3.89 UW GPA (3 AP's so far, 4 this year, all the rest have been honors. Most rigorous available)
Class rank = 7% I think. Should be higher if there wasn't rampant grade inflation in our music/drama department where they hand out extra A's.
CR: 760 M:660(possibly 680-700 after retake?) 1st try
I retook the SAT last saturday and I believe I improved my math score, but I am moving forward as though I didn't, so please consider my SAT as a 1420 composite
In the interest of brevity I will condense my EC list:
MUN: president, awards, college conference
Club Soccer: State Champion, takes up a ton of time
Volunteering hospital: 150 hours
Food Bank: 50
Awards things/noteworthy stuff
Toshiba Exploravision Honorable Mention
Qualified Teen Jeopardy
Op-Ed article in a major newspaper, might write some more
Other petty awards, like student of the ______(time period), in _____(subject)
I think my stats/EC's put me in the conversation for Cornell, but what I think differentiates me is my life story/family situation(essay). This also relates to my interest in my intended major and field of study.
One of my recommendations should be amazing(the teacher was moved to tears upon hearing my story). The other one should be good I guess.
Like I said, I think my stats get my foot in the door(I hope so at least), but what will determine if I am admitted or not will be how I can convey the other stuff.
Based on Stats/ECs. Certainly in the conversation.
As you note, the SAT-M isn't fantastic, but still in the 25-75 percentile of the enterring class.
To be brutally honest -- every year when students post their Cornell decisions, we see students with your stats and similar ECs being accepted and also see students with similar states and ECs being rejected.
Doesn't Cornell use the 5 SAT numbers? THat was my understanding. What is the SAT writing which is very important at that school?
...writing is not considered important & Subject tests appear to vary in importance from college-to-college/ major-to-major. CR & M on the SAT & total composite on the ACT still appear to be, by far, the test scores of upmost importance to Cornell.
I don't believe Cornell looks at the Writing Section at all.
Also I think I am going to apply to CALS, what bearing would this have on my situation, if any?
I don't know too much about the different schools besides what I have gleaned off of Cornell's website and off of CC forums. Do any of you have any insights about CALS?
My younger daughter's HS didn't have an admit to Cornell for 5-6 years because one year Cornell admitted 5 students and no matriculated. Cornell was her first choice and she was top 1% (Sal) at her school. She probably would have been admitted during RD based on her stats, but she could have been rejected because of her high school. She decided to ED to show her commitment. Few students from her school applied RD, but she was the only one admitted to Cornell this year. Every year few students get admitted to all top 20 schools, and over 10 students go to NYU, so the students do quite well.
When it comes to ED, it is a free option for a student and should be used wisely. ED is not useful if a student's stats are subpar for that school. On the other hand, if a student's stats are competitive, it is his/her FIRST choice and finance is not a concern then it is a great option to use.
You have to be wise when you break down the ED acceptance rates:
1) ED rates are higher artificially due to athletic recruits and legacy admits (both of which, especially for the former, obviously have higher chances than the usual applicant).
I believe Dartmouth has a near ~20% acceptance rate for its ED pool; they openly admit that removing legacies and recruits puts the figure at around 8-10%; exactly the same as its regular pool's acceptance rate.
2) You are not competing in a more competitive pool. People with higher stats would want to hedge out their chances to see where they may be able to end up - not fixate on one school. In fact, many people with subpar stats apply ED to schools in an attempt to 'make up' for an otherwise lackluster application. You may not notice this on CC, but in reality, the pool is in fact somewhat watered down - every guidance counselor in the US would advice lackluster applicants to ED.
3) Schools care about numbers. Many (often idiotic) rankings systems, like that of the US News Rankings, use a college's accepted applicants' yield rate as an important component. For a school like Cornell, who's treading with the extremely competitive top 25 schools, an opportunity to admit a GUARANTEED matriculating student (the binding aspect of your ED contract) they take a second look. It's in their benefit to perhaps sacrifice a little part of their standards for the sake of rankings - it's to your benefit too.
Conclusion: apply ED. It helps, just not as much as people make it out to be.
Does your counselor write a recommendation letter for you? I know at my kids' HS this is more important than the teacher references because the counselor generally knows the student better and how the student compares to others in the school. If this is the case, then having the counselor against ED at Cornell may really work against you as the counselor letter might say something negative/lukewarm and then you are basically behind the proverbial eight ball, especially at a school like Cornell where you are a competitive but borderline candidate.
I suggest talking in depth with the counselor about why he/she feels that way and if needed have your parents come in to discuss it as well. You want the counselor on your side rather than saying that you are not as storng as two other candidates that she recommended apply ED to Cornell.
In addition to admit rates, another rationale you may try with your GC is to point out that many students who have Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, & Stanford as their preferred schools use Cornell as a "back up" & will be applying in the RD round, not in the ED round. Cornell wants students who have them as their #1 choice. Your best chance to show your passion for Cornell & fit" is in ED....I just don't see how your GC can argue that you'd have a better chance RD.
I used that rationale the first time I talked to her and it was to no avail. She told me to email the admissions office to ask whether or not ED was helpful(which it clearly is) and they finally emailed me back like 3 days later. I think that the email will convince her, because she seemed skeptical that I could somehow know more than she did about an aspect of college admissions.