Chances for URM at these schools

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: Chances for URM at these schools
By Urbansocrates (Urbansocrates) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

I am a African American male junior at the lowest ranked (test scores) high school in New Jersey. These are my stats.

*President of Youth NAACP

*Single Parent Lower Middle Class Black
*Urban Environment aka Ghetto

* PSAT 1180 (680 Verbal 500 Math) ( Highest in school)

*SAT: 1050 as a sophomore. Average for Seniors is like a 700 or 800.

* Pratice SAT II US History: 720
* Pratice SAT II World History : 700
*GPA: 3.0( Slacked off in Sophomore year)
*Member of Princeton University Preparatory Program ( Year Round (Summer Program and weekly writing classes) Program founded by Princeton Professor started for low income kids in my county, 4 year commitment)
*Was member of Collegebound Program at College of NJ
*Intern at local Assemblyman office
*Very Involved in local Democratic politics
*Work in damn near everybody's campaign
*Could get damn good recomendations for some really prominent people ( Know the Secretary of HUD very well and he offerred to pull some strings)
*Really good in history looking to major in political science or history
* Member of Princeton Model Congress Outreach Program, a program that sends poor kids to Princeton Model Congress. Been it since I was a freshman and won awards and was a Cabinet Secretary as a junior, 1 of only 3 juniors out of 13 cabinet members. Darling of the Outreach program)
*Princeton Model Congress (PMC) award winner
*Cabinet member for Princeton Model Congress 2003
*Will be on local Trenton board of education as a senior
*Could write good essay

(Hoping politics could be my major hook)

If you have any suggestions for colleges please reply.

I like politics and my recomendations from local politicans should be awesome. My GPA will be about a 3.4 at the end of this year and my SAT's will be a lot higher this time around. I also am a whiz in History and hoping on killing the SATII. Please give some realistic schools I should look at. I know my grades such but will my activities make up for them.

By Urbansocrates (Urbansocrates) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

anybody? i really need it you guy's help.

By Financelad (Financelad) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 01:48 pm: Edit

are u sure you are URM ?

By Urbansocrates (Urbansocrates) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Yes I am Black.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 03:33 pm: Edit

You have a chance. Harvard does make allowances for students with the kind of circumstances that you report. Your performance indicates that you may be as bright and as motivated as are the affluent prep school students who score 1600s and have straight As.

Harvard knows that it is far harder to get those kind of scores if one is in an inadequate h.s. and has a struggling single parent who doesn't have the time/economic resources to give you expensive enrichment opportunities.

In general, the very lowest SAT score that results in Harvard admissions is a 1200. Based on your SAT II practice scores and your SAT verbal, I think that with practice you could get at least a 1300.

Math responds very well to practice. Buy an SAT book and concentrate a lot on the math section. Talk to your teachers, show them the kind of math that you need to know well, and see if they will give you some extra instruction. Even if this isn't possible, if you regularly study on your own, you should be able to raise your score.

Your verbal score already is solid. It is very high for an African American (for good figures on this, check out The journal of Blacks in Higher Education, which has a web site with lots of info.). If you can get the score over 700, you will greatly increase your chances of top admissions.

Working on vocabulary can help you improve, as can doing lots of reading such as classical works of fiction, daily newspapers, news magazines such as Time, and doing other nonfiction reading.

Since you also are fortunate enough to be in the Princeton program, take full advantage of that, including showing them your test scores, getting extra help in weak areas, and asking for advice on additional reading to do.

If you use the search feature on CC and use keywords having to do with blacks or African Americans and the SAT, you should be able to find some old posts of mine that give more stats on blacks in the SAT.

The Washington Post last Nov. had an article that also contained info you'd find useful. Here's the link:

Make sure that you have some solid safeties where you know that you'll get the $ that you'll need for college. I imagine that Rutgers might be a good safety for you. Check their web pages to see how you appear to compare to their students. Make sure you also check out their financial aid section, including merit aid.

College of Wooster in Massachusetts is trying hard to diversify, and seems to be very generous with financial aid to URMs. I know an African American student who is from Harlem who seems pleased with her experience there.

Other colleges that might serve as safeties and offer good aid are University of Pittsburgh, and Temple. American University in D.C. is another school to check out, particularly because of your public service interests. I think that they also offer good merit aid and financial aid to promising black students like you.

Also check out the Historically Black Colleges. If you become a National Achievement Finalist, Florida A&M and Howard would probably give you full scholarships. Even if you don't get National Achievement, based on your background plus your outstanding public service, they may give you merit aid.

Do invest in a college guide such as Time magazine's annual one, and read it carefully. Keep hanging out on these boards, too.

Do a web search on the Bill Gates Millenium scholarships. They offer URMs full scholarships to the colleges of their choice. Financial need as well as character are determining factors, and from what you have posted, you seem to be what they are looking for.
Good luck!


By Peachieva (Peachieva) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 03:37 pm: Edit

I'm also a black person and I think you've got a shot anywhere but you need to realize that your scores are going to go up once you're a senior or even at the end of yor junior year. since you have a strong aptitude in the verbal you my want to try the ACT. As a urm your scores really do not matter all that much as long as you're OVER a 1200, I know this from experience if you want some details email me. I'm going to Stanford next year and I had a 1400 if that is relevant. (look into stnaford) your SAT II's are good and your EC's may be a hook in the admissions process. Other schools you should look at include Northwestern, Georgetown, HYPS, and any other prestigious institution. Good luck to you.

By Urbansocrates (Urbansocrates) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 04:03 pm: Edit

Thanks northstarmom you are trully a help. Also what other schools should I look at besides Harvard. I will need a full ride because my mom can not afford paying for my college. Can you tell me safety, match and reach school that are realistic. Thanks again.

By Urbansocrates (Urbansocrates) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

Can anybody post a message. This is message board is a lot of help in my search for realistic college.

By Nocalguy (Nocalguy) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 04:54 pm: Edit

You have nice EC's and it's pretty clear what your interest is and your SAT II scores are good. I would definitely try improving the GPA and SAT score though. It'll help you being black to get into the top schools in the country, but I don't think they'll accept you (nor should they) if you're GPA is still at 3.0 at a low ranked school and your SAT score is at 1050 by the time you apply.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit

Nocalguy is right that you do have to raise that 3.0 gpa. It is very low for entrance to an Ivy.
Your having a 3.0 average even though you had the best math SAT (and I would assume the best verbal SAT) in the school makes you look like a slacker. You may need to get straight As from now on to have any chance at Ivies. Even for the other schools, a stronger average would help you with admissions and merit aid.

I have already given you some schools to look at. You also need to do research on your own. I also gave suggestions on how to do that.

And didn't you post about 2-3 months ago asking similar questions? Don't just rely on this board. Take the time to find out advice for yourself. Since you're in the Princeton program, you also should be able to get excellent advice from them.

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