Chances for lazy pseudo artist girl at best schools?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Chances for lazy pseudo artist girl at best schools?
By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 02:40 am: Edit

hey...i'm only entering my junior year, but i've recently grown very concerned about all of this application business and would greatly appreciate any tips or evaluations on your part.
I'm a plain old boring caucasian female, and so far my grades have been only okay:
freshman year: AAAAAC (C in alg 2)
sophomore year: AAAABB (B's in math and chem)
junior and senior prospects: hopefully straight A's (in all IB OR AP classes), with the probable exception of a B here and there.
prospective SAT scores: 750-800 verbal, 650-750 math, 750-800 writing (hope to place as a national merit semifinalist on upcoming PSAT)
APs: 5's in French, French literature, European Hist. Hope to get 5's in Bio, USHist, English, and Psych as well.
ECs: i suck. i helped Janet Reno for a couple weeks this summer and last summer (interesting story).
Creative Writing Club, French Honor Society, NHS. Will do more things next summer.
Awards: 1st place on National French Exam, National Silver Key award for artwork, hope to try for an American Visions this year. (if you want to see my art, feel free to check it out here: )
For Shame: i have a legacy advantage at harvard..
I realize that my ECs and grades pale in comparison to those of all other Ivy applicants, but in the rare event that my fanciful prospects are realized, do you think i would stand a chance at Ivy League admissions? If ever i were accepted at HYP, Columbia, or Brown, i might just die of happiness. Otherwise, i'll try for Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Barnard etc....
Thanks guys.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:11 am: Edit

I don't think you captured Janet Reno in her most manly state.

Please give us an actual GPA/class rank if you could provide us one, otherwise:

Harvard: Superreach
Columbia: Superreach
Brown: Superreach
Yale: Superreach
Princeton: Superreach (but they drop Freshman grades, so you might be a bit better off)

Smith: Reach/Match (Fair chance)
Wellsley: Reach/Match (Fair chance)
Bryn Mawr: Match

I couldn't really comment on Barnard, however, I don't know too much about the school.

I know friends of mine who got into Bryn Mawr, Wellsley, and Smith with much less talent and GPA than you, so eh.

And, also, you may want to get involved Junior-Senior year. Do something!

Your art is beautiful, by the way. Perhaps you could use this as a hook? Nevertheless, I still think Janet Reno is a bit more manly than that.

Just my $0.03

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:04 am: Edit

Thanks for the pointers Tlaktan:) My intention was not to depict Janet in her most manly state. I have a great deal of admiration for her so perhaps my bias worked to her advantage, but otherwise...heehee.
Shoot. I was hoping my test scores could make up for my crappy GPA, but from what i've gathered, and from what you've confirmed, shading in bubbles just doesn't cut it...Makes sense :/ (even a 2300??? ~cries~)
My GPA will be in the top tenth percentile (school isn't stellar)...All i know is that when weighted it looks ridiculously high because IB insists on crowning you with its plastic laurels.
Maybe i'll stage a coup d'etat and become ruler of my little clubs (not NHS though). Most likely end up trying to write something for the school paper instead.
Would it be at all realistic to even consider applying to HYP?
Many thanks, again.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:23 am: Edit

Hold it. You didn't let me adequately explain. Even with the legacy, Harvard is still a superreach for anyone. Princeton, Stanford, Yale are all superreaches for anyone, unless you discovered the cure to aids or something.

Your GPA is a tad inadequate for Brown, but I think you have a better chance there than at the above mentioned schools, which of course, are a crapshoot for anyone.

I'm a natural pragmatist, I just side with the lower estimate. I think you'll make it into at least 3 of the schools.

I would apply to H and P, if I were you.

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:33 am: Edit

Thank you thank you thank you, and thank you :) Hope one of those 3 schools ooze prestige. A year ago i was thinking about dropping out of high school. Dramatic shift in focus.

By 80drofnats (80drofnats) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Tlaktan is overly pessimistic, though it is early. With your legacy status, if you add a bunch of AP 5's at the end of this year and score ~2200+ on the SAT and 700+ on 3 SAT II's, you'd be a virtual lock for admission at Harvard.

By H_Thealogian (H_Thealogian) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit

Whoah, whoah, whoah. Let's all breathe here. Ok. One. Harvard is famous for their legacy thing. They practically live off it. So it does give you an advantage. However, I'm also in agreement with Tlaktan (who does have a pessimistic side). HV, P, and S ARE superreaches. However, your GPA is good (although it could be improved) and your SATs seem ok.
Your must, must, MUST get more active in your jr/sr year. Believe me, I know. I'm a college freshman trying to transfer to UNC-Wilmington. Get active!

