HORRIBLE grades. Do I have a chance?

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Discus: Individual Schools: US News Top 25: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 2004 Archive: HORRIBLE grades. Do I have a chance?
By Zaqwert1234 (Zaqwert1234) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 12:54 am: Edit

I have some horrible grades but some REALLY awesome things on my application. Do I have a chance?

English: 3 B's, 3 C's, A
Math: 1 C, 1 B, 10 A's
Science: 2 C's, 3 B's, 2 A's

3.6/4.4 GPA

Test scores:
780 Verbal
670 English

790 IIC
710 Writing
670 Physics (Predict 750 on Jan. retake)

32 ACT

Now for the awesome part...

I grew up in the Marshall Islands, which is part of the reason for my bad grades. Since freshman year, where I literally made almost all Cs, I've had mostly A's, some B's, and 2 C's in English. I had an awesome essay about growing up in the Marshall Islands, etc.


Computer Programming Club - VP (9,10) Pres (11,12). TOP HS programmer in the state of Louisiana winning virtually every competition through high school, almost half of them were on a team by myself against teams of 3 people. Each programming competition has about 80 people. About 10 1st places and 2 2nd places in the last 4 years statewide.

Owner of GypShield.com - Upcoming company. VERY impressive site which I believe that MIT will check out.

Academic Games - President. Placed 2nd in national competition, but AG is pretty small-league compared to something like Mu Alpha Theta.

BlackandGold.net - Sports columnist for the New Orleans Saints website. Sort of known in New Orleans, but still minor leagues

Piano - 6 years... blah blah, doesn't matter, sent in a good recording though

Mu Alpha Theta - 2 years, site webmaster. Bunch of meaningless awards at local competitions... 2nd place in an event at state.

Good recs
Haven't had the interview yet

I had this really cool thing on my app where it says "Submit one page front and back of why you should be admitted into MIT". I calculated ALL the digits of 5000 factorial in size 4 font, and put the 20-page program used to calculate it (and make any mathematical calculation, basically) on the back in size 2 font. Submitted it with the disk and a magnifying glass, haha.

Do I have any chances? 1 or 2 Cs usually hurts applicants... but 6??? Obviously growing up in the Marshall Islands will help, even though I'm US citizen Filipino (pacific islander). But I've got average test scores and horrible grades. The only thing I've got is my ECs.

By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

Your site's not that special. An escrow service w/ photographs + descriptions included for the buyer. What happens if the seller ships you my $3000 laptop and you close the site?

I believe escrow services work primarily on their trustworthiness.

By Zaqwert1234 (Zaqwert1234) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit


Definitely took that into consideration, but I'm glad you pointed it out. On the trust issue, I'm hiring a lawyer to do legal paperwork to get the company started and will have about $1000 in insurance to show.

Also, it's very different from regular escrow services available. Check out the site's information on the left-hand-column. Haha, one thing I put somewhere there is "We pick up where Escrow leaves off"

Great point, trust is definitely an issue, but insurance + legal proof should cover it to SOME extent. Basically to gain more trust, we'll just have to find an auction affiliate to endorse us and build a reputation from there.

But isn't that how all companies, especially online ones, start out? ;)

By Bmckn (Bmckn) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 01:35 am: Edit

Your company is offensive to gypsies.

By Zaqwert1234 (Zaqwert1234) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 01:51 am: Edit

Haha... anyyyyyyway

MIT, chance? I know it's small, but I have one despite my grades right?

By Frank (Frank) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

I'll be honest.
chances are a little slim but still there. just have some faith.

I was accepted at MIT last year having received straight B's except for a few A's senior year...and i guess my chances were somewhat slim too.

"Owner of GypShield.com - Upcoming company. VERY impressive site which I believe that MIT will check out."
They probably will give it a quick look.
I'll give you my take on gypshield.com. the design of the site is waaaay too tacky. Using Swish can give you impressive results, but don't overuse it. It comes to the point where all the animations are just useless and annoying. Not everything has to be made in flash.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash your site. I'm just trying to help. I, too, started an online business during high school and mentioned it in my MIT app (www.bluefront.net). Seemed to help a lot.

Anyway, props to you for the entrepreneurial venture. MIT will love that. It is somewhat unique and demonstrates one the most important traits that MIT looks for: lots of initiative.

Hopefully you do a good job at logically explaining why you have all those C's, because if you convince them to overlook your GPA, your chances are a whole lot better.

Good luck. Hopefully I'll see you on campus next year.

By Zaqwert1234 (Zaqwert1234) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 12:21 pm: Edit

Hey man, thanks a lot for the advice... really means a lot to get some constructive criticism on the site, because I'm not really a webdesigner.

I might do away with the flash all together because a lot of people don't even get to the main site, lol. But anyway, thanks a lot for the input.

By Nihilist (Nihilist) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 05:04 pm: Edit

if you want some detailed advice on the site email me (in profile)
all i will say now is that is looks like a template and it hurts my eyes to read the overlay text in the middle

i have three websites, one commercial, one club, one hobby, i sent screencaps, code, and a CD

on the CD was also my version of linux
i was deferred and i also doubt that MIT even looked at the CD

and i have straight A's for four years

By Webhappy2 (Webhappy2) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit

GL Zagwert... could be useful, but I still think this is the type of business that really works if there is a large reputation infused from the start (eg. eBay sponsors your company)

By Vsage3 (Vsage3) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:03 pm: Edit

I read faster than the freakin flash scrolls. May want to not do it line-by-line like that. My two cents completely unrelated to your chances.

By Zaqwert1234 (Zaqwert1234) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 04:04 am: Edit

k, prolly gonna ditch the flash. I didn't make it and don't know that much about webdesign, which is why I'm really trying to hire a webdesigner to work with me on this.

Webhappy - yep, exactly. Ebay owns Escrow though, lol. Prolly gonna target some mini-auctions and work some deals.

Anyway, chances at MIT? As long as they're slim rather than nil I'm cool

By Wbbigtymer (Wbbigtymer) on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 05:22 pm: Edit

I think you're chances at MIT are great, as long as you can show some reasonable partnership skills and make sure to be honest on your app. You don't want to get too overzealous about what you've done up to this point. Include the prefix "co" wherever appropriate. Good Luck, zaqwert1234!

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