Columbia is my dream school, bar none. I intend to apply ED unless I notice some glaring hole in my application that would make it worth waiting until December to submit...let me know if you see one.
SAT I (breakdown): Not satisfactory. Just retook and felt good about it, so I'll report back.
ACT: 35 (34E/36M/34R/36S/31EW) Worth retaking for a better writing score (got an 8) and to cop that 36 or will my AP Lit. 5 make it obvious that it's not an issue of capability? I don't mind the ACT so retaking it wouldn't be a huge problem.
[b]SAT II: Math IIC - 800, Physics - 790, Chemistry - 750. Looking to add Literature and retake Chemistry. Any others I should consider?
GPA: 4.0 UW, school doesn't do weighted.
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): 1/256
AP (place score in parenthesis): Language & Composition (5), Statistics (5), Calculus AB (5), French (4), Chemistry (4), Physics (4). Really ashamed of those 4's...last May was not a great time in my life and it definitely showed. Considering not reporting them.
Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): National Merit Semi-Finalist, AP Scholar w/ Distinction. Basically nothing.
- Frosh/Soph: All honors offered/highest level available, but my school doesn't allow underclassmen to take AP's.
--- AP Lit. (requires application)
--- AP Physics B
--- AP Chemistry
--- AP French
--- AP US History
--- AP Calculus AB
--- AP Statistics
--- AP Lang. (requires application)
--- AP Biology
--- AP Calculus BC
--- AP US History (offered as a two-year course/partnership with PSU at my school)
--- AP European History
--- AP Micro/Macroeconomics
--- AP Music Theory
--- AP Physics C independent study
--- Two health independent studies (required to graduate)
- Model United Nations: GA delegate for two years, committee chair for two years. Vice president of school club.
- International United Nations: One of five delegates selected from my school which was one of four high schools selected to represent the United States. This is the biggest of the worldwide MUN conferences except for the one in Geneva (this one is held in the UN Building in NYC.)
- National Honors Society (Vice President)
- Student government (Senior Class Senator)
--- Piano for seven years
--- School band for five years (clarinet/bass clarinet)
--- Know two other instruments well, countless others moderately well
--- Accepted into Oregon All-State Honors Band, highest level band for three years (only able to attend once b/c of crazy scheduling issues)
--- Accepted into Western International Band Conference, second highest level band for two years (never able to attend, see above)
--- From seventh grade through tenth grade (four summers), attended Northwest Band Camp intensive during the summer
--- Played in school Honors Orchestra/pit orchestra for three years, huge time commitment (3x a week practice for 3 hours late at night)
--- Marching band for two years
- School's varsity ski racing team (lettered three years, taking leadership this year)
- French club/French National Honors Society for three years
- Art: Classes in school, lots of painting outside of school -- would not feel justified submitting an art supplement though.
- Formed Federation of Athiest Athletes at school (president) (really don't think I'll report this despite it becoming really successful. I'm not especially keen to come off as this sort of person.)
- Numerous clubs, doing Youth & Gov't this year
- Stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting
Job/Work Experience: Summer of sophomore year, took full-time internship in the Portland State University Physics department (fusion research laboratories.) Actively involved in the research as opposed to just being someone who went and got coffees for the grad students...wrote up a report that was sent to fusion researchers in India. I think I'll include an abstract of the research (working on minimizing fusion cell size) as a supplement -- unless that's not a good idea?
Volunteer/Community service: Essentially nothing. Volunteer at Oregon Food Bank/local elementary schools when I need hours for National Honors Society. However, as NHS VP this year I'm helping to organize a service partnership between my high school and various programs in the community like local assisted living homes, etc. Did about 20 hours of volunteer tutoring for struggling students last year (school asks five high-achieving students to participate.)
Summer Activities: See internship + Northwest Band Camps. In addition, I took a full-time course load at my local community college last summer because my internship opportunities fell through at the last minute (and I don't have the money for a pre-college program.) I took all 200 - 400 level classes and maintained a 4.0. During freshman year summer, I took an all-day French intensive in order to advance.
Essays: Not finished yet, but they should be good. I will probably submit the one I'm writing about how I feel about the decline of women's rights in the U.S. because it's extremely passionate and I don't think my political passion shows enough in the rest of my application.
Teacher Recommendations: One from my AP Lit. teacher which should be GREAT and represent my political interest/passion for social issues/well-spokenness and writing capability well. The other from my Physics teacher...not so sure about it.
Counselor Rec: Should be good, she thinks I'm a very interesting person.
Additional Rec: Attempting to get one from one of the professors I had at PCC during the summer, but looks like it might fall through simply because he won't reply to any of my emails despite agreeing to do one. He taught at Harvey Mudd, UC Berkeley, UChi, and Reed before going to PCC (as his retirement, he said.) Would have been great to have.
Interview: If I get one, it'll go well. I'm great in interviews.
State (if domestic applicant): Oregon
School Type: Public, best or second-best public in Oregon
Income Bracket: 60k
Intended Major: Physics
Intended Career: Gonna do some financial stuff if I end up in New York (got a hookup for an internship at an advisory firm, hope to go from there), do physics research throughout my college career (up to Ph.D.), then hopefully enter international politics w/ a science focus (energy policy, UN work, etc. nothing in the public politics sphere, more like UNESCO, etc.) Maybe teach university.
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): Female applying w/ pure physics as intended major.
Strengths: ??? Vague upward trend (several A-'s --> all A's --> several A+'s.) I've taken 15 AP's.
Weaknesses: No major awards, no clear focus (I like to be involved in everything...ended up hurting me I think), low test scores, no real volunteer service to speak of, skiing's not a real sport, not enough leadership.
I'd like some realistic assessments. I would apply even if I am a reach (which I think I am) but I'm still interested, especially in what you think I could improve...?