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Chance me for ED at Amherst

HonitoHonito 23 replies5 threads New Member
I'm attracted to Amherst because of its exceptional faculty in literature. I believe I will thrive at a small liberal arts college.

Hispanic Female

GPA: 4.35 for academic high school courses. This calculation does not include the four courses I took at a local liberal arts college. I received an A in each of those courses. If I figure those courses (equivalent to AP courses) into my GPA, then my GPA jumps to a 4.5

ACT: 31 (English 34, Reading 34, Science 28, Math 28).

Waiting for scores on AP English Lang and Bio. Also waiting for SAT subject tests in English and Biology.

My rural high school only offers 6 AP courses. I took 2 of them in my junior year, and I will take the remaining 4 in my senior year. I've taken the most challenging courses offered at my school.

On track to be valedictorian in a class of 84 students.

Awards and Honors: Selected to participate in the Adroit Magazine (UPenn) Mentorship program for young writers, Silver Medal in fiction from Scholastic Art and Writing competition (also 6 gold keys), Honorable Mention for Poetry in Gannon University National High School poetry competition, selected to deliver my paper at the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts Annual Conference, multiple awards at Youngstown State University English Festival, 1st Place in Lawrence County High School Poetry competition, The Outstanding English Student -Wilmington Area High School, 2 poems published in Scrawl Magazine (Westminster College), West Point Leadership Award, Rotary Youth Leadership Award, Best Drum Major at NATO Peace Parade, Named to District and Region Band (clarinet), National Honors Society, 1st Place in Biochemistry at regional Pennsylvania Jr. Academy of Science competition, participant in Westinghouse Science Honors Institute,

Extracurricular Activities

Founder/Editor in chief of High School Literary Magazine
Drum Major (2 years)
1st Clarinet, High School Concert Band
1st Alto Sax, High School Jazz Band
FBLA - Reporter
Science Olympiad
Spanish Club
Tech Crew (Lighting Director)
Mock Trial

I volunteer as a writer for my small town's website. Also, I co-founded and coordinate a letter writing program between k-12 students and the elderly members of our community.

Writing is my strength, so I'm confident that my essays will be strong. I have excellent recommendations from my high school English teacher, high school biology teacher, and college literature professor.
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Replies to: Chance me for ED at Amherst

  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel 1231 replies45 threads Senior Member
    It's a minor point, but I'm not sure how your GPA can be a 4.35 if you've only taken 2 AP courses. ?Maybe you're weighting honors courses. Different schools calculate applicants' GPA's differently, and obviously your GPA is high enough. Again, minor point.

    Chance threads are useless in general, and are useless in particular when looking at schools with admit rates in the low teens. You certainly meet a lot of the academic criteria for admission to Amherst, and can also check off a lot of the boxes of what they're seeking (geographic and ethnic diversity, leadership, etc.). You have a legitimate shot, but there are unfortunately a lot of kids denied who have stellar applications.

    Finally, apply ED ONLY if you're 100% sure that Amherst is the best school for you. Don't let the higher ED admit rate lead you to think that you'll greatly enhance your chance for admission by going that route. A lot of the ED admits are 'hooked' by something specific like athletics, artistic or musical talent (have you contacted whoever is responsible for the Amherst orchestra?), etc., and the higher admit rate doesn't really reflect a higher admit rate (vs RD) for kids who are not recruited/hooked.

    You appear to be hard-working and accomplished. You'll do fine wherever you end up. Best of luck.
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  • HonitoHonito 23 replies5 threads New Member
    Thanks for the reply, AsleepAtTheWheel. My high school offers and counts many honors courses into our GPA. I'm not sure how each college will re-calculate.

    Even though I'm not planning to major in music, do you think it would be worth contacting the Amherst Orchestra director?
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  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel 1231 replies45 threads Senior Member
    @Honito -- Maybe someone else can answer your question.

    Fr'instance, we know a kid who plays the bassoon. A lot of college orchestras can't find a single bassoon player. He had lots of offers of help (vis-a-vis admission) from orchestra directors at various schools. But I have no idea how this works, if it is at all applicable to Amherst, and/or if you're a good enough musician (and if your instruments are in enough demand) for it to be a 'hook' if/when you apply ED.
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  • oaklandprepoaklandprep 3 replies1 threads New Member
    edited June 2016
    I have a very similar profile. Hispanic female from california. Slightly lower grades, higher test scores, more/stronger extracurriculars, but MUCH FEWER awards and honors. I come from a very rigorous private high school on par with Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, etc, with a good admissions relationship. We usually send 2-3 kids to Amherst each year from a class of about 90 kids. How much do people think legacy will help at Amherst? My mom graduated from amