I seriously dont understand how these admission officers think. So if you're hispanic or african american with sat scores around low 2000s or high 1900, you get into pretty much most of the colleges you applied to. but if you're white with sat scores in low 2000s, you get rejected by most of the colleges you applied to. how the hell is that fair? I've been in America for only 4 years and managed to learn english from scratch and went into ap english and managed to become one of the top students, but just because I'm white with sat scores not as high as is expected from white people, I get rejected. how's that fair? this whole college admissions process is messed up.
I think this country is on the downward trajectory is because that we emphasize too much about political correctness; thus, we lack of courage to speak the truth. For those URM who gets lower academic credential and being accepted to Harvard, most of them fills the bucket of bottom 25%, many of them had the aspirations to become physicist, but they end up graduating with easier majors.
People sometimes do forget that with a lower GPA from Harvard (less than 3.0, bottom 25%), it is not easy to go to top graduate school, nor is it easy for these folks to compete against follow classmates in on-campus job interviews.
For admits with lower credentials, it maybe pleasant to get into Harvard, but you still have to get out.
There is always a difference between the gold plated product and pure gold, regardless how you package them.
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): 2 of 500
AP (place score in parenthesis): 5 (Lit, Chem, USH)
Senior Year Course Load: AP Psych, Calc AB, Physics, Language, Spanish
Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): umm, QuestBridge?
Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): Several clubs, but I mostly focused on music: Marching Band (Drum Major), Concert Band (1st Chair), Orchestra, out-of-school bands, organized a large charity event.
Summer Activities: Band Camp, Drum Major Camp
Essays: One about band and how I've matured from it, the other about growing up and supporting my family.
Teacher Recommendation: AP Chem and USH teachers, didn't read them
Counselor Rec: Loved me, didn't read it
Interview: Mediocre, we ended up talking about how I was a good fit for Cornell. I did have a second skype interview with my admissions officer two weeks before decisions though.
State (if domestic applicant): Illinois
School Type: Very crappy public, never sends to Ivies
Ethnicity: Jordanian (marked Caucasian)
Income Bracket: Under 40,000
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): Low-income, gay catholic arab?
Strengths: Decent academics, strong personality shown in my essays
Weaknesses: Lack of awards or national recognition
Why you think you were accepted/waitlisted/rejected: My unique life situation, and the fact that my teachers knew me very well.
Where else were you accepted/waitlisted/rejected: Accepted to Harvard (attending), Dartmouth (likely), Brown, Cornell, Amherst (likely), Wesleyan, Vassar, University of Illinois. Wait-listed from Princeton, Columbia, Duke, and University of Pennsylvania. Rejected from Yale (EA).
General Comments: Acceptances are a crap-shoot. Apply to as many as you can and just be honest in your application. Where you end up might not be where you thought, but everything works out for the best.
SAT I: Reading (780), Math (780), Writing (680) = 2240.
ACT: <not submitted>
SAT II: Math II (800), Chemistry (790), U.S. History (750).
Unweighted GPA: 4.28/4.0.
AP: U.S. History (5), Chemistry (5), Calculus AB (5), Statistics (5), English Language and Composition (5).
Senior Year Course Load: AP Physics C Mechanics, AP Government and Politics, AP Biology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus BC, Spanish IV, Teacher Assistant.
Major Awards: Third Place WV State Math Field Day.
Extracurriculars: Student Government (Senior Class Secretary), Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society (President), National Honor Society (Vice President), Math Honorary Club, Science Bowl, Cross Country (3 Varsity letters), Track and Field (1 Varsity letter), MHS Frisbee Club (Founder and President), Community League Basketball (Captain), Community League Frisbee (Captain).
Job/Work Experience: <na>
Volunteer/Community service: Middle school tutoring, helping in a nursing home.
Summer Activities: Governor's Honors Academy for 3 weeks in 2011, a smattering of one-week camps.
Essays: I took the essays very seriously.
Teacher Recommendations: ???
Counselor Rec: ???
Additional Rec: <na>
State (if domestic applicant): West Virginia.
School Type: Public.
Income Bracket: $120 - 140k.
Hooks: Class Secretary, underrepresented region.
Strengths: Application essays.
Weaknesses: Music, foreign languages.
Why you think you were accepted/waitlisted/rejected: Low probability.
Where were you accepted: Brown, Olin, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, UVA (Honors), Virginia Tech (Honors), WVU.
Where were you waitlisted: Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Lehigh.
Where were you rejected: Yale, Cornell, Penn.
I am pleased to be going to Brown University in the Fall of 2012.
There seems to be quite a bit of randomness in the evaluation process at schools where the acceptance rates are very low.
I took all of the application essays very seriously because my lowest SAT score was in writing. Brown's app was the one with the most essays which might be why Brown was the only Ivy (out of the seven that I applied to) that accepted me.
Location: Living in Thailand, but previously lived in Korea and the United States!
I don't know anything about nepaliboy but him getting into Harvard with essays that he paid someone else to write for him and his parents basically paying Harvard to admit him really angers me. I hope there aren't too many others out there who try to take advantage of their financial surpluses to blow away the competition with unfair advantage.