I'm a junior this year, I'd like to see where I can improve! I'm a Korean-American (shucks I know, being Asian doesn't really help me these days) from a top suburban high school in NY.
I'm planning on applying Princeton SCEA because its strong international relations and political science programs (Woody Woo!) and my interest in its senior thesis paper that you pretty much get to create your OWN research in your field of interest rather than research what others have done before you. Additionally, I am looking for a small school ~5,000 undergrads, and I love the fact that Princeton has little to no grad students (it's aimed at undergrads) and all professors have to teach intro level courses (I met my favorite teachers in my intro level courses in high school). My dad is an alumni of Yonsei University (he's a college professor) and my mom went to Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC so I don't have a legacy.
GPA: (Up-to-date 3.89 unweighted, or 97.25% unweighted- I have no idea what the weighting is at our school)
Classrank: No clue. I was in the solid top 10 in middle school, but we don't get ranking until September of senior year; I'm hoping to really boost my GPA this year so I can retain a top 10 spot.
***Freshman Year Classes ***:
Global 1R (only option) (100 on final)
Latin 1R (only option) (100 on Regents)
Spanish 2A (100 on Regents)
Geometry A (100 on regents)
**Summer school- Global 2R (100 on regents); CTY Distance Chemistry**
Freshman year: 98.0 %, or 3.92
*** Sophomore Year Classes ***:
I struggled a lot last year with bio (science is NOT my strong point) and euro (taking it with US), and my grades really suffered, which I'm afraid about.
AP Bio (5)
AP Euro (4- I was crazy to have taken APUSH and Euro in the same year)
Spanish 3A (100 on final)
Sophomore year: 95.88%, or 3.84 (ick)
Summer- CTY Distance Precalculus
*** Junior year courseload (obviously no grades yet) *** I'm only taking classes I have a genuine interest in this year
AP Computer Science
AP Music Theory
Pre-Calc A (I didn't want to make the same mistake and take two APs in the same subject like I did last year, so I didn't use the credit from CTY)
5s on Bio and APUSH, 4 on Euro (bad choice to take it last year, but at least I have one large course off my shoulders for this year)
**PSAT last year- 210+ without studying/ I fell asleep during the exam (long story)... (aiming for 227+ this year, but let's see what God's will is),
***SAT II- 760 US, 740 Bio (didn't really study for either, but I did the best of my grade for US)
--- Continuous through high school (every year) ---
(Sidenote: I've played violin 12 years now so it's probably my strongest EC)
Symphony Orchestra- Secretary/First violinist
NYSSMA Area-All State (concertmistress once, always in first violin)
All-County Orchestra (always first violin)
Regional youth orchestra (all year long; first violinist)
FBLA (third place for Global Business at states, first place Intro to Business and first place Business Law at districts; VP)
Mock Trial ("starting" attorney, also a witness; we do relatively well)
Model UN (Vice President; won various awards for outstanding performance throughout the years)
District Shared Decision Making student representative for my school (the rest of the members are members of the district board and superintendents, principals, etc.)
Superintendent's Inter-High Advisory Council
Student Council representative
Maxima Cum Laude in National Latin Exam
*** Once-in-a-while things ***
Made NYSSMA All-State Symphony Orchestra this year!
Citywide Leadership Program
Lacrosse- JV, Field Hockey- JV (I was the only eighth grader on the JV lacrosse team, but decided to quit after ninth grade because it is during AP season)
Poems chosen for district Poetry contest
I have been working to receive the Congressional Award
*** Volunteering ***
Town Outstanding Volunteer Award
Bronze/Silver local volunteer awards
~100 hours so far solely from local youth volunteer organization
Went to Haiti for a mission trip summer of 2011
I teach English to Turkish and African refugees at a local refugee shelter every weekend (and did so all summer, I was inspired to do so after going to Haiti and the fact that my parents both had to learn a new English whilst taking college level classes in it was really inspring.)
Obama 2012 Campaign volunteer (will probably amass ~25 hours)
Town Youth Court (I have an interest in politics/law, so I decided to join and it's a great experience)
Planning on tutoring violin for local middle school to get school volunteer hours
***Sidenote: was first on waiting list for TASS last summer (I had a great interview, but since TASS only takes 36 out of ~2000 applicants and since I was #37, it meant I was in the 98th percentile of essays, which is what admission is based on; my writing skills are something I'm proud of and my strong point- I've taken 3 writing distance programs with CTY over the years)
I plan on applying for TASP this year (hopefully I'll make it if it's God's will this time!)
I'm looking into being a political science major with developmental economics, urban planning, journalism, or international relations as my minor/concentrations. I know my grades aren't all that great and that my extracurriculars aren't particularly outstanding, but if I bring my GPA up a LOT this year, do you think that it's possible that I will have a shot at Princeton?
What do you see as the weaknesses in my resume so that I can work on them my junior year? Also, if you have any college suggestions, could you please tell me? Thank you!!!
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!
Last edited by prayingfor2014; 09-15-2012 at 04:23 AM.
You have accomplished a great deal in your years to date! I missed SAT scores in your outline...did you write them yet? Those will be an important part of your application.
I get the sense that the most important part of your application is conveying who you are as a person. My son is a freshman this year at Princeton and has remarked on several occasions how humble but incredibly intelligent and accomplished (and interesting!) the people he has met are. So what is it that makes you most interesting? Accomplished? For example, will you regularly serve as concert mistress in future performances? Do you have recordings of your work? What sets you apart from others?
Above all, don't be overly concerned about grades...yes they need to be above a minimum threshold to ensure success at a highly rigorous school, but remember that 4.0's and 2400's do get declined regularly in the admission process. I can't say I know what that threshold is but your courseload is also challenging so that will be part of the consideration process.
Just going to echo what everyone else has said, you have a pretty decent shot if you keep on the path you're going. Keep bringing that GPA / Class Rank up, and make sure to prepare well for the SAT. Good luck!
I'm also striving to be a 2018 Princeton grad from Woody Woo (and I'm Korean-Am as well)! PM me if you want to talk or whatever.
I have a question for everyone who commented on this post: would not having any science courses junior year hurt this applicant? I don't have any science courses for this year as of right now either, but might add one just in case... However, I absolutely hate science and am not planning on doing anything science-related in college.
Location: ...you want to come over? Didn't think so...
If you just received your scores it may not be available yet, but in about a week collegeboard should post a breakdown of your scores (how many you missed, what areas, question difficulty). Or you may already have this.
When I took the sat I received a 760 in math, but missed only one question. Brutal curve! I realized that improving my score to an 800 would be very difficult. Even though I think of myself as a strong math person, getting that one other question right seemed pretty hard, with not that much reward, and I had done pretty well on my other sections, so I decided to leave it. You're still only a junior and have plenty of time to try again if you wish, but just take a look and see how big of an improvement needs to be made, and how much of it was just one or two unfortunate questions.