^I only listed activities in which I hold leadership positions. I do participate in a variety of other activities though, including community service, Quill and Scroll, and some other honor societies.
My favorite subjects are English, History, and Biology (contradictory, I know). I don't enjoy math or chemistry. I'm looking for a program strong in both Biology and English & History. From what I gather, UChicago is strong in both.
Second question: Does UChicago offer good merit aid? I doubt I'd be eligible for a large sum of financial aid given my upper middle class status, so I was just wondering: merit scholarships, etc.? Do they ever give full rides, or at least sums greater than 10K per year for undergrads?
Do they EVER give full rides? Yes, but frankly, I don't see why you expect to get it...you're obviously a strong student, but merit scholarships are to attract the best of the best. You not only need to stand out compared to the average HS student, but you need to stand out in Chicago's pool.
You're an URM and I doubt that Chicago gets many apps from Louisiana, so you have that going for you. You're rank is great (assuming your school is pretty good, which is likely due to your "upper middle class status".)
You should be aware that to Chicago, your SAT score will be 1380/1600 (they don't look at writing), and your ECs are only alright. It's great that you have leadership positions and you guys have had great success in competitions. What have you done specifically though?
I'd also spend more time making sure that Chicago is a fit. Do your parents and your GC know much about Chicago?
Anyway, if you don't want to spend much money on your college education, just apply to schools lower on the food chain. I'm sure many will give an obviously bright student like you lots of $$$ to go.
overachiever1992- Thanks, that was helpful. I really wasn't expecting a full ride, I'm not that one-in-a-hundred applicant, but $10K per year merit would be nice. My school is public, but my class is very competitve, the most competitve one in years, even though there are only 135 students. Does being a Hispanic really matter alot? Because I've gotten mixed views about this. Also, my mom lived in Chicago, and we have family three hours away, so yes, we're familiar with the area. Also, since you mentioned "lower on the food chain" colleges to apply to... any recommendations? Thanks again!
"Lower on the food chain"- may not be the most adequate to describe these, but here are some very good universities I know that offer full rides or very close to them
Emory, Vanderbilt, UVA - ask your guidance counselor about how to apply to these scholarships early in the fall. I ended up getting one for Emory but didn't even advance to the 2nd round for UVA.
But word of warning- if you're family is upper middle class (meaning like 100k +), unless they have mounting debts or are sending multiple kids to college, I see no reason why money should be greater consideration than if a school that you think best fits you. To the best of my knowledge cost of living and property prices at Louisiana are not overwhelming. Talk to your parents and see if they would be willing to cover you until you can pay them back (there's like formal legal stuff for this actually).
The benefits from the 3 college with scholarships i mentioned early is not limited solely to the money; if you get one of those, they'll treat you like royalty (albeit they probably expect you to be some sort kid who succeeds academically and take leadership to enhance their school experience)
Granted this is all coming from a guy coming from a middle middle class family receiving a hefty amount of financial aid who decided to turn down a merit scholarship elsewhere so take it with a grain of salt.
I do think your ethnicity matters quite a lot, colleges are looking for diversity. I know two boys who marked Hispanic on their applications. Their mother is Mexican but the two have blonde hair and blue eyes, both got into Dartmouth and UChicago. I also know a girl who is Hispanic with stats similar to yours who received a full ride to Princeton. I'd say look into some Ivies. UChicago really looks for "quirky" students who want to learn for the sake of learning. Essays are a major component of the UChicago admissions process. Think outside of the box, be creative and weird. My boyfriend got denied and I believe the decision was based solely on his essays, otherwise he was the perfect student.