What are my odds/anything else to do

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: December 2002 Archive: What are my odds/anything else to do
By sexy sadie on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 05:18 am: Edit

Hi, I'm a sophomore at nationally recognized public school. My high school has a lot academic competition but a lot of people get A's (mostly though by taking less than hard classes) and sends a lot of people to the Ivies etc. This year alone we are sending people to every Ivy, Stanford, and MIT including five off to Harvard, out of a class of 500-600. All these people worked hard to get there, but, knowing that, I say this because colleges seem to look to our school to fill a few spots every year. I am wondering my chances of admission at these top level schools and what I can do to increase my chances over the next 1.5 years. Here is a summary of my academics/ECs:

4.0, taking nearly the hardest soph. schedule possible (enriched (and accelerated) math, AP bio, enrich composition, a zero hour half the year and all else regular--I have to take regular due to course choice and standards for graduation)

My junior year I am planning on taking the hardest courseload possible with AP Chem, AP US History, Enr. Precalc, Enr. Lit, Enr. Spanish 4, Newspaper, and AP Psych.

*Debate (2nd year, lettered, JV/V, some awards, break rounds at smaller tournaments, speaker awards, NFL awards)
*Speech (1st year)
*Newspaper staff (1st year--also 1st yr possible, since the school is 10th grade thru 12th, will be Features editor next year)
*Youth group (2nd yr, leadership positions including regional community service director, chapter secretary, and chapter health awareness chair, potentially running for regional prez junior year, probably can get excellent recommendation from advisor, active member)
*Spanish club (active, 1 year, received Outstanding Spanish 3 award for class)
*Gifted Site Advisory Board (student rep., advises parent/teacher board on gifted activities)
*Model UN (1st year, on the court of justice, plans to run for president next year)
*Lacrosse (1st year, JV, with plans to make varsity next year, but could be tough because most of the team is not graduating, team won state championship this yr)
*Key Club (fundraising chair, active member, have coordinated programs, plans to run for higher position next fall, community service hours)
*Buddy program (thru youth group, spent time with a 4th grader throughout year, community service)
*identified at a Gifted and Talented student since kindergarten
*Mock Trial (1 year, last year, lettered)
*choir/ensemble/two musicals (last year--since then have dropped music interest due to lack of time, and no extreme interest)
*cross country (last year, 1 year, dropped due to time constraints, and just d/n love)
*house league soccer (summer before 9th and 10th, fun!!, but nothing big)
*random one-time volunteeer activities through school and youth group (last year, this year)
*two pieces published in award-winning HS lit. magazine (this year, plans to continue submitting and/or apply to staff)

Test Scores
the only scores I have so far is the PLAN (P-ACT) score at 28 (they predict 30-33 my junior year) and my SAT II writing score (taken this year) at 800

Summer Activities
*Camp (last year did some community service through, otherwise very fun, but not big for colleges)
*An institute for talented youth at a top tier, but smaller school (2 years, summer before 9th and before 10th, not too selective admission, but fun to take and interesting classes)
*Debate camp (3 weeks, this year, hopefully will give me a better edge on competition next fall)
*International convention (for youth group, this year, allows me to seek higher offices)
*summer lacrosse league (this year)
*work at day camp for kids (this year)
*considering journalism workshop/camp
*looking at various volunteer options (plan to get enough hours to letter in community service)
*possible weighlifting letter (this summer)

I know this is like a book (SORRY), but I just wanted to give you a good idea of what I have. I sincerely love all the things I do--I can't help but be busy. If you don't know what my "hook" is, or whatever it's called, well--I'm going for a passion for writing. I plan to develop this and get published in more places. Also, a passion for law--that's what the future looks like to me. I hope to also become an Editor in Chief of the paper and/or debate captain, but competition is stiff. Input greatly appreciated!

By KnightWhoSaysNi on Sunday, June 02, 2002 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Sounds to me like you're on the road to the Ivies. Keep it up. And think about starting a community service project this summer to "distinguish" yourself from the others.

By sexy sadie on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 08:36 pm: Edit

other responses? c'mon people, have some opinions!

By bumping on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 10:24 pm: Edit

bumping this up for more replies (maybe)

By Erin on Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 11:39 pm: Edit

Sorry but uhh....How can you letter in mock trial? That's a crock, since when do schools award letters for non-academic feats?

By sexy sadie on Monday, June 17, 2002 - 09:02 pm: Edit

you can at my school

By scott (Mdude) on Sunday, July 07, 2002 - 12:40 am: Edit

original poster, what school do you go to? Actually, it's not such a good thing that so many people go to Ivies and other prestigious schools as you claim, because then those colleges have less of a reason to distinguish you from the peers at your school. If you went to a Podunk school where the average SAT score was 890, they would probably be more willing to accept you because you're a diamond in the rough. If colleges look to your school to fill spots, you better MAKE SURE that you are an exceptional student because you don't want to fall by the wayside with a fairly high score of, say, 1320.

Your ACT score is really not high right now (it's only around a 1250 SAT equivalent) and the assumption that you may be able to raise it up to a 33 (which is an SAT equivalent of about 1480) is kind of unrealistic.

By ron on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 03:01 pm: Edit

I say you look fine and are definetly on the right track and if you really need some good advice there is no need to buy A is for Admission---the insiders guide to getting into ivy league schools and the ones right below the ivies--go to your library and rent it and skim it for advice. I am sure that you will find more helpful advice in there then anyone can tell you. I am in the midst of reading it and can say that there is defintely some shocking points and amazing tips that I wish I had read earlier. Good luck and keep up the well-roundedness ( I know it isn't a word.) If you have any advice for me (under how am I doing/do I stand a chance) or want a personal opinion or anything just IM me or write back.

By Mark on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 05:10 pm: Edit

sadie, I will be junior at a nationally recognized public school too, so I know what you're talking about. My school sent 26 students (out of 240) to all the Ivies plus MIT and Stanford last year, icluding 9 at Cornell alone (it is less selective). Your course load seems very reasonable for applying to selective schools, but I must tell you that where I live many students take 3 years of precalc/calc beginning in soph. year and including AP Calc AB or BC and AP Stat. Of course this is not a big deal since you want a career in law (me too!). Colleges are able to tell whether you are taking the most rigorous courses available, which it seems you are.

Looking at your ECs/Summer Activities, I have this non-expert advice: Do NOT mention the Gifted student since kindergarten, Gifted Site Advisory Board or plain summer camp on your application, it makes you seem privileged, which is not a good thing. Also think about leaving out the "random one-time volunteeer activities" unless it was something MAJOR. Your other ECs are great. Just keep trying for those leadership positions, and don't feel obliged to mention every EC on your app. of which you are not a leader (some membership-only things with several yr. commitments are fine, but you have a ton). And house league soccer? Don't know what it is, but sounds better suited for an app. essay, if anything at all.

Your SAT II Writing is as good as it gets, but you'll be taking your others w/o score choice, so study a lot for them. I'd recommend, based on your schedule, SAT II chem, US History, and Math 2C (1C is easier math, but has no curve, 2C has a much more generous curve). Good luck.

By sexy sadie on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 06:33 pm: Edit

All right, so I'm back, thanks for everyone's help. A few updates: I got my SAT II Bio score back, a 770, and all Im going to take next year is Math 1c and/or 2c, and then I'll be done with the subject tests! Weeeeeeee.

Also, I decided not to do the weighlifting thing, I can't attend the journalism workshop, I'm going to be a delegate the international convention for my youth group, and I had an awesome time at debate camp--learned a lot.

In response to Scott, about my ACT/SAT score, I think while it may be difficult to raise, it shouldn't be too bad. In 9th grade, I took a practice SAT I and scored a 1330, so I think I will be able to get in the 50% range for some selective colleges. However, you could be right. I just hope you aren't =).

In response to Mark, cool that you are on the same track. About the gifted thing, I've worked to try and let people that aren't recognized as gifted into the program. I think it's dumb that is selective and all that bullshit. At meetings I act as a kind of lever against these really annoying "my child is special" parents. But I have no idea how to write that out on my app. Hmm.

Anyway thanks! More comments are surely appreciated.

By sexy sadie on Sunday, July 21, 2002 - 06:33 pm: Edit

here's a small, insignificant update (actually a HUGE DETERMINING FACTOR haha) -- I got a 5 on the AP bio exam. =)

By George Kimble on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 11:04 pm: Edit

College admissions are frustrating, aren't they? My family has had it's run ins with the Ivies.

Just to give you an idea of how screwey things are. . .
A cousin of mine grew up in the mideast. This kids (single language, english) mother worked with him ALL DAY all the time. Kid turned out a genious. . . Perfect SAT, ACT, SAT II. Kid spoke three languages (english, pharcy(sp?), French) by the time he was seven. Doing summer research (and pulling down 20k a summer) in high school. Got connected to a nobel prize studying at Cal tech.

Sounds like a human dynamo, but... Rejected at Princeton and Yale.

His little brother had similar test scores, but was not the great mind of the first. Still, with a 1580 SAT and 35 ACT Yale and Princeton didn't want him.

But, on the other hand, Four of my cousins have gotten accepted to Yale and went. Highest SAT score in the bunch: 1410. They are somewhat of a legacy - Father played football in the 60's. It's sad how political the whole thing is.

Well, I think Ill cut it off here. . .

By MG on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Whoa, whoa. Your cousin, the one in the mideast, was rejected by both of those schools? There HAS to be something else in the mix. Students with research EC's such as his are bound to be auto admits, even at Yale and Princeton. Could you possibly provide more information? Perhaps the essays and recs were somehow messed up. I'm really curious about this situation. Thanks!

By StarJones on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 05:10 pm: Edit


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