Chances at Top Science Schools

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Chances at Top Science Schools
By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit

I'll tell you up front I'm only going to be a junior, so maybe I'm a bit ahead, but I still think it's good to have a list ready so I won't be behind when it comes. I'm from Massachusetts. Stanford is likely my top choice. Will need Finaid.

Heres most of my stats

White, Male
Sats: I'm taking the old ones this oct. Should be from a 1440(bad day) - 1510(good day).
Sat 2s: IIC:800, Chem: 800, going to take writing and physics in the spring. Writing would be my worst, prob around a 700, physics another 800 or something close.
Rank: 2 or 3 out of 180
GPA: UW(I think 3.9-4.0), can't be sure W: prob around 5.0.
APs: Chem:5, taking Euro, micro + macro eco, Stats, and Physics B junior year, 4's and 5's I'd imagine.

Course Load: Most rigorous, a year ahead in math, 3 years ahead in science (I'm taking AP physics B and C online, our school doesn't even offer them).

ECs: (I'm speculating on a few things like 12th grade)
Varsity baseball: (10-12) good shot at co-captain
Acadec: (10-12) good shot at captain
Class President (10-12)
Newspaper: (10-12) Good shot co-editor
Student Council: (10-12)
NHS: 11-12
Tutoring: for comm service and money, couple hours/week.

Com service: not much, prob around 50 hours by end of HS. I'm going to try and volunteer at a local hospital starting soon, which will rack up some hours I guess.

As of now, only school ones (precalculus award, AP chem award, Silver in Grand Concours (french test). Maybe some Acadec awards. Things to add will likely be AP scholar, and possibly national merit semi-finalist.

Employed at movie theater summer after 10 (30 hours/wk)
Took Precalc and calc 1 at a CC summer after 9 (A and B respectively).
Took Calc 2(school doesnt offer it) at same CC, summer after 10 (A-).
Tutoring for money
I'd like to go for some research/internship next summer.

Junior Schedule:
AP Euro
AP stats
AP Physics B
AP Eco (Micro+Macro)
Honors english
Honors French III
Honors critical writing
Schools I'm looking at: I'm really interested in math and science. I probably want to major in physics, and minor in something math related. I don't care really where I am in the country, but would prefer to be near the city. Will need Fin Aid.

UC Berkeley
BU (legacy)

Considering(haven't looked into them much):

How is my list? Any suggestions? What if I do EA (stanford, harvard, chicago)? Will EA kill my finanical aid?

By Ghard (Ghard) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:03 pm: Edit

I honestly have to wonder why you're considering Northeastern, unless it's a major safety for you. Truth is, you have a good chance at most of the list.

And just wondering, how are you taking AP physics online?

By Kk19131 (Kk19131) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:10 pm: Edit

Let's take out that East and add a West

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:11 pm: Edit

add Cornell to the list if you're interested in sciences, physics,engineering, etc.

By Pedro7487 (Pedro7487) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:15 pm: Edit

I think maybe ur thinking of Northwestern ... great engineering program

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

You are looking good with that list and you are certainly on track with your accomplishments. I suggest you pick up a good book on financial aid and run your family numbers to see where you will stand needwise. I would suggest replacing Northeastern with a school that is more generous with merit aid so you have a financial safety as well as a selectivity one. Sometimes colleges look at financial need differently from the applicants and I have seen too many shell shocked parents and upset kids when those number come out. A number of your schools do offer 100% of need, but their definition and yours may differ widely. State schools are generally very stingy with money to out of staters so you might want to take a good look at the aid policies of those schools other than your state school.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

northeastern is because there is a major scholarship given at my school, full tuition to the top 1 and 2 students if they want it. So given that I need finaid, it's in the city, it's close, I'll apply.

Problem with Cornell is that it is so in the middle of nowhere. I know it's a rgeat school, but just from what I've been visiting I vastly prefer the urban life.

Taking AP physics online, my school is part of VHS, I think the site is This allows a person from my school to take classes from other schools in the program. Granted, I don't get the lab credit, but it's the closest thing to AP physics I can get.

My schools are concentrated in the east, but I think I've got some from almost everywhere.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Any suggestions on what I can do to improve? As far as my school goes, it doesn't offer a lot. I should be taking all APs with the exception of one (spanish, I take french). There are not a lot of clubs, no math or science ones or I would be in them. Do you think getting something research related over the summer, and maybe submitting something will greatly help me? Maybe doing something with my position as class president besides fundraising and the usual? I am in good with my math and science teachers, they would have no problems writing great recommendations for me, same with my GC, not so much with humanities teachers though. Any advice at all?

By Rtkysg (Rtkysg) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:08 pm: Edit

You may want to add Caltech to your list.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

Does caltech require research? Also I've heard that the social life is pretty bad.

By Tongos (Tongos) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Or records are great, seriously, i think you have a good shot at MIT and stuff. You seem to have an interest in mathematics, something that I find as very impressive.

Um, I want to take advanced mathematical studies online, does anyone here know how i can do this? Or where i go? future help will be appreciated!

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Stanford EPGY?

By Tongos (Tongos) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:12 pm: Edit

thanks! thanks.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 05:59 pm: Edit


By Rtkysg (Rtkysg) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:35 pm: Edit

As far as I know, no, Caltech doesn't require research for its admission, but it can be of a great plus. Social life is a subjective issue. If you really have science passion, like to co-operate with your friends doing homework, discuss with many brilliant ppl in a homely comfortable atmosphere, Caltech is the best. But if you like to drinks/party every weekend (it's not bad to have fun in college, you know :)), find partners, and participate a lot in sports, Caltech is not the place. Just my 2 cents

By Gih (Gih) on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit

Haha, there is plenty of drinking/partying/"partnering"/sporting at Caltech.
Just not like at a Big Ten school. Some people party all the time. Some people not as much. There are lots of different kinds of people at Caltech, and many of them want to have a social life, so they do.
Rumors about Caltech are really exagerrated.

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