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Dream School is Yale. Think I can get Matched?

DolphinBoyDolphinBoy Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Questbridge Programs
Hi CC forumgoers! This is my first post ever, although I've been reading these forums for a while (you guys rock!).

I'd really like to know how you all think my application looks. I'm applying as a QuestBridge finalist to Yale, my dream school.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice/criticism!

SAT: 2300 (second time; 740R, 800M, 760W)
SAT IIs: 710 Math 2, 730 Chemistry
ACT: 33 (second time; 33E, 34M, 33R, 30S<---lol)

I sent my ACT to (hopefully) make up for the weaker SAT IIs. I'm taking some more soon for the RD round, though. Math 2 needs to come up.

I'll have taken 12 APs by the end of senior year.
Senior year course load:
-AP Lit
-AP Gov
-AP Psych
-AP Calc BC (got a 5 on AB last year)
-AP Stats
-Honors Botany, Honors Internship (both of which I use to work on my senior project--see below)
Other APs: Chem, Calc AB, Lang, Environmental, APUSH, World, Human Geo

UW GPA: 3.875
W GPA: 5.0 (out of 6.0)
Rank: 5th
Class Size: 500

I’m a white male.

I attend a medium to large size public magnet school (for environmental science) in South Florida. It’s really sad, but outside of the magnet (which comprises only a small percentage of the population), my school is... well... let’s just say “illiterate”. And that’s putting it nicely.

Now for the fun stuff!

I have swam competitively for the past 9 years on a club team, and on my high school team for all 4 years. Junior year I was MVP, this year I was Captain. Swimming takes up a huge amount of time (6 days a week or more, 3-4 hours a day). I definitely intend to swim in college.

During sophomore year, I taught myself how to program iPhone apps. I currently have 3 published on the iTunes App Store. I had no instructor or course to take; I just scoured the Internet for videos, blogs, and forums, eventually cobbling together my own understanding. I really love programming--I do it in my free time around swimming and school. I've made a game and two utility apps (that actually have useful purposes--gasp!). One of my essays talks about my love of programming and math, and how I taught myself how to make these apps.

I thought both of my essays were pretty spectacular, and really packed that “punch”. Teacher recs were great (I only got to see one, but it was pretty phenomenal) .
I barely know my guidance counselor, but she let me help her write her stuff.

Misc:
~100 service hours
National Merit Commended
AP Scholar with Distinction

If it means anything, I’ve had a couple of meaningful conversations with my regional admissions officer, both in person and by e-mail.


If you've read this far, thank you! Please give me your thoughts on my chances of admission and any other general comments. They’re greatly appreciated!
Post edited by DolphinBoy on

Replies to: Dream School is Yale. Think I can get Matched?

  • sweetiegirlsweetiegirl Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    Since there are so many views but so little replies (well more like zero) I'll answer your question.

    Disclaimer: I am not an admissions director, Questbridge employee, or even matched Questbridge scholar. I'm just like you-- a student ( and swimmer too!) applying to the National College Match. Hehe

    You're resume is fantastic including your scores. You seem like someone Yale would love to have even through the match. However if that doesn't happen you must be accepted RD. If not...what has the world come to?

    I hope we both get matched to Yale. I'll pray for you if you pray for me. Good luck. I must check out your apps sometime ( :
  • DolphinBoyDolphinBoy Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks so much for your opinion! Haha I kind of gave up on this thread because of its view-to-comment ratio...

    I'm so grateful for your optimism! Looking at the statistics in the Yale RD/SCEA forums is kind of daunting. Its really great to hear someone's reassurance––we both know how stressful a time this is.

    I'm definitely going to hope for both of us. To be matched to Yale... what an amazing opportunity.

    If you want to take a look at my apps, you can search for them in the App Store: Semestomate, c.blend, and *Star Pong*. They're all free (they're not popular enough to earn any money--haha).

    Thanks again for your thoughts! I really hope we both make it––and good luck in all your swimming endeavors too! Chlorine for ever!
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 3,471Registered User Senior Member
    Unless it's changed recently, Yale will not match you in the initial round unless your family's EFC is exactly zero. You are more likely to be matched if you are a URM (under-represented minority) or are the first in your family to go to college -- these are the candidates in the highest demand, because there just aren't many with minimal qualifying Ivy League/Top-20-calibur scores. You might also note that the average scores of Match Round recipients is actually quite a bit below the regular round recipients -- clearly the factors mentioned above and one's "story" of overcoming adversity plays a heavier role than do test scores and class rank.

