I think someone from SC gets preference over So Cal because they want to get people from across the country and colleges do make a big deal about evaluating kids based on their environment and opportunities available.
Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): ApUSH 5, CalcBC 5, LangComp 4, WorldH 4, Chem 5, AMC 2010 - 88.5, AIME 2010 - 4, AMC 2011 - 94.5 (didn't qualify for AIME this year o.0)
Essays: Above average
Teacher Recs: Particularly good
Counselor Rec: Average
Supplementary Material: Presented a poster at AGU convention, on Water in Urban Vegas
Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): Long streak of Math/Science competitions: Participant in MathCounts National Competition 8th grade, 1st/3rd/3rd/1st in Geometry/Alg2/Comprehensive/Comprehensive in 2007/2008/2009/2010 for the SNSMC. District winner of the Nevada Prize Exam in 2010. National Qualifier for the Chemistry Olympiad 2010. Captain of the winning Nevada Science Bowl Team 2011.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
High School Type: Public
Ethnicity: Asian (Chinese)
Extracurriculars: President of Mu Alpha Theta, Captain of Science Bowl, Co-Captain of Varsity Quiz, Treasurer of Key Club, Former Captain of Extemporaneous Speaking (Forensics) (Junior year), Starting Guard on the Football Team (Freshman year)
Awards: National Merit Finalist, National AP Scholar
Advice? Commiserations? Feel like bragging?: I think I got lucky, since my grades aren't up to snuff. Don't ever try to rely on EC's/Competitions/Awards like I did. It's not safe
Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): 5s on Calc AB, Bio, Chem, US History, World History, 4 on English Lang
Essays: I'm not the best writer, but they were decent
Teacher Recs: pretty good
Counselor Rec: probably good
Supplementary Material: none
Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): none?
Location: West coast
High School Type: I'm in a magnet school (within a regular school), but the school as a whole: low-performing
Extracurriculars: math tutor, community service clubs, not much
Awards: AP Scholar with Distinction
Advice? Commiserations? Feel like bragging?: I'm actually really surprised I wasn't flat out rejected, especially after reading everyone's stats! I think my grades saved me because I don't have many extracurriculars.
When I was filling out the application, I realized I don't do a lot of math/science oriented activities although I am interested in studying science.
[ b]Stats:[ /b][ list]
[ *]SAT: 2280
[ *]SAT II: Physics, Math 2: 800
[ *]GPA: UW: 4.0
[ *]Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): AP US History-4, AP Lang-4, AP Calc AB-5, AP Calc BC-5, AP World History-5, AP Physics B-5, AP Government-5, AP Physics C (both-5), AP Chemistry: 5, AMC 10: 150, AIME: 8
[ /list][ b]Subjective[ /b][ list]
[ *]Essays: Pirating music, love of numbers, and a couplet poem about donuts. Good voice. Very real
[ *]Teacher Recs: Good
[ *]Counselor Rec: Good?
[ *]Supplementary Material: Letter of Rec. from principal, resume
[ *]Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): athlete (talking with coach (I don’t know if it matters at Caltech)), legacy
[ /list][ b]Personal[ /b][ list]
[ *]Location: SouthEast USA
[ *]High School Type: top 100 Public
[ *]Ethnicity: Caucasian
[ *]Gender: Male
[ /list][ b]Other[ /b][ list]
[ *]Extracurriculars: 4 Years Varsity Soccer (2 as captain), MAO, 4 years Academic Team (2 as captain), 3 years Debate Team (2 as captain), Volunteer MATHCOUNTS coach
[ *]Awards: Academic Team State Champ, 3-time all county academic team (2 years as captain of all-county team), NMF, USAPho Semifinalist: 3 times, Physics Bowl Winner, Tons of various math competition awards (including 3 years school winner: Mandelbrot and ***)
[ *]Advice? Commiserations? Feel like bragging?:[ /list]
Congrats on everyone who got accepted! I think that in general college admissions just gets harder and harder each year. You should be proud of where ever you get in, because at the end of the day things will work out the way they should
Caltech is a really special school, but it is definitely not for everyone (more so than perhaps other top schools). Please understand that I am referring to the fact that Caltech is extremely focused on STEM and is very small school. Kids here and required to take many very hard classes in a school where many people in the surrounding area have not really even heard of. So if you are looking for reputation and brag rights, probably better off going to Harvard or MIT.
Stats:[ list][*]SAT: 2350[*]SAT II: MII: 800 Biology: 760 Chem and Phys: 750[*]ACT: N/A[*]GPA: ~4.6 weighted[*]Rank: top percent of my class of ~680[*]Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): qualified for the AIME twice[/list]Subjective
Teacher Recs: decent!
