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Everyone except counselor thinks I have a good chance

lotterytheologylotterytheology Posts: 9Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in What Are My Chances?
Hey guys! So after my college meeting with my guidance counselor on Friday, I feel very insecure about my chances at any of my reaches or targets.
SAT scores: Reading-- 800, Math-- 680, Writing-- 800, essay: 11. Total: 2280
SAT II Scores: Literature-- 770, U.S. History 750.
APs: French--3, U.S. History--5.
GPA: 94.76 at Bronx Science, which puts me at around top ten percent.
AP Classes: AP French, APUSH, AP Mic/Mac, AP Calc AB, AP Psych, AP Biology, AP Literature.
EC's: 2 summers at an international newspaper writing as a world news intern reporter. I published 98 articles which were printed on web and print in five countries.
I'm the editor of our school's Social Studies Research Journal and also cover artist and contributor.
I write a lot of short stories in my spare time and had a poem published in our school's literary magazine.
I've done Speech & Debate for three years and have a degree of Merit but no awards yet because I'm basically awful at speech. Getting better every day though.
I've played piano for eight years and performed for private and public audiences with a repertoire both Western and Asian.
Awards: National Merit Commended Student (PSAT score: 203), Most Valuable Player in Volleyball (9th grade gym class, not sure if that counts), Most Improved Player in Basketball (again gym class)
and a Camp Nanowrimo June 2012 Winner!
Teacher Rec's: I have one APUSH teacher who loves me and a Precalc teacher who was very supportive of all my endeavors into that afeared subject. Not sure how my guidance counselor will write hers.
Essays: Writing is my strength and what I plan to do with my life, so hopefully there are no weaknesses here.
Art Supplements: I'm sending one YouTube video of my piano skills and a news article.
Ethnicity and Gender: I'm a Taiwanese female.
blah blah blah
Major! I'd like to go into Journalism/Creative Writing or just English in general. I would also like to minor in Chinese and/or Music.
---
Schools I'm Applying to

Reaches: Amherst, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Barnard, Wellesley
Targets: Hamilton, Skidmore, Vassar, Macaulay Honors (a.k.a free CUNY)
Safeties: Ursinus, SUNY Stonybrook and CUNY Hunter.


So my guidance counselor is telling me that I won't get into any of these except Ursinus, CUNY and Stonybrook and that I have a 50% chance at my targets. Her reasoning is that I took most of my APs in the latter half of my high school career and that I have weak EC's.

My friends and even my teachers who are writing my recommendations say that I have a great chance but I do realize that they probably don't see the whole picture.

Chance me! I need to know which side my future is leaning toward. :O
Post edited by lotterytheology on

Replies to: Everyone except counselor thinks I have a good chance

  • UNIVELOCITYUNIVELOCITY Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    A lot of hs councilors don't know anything. I say this from horrible experiences. Idk the stats or rankings of these colleges but according to your stats you should be applying to a broad range of somewhere between the top 40th-20th universities for ur target schools .. Hope that helps
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,965Registered User Senior Member
    Well... I'd say the counselor is right about your reaches, especially Amherst, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale... they are big reaches for you. Not sure about the matches. And... ditch the "gym class" awards. Your ECs are light, but those do not add anything except an appearance of fluffiness. If I were you I would get rid of the biggest reaches and substitute some more matches. Lots of students apply to too many reaches and don't pay enough attention to matches & safety selection. If you like Barnard and Wellesley, what about adding Bryn Mawr and Mt. Holyoke?
  • gthopeful93gthopeful93 Posts: 415Registered User Member
    Are you kidding me? Your ECs are amazing! How many other kids out there have 98 articles published as a world news intern reporter? Things like this will set you apart and maybe give you a chance at your reach schools, especially since your GPA and test scores are also good. Don't let negative people bring you down, you should definitely apply to those schools!
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,965Registered User Senior Member
    That is exactly one EC that goes beyond the boundaries of the school... could be very helpful with the matches, but just one of a crowd (with math scores at 700 or above) at all the reach schools. Not trying to "bring her down", but it is no fun to spend a ton of time and money on applications, and end up with a small number of acceptances in the spring. And wishing that you had spent more time on match school selection... It is okay to have a couple of reaches, but she should pick ONE of the four I listed. Okay to leave Wellesley & Barnard, better acceptance rates there. Then substitute in three more matches. She won't be sorry in the spring to have more choices with actual acceptances. Lots of rah-rahing from other students (and teachers who are not college counselors) does not translate into admissions.

    Does your school have Naviance? Have you looked at it for those schools?
  • lotterytheologylotterytheology Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    Yes, actually we do have Naviance. I have looked, here's the breakdown for my reach schools:

    Accepted At
    Amherst
    Average GPA: 93.91
    SAT: 2148
    Columbia
    GPA: 93.79
    SAT: 2144
    Princeton
    GPA: 95.26
    SAT: 2214
    Barnard
    GPA: 93.00
    SAT: 2114
    Wellesley
    GPA: 93.03
    SAT: 2132
    Yale
    GPA: 95.60
    SAT: 2217
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,965Registered User Senior Member
    So the Naviance numbers don't look too bad... it would be better if your math were at least 700, though. And can't tell from those Naviance numbers whether those applicants had hooks (eg, URM or legacy) or something particular spectacular in ECs (eg, Olympiad medals, Siemens, etc.). I do get the impression that your counselor may not be ticking the "hardest courses available" box for you, though, if you did not take many AP's until this year. I see only 2 AP scores for you, so assuming you took only two before senior year. So that can negate some of the positive side of your GPA if you could have taken more earlier. I still stand by the comment that you have too many uber-reaches, and ought to drop a couple of them for some more match schools.
  • lotterytheologylotterytheology Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    The kids at my school tend to have immigrant parents and are white or Asian, so I would assume most who are accepted are accomplished in their EC's.
    Yes, I did take most of my APs senior year.
    I transferred to my current high school sophomore year. At my previous high school, kids weren't allowed to take APs as freshmen. As a transfer student, the only classes that were left were regular classes. It has been an uphill climb though. Honors in an average high school to regular in a specialized high school to honors and APs and finally, five APs and honors French Conversation.
    And junior year, I chose to take honors journalism instead of AP Language and Composition because I wanted a firmer background in the subject. I did take Honors Physics however.
    As much as I'd like to apply to more targets, a few things are holding me back: my history teacher discourages me from doing so because she believes that I should go to a school that matches my brilliance (her words) and I'm worried that might affect her recommendation of me, my mom wants me to stay in New York and I'm already pushing it with three out-of-state schools, my list had to be finalized last week and my guidance counselor already has a low enough opinion of me as it is, and probably the most important reason, I've visited my reaches and am in love with them.
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    You are solid for your targets and have a good a chance as anyone for your reaches. A low math SAT for an English major who is solidly positioned is not a deal-killer.
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