Before I explain my situation, I would like to point out that I know that college admissions aren't solely determined by test scores. I would also like to apologize for my grammar. English is not my first language; I am still learning it.
I recently got rejected from my state school (UF), and I am SCARED. Overall during my college application process, I applied to 13 schools (2 ivies, 3 state schools, and 8 other private out-state universities). I applied to out-of-state universities because I did not want to stay in my home state. However, after being rejected from UF and my top choice, I am worried that I won't get admitted anywhere else.
For UF's application, there was no recommendation needed, just the essay and scores. I think I scored decently on my SAT's ( I got above UF's middle range and I could only afford to take the SAT twice). Note that UF was just a safety school and I feel indifferent about going there. I don't like the "party" reputation that it has, but I thought that I could handle it (if I were admitted).
I got accepted into the other in-state universities that I applied to, but I have no interest in attending those universities. I also got accepted into an out-of-state university. They offered merit aid; however, I am still waiting to receive my financial aid decision to see if I am able to attend it.
Anyways, after receiving my rejection letter from UF, and then later receiving a rejection from my top choice, I was devastated (although it lasted for 5 minutes, it still hurts to get rejected). So seriously now, can someone help me understand what am I doing wrong? Here are some stats to help:
SAT: 1330. ( Pretty bad, but I couldn't afford to take it more than twice. Also, I learned English 8 years ago.)
GPA: 3.6/4.0 UW, 5.3 W
HS Coursework: IB: 4HLs( Bio, Math, English &Physics), 2SLs (French, Psychology), 13 AP classes ( Passed 9, no 1s but 2s in Physics). Freshman year; straight As, Sophomore year; 2Bs and the rest were As. Junior year (Shhh, no grades below a B though; I had major deaths in the family and other medical problems). Senior year ( 4As, 3Bs-slowly rebuilding myself).
EC: MAO (historian), NHS, FNHS, SECME, DRAMA CLUB, Girls who code, 1st counselor of YW club, Choreographer (5 years ). Some other clubs... I've been member in these clubs for at least 2 years ( Some 4 years)
Volunteer: Library ( I tutor children for free), I also tutor for MAO and on Mondays for school; Soup Kitchen ( I spend my summers serving breakfast and lunch at my local soup kitchen). Gleaning, Walks (Breast cancer and Autism walks).
Essays: I wrote about my very first time coming to America; well specifically first time seeing fireworks too and how excited I was... ( kinda cliche but it was on July 4th). I tried to make it a metaphor of how I struggled to learn English (by describing a specific moment of embarrassment and how I overcame it). I tried to stretch it but it may have ended up hurting me. I thought it was decent but my teacher cried when he read it. Also, my librarian (who proofread it twice), said it was one of the best and well-written college application essays that she has ever read. ( She has a masters in Literature.)
Supplemental: I'll have to admit some were generic, but others were not. For my top 4 schools, I spent a lot of time on my supplemental ( I still got rejected from my first choice). I tried to write about something that I am passionate about in the essays and I took advice from the internet. I proofread,( I had 1 teacher, 1 librarian, and my counselor read my essay). !
Other parts of the application: I explained my low test scores in the additional information, and I also explained my EE, my project ( I made a dress out of reyclable material to help raise awareness about sustainability in my community).
Hooks?: First-generation, Low-income, Black, Female interested in the STEM. Fluent in 2 Languages, Conversational in 1.
So, what am I doing wrong?? I try to convince myself that it's destiny if I get into some colleges but not others, but I feel as if I worked all four years for nothing. I spent countless hours ensuring that my applications are perfect and my essays are well written (I only spent an average of 1 month on each essay and supplement (some of them) ). Moreover, when I told my counselor and teacher that I did not get into UF, they were shocked and strongly suggested that I requested an appeal. I didn't. If UF didn't accept me at first, then it's not meant to be. Honestly, I am truly happy for others who received an acceptance from the schools that they applied to. However, it does suck to see people at school that were barely motivated in school (with lower test scores, (& GPAs) than you and lower SATs than the average to get into the top state schools ) get accepted.
Lastly, I understand that the ivies are probably out of my reach with scores like mine (doesn't hurt to try), but I am worried about the responses from the other 6 out-of-state universities. I didn't get into UF and I try not to let that get in the way of my confidence. However, at the same time, those 6 out of state universities have a lower acceptance rate than UF (ranging from 10%-36%). I sometimes wonder- Where did I go wrong? Can you help?