Counselor Rec: glowing
Supplementary Material: recommendation from gov school counselor
Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): not much, i was really involved in/passionate about physics
High School Type: largish nonfeeder public...we usually have about one caltech acceptance each year
Other[list][*]Extracurriculars: lots of generic stuff, co-founder/pres of odyssey of the mind, pres of math league, scioly and academic team, varsity tennis[*]Awards: not much[*]Advice? Commiserations? Feel like bragging?:[ /list]good luck to everyone!
SAT: 2300 (Math 770, Critical Reading 780, Writing 750) I don't like standardized testing.
SAT II: MathII, Chemistry, U.S. History: 800; Biology(freshman year):790
GPA:n/a (Unless you just want the score, then it is 97.8.)
Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): n/a (First time I took the AMC was this year and I got probably only 11 questions right.)
Essays: Personally, I think they could've been better, but that is probably because I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing. My teacher would agree.
Teacher Recs: One from my English teacher-probably awesome (I love her lots and I hope the feelings are reciprocated, and not in a weird way.) One from my Precalc teacher- mediocre? (We weren't that close, but I was consistently at the top of that class.)
Counselor Rec: No idea, probably very objective.
Supplementary Material: none
Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): none
High School Type: highly competitive public school (3000+ students)
Extracurriculars: National Honors Society (Vice President), Columbia's Science Honors Program, variety of clubs, school's choir
Awards: None that are noteworthy...I won a writing competition once.
Advice? Commiserations? Feel like bragging?:
Umm...I'm sort of afraid and I don't know if I should apply. My parents aren't happy with the idea that I'll be going off to California. They won't let me visit during PreFrosh weekend. (Can someone send me a t-shirt?) I always considered myself a well rounded individual (I mean, my favorite classes right now are organic chemistry and English), so I'm not sure how I will adjust to the dominantly math and science vibe of the school. I do love the sciences, but I feel mediocre in math.
SAT II: MathII(800), Physics(770), US History(670)
Other Tests (AMC, AP, IB): AMC 2011 99, AIME 2011 N/A, 5s on Physics C Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism, Calc AB/BC, US History, Statistics, and 4s on English Language and Composition and European History
Essays: I liked my essays, jan 3rd at 11pm started them and finished at 11:53pm
Teacher Recs: 1page Physics decent, half page history good, statistics never saw it
Counselor Rec: decent, seemed like fill in blank(rewrote resume)
Supplementary Material: to lazy to have any
Hook(recruited athlete, legacy, Nobel Prize): None
High School Type: large public high school around 5k individuals
SAT II Math 2: 800
SAT II Physics: 800
SAT II Molecular Biology: 800
AP Calc AB: 5
AP Calc BC: 5
AP Calc BC Subscore: 5
AP Stat: 5
AP Lang and Lit: 4
AP Lang and Comp: 4
(All tests taken only once.)
GPA: Unweighted 4.0, mostly heavily weighted courses though, including AP, IB and some college sophomore and junior courses.
Essays: I can't remember what he wrote but when he reminds me I'm always impressed with the unique perspective and analysis that went into it. Obscure references that were nonetheless accessible.
Counselor Rec and Teacher Recs: Superb (Feel very fortunate), Includes College Prof and Ivy League TA proclaiming his intense passion for knowledge and freakish intelligence.
Supplementary Material: Research Project Letter from Summer Science Program, Some Unique Awards, An Extra Rec
Hook: Homeschooled; unique sport, academic and music interests; jobs kind of precocious; early focus on longterm goals. Lots of leadership positions in QB, cello, etc. and lots of home responsibility due to personal circumstances.
High School Type: Homeschool (had some public school for a few years till ran out of the good stuff and had to take college classes)
Ethnicity: Hispanic, White
Extracurriculars: Quiz Bowl 1st, 2nd, 3rd in state, 3 Orchestras including college, started community service chamber group, tutored college students in math for years, a series of semi-heroic deeds which will go unmentioned here, other work that is unusual for a teen to have, hard to get into summer programs, sponsored by an elite national college advising program for high potential underrepresented youth, ridiculous amount of stuff but we kept good records which is half the battle.
Last edited by popoagie; 04-26-2011 at 02:35 AM.
Reason: Add'l info that admissions may see.
Im currently doing research at the University of Arizona in regards to the decision making for higher education--and whether or not Online Education is a good option, especially for students looking to attain credit prior to getting CIT.
I was accepted early for the class of 2015, currently at Caltech, but never posted in this thread. So since a lot of people are applying now or about to apply, I'd like to point out that I was accepted with a 3.6 GPA and 2170 SAT, and I'm doing alright here so far. Whether you get accepted is more about whether you care about math, science, or engineering, and show it. So good luck to everyone applying this year.
Also to respond to the post immediately before mine, online education will probably never become part of Caltech. There is no way to earn credit for classes without taking them. The best you can do is skip prerequisites by taking placement tests.