
Tri-M Music Honor Society
National Arts Honor Society
Chorus/select Choir
blahblah... insert other normal school activities here.

Out of School:
I have two passions... singing and Indian Classical dance.
Region Chorus - 3 years, trying out this year to make it a complete 4 years of high school (hopefully).
All-State Chorus - 2 years.
All-Eastern Chorus - 2 years.
National Choir - 1 year (I can only make nationals once).
Private lessons for 2 years.
I've been in other choruses and performed a few recitals as well.
Indian Classical Dance (one of the only males in the U.S. to pursue to art form).
learning since the age of 5.
performed extensively throughout New Jersey for many cultural organizations (some through my teacher, some by request).
currently undergoing rigorous advanced training and performing once again in November with other students (performance benefitting a women's charity in India).

Summer Activities:
Johns Hopkins Center for Academic Advancement (summer of 7th to 8th grade and 8th to 9th grade) - I know the 7th to 8th grade doesn't count but does the 8th to 9th grade count? - The first year I took Genetics, the second year I took Computer Science.
Summer of 9th to 10th grade - Westminster Choir College Vocal Institute (selected to Chamber Choir and was a soloist).
Summer of 10th to 11th grade - American Music Abroad European Tour (went to 5 countries and performed concerts in each, soloist, 3-week tour).

I'm male and my ethnicity is Indian (as in India, not Native American).

And that's about it! (yes, Thank God, right? hehe, sorry...)

I'm applying to JHU (probably ED if I like it), UChicago (EA), Emory, UMichigan, UWisconsin, UMinnesota, UPittsburgh, Boston U., Vassar, Rutgers. My intended major is neuroscience.

I probably don't have a shot in hell at JHU, or even Chicago for that matter, but what do you guys think about those and the others? Sorry the post was ridiculously long, but I wanted to be thorough.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:29 pm: Edit

You sound like a wonderfully interesting person. I like your ECs and like the way you presented them. I think you should definitely interview at the college of choice if your personality is reflected by your activities and language.
Hopkins premed majors have it very tough. And neuroscience automatically puts you into that pool. They generally use numbers to decide who they take and your SAT1s right now are not where the most competitive applicants there are. Most Hopkins premeds have many APs with 4s and 5s. Also you did not mention any SAT2s. They generally like to see a high score on a science SAT2. Now of course all of that could change if you up your score drastically with this taking.
The other issue I have with your "resume' is that there is little, just the genetics that you took 3 years ago,that really supports a neuroscience major. Many kids who are going into such a specialized field have won national awards and science talent contest in something that has to do with the subject. They have a compelling reason that is obvious in looking at their resume as to why they are going into that fairly obscure major. Or they are doing a research project or working in a lab that, again, shows some familiarity with the field. You need to support your interest in the subject with your credentials not explanation. It should blare out. Look at your post, and tell me if you see a neuroscientist there. What do you see? It should be pretty obvious.
You can get into Hopkins in another major. I don't know what they have in majors--Humanities Area major, something with Indian culture coupled with an essay that ties in all that music you have. You would be an unusual candidate that would attract some interest. The same goes for applying to U of Chicago. My friend's son goes there and he tied in his music to a field of study to get in and is really now working on core requirements anyways. You will have an opportunity to take courses towards neuroscience (do they even have that as a major? don't thinks so) and can then decide to change to a major supporting that if things work out that way. Right now you need to get in the door and if you have looked on this board, you can see what the competition is numberwise. Most of you kids change majors several times. It really looks preposterous saying you want to go into microbiology, neuroscience, or other field that really is a graduate school decision, not undergraduate. And it will hurt you in the admissions process.
This post too is long but I really want you to see what I am saying. I have heard those in the field shaking their heads and laughing at kids who claim to go into some unusual subject but who have no experience up front about it. Look at yourself and find a fit within a school.

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:53 pm: Edit

Thanks Jamimom! That was very insightful. True, looking at those stats, you wouldn't see a neuroscientist, and no, I have no awards or recognition in the field, but there is little opportunity for that. What I mean is, my school doesn't really participate in such things, and I never hear about those things. I should have looked into it myself, but with all my activities, I just didn't have the time. I absolutely adore psychology and I love biology as well (in school, biology was by far my strongest science and I excelled in psychology). That's why I wanted to combine these two fields and neuroscience sounded like an attractive choice. You're right, it's more of a graduate school decision, but I'd rather put down neuroscience than biology and compete with all the premeds (I was intending to make it clear to Hopkins that I have no intention of going into med school, and I thought neuroscience strayed from the pre-med field, maybe I'm wrong).

I really don't know about going into music or the humanities. Music majors can have it hard (if I did make it, though, I'd love to pursue music as a career), and the humanities don't interest me too much. I'm afraid that if I tie in my musical interests to a major, I'll be stuck with it... my dad tells me schools can make it hard to change to a completely different department. In the case of Johns Hopkins, their music school is a separate campus (a conservatory), and I doubt I'd be able to change easily into another major when I've applied to the conservatory. Did the person you know at Chicago encounter this problem? Or was it a smooth transition with no problem from the administration? This is what worries me...

I'd like to thank you for your kind words. I appreciate the encouragement.

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:58 pm: Edit

By the way, how about the other schools?

By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 10:02 pm: Edit


By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 07:15 pm: Edit

bumpity bump bump

By Downrightt (Downrightt) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:15 pm: Edit

For what it's worth, I go to Vassar, and your stats are better than mine were. I only had a 3.4 GPA (although I did have a 1370, and athletics recruiting). My class ranking was also significantly lower.

The fact that you're a minority male with science intrests will help a HUGE amount also for schools like Vassar. However, I'm not so sure about something like Johns Hopkins, where that's going to be closer to the norm.

But, it seems like you have a pretty large range of schools you're applying to. I'd make sure you set down some time to really think about what you're looking for in a school.

Good luck!

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