Since I have now made a final decision, I thought it might be helpful for future applicants to see how I prepared for the college application process and how they might be able to improve on what I had done :D
Firstly, I must preface this entire post by saying that I am very excited to be attending the school I have chosen as my final choice, but I still feel slightly knowing that I could have done better, had I put more time into crafting my applications. For example, I would have applied to a few more schools (Dartmouth, Duke and UChicago to be exact) and taken a few schools off of my final list for personal or academic reasons (Johns Hopkins, UVa, Boston College). I spent probably too much time poring over USNWR college rankings and (this is horrible but I hope I'm not the only one) chose colleges SOMEWHAT based on those rankings. Sure, I still visited every school to which I applied, but I should have had more foresight than I did when creating my list of colleges.
Secondly, I am still ever-so-slightly hesitant about attending the school I have chosen, because two schools were basically tied in my eyes once I had my final decisions, so I am telling myself every day that I made the right decision and that I will not have any regrets. Still, it has been challenging.
Some background information before I start speaking of my college results - I am a Hispanic male, interested in biomedical engineering. Only one of my parents graduated college, and out yearly income is around $200,000. I live in Pennsylvania.
So, now that the boring part of the post that nobody reads is over, here are my stats:
SAT: 2260 (superstore after three tries)
ACT: 34 (first and only attempt)
SAT II: 730 US History, 720 Math II (taken twice), 660 Biology (did not submit)
AP: Calculus AB 5, US History 5, English Language 4, Calculus BC, Biology, Spanish Language
Awards: National Merit Scholarship Finalist, AP Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar
Key Club (Officer),
Township Civic Association (Board Member),
Spanish National Honor Society (Vice President),
Tutor Center (Coordinator),
Soccer (Varsity two years, Junior Varsity one),
TOPSoccer (Buddy), and
Hospital Patient Transportation (Volunteer)
[Within my extracurricular activities, I was hoping that I could relay my love of volunteer work. I truly enjoy making others' lives better, and the best way for me to accomplish that is to get involved with several local volunteer organizations.]
I applied to 11 colleges: two Early Action (Princeton and UVa), one Rolling Deicision (Pitt) and eight Regular Decision (Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Northwestern, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern, and UPenn).
University of Pittsburgh
Decision: Accepted with Honors
Money Awarded: $7,500/year
I applied to Pitt in early fall, as I knew I would get an early response that way. Within a month of my sending in the application around early October, I received my acceptance to the University as well as the University Honors College. I was happy with this decision, but had looked at Pitt only as a fall-back option.
Decision: Deferred EA, then Rejected
Money Awarded: N/A
Princeton had been my top choice coming into the college admission process, as it was close to home, had excellent programs in biology and a beautiful campus, and is highly regarded as the best college in the nation. However, when I submitted my Early Action application, I was not aware just how difficult it is to be accepted by a college like this, and so my hopes fell drastically after I was deferred. By the time I was rejected, I did not even feel upset because I knew it was near impossible.
University of Virginia
Money Awarded: $2,000/year
I almost did not apply to UVa. My family was taking a road trip when we passed through Charlottesville and decided to take a tour for the heck of it. The campus was by far the most beautiful out of all the colleges to which I applied, and it also had strong programs in the biological sciences. I submitted my application seven minutes before the deadline, after deciding to apply early the day before the deadline.
Since my rant is too long to keep as one post, I'll post the college results in a separate post!