I'm an applicant from India, and have applied to Harvard(EA-Deferred), Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton, Brown and UPenn, amongst the Universities.
I've also applied to the following LAC's: Williams, Bates, Colgate, Grinnell, Swarthmore, Reed and Carleton.
I want to major in Physics, and my scores and extra-curriculars are as follows:
SAT 1: 2150, CR=710(national percentile=96),Math=710(national percentile=94), Writing=730(national percentile=97);
Math Level 2:800(national percentile=88);
Physics and Chemistry: 770(national percentile=82 and 83 respectively);
My school transcripts placed me at the top 1% of my class for my 9th and 10th years. However, ranks have slid down badly over the past year.
My Co-Curriculars include:
30 odd wins at city, regional and national level at quizzing events, for one of these quizzes I received an award from the ex-President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Several leadership posts at school.
Have won a few national level essay/creative writing competitions, and a handful of national/city level debates and/or Model United Nations conferences.
Over the past 2 months I have received decent ranks in 3 Olympiads, which are held in India, and 7 other countries in Asia(though I think South African students do take part too).
(I came State Rank- 3rd, International Rank-81st in the Science Olympiad,
I came State Rank- 12th, International Rank-323rd in the Math Olympiad,
I came State Rank- 24th, International Rank-420th in the Cyber Olympiad)
I have helped at a home for the elderly, and have helped to educate underprivileged children from city slums.
Played for my school soccer team.
Have certification in Piano and Music Theory till Grade 5 from the Royal School of Music London.
I think my essay/essay type answers were quite strong and do me justice.
I was deferred by Harvard, but that notwithstanding, Carelton is one of my absolute favourite schools. So could anyone please chance me? Keeping in mind I need full/near full financial aid.
One hurdle for you is this: I seem to recall that Carleton's app. this year asks where else you are applying. Your list of schools makes it clear that you are applying based on prestige/rankings. (Who could blame you, really?) You are applying to the Ivies, and to the top-ranked LACs. No harm in that, and many students do so.
Carleton, as is true of many small LACs, really likes students who affirmatively choose/want/like/FIT the life and attitude of their particular, special, niche school. That is to say, an ideal "Carl" is usually NOT a student who would, in the end, be just as happy at Yale or Harvard. (Maybe some overlap with Brown... Certainly a kindred feeling for Swarthmore, Grinnell, Oberlin, Macalester...) Therefore, the rather wide net that you cast is a tip-off that you do NOT necessarily love Carleton for its own, special, unique, lovely, "Little School on the Prairie" self. That is a drawback.
Very hard, in any event, to judge international applicants. Also very, very difficult to say without seeing your essay. Students' own subjective reviews of their essays can be right on, or can be painfully off-base.
Good luck, though -- you have a good deal going for you!
In terms of statistics, you look very strong for Carleton--although I add the caveat that I would like to know what you mean by "slide" over the past year. Still, given that Harvard deferred you, rather than outright denying you admission, one can assume that the "slide" was a fairly gentle one.
So... I'd say that you look very good for Carleton, statistically. Right in their sweet spot.
i really don't know how to explain it all in terms
of gpa. Thing is 9, 10 were with a 1st and 2nd rank
consecutively, and my percentage hovered
between 88 to 91%. Which although not stellar,
still put me top of my class. My marks were
straight A's barring my elective language exam
which i was too sick to appear for. My board exams at the end of 10th got me 94.2
percent, again not amazing, but i received a
special academic award for academic excellence
from the school sanctioned by the bishop's office.
In 11 my rank dropped to 6th and then sub 10th,
with my percentage dropping from 86 to 70 and my usual A's turned to a few ugly b's and c's. 12
midterm, percentage was raised to 75, rank
unchanged, the a's came back somewhat, barring
an ugly chemistry mark.
like i said slide in rank was huge. But, after the
slide i did take part in those olympiads, i came sub 10th in class and then 3rd in my state in the
olympiad. Its weird, but things aren't always
perfect back in school. I hope the olympiads are
As I am a U.S. citizen, and mother of U.S. citizens, I am no expert on foreign applicants. I do know that as of maybe 5-8 years ago (not sure of exact time frame) Carleton reluctantly changed its financial aid/admissions policy so that a small percentage of admissions decisions were not completely needs-blind. That was just a nod to financial reality. However, I do know that your scores (SATs) will make you very attractive to Carleton. Not sure how they will view the class rank/GPA business; presumably, the admissions office has abundant experience with international applicants, and they will know how to interpret rank-versus-GPA "numbers" that are different from a U.S. 4.0 scale.
Again, though, I stress (for you, for what good it may do you, and for future applicants) how greatly Carleton and like LACs value the applicants who truly want the unique experience that they (the small LACs) offer. Carleton, in particular, loves the intellectually engaged, slightly offbeat, academically intense, nerdy types. This is more a "granola" school than a polished, preppy, slick school. You would not find fraternities at Carleton.
Yes. I know about that. You won't find indians applying to too many lac's! Its more of going for those names known back home. In fact in the case that i do get accepted at a place like carleton, that i'd love, people back home would comment on me maybe not cracking an ivy. Its irritating, but i don't care. I love my quirks, and people who i can fit in with. Carleton, grinnell, reed, brown, swarthmore struck me as those types of schools. Now let's wait for those results!
I'm the kind of guy who'd love to talk about quantum physics on one hand and rock music and english soccer leagues with equal passion. I'd like to think i'd fit in at carleton. The rest is in the hands of whoever's reading my app. I just hope my olympiad scores reached them, seeing as i sent them in as additions in early feb.
Admissions should definitely receive anything sent in early February.
For the record -- English soccer leagues and rock music are fine. By "quirky," I also mean, oh, say, raising honeybees, or writing detective novels for children, or planning to save orphaned wolf cubs... Not that everyone can do that sort of thing. Maybe settle for joining the local bridge club, even though it's filled with senior citizens (but you love bridge), or interviewing surviving WWII veterans... Quirky and focused.