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Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin and other LACs admission questions.

ijeewonijeewon Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Mainly for Williams, I was wondering how holistic the admissions are and what they really look for. I'm going to be a junior and have a GPA I am not happy with because of my freshman year. I basically took only CP classes and got all Bs. Now I have a 3.5 because this year I took 1 AP and 3 Honors. I am going to be taking all Honors next year with AP Bio (my main interest) and know I can probably only get it to the 3.6 range MAX. I'm basically wondering how this will impact me and what a good EC profile looks like. I feel like I'm doing a decent amount but I am not sure. Sophomore year I did a mentoring program after school for children from troubled hes and coding club. I also play baseball for my town but not school. Next year I am planning on DECA, Enviornmental club, I will be president of coding club, the aforementioned mentoring program, and a morning program where you take in freshman and teach them about highschool and really become their friend. I also plan on helping with special needs sports which my school hosts. I'm also sort of unsure of what holistic means because I know all these things seem so random and not connected and you should show passion and it should tie in with everything you do but to be fair I love each of the things I do and I just want to be active and giving back in anyway I can. To say I'm mad at myself for freshman year is beyond an understatement but I would also love any advice from anyone who's been accepted to Williams or knows about the admissions (or any other LAC that is selective like Williams). Thanks for reading and I'm sorry if this is a jumble, I'm typing on my phone as I don't have a computer for a few weeks since I'm away from home and this is basically how I think. Cheers!

Replies to: Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin and other LACs admission questions.

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Registered User Posts: 619 Member
    Alas, there is no crystal ball any parent or young adult or teen posting on College Confidential has to tell you whether you will be admitted. Use the College Data Set for each school to compare your statistics to those of admitted students. Know that yes, admissions is holistic, but you can count on it that each of these colleges will be looking to see that you took advantage of the most challenging courses available at your high school, whatever those are, and did well in them. If you have shown improvement across the years, they will see and consider that, too.

    Good grades, good teacher recommendations, good scores, good extracurriculars, good essays-- all are important factors. Again, the Common Data Set includes a ranking of which factors each college officially considers most important. "Holistic" just means there aren't score cut-offs or anything; the full application is considered to see who will both thrive at and contribute to the college in interesting ways.

    If your stats are low, no reason not to apply to your dream school, but make the rest of your application strong, and be sure to apply to some match and safety schools as well.

    If you like small liberal arts schools, maybe colleges like Wheaton in MA, Clark, Muhlenberg, Ursinus, Allegheny, Hobart-William Smith, and St. Lawrence might be good matches. St. Lawrence has the rural remoteness you might like about Williams.
  • ijeewonijeewon Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you for your response! Very helpful! Do you know what good ECs look like? Do you think I should be doing more? I commit a large amount of time to each. Thanks for the great info once again!
  • SpringbirdSpringbird Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Is there a particular reason why your grades were lower freshman year? It might be helpful for colleges to understand this (assuming there is an explanation). Ideally your school counselor would address this in their recommendation, so consider making your counselor aware in the spring when they start asking for info to write their letters.

    It's great that your grades have improved. Keep it up! And remember, it's very easy to find reach schools you love. Start by focusing on finding two safeties you would be happy attending, and follow that up with some matches.
  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am Registered User Posts: 423 Member
    I know that a few colleges don't use the applicant's freshman year at all when recalculating GPA for admissions purposes. I wish I could remember which ones for you!

    Also, if you are looking at top LACs in the Northeast, be sure to check out Middlebury.
  • ijeewonijeewon Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks a ton! I have heard great things about Moddlebury! My GPA is a little lower then my acedemic GPA as well. My grades were lower because I moved freshman year and was honestly just mad, I don't think that would be a valid reason for bad grades though... but yeah my grades are improving and I hope they keep that trend! I got a 5 on my AP CSP exam and I am hoping to get a 5 on Bio, even if they don't accept them as credits it is still worth submitting them right?
  • ijeewonijeewon Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Wow really? That is awesome, I'll do some research! Do all schools recalculate GPA because my acedemic GPA should be a little higher if so, also for Acedemic GPA is that only core classes or would say architecture and computer science count as well? They are electives
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 1,715 Senior Member
    "I know that a few colleges don't use the applicant's freshman year at all when recalculating GPA for admissions purposes."

    The various Universities of California <insert location here>, and any university in Canada. There are some very good small universities in Canada (sort of the Canadian version of LACs) but there are only a few of them -- not like in the US where there are at least hundreds and probably thousands.

    I don't have experience with Williams or Amherst. I did check out the little chart (via Naviance, I think) for kids from one daughter's school applying to Bowdoin. Two students with unweighted 4.0's were rejected (with 1450 and 1250 SATs), and one student with an unweighted 3.5 got in (1100 SAT). Thus you never know and admission appears impossible to predict, but getting in with a 3.5 does appear to be a long shot, and probably requires some kind of "hook".
  • ijeewonijeewon Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you very much! Very informative and do you remmebr what chart this was on naviance?
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