I visited U of Chicago for the second time last week and decided it is the place I would like to spend 4 years of my life...but I am really worried about getting in now...I wasn't so worried before because I didn't know I was sure I wanted to go there, but now that I realize that it is way more of a place for me than Northwestern, U of I, or Johns Hopkins...I need some advise.
So I am a rising Senior at a Jewish High School in IL. I have a 3.7 gpa uw and a 1460/2210. I am extremely involved in EC's. As a Senior, I will be taking:
AP BC Calc
Econ/Middle eastern Hist (requiered)
Hebrew 4 -Requiered
Band and Gym
-So i planned to take regular english (only class offer in district) over the summer so I would have a study hall to work on my several EC leadership positions and be able to survive senior year(I do not get home until at least 5:30 every day). I was recomended for AP English but chose to take summer school instead because because English is my least favorite subject, even tho on the SAT i got a 750 in reading and a 750 in writing.
Will not taking AP English cripple my U of Chicago Chances? If I take it, I will be taking the Hardest courseload my school has to offer.
I think I am going to apply Early Action, but I am not sure. I will be interviewing too.
Please, any advise to help get me in would be greatly appreciated. I am not trying to get into a laundry list of schools; I really think Chicago is for me!
There is no single class which, if you do not take, will outright cripple your chances at Chicago. That said, I think AP English is a great class and if taught well (as it was at my high school, fortunately) shares a lot in common with the humanities core requirement.
Chicago is probably not going to mark you down for not taking it unless you've taken only science and math courses otherwise -- they'll see it as evidence of being too narrowly focused. Still, I'd recommend taking AP English. Once you get to Chicago, thanks to the core, you're going to be forced to take all kinds of classes. And, honestly, the best skill one can cultivate during high school is how to write and judge essays. A good AP English class can satisfy that.
My son was disillusioned with AP English - he thought it lacked depth. No sour grapes - he pulled a 5 on the test. It was, however, very much better than regular english, and his writing has not been found lacking. Remember that once you are admitted to U of C, you want to be well prepared.
Let's see ... other advice. Apply to your backup schools before you do your U of C app. Apps get better as they go along. Interview at other schools first ... you will likely be more comfortable for your Chicago interview.
Location: the middle of nowhere, Western PA --->UChicago!
Yes ohio mom! That is awesome advice. UChicago was my last app, and I believe it was my best. I decided not to apply EA there, and somehow (believe it or not) those few months made a real difference to my essays and application supplements. After trying to tell other schools that I liked them, I realized how much more I liked U of C...and the essays just flowed a lot easier.
Ok. That was really profound.
I could have just said: ohio mom has good advice! Thank you!
Sometimes a few months do matter - they are still a significant portion of your life. In addition, the writing skills that you acquire in the first semester of your senior year may help with your confidence (and technique) in producing your essays.
One other tip - if you are going to apply to a lot of schools (as you should if you dependent on merit aid or really don't have a clue as to where you will want to be in the spring), save some of the more numbers-oriented ones for last - my son was well and truly sick of applications by the end and his last - to Carleton - was definately not his best.
I am actually glad I did my UofC app first: I was in a good place at the start of school last fall and the fact that I hadn't written half a zillion cliche essays for other schools and scholarships led to what I think is the best essay I have ever written.
But I am psychotic and applied EA.
Write when you feel like writing. I know if I would have forced myself to sit down and write my essays when I knew I didn't want to, my application would have sucked.
Ditto here. When it came time to write the U. of C. essays, I think mine were very frank and very "me." I think I expressed myself well, who I am and why I want to live the "life of the mind" -- because I wrote my Chicago essays first.
Now didn't that sound cliched?
I think my essays for the other two schools to which I applied were drab and uninteresting, as I whipped them out at the last second and was not interested in the schools. Then again, I received a merit scholarship to another school that was partially based on my essays. Whatever works for you. . .