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I got rejected from my STATE school_ What am I doing wrong?

cody27cody27 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
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.)
ACT: N/a
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?





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Replies to: I got rejected from my STATE school_ What am I doing wrong?

  • cody27cody27 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    @happymomof1 Thank you for your response! I know for a fact that certain individuals with lower test scores (and lower gpas) got admitted into UF from my school. ( I come from an urban IB public school in South Florida). Although (with Bright Futures, 1st generations scholarships, and the IB diploma), UF will me extremely affordable, I have decided not to appeal. My counselor has tried to help me by suggesting that I do request an appeal, but I feel as if it is a waste of time. Firstly, my major is neuroscience, but I also want to explore my interests in political science. Secondly, I've never had an excitement for UF, it was just some college that my family was hoping that I get into. I feel as if I request an appeal, and it goes through, I am obligated to go to attend.

    I am interested in private liberal arts colleges ( Which are really expensive). I do not like big crowds (Which explain why UF and the other in-state public universities are not a great match). Besides, I was hoping to get into a university that supports my interest in two different areas - political science & neuroscience.

    Unfortunately, I did not get into UF-my safety school. I will consider going to one of the other universities that I applied to. ( If I do not receive enough aid for my out of state options). I would not transfer to UF though. One of my regrets was not applying to the University of Miami.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 5,715 Senior Member
    Have you been accepted to other state schools yet? There is still time to apply to more schools. A list comes out in May with schools still having openings. Relax, it will work out.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 24,642 Senior Member
    Are you a good candidate for U of Miami? If it won't mess up your Bright Futures money, think about taking a gap year and applying there for fall 2018.
  • cody27cody27 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    @happymomof1 yes, transferring to UM might definitely be an option for me. Hopefully, it does not affect my bright futures.
  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN Registered User Posts: 2,691 Senior Member
    edited March 16
    Just want to say you did nothing wrong! You are doing your best and that is great. Sometimes we all just hit a wall in life and you just have to pick yourself up and go down the next path. It is so darn competitive these days, everybody is applying to college, sometimes they just don't have enough spots. There was an article out of USC (Southern Cal) where they stated in 2016 they turned away 3000 applicants that scored in the 99 percentile. That's 3000 rejected from one school with nearly perfect stats. That is reality today. Perhaps at FU, where they didn't take recommendations, it was harder for them to see how fantastic you really are from just a bunch of scores. Regardless, it is what is meant to be, and you will land exactly where you are supposed to - and great things will happen there, you just have to wait for it. It will come. Dust yourself off and kick it wherever you go. Best to you---
  • douggy91douggy91 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    I have a feeling you will do better at the other private universities you applied to. Public universities are huge and receive a ton of applicants, and their admissions processes are usually very stat driven.

    However, private colleges often have more holistic review processes; they can forgive that slightly low SAT score because you are a first-gen URM female. No point worrying until you get all the results.
  • JustGraduateJustGraduate Registered User Posts: 559 Member
    My guess is that neuroscience is extremely competitive at UF, putting you on the bubble for admission. I know you said you don't want to appeal but it might be worth a shot - or consider asking if you could switch to poli sci ? It may be too late for this approach but if you are so inclined it might be worth a shot.

    Agree you did nothing wrong. It's all about finding the right fit for you and the school, and it seems to be more of an art than a science. Your resume is very good - and I'm impressed that you've only been speaking English for 8 years. Hang in there - you'll find your place! Good luck
  • cody27cody27 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    @CADREAMIN @douggy91 @JustGraduate thank you for your réponses. At a time like this, college is getting extremely competitive. Being at an advantage or having special circumstances just won't cut it anymore. I have hope that wherever I go, I will be successful ( if I put my mind to it)!

    Also, yes I was hoping that my voice would get represented at a smaller institution. I really don't feel like I'll be able to find my voice at bigger universities.

    Anyways I'm just hoping for the best. Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it
  • cody27cody27 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    @PurpleTitan thank you! I have heard of that name before. I will look into it :).
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 1,976 Senior Member
    I think you would be a great fit for U Miami and vice versa. They are trying very hard to get more kids from South Florida to apply there. Why don't you call their Admissions Office and see whether you can still apply for this year as they have no additional essays?
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 5,870 Senior Member
    Many people don't get into their top choice. You were accepted to three universities so far. So why are you scared? And I read your post again, you said you don't want to stay in Florida. You have three choices, you might have more, one is out of state, and you have been offered merit aid. You might be able to get more money from their FA offices. But you applied to some colleges you have no interest in attending. I am really confused.

    You wait for the rest of your decisions, and you make a choice. Or in May, apply to colleges still looking for students. NACAC will release a list in May and some of the colleges are really good. Or you go to CC, do really well, and transfer into another college. You have a lot of options in fact. Just be rational and work with the possibilities you have. Do more research and remind yourself of why you applied to your colleges in the first place. There has to be something about each that redeems them.

    No one likes rejection, but virtually all stduents who apply to mulitple colleges will be rejected from at least one of them. You applied to 13, and you are going to be rejected from some of them. You just have to accept it, and focus on the ones you have been accepted to. It's part of becoming an adult.
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