Hi i am Hispanic and my older sister (hispanic as well) wants to go to Yale. She has a 5 on AP calc ab, 780 on math 2, 690 on bio, 2100 on her sat, 3.52 Gpa (unweighted). She has been in 7 honors classes and is taking Ap physics C and Ap calc BC this year. I wanted to know if this is enough to get in to Yale or maybe Columbia for biomedical engineering. Can someone please explain if she is better off early decision to one of those schools or applying regular with around a 700-720 on physics instead of 690 Bio because she would be taking that in november after the e.d. date. THANKS!!!!
I also forgot to mention that she has been in about 8 clubs and 2 sports (soccer and lacrosse.) She takes AP french as well and speaks hebrew because she is half jewish so she knows 4 languages (spanish,english,french,hebrew) Is it an advantage to apply as a hispanic only and leave out the jewish heritage and hebrew language?
A 3.52 unweighted GPA comes out to an 88 average. Is that correct? Is that your sister's average?
Even though your sister is a URM, getting into Yale or Columbia with an 88 is going to be a high reach. My suggestion would be to have your sister talk to her guidance counselor to see what the lowest GPA either Yale or Columbia accepted from her high school. If your sister does have an 88, I would recommend her NOT to apply early to Yale or Columbia and apply to both of them in regular admissions. She should, instead, apply to a broad range of non-binding schools early.
"Yale is above all an academic institution. This means academic strength is our first consideration in evaluating any candidate. The single most important document in your application is your high school transcript, which tells us a great deal about your academic drive and performance over time. We look for students who have consistently taken a broad range of challenging courses in high school and done well."
"While there is no hard and fast rule, it is safe to say that performance in school is more important than testing. A very strong performance in a demanding college preparatory program may compensate for modest standardized test scores, but it is unlikely that high standardized test scores will persuade the admissions committee to disregard an undistinguished secondary-school record."
To be honest, your sister is going to be competing against many other hispanics who will have higher averages -- averages that could be in the 92 to 98 range.
Although SAT and SAT subject tests are part of the applications package -- and your sister has good scores -- colleges realize that those tests are just a one-day snapshot into a student's life, which is why the transcript, with it's 3.5 year record, is given more weight.
Also, I thought I answered all your questions, but I will try to be more specific:
"I wanted to know if this is enough to get in to Yale or maybe Columbia for biomedical engineering."
While her test scores are high enough for Yale or Columbia, her GPA may not be high enough. Have her talk with her guidance counselor.
"Can someone please explain if she is better off early decision to one of those schools or applying regular with around a 700-720 on physics instead of 690 Bio because she would be taking that in november after the e.d. date. THANKS!!!!"
Early decsion at Yale and Columbia is for students who have super high GPA's or who are athletes, legacy's or developmental cases (big $$ folks).
Although your sister is a URM, if she applies early, her GPA will most likely result in her application being deferred to the regular admissions pool.
what do you think a starting average and sat score for hispanics would be to one of these schools
First, I agree w/gibby that the level of Hispanic applicants at a school like Y is very high.
Second, all Hispanics are not created equal. Within the Hispanic cohort other factors are considered, including: SES, country of origin, first gen, overcoming adversity, etc. See this thread and the link I give to another thread:
"The admissions rate for the School of Engineering and Applied Science (popularly known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering) undergraduate class of 2015 was 9.9%, making it the second most selective engineering research college behind MIT and the most selective school of engineering in the Ivy League."
and when you say ses being a factor do you mean that a low income hispanic would have a higher chance or would a hispanic that does not need much financial aid has a higher chance?
And for adversity i can give you an example: as far as the bad gpa goes it went down from a 92 to 88 her junior year because of problems with a highly abusive boyfriend that greatly interfered with her school studies. Since then she bounced back after breaking up with the monster boyfreind after seeking help. Her last two semesters of junior year were straight A's and and improved from the F's & D's she had first 2 semesters that killed her average(she is lucky to even have an 88 btw). Is there anyway these schools will understand this and how can she inform them?
^^ That is something her guidance counselor can address in the Secondary School Report (SSR) which is submitted with your sister's application: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/...t_download.pdf. Her teachers can also address that issue in their recommendations.
Yale is need-blind for both US and International students. That means they evaluate applications based upon academics and do not consider money, or the lack of it, when considering students.
Columbia, from their website, appears to be need-blind for US Citizen's but not for International students. That means Columbia does consider the ability to pay for internatinal students when evaluating applications.