4 in AP Chemistry
5 in AP Biology
5 in AP US History
5 in AP English Lang
5 in AP Computer Science
AP Calculus BC
AP English Literature
National Hispanic Scholar
National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, (CR: 74, W:76)
SAT Subject Test: Math II 750
SAT Reasoning: October 2012
SAT Subject Test: Physics: November 2012
Average Leadership, Community service, Sports, Chess.
Applicant, my son, has a poor GPA because he transferred from URM, economically disadvantaged neighborhood schools to this competitive suburban high school in TX- He went from schools with no NMSF in the past 5 years to one with over a dozen each year. (Interesting essay)
Assuming SAT score of 2250 and 750+ on the Physics SAT Subject Test, what are the chances this application does not get dumped before the essay gets read?
Last edited by perazziman; 09-21-2012 at 05:43 PM.
EVERYONE gets a read - from seeing fellow students I can attest to that. The problem, I'd say, lies in this
"Applicant, my son, has a poor GPA because he transferred from URM, economically disadvantaged neighborhood schools to this competitive suburban high school in TX- He went from schools with no NMSF in the past 5 years to one with over a dozen each year. (Interesting essay)"
My school hadn't sent anybody to Princeton ... ever. And only a handful of Ivies (read: a recent Yale, a Dartmouth and a Cornell way back) ever in its 100+ year history. Don't assume that coming from a slightly disadvantaged situation helps him. In fact - I would definitely recommend against using that as an essay topic. HS guidance counselors, from my experience, are trained to make student feel like their experiences (including negative ones) can impress colleges. Despite being a URM and going to a less-than-stellar high school, I chose not to use that as a tool in my application. Instead, I chose to write about a seemingly unimportant topic (fish tacos). Since my stats were no good (1890, and yes you read that right), I am SURE they read everyone's essays.
BTW, He has written a few drafts of his essays and they are not directly about changing schools. By essay, I just meant a side note - a few lines describing the special circumstances that led to a drop in his high school GPA, that may be of interest.
A year ago, on the NMSQT, CR was 74, W was 76 and Math was 69.
Then, in June he took the Math II at the end of junior year and scored 750
So it seems his math score is slowly inching up. We shall see in a couple of weeks, but the two benchmark SAT practice tests he took over the summer seem to suggest 2250+ will not be a problem for him. (He scored 2400s both times, without any practice)
Also, a little (possibly unwarranted advice), let the kid do his own thing. Sorry if that sounds a bit rude, but you said "we are in the process of deciding where to apply." Keep in mind that your son's decision on where to apply/go to school is just that. I do hope for his sake that nobody is pressuring him into applying to certain schools. I'm at Princeton. My brother is a senior and is considering community college. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Thank God, neither he nor I experience pressure from our parents to do anywhere in particular. I hope you are letting all college-related decisions come from your son. If he asks for advice, that's fine, but let him initiate it. Then again, I'm not qualified to give parenting advice.
^Good advice alexcuad, let me put it this way, I know about the topic, but I have not read his essays. We are involved to the degree that we have to pay for some things and what he wants us to find out for him about the process.
Originally Posted by jreeder
If grades went down in new school, need to understand why the AP scores were so good in JR year
I am sorry for not being clear, english is not my first language. He did not come to the new school in junior year. He has been there since freshman year. He graduated from elementary and middle schools at the URM schools. He was at the URM high school for perhaps a day or two, before he transferred to the 'new' high school in another district. His GPA tanked initially in the Fall semester at the new school. It came up in the Spring Semester. Then improved more in the sophomore year. Then, dropped in the Fall of junior year, when he signed up for an extremely hectic 5APs and 2 Honors courses. Then recovered in the Spring semester of junior year. If it was not for the junior year NMSQT, AP, SAT Subject scores, he would be just another above average URM from an underperforming school background taking some very rigorous courses at a competitive high school.
Last edited by perazziman; 09-25-2012 at 07:57 PM.
^No he barely makes the top 25%. Although, he could have made straight As in every course in high school and not cracked the top 10%, as he is capped at I believe ~4.4. He has a 4.04. Started freshman year with a 3.66.
Last edited by perazziman; 09-25-2012 at 08:18 PM.
He's going to need someone on the admissions staff to advocate for him in order to have a chance. I would include a very positive statement in the Additional Information section about how he didn't have the appropriate background when he moved to this high school, so he struggled a little freshman year and how he took on the most rigorous schedule junior year and ultimately succeeded in doing impressive work, handling the AP tests extremely well (his guidance counselor can also write something about his work ethic, because frankly, Princeton will be worried that he's a smart but lazy kid given the disparity between grades and test scores). Hopefully, his senior year grades will be even higher to back up his claims that he can handle the hardest workload.
The problem I see from an admissions standpoint is that his academic profile is below Princeton's norms (although his test scores might well be above average) and so he will need to have a compelling story or compelling extracurriculars in order to get the admissions staff to admit him. He will definitely get a read, but he needs to have essays and a package that brings him to life and explains what he could offer Princeton.
How is it possible not to be in top 10% with straight As?
Hi texaspg, Son challenged himself in the URM middle school by taking 4.5 high school courses (9 semester courses) that were Pass/ Fail at the old district high school. However, the competitive suburban school decided these should be weighted on the 4.0 scale. So, by the time he gets done with taking all the required Fine Arts, speech, career, PE and other academic requirements on top of the 9 middle school courses with straight As there are not enough As in the remaining honors courses to raise his GPA above ~4.4, which is just below the 10% cut off. Essentially, the school had decided the day he enrolled on the first day of freshman year that he would not qualify for auto admit to any Texas State college.
Perazziman - there are some hints that Princeton does not look at grades 9th grade or below. So if his GPA is going down because of middle school grades, it may not matter as long as he got As in them.