    Your chances are better during regular decision, unless Yale needs someone for their swim team and your swimming record fits their needs. Your stats are competitive, but if you do get in, it will be due to you having created a "spark" with other factors. My son applied to Yale two years ago as a QB applicant with a 1/400 class rank, 36 ACT, two 800 SAT IIs and National AP Scholar, but was rejected -- and he was far from the only one.

    I wish you luck. You will get into a top school, even if it isn't Yale, and you'll be happy there. My son thought his dream school would be MIT, which also turned him down. But he did get accepted to 4 top-20 schools and ultimately chose Brown. As a self-directed non-conformist type, it turns out that Brown really is his dream school, he just didn't know enough about the school to realize that early in the application process. Cast a wide net during the RD round (if it comes to that) and trust the adcoms a bit: Assuming that your personality comes through in your essays, the schools that ultimately accept you are probably the ones with the best fit for your personality, whatever you might feel at this exact moment.
  • DolphinBoyDolphinBoy Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you LoremIpsum! I'm applying to many top schools (who isn't these days?), so I'm really hopeful that ONE of them will accept me haha. I'm trying not to put all my emotional eggs in one basket with Yale, but its pretty hard!
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 3,471Registered User Senior Member
    DolphinBoy, there's no doubt that you will get multiple acceptances -- it's just that the vast majority of QB acceptances occur during regular decision, so don't despair if you don't match in the first round.

    Other thoughts:

    - Your geographical location plays a role: you may have a big edge coming from south Florida, over others applying from New York and the New England area

    - Consider adding a couple of top LACs like Williams and Amherst to the mix: males have an edge at these schools since women apply in greater numbers and the schools try to get an even 50-50 gender mix

    - Consider Brown: it has several wonderful combination computer science degrees, including CS/math, CS/applied math and CS/economics (my son is pursuing CS/applied math). There is a game developer's club that meets weekly. One of the intro CS classes is taught by a legend in the field, Andy van Dam, co-inventor of hypertext, who has taught many CS industry leaders, including most of the Pixar team. He also my son's faculty advisor.
  • OlipondOlipond Posts: 150Registered User Junior Member
    Reading between the lines, I get the impression that your AP scores might have been low-probably NOT your fault if you went to a big urban. All of your test scores are a bit on the low side.
    BUT: The apps design is a huge factor in your favor. Going to a large urban is a huge factor. Swimming? Depends. Are you a state level swimmer? If so, then yes. Women's swimming is far more competitive, but you almost have to be a top heat state swimmer to get any college attention. I know at Harvard, for example, almost all of the swimmers have Olympic Trial Cuts, and are AAC or AAA.
    The truth is, it is a crap shoot for everyone. I do know of a few that were matched to Yale last year that were white or Indian. They didn't have your EC's at all, but they did have sky high SAT/ACT SATII scores, and high AP scores.
  • DolphinBoyDolphinBoy Posts: 32Registered User Junior Member
    @LoremIpsum Actually, Brown is high on my list as well. I've heard a lot of great things about Brown. Plus, being able to take classes at RISD is a huge pro.

    @Olipond I've passed all my AP exams (I say passed because of one 3 on APUSH... grrr). They aren't stellar, but I wouldn't say they are horrible either (barring APUSH):

    Human Geo (9th): 4
    World (10th): 4
    Calc AB (11th): 5
    Chem (11th): 4
    Lang (11th): 4
    APUSH (11th): 3
    APES (11th): 5

    And this year, I'm taking another 5 APs: Lit, Gov, Psych, Calc BC, and Stats.

    Unfortunately, several of these classes were taught by teachers who only just found out they were teaching the subject two days before school started -___- agh underfunded public school... How I love thee.

    edit: Oh, forgot to mention: my test scores are among the highest at my school. I only know one person to score higher than me this year (and he only got 10 points higher than me (2310).

    As for swimming, I was really––brutally––close to making states this year. Regional A finals... But it's OK I guess. My best shot was in the 100 Free (which was particularly ferocious this year). It sounds like you have some swimming knowledge, so I'll tell you my time I guess. My best 100 is the 49.26 I swam at finals. I have two Spring Sectional cuts and one Summer cut (if you know what those are haha). I also have several other local cuts. I would probably do better at a Div-3 school, but Yale has no cap-size on their swim team. I talked to the head coach, and he said that I would definitely be able to swim at Yale. I don't care so much about being recruited or anything. I'm way more interested in going to a top academic school, hence Yale. Seriously––I don't even care if I'm too slow to compete. I just want to be able to swim on a team.

    I'm really hoping my three main activities will form some kind of cohesive package (school/swimming/programming). It isn't often that you see someone engaged in such diverse activities––at least not where I come from hahaha!
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