Chances at UPenn, USC and others...

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: Chances at UPenn, USC and others...
By Bmurry (Bmurry) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 08:18 pm: Edit

White Male in Nevada
SAT V690 M710 (retaking)
SAT II Math I 750, Chem 750, Writing 560 (retaking writing and taking Math II)
WGPA 3.7 (Stuyvesant in 9th grade but moved for 10th and did poorly after 9/11. Note I am NOT in the top 10% of my class although I have taken more APís than anyone else)
10 AP - Calculus, English I, English II, Statistics, Computer Science I, Computer Science II, Physics, Chem, US History, Government
National Merit Semi Finalist
Captain Swim Team
Community service
Great Recs

I have a fully fleshed out resume with lots if other things but those are my highlights. I am interested in UPenn (legacy), USC, UCLA, CAL, UCSD, NYU, UWash and Tulane

By Bmurry (Bmurry) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 02:48 pm: Edit


By Dadx (Dadx) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 03:48 pm: Edit

You need to focus on Penn's explicitly stated policy that any legacy preference ceases to operate after early decision (make sure your parents understand this---I would have doubted it myself). I had read this and also heard it directly in public at the university from an admissions officer. Don't pass this up if its where you want to go.

USC and Tulane I would guess you'd be admitted. The others are much more difficult to assess. Also it depends on how your grades look. On the whole, though, not a bad list with your scores

By Bmurry (Bmurry) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 07:47 pm: Edit

I have a interview at UPenn. ANyone else been interviewed there?

By Andrey1225 (Andrey1225) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 09:15 pm: Edit

I think the fact that you are from an under-represented state (Nevada) will help you a lot, as does your legacy.

But, given what I just said, I think that Wharton (and even the College) may be a big stretch for you, even if you apply ED. I'm pretty sure that the last test date for UPenn ED is October, which gives means only one of your two retakes will count ED. I'm hoping that you are taking the SAT IIs in October because that will mean your 560 in writing will go up, but if you're not its still ok because a huge increase in the verbal (like getting your score 750+) will partially negate a bad writing score (you can say you were sick or something...). Also your class rank is a little weak, which will hurt you (unless you write an essay explaining why its not as high as it could be).

Now that I've stated the negatives, I can state the positives. Legacy at an Ivy League school is a big boost, so it could make up for a lot of shortcomings. Also, being captain of the swim teams a big advantage, because the admissions board realizes you're spending at least 10 hours per week on that sport, while someone without athletics has those 10+ hours free to do whatever they want. Your SAT I and SAT IIs (minus writing) are right in the range for an applicant of The College, although the SAT Is are a little behind those of people accepted to Wharton.

Overall, I'm not sure how it will play out. You definitely have a shot, but I don't know how big because youre not the typical applicant (which is a good thing!) Colleges love diversity, so show them that thats something you could add to the school.

By Gugers (Gugers) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 02:33 pm: Edit

Some RAW data points to look at according to USNEWS:

School GPA SAT top10% of class
UPENN 3.8 1330-1500 91%
CAL 4.0 1180-1440 99%
UCLA 4.0 1140-1390 99%
USC 4.0 1240-1420 82%
UCSD 3.9 1140-1350 99%
NYU 3.6 1210-1410 62%
Washington 3.7 1060-1290 44%
Tulane N/A 1210-1410 58%

Based upon statistics ALONE, you'd probably be in at ALL these institutions, but alas, there are some reasons NOT to be so optimistic. First of all, your out of state status makes it difficult for you to be accepted into the UC system. Had you been a California resident, I'd say you'd be in, but being out of state makes it rather unlikely. Second, some of the private schools on your list seem to be VERY FINICKY about who they accept. USC and NYU for example, seem to accept a very WIDE range of candidates based upon what they plan on studying. Film students obviously have LOWER standards than engineering or business students. Finally, the UPENN GPA is misleading because it's an UNWEIGHTED score. The other schools on the list all weight their GPAs I think. Therefore, here's how I think it'll go:

1. CAL, UCLA - rejection based upon out of state status.
2. UCSD, USC, NYU - will be close, but you'll likely be accepted since your scores seem to match the statistical distribution. Just don't be surprised if you don't get in. I'd imagine 2 of 3.
3. Washington, Tulane - IN WITH A WASH. Most likely safeties.
4. UPENN - VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY... They're probably the most particular about their admits. Write a good essay, you MIGHT get it.

Hope this helps...

By Dadx (Dadx) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 03:42 pm: Edit


Penn only interviews legacies (including grandparent ones) on campus. Everyone else is alumni interviewed.

By Bmurry (Bmurry) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 05:41 pm: Edit

Thanks for all the feedback. I am interested in Engineering. Both UPenn and USC have great digital media minors programs. Also during campus visits those are the two which really felt right. I plan to apply to UPenn ED where I will be interviewed in a few weeks. If I donít get accepted I will hope for USC. They were both so great. Thanks again for the evaluations. I would hate to spend the money to go to Philadelphia if I had no chance.

Someone mentioned how I am not the typical candidate. Thatís an understatement. Statistically the odds were against me. How much should you tell the colleges if you have faced Ďhardshipsí? Especially with UPenn and USC. Iíve heard the UCís love different candidates but does that apply to out-of-state residents?


By Andrey1225 (Andrey1225) on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 06:56 pm: Edit

If you can put it in a reflective and meangingful way then write about hardships you have faced, because they are things not apparent in the application.

What you should do is make it seem like you are whining about everything you've had to deal with. Colleges don't like those essays, no matter how large the even you overcame was.

My advice would be to structure an essay where you spend a little bit talking about a traumatic event that is especially close to you, and then the majority of the essay talking about how that has affected you, and made you who you are today.

It may sound cliche, but its the safest way to go with that type of essay

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 03:03 am: Edit

woah there.

what's this about no legacy help at upenn?

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