**What are my chances?** USC, Cornell, Northwestern, UCs

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: November 2003 Archive: **What are my chances?** USC, Cornell, Northwestern, UCs
By John2004 (John2004) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:24 am: Edit

I'm a Senior in a CA private high school right now. Can anyone please tell me my chances of acceptance at USC Film School, Cornell University, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, and UCLA?

I want to major in Film.

- My unweighted GPA is about a 3.3, weighted is 3.45 - 3.5

- I am taking the most rigorous course load available and have about 8 AP classes total (my school offers 11 AP classes) and some honors classes. My senior course load has 5 AP classes (out of 8 classes total)

- My ACT is a 26, but I am taking it again at Dec. (91% percentile in English, and 97% percentile in Reading)

- SAT IIs:
* Literature: 700
* Writing: 650 (I am retaking, I got 96th percentile in PSAT, but I didn't have enought time for the multiple choice in the real one)

- My AP scores are:
* AP English Literature: 4
* AP European History: 3
* AP World History: 3

- My in-school ECs include leadership positions

- My accomplishments include getting my film accepted into the following film festivals:

* Mill Valley International Film Festival
* Anchorage International Film Festival
* Austin Film Festival
* Ojai Film Festival
* WESTfest Short Film+Video Festival
* City Shorts Film Festival

- I have about 700 hours of community service
* A great portion of my community service was spent producing an educational documentary that will be distributed internationally to schools, churches, and other groups. I also volunteered at a local convalascent home.

- I am a Pacific Islander (Filipino), by the way.

Thanks and I would really appreciate any input!

By Alishams (Alishams) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 04:47 am: Edit

ACT is too low, and so is your GPA. Optimistically, USC is your only shot, the rest are out of the question.

By Electricmonkey (Electricmonkey) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 06:24 am: Edit

Depending on what UCs you want to go to, you have a good chance of getting in. Just not UCLA, UC Berkeley, or UC San Diego (the top three UCs). USC may also be somewhat of a stretch (if you look at the statistics for them, your standardized test scores and GPA are way too low). I don't know about Cornell and Northwestern.

EDITED TO ADD: Rereading over your post, I saw that you want to specifically go into a film school. That puts a different light on things. Particularly since, at such separate departments like at the USC Film School, they will probably put less emphasis on your grades and whatnot and more emphasis on your seeming interest in film. I'm not sure if the other schools you mentioned are noted for their film programs (well, except UCLA), so they might not do that though.

By John2004 (John2004) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 06:23 pm: Edit

What if I raised my ACT...would I have some chance? and do you think USC is a big reach?

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 06:48 pm: Edit

At this year's Parents Weekend at USC they told us that the average SAT score at the film school, including all undergraduate film majors, was 1365 for the class of 2007. This was higher than the average SAT, 1341, for the whole entering class at USC. However, standardized tests and gpa don't count as much for film school as they do for the regular University.

You're writing SAT II may be too low.The ability to write is regarded as critical for film making. Perhaps you can overcome that with a well-crafted set of admissions essays.

To which film major(s) are you applying? The acceptance rate for all undergraduate film majors was around 20% last year. It was 7% for the production major.

Look at the film programs at UCSB and UCSC.SDSU has a good program but it's impacted. Also consider CSU-Northridge.

You might consider the two-year film program at Los Angeles City College. Excel there academicaly and then try USC or UCLA. These two programs, along with NYU make up the three best overall film programs in the country.

I also suggest that you do a search of CC for film schools since the topic has been discussed frequently over the last year.

By John2004 (John2004) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Well, Writing is one of my strongpoints. I just had a bad day during the test. My essay subscore was a 10 out of 12 (700 range), and my PSAT multiple choice was in the 700s...96th percentile. If I do well on my SAT II Writing, then can that increase my chances? I am applying to the production and critical studies. My portfolio list is great. My essays and recs are also good. Are my chances really that low?

By John2004 (John2004) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 07:29 pm: Edit

aren't SAT II's optional, and is my Literature score still good?

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 07:53 pm: Edit

how come your weighted GPA is so similar to your unweighted GPA?

By Bmurry (Bmurry) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:00 pm: Edit

I think TSDad gave you some excellent advice. It's always good to have reaches but get some backups also.

Since you live in CA why did you decide to take the ACT instead of the SAT?

Also what is your class rank? That seems to be very important when it comes to the top UC's. When a school has 99% in the top 10% that is a good clue they really weigh that heavily.

By John2004 (John2004) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:08 pm: Edit

I took the ACT because I excel more in English and Science and the ACT's content mostly consists of that. For my class rank. I am in the top 24%

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 11:00 pm: Edit

My son is in Critical Studies, and he's very happy with that although homesick. We're from the east coast. He gets plenty of production opportunities even as first semester freshman by volunteering to work on student films.

I really don't know about where the ACT score places you. However, if you check the threads on USC in the individual schools, look under U and S, you'll see that some students were accepted with sub-1300.

Remember the application for USC film school is due before the general USC deadline, so don't delay. Note too that there are plenty of opportunities to get in USC film school even if you're not accepted as a first semester freshman. Some of the majors allow you to apply every semester, some only in the fall, check the film school website.

USC loves to be loved so make sure they know of your interest. If you haven't already done so, visit the school and try and set up an interview. Cultivate the regional representative and go to any meetings they have in your area.

Good luck.

By John2004 (John2004) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 02:38 am: Edit

How is USC's Critical Studies? Is it similar to the UC programs? Well my ACT score of 26 places me at 86th percentile right now, but I plan to raise it this Dec. I went to LA for their meet USC program, I attended their meeting when they went to our school, and I had an interview with them a few weeks ago. Also, do you know if I have to submit my essay for general USC admission before Dec 10 as well? Does it also matter when you send you application in?

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 09:19 am: Edit

I don't know how Critical Studies at USC compares to UCB. I'm guessing though that there are substantially more production opportunities for USC Critical Studies students than those at UCB.

I'm also sure that you're aware that all the UC schools are having financial problems. You might want to check on how that is impacting UCB's film program. On the other hand, USC appears to be rolling in cash and is upgrading both its facilities and academics at a very fast pace.

My son submitted the application to USC before he sent in his material to the film school. We had a blizzard several days before the film school applications were due. I drove out to the local FedEx office even though they said that Dulles Airport was closed and they weren't shipping anything. Well, they did, and it was received in time although the counselor had to call the film school and get permission to submit the school stuff late since they were closed because of the weather. HINT from an experienced parent--don't wait until the last moment to submit your application.

I really don't know anything about the ACT. Why not call USC and ask them.

Good job on making contact with them.

By Minibrit (Minibrit) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 06:58 pm: Edit

its impossible to have 99% in the top ten. ONly 10% can be in the top ten.

John, if you want to be considered for scholarships, then EVERYTHING is due before dec 10th. If not, then no (JAn).

And if you look on the application, it tells you the ACT scores that are elligable for scholarships. I think its 30 and above

By John2004 (John2004) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 08:58 pm: Edit

Hey...thanks everyone for the advice!

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