Also, while P, HV and S ARE reaches, they're certainly not impossible! My boyfriend goes to Princeton (he's a grad there). He had a 3.7 GPA, lots of ECs, 1600 on SATI, and a bunch of really high scores on SATII. No, he's not Superman. He just worked his tail off.
He went to Brown to get a Bachelor's in Psychology, and now he's aiming for his Ph.D. (He got his Master's at Brown as well). The fact is, you CAN get in. In just requires really hard work.

By Adidasty (Adidasty) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 03:58 pm: Edit


By Mhawk177 (Mhawk177) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Definitely use your art as a hook, good luck on a high SAT score.. but I would DEFINITELY push that art to no end. Send portfolios and everything. Study really hard for the SAT do like 2 practice tests/month.. and you'll be solid on that. I wish I had taken time to prep.. just some advice

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 10:22 pm: Edit

i'm very grateful for all of your input. Rather pessimistic myself, but you seem to think i have a shot if i work my butt off- which i plan to do for once... i've already begun to prep for the new SAT and i'm really pleased with the results so far; 800v, 760w, 700m (at their best).
Thanks for your optimism; although it may not be entirely accurate, it works wonders for the morale....Ever heard of an artist who hates making art? <----me. If anything, those drawings are mechanical studies. passion is severely lacking. i'm afraid the colleges will see through that. guess there's always some risk involved.
Anyway, i wonder whether anyone could recommend some colleges in particular, as safeties, matches, or if you have any more info on those reaches.
Thanks again

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 07:39 am: Edit


By Rhkid005 (Rhkid005) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 05:12 pm: Edit

Your art looks great! Seriously... esp. for a soph in high school. If I were you, I'd talk to your art teacher or an art professional about making a portfolio to send to college, and what types of works you should include. (I read some article about high school art teachers and college art admissions, and one stellar art teacher who got nearly all of her applicants into RISD insisted that they include some certain types of work in their portfolios. For example, she made them all draw bikes.) I do agree that your art is more technical than passionate/inventive, but that can/will change. Go to some contemporary art galleries and blow your mind (if you don't do so already)! Also, most colleges will be looking for raw, technical talent as opposed to creative but talent-lacking work.

I think Smith and Bryn Mawr could be solid matches for you (in my opinion, Byrn Mawr is more selective than Smith). You should also think about the following liberal arts colleges, arranged in terms of relative prestige/selectivity: Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Wesleyan (Brown and Wesleyan have lots of overlap), Haverford, Vassar, Oberlin, Mount Holyoke, Conn College, Sarah Lawrence, and Skidmore. (For some means of comparison, Smith and Bryn Mawr would probably be right around Vassar and Oberlin.)

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:22 pm: Edit

Thankyou, and thanks for the tips Rhkid005. I recently met an artist who is willing to help me a little bit. Do you have any artistic background? You seem pretty knowledgeable...
Anyway, perhaps if i applied early decision or early action (don't know which it is) at Brown, or Harvard (although i doubt even that combined with my legacy status there could get me in), i could increase my chances significantly..? Especially Brown...I know it's way too early (i'm just on a roll, forgive me), but from what little I know, i think it'd be wonderful...How great an advantage is there if you apply early as opposed to applying at the regular time at Brown?

By Rhkid005 (Rhkid005) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit

Early always helps. It helps at Brown, although Brown doesn't use ED in quite the way that some other schools do. Columbia and Princeton, for example, REALLY favor their early applicant, whereas Brown favors them but isn't quite as early-happy.

The word on Brown and art is (supposedly) that the actual department at Brown isn't that good because of the RISD connection. So, if it wouldn't bother you to use RISD a lot, then Brown would be great, but if not, then there are better departments.

I personally don't have an studio art background (I'm into music), although I have family members who are artists/involved in the art world. I AM very interested in art history, though.

By Shaka (Shaka) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Hey, I do art myself (in profile link) should definitely compile a series of theme-related drawings for a 10-20 piece portfolio. It won't help as much as perfect grades/scores, but it will help.

Rhkid is right about RISD. That school is the school to go if you are going into art.

To conclude, I would say you still have a good shot at all those ivies since you are going to be a junior (?)

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 06:57 am: Edit

Yes, a junior. Your drawing is incredible Shaka; i only wish i could see some more. I don't want to specialize this early in art; i have a greater interest in academics at the moment and i fear that art school wouldn't provide for it...? Don't think i would mind using RISD through Brown though :) Definitely going to start on this portfolio; preferably around some sort of literary theme.
And Rhkid005, that seems to be right...31% admitted early at Columbia, 27% at Brown. Princeton won't even release the number, so it must be quite high. Thanks again everyone.

By Shaka (Shaka) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 02:25 pm: Edit

yea, you should have a good shot with ivies if you work your arse off in junior year and get a 4.0 and good SAT scores...try to do something unique as an EC...maybe paint something for goodwill...or somethin...i dunno lol

I am just glad you are not in my year cuz i would be daunted by your talents :)

do you have an AIM sn? I would love to chat with you a little bit about art

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

yes :) My screen name is RuatKaelum; i'm on nearly all the time, and would be delighted to talk to you. Don't know whether you ought to feel intimidated; that drawing was really excellent.

By Daisyheadmayzie (Daisyheadmayzie) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

You're artwork is amazing, so send a portfolio to all the colleges you're applying to. You're scores are on par, and your ECs are good. It's defintely worth it to apply to HYP. I wouldn't worry too much about your C and two B's, assuming that you don't plan on applying as a math or science.

About your legacy at Harvard, it will give you an edge against numerous other applicants who will probably have the same GPA, scores, and ECs. And if your parents donate a lot of money to them, then you're a shoe-in. :)

By Tkdgal (Tkdgal) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 07:05 pm: Edit should start submitting to art competitions like Scholastic Art&Writing Awards.

By Shaka (Shaka) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:46 pm: Edit

she has

By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 01:06 am: Edit

You sound like me. I never cared about school, but I had one talent I excelled in. You have that as well, and you're amazing at it. I think people underestimate the value of being really good at one thing and so so in everything else, because that's damn sure the only reason I got in. I'd bet on you.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 05:06 am: Edit

(( Yes I am overly pessimistic about college admissions ))

But I still do believe you can make it to at least (if not more) one of HYPS. Columbia, you have a decent shot, if not better at Brown. All the single-gender colleges you mention (Smith, Wellsley) I'm quite sure will be more than happy to take you.

Good luck! Your artwork is great, and I am very sure you'll get in to where you need to.

And by the by, I must have had a really bad day or something, that evaluation I gave was -- totally off.

Here's my edited version:

Harvard: Not going to really comment, since my view of Harvard is obviously skewed.
Columbia: Reachable Reach
Brown: Reachable Reach
Yale: See Harvard comment.
Princeton: See Harvard comment.

Smith: Very Excellent Chance
Wellsley: Very Excellent Chance
Bryn Mawr: Very Excellent Chance

When you apply to some of these schools, you have to keep in mind the pool you're about to enter. That's why I wouldn't say a school is a lock. Although I am pessimistic, I'm not overly pessimistic like some. But I would keep a hint of it in when you apply to colleges. Be realistic, that's all you need to do.

With your skill and with your prowess in the artistic field, I am sure it will more than compensate for any flaws that you may concern yourself with. Like tropicanabanana says, we often


underestimate the value of being really good at one thing and so so in everything else,

and likewise,


I'd bet on you.

Good luck, and godspeed.

-- Tlaktan

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:51 am: Edit

I also think she has a chance at Ivies and similar schools. She needs to keep up her GPA, and continue to pursue art and French ECs.

Her EC's do not "suck," as she seems to think. They are excellent. Her ECs are actually art and French. Both aren't that usual for Ivy quality schools. So many students who apply to such schools are planning on business or science careers, and that's where their ECs focus.

Such schools don't get as many strong applicants in the arts and humanities, and thus she'll stand out. I think she'd even have a shot at Harvard without the legacy advantage.

My other piece of advice is to do something next summer that focuses on her arts or humanities interests. This could be doing something such as working in France for the summer (I heard of a student who used the Internet to find a waitressing job in a French camp for the summer), taking an immersion French class in Canada or France or taking a summer art or creative program. This could include going to a writing conference.

Many of these things could be done at local colleges if she doesn't have the family funds to go to programs abroad or at colleges that are at a distance.

I strongly suggest that she comb the Internet and use her creativity to find something interesting to do next summer that also helps her pursue one of her creative/intellectual passions.

By Tkdgal (Tkdgal) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit

Ahh I can't read. Whoops

By Bfjava (Bfjava) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 09:19 pm: Edit

80drofnats, that's not true. i'm not saying she doesn't have a chance, but umm no, he/she is completely wrong.

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 03:20 am: Edit

Your art is simply amazing!!!! Man I wish you could draw a portrait of me.

By Ontolome (Ontolome) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Wow, what a load of replies :) Thanks for all of your encouragement and suggestions. Tlaktan, why would you say that your view of Harvard and the other two are skewed? And to Tropicanabanana, what was the single talent you excelled in, and did your acceptance come to you as a total surprise? I've followed Northstarmom's advice and i'm looking into joining a weekend portfolio development class. Thanks again; you've all been an incredible help.

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