Alright, so I'm a senior this year, and I'm pretty confident that I have a good shot at getting to several of my ivy league choices and Stanford. (Applying Stanford Early Action). Since it's already nearly October, I won't be able to send in any more scores for EA. My academics are not particularly stellar (3.79 UW and 4.52 W in an EXTREMELY competitive high school), but my EC's are what bring me up. Captain of Science Olympiad and Math Team, Captain of School and Club swim team, YNationals Swimming qualifier, Southeasterns Swimming finalist, #2 State triathlete, 13th in State for Cross Country, and a few more of lesser importance.
Now, the thing im worried about are my Standardized test scores. I got a 2230 and 33 ACT, and I realize that those are reasonable (mid 50%) scores at the ivies and stanford, just wait till you hear my Subscores. SAT- 800 math, 800 writing, 630 CR
ACT-36 math, 35 English, 35 Science, .24 CR
So obviously, my CR absolutely SUCKS. My question is, how much will this hurt me by? Being an Asian male applying to Stanford, will the fact that I am very active in athletics and community service (Something that is rarely heard of in schools, particularly in Stanford) go a long way?
To say that you're confident that you'll get into several ivies, etc. is a bit arrogant, although I'm not trying to insult you. I'm in fact, going to let you know that admissions processes are a crapshoot. For example, I got waitlisted at some lower ivies and got admissions to higher tiered ones.
A note on Stanford SCEA. The way Stanford operates its early program doesn't really benefit the applicants (both from my counselor, and from my own personal experience of deciding to do it anyway in spite of her advice). Stanford's acceptance rate for early admissions is like just above 10%, whereas Harvard and Princeton offer closer to 20% acceptance rates for early admission. In addition, Stanford REJECTS most of the early applicants, whereas Yale's early program tends to defer. Seems like a bad deal, especially when you consider the fact that the early pool is WAY more qualified than the normal pool. Just my two cents.
Lastly, yes your scores are somewhat sub-par, which you know. I went to an "EXTREMELY competitive high school," and despite the fact that getting a 4.0 was achievable only by Einstein-like geniuses, most kids getting into the tier-1 schools had 3.85's at least. And yeah, it sucks...again, but being an asian male doesn't help. If you've got your sites set on Stanford, and you live in Cali, that's even worse (that was my situation when I applied SCEA there). Sorry if this reply is somewhat scattered; I'm replying as I read, and it's also very late now haha. I'll just respond to your last statement, which was that athletics and community service (from an asian, I presume) is rare at Stanford. Firstly...asian applicants deeply invested in community service are not rare. And a significant percent of Stanford's student population is highly athletic (I'm not sure if being an Asian athlete somehow helps, but I can't see much benefit unless you can make a varsity team).
Sorry if a lot of this sounds pessimistic; I think that you are qualified, as are a large percentage of the students applying to top schools, but I think it's healthy to have a certain mindset not to expect. The most that you (or any applicant) can do is to improve test scores and essays to the best of your capability (and hope for the best!).
Last edited by CannedPineapple; 10-02-2012 at 01:55 AM.
Your assumptions are way too arrogant. Just to put things in perspective for you. My son who is a freshman in college this year had much higher test scores, 3.9999. GPA, salutatorian of his class, varsity athlete, etc, etc. His ECs were great. He had summer research with a prominent doctor. He didn't get into ANY Ivies! He applied to 6. So I think you should find some good backup schools that you'll be happy with. I suggest that you look at acceptance threads for all Ivies for the class of 2016. There were kids with 2400 on SAT and valedictorians who didn't get into any Ivies. So unless you're a URM from Kansas the acceptance game is complete crapshoot. Sorry for the harsh post. But it's better that you have realistic expectations.
From what I've heard, coming from an extremely competitive school is actually detrimental to your prospects at Ivies. What they like to see, apparently, is people taking the most rigorous classes available at their school, succeeding in them, and having a few great ECs (not a laundry list) and awards.
Might wanna take the SAT again, this time focusing on bringing up your CR score. Like a lot. 630 really calls into your question your ability to read critically, which is extremely important in college. They superscore anyways, so don't worry about failing the other sections.
You have a fairly good shot of getting into at least one of them, but the process is so convoluted you can never be sure. There was this guy last year that got waitlisted at UCLA but accepted to Brown and Cornell, so.