I've just joined CC looking for a bit of help regarding my current situation with college decisions. Any suggestions/answers to questions/help of any kind would be much appreciated.
I applied to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and Rice. So far I've gotten into Rice and been waitlisted at MIT, Stanford and -somehow- JHU, as well as rejected from Harvard and Stanford. I think my counselor sent off my transcript and I may have sent in the first part of the commonapp to JHU, but I don't think they ever received my supplement. Perhaps they waitlisted me because my application was incomplete? should I finish it off and send it in? Anyhow, after a short spell of depression and seeing other posts on waitlisting, I've decided to take a proactive stance about it to see what happens.
Before I ask my questions, let me post my stats briefly:
SAT1: 780M, 760CR, 740W, 11/12 essay
ACT: 35 Composite, 12/12 essay
SAT2: 800-math2c, 800 phys, 770 chem
4.0 GPA; rank 1/144
5 5's on AP's, 2 4's and 1 3 as of junior year (just barely missed national ap scholar as a junior
EC's: 1st place JETS TEAMS test nationals JV (10th grade), 3rd place JETS TEAMS nationals varsity (11th) (TEAMS is a team engineering test), National Merit Finalist, CalTech Signature award (1/247 juniors in nation), UIL state qualifier (academic tournament), 1st place physics UIL regionals (perfect score), 1st place regional science bowl, AMC 12 school champion (10th grade), Mu Alpha Theta President/Vice-President (12th), National Honor Society Historian and Reporter (11th), school renaissance festival coordinator (12th)
Essays: Good, maybe not excellent
Teacher Rec's: should be great
Region: South Texas (should be an advantage I think)
The salutatorian of my HS was vastly more successful; her test scores and academics weren't as good (2150-ish), but she played an instrument (does that help a lot?) and her essays and other EC's may be a tad better. What I can conclude from this is that the college admissions process is 50% what you have accomplished and 50% how hard you try, i.e. submitting other recommendations/ supplementary materials and trying really hard on the essays. I'd like you guys' input on that claim
Next, I'd like to try and appeal my rejection at harvard. I know that as perhaps the most prestigious school in the US, they definitely have no need for me and will have no second thought or regrets denying my request, I think that at least my academics should be enough to warrant me a place on their waitlist. I want to send a letter emphasizing how dearly I want to go there to see what happens... If not, I'll still keep sending stuff- I've got nothing to loose right?
I chose the worst part of the year to get senioritis- during application time, and slacked off on my applications and turned them in at the very last second (this shouldn't affect things should it?), though I'm pretty sure it didn't compromise my essay quality too much. There may be some grammatical errors though- how much of a problem should this be?
I want to essentially use this waitlist period as a fresh start for the ECs and writing part of my application, sending in a few recommendations from extracurricular activities i've participated in- one from a doctor whose clinic I interned at, and another from my sponsor of a health awareness program I'm part of that's funded by the national institute of health. I may send in a few writing samples and a resume as well, with my whole-hearted effort this time around. I know some schools are stingy about what you can and can't send- such as stanford- which requests you not send anything other than a letter of interest and update on your accomplishments. Do you think that sending any more than that and going against the college's guidelines can actually hurt my chances?
As a final, more general question:
I've heard a lot about the waitlists this year with Harvard and Princeton cutting early action, and an increasing number of students applying to a larger number of schools than ever before. I also know that there's a lot of uncertainty involved in waitlists, and I plan on accepting my place at Rice while I wait for decisions on waitlists. Given these new occurences, should there be a significant increase in the number of waitlist students accepted this year- especially at ivies?
Any other advice/other comments are also appreciated. I know this post has gotten really long also, so feel free to just answer any part of this if you can.
Thanks a lot everyone and good luck to all those who've yet to hear or are on waitlists like me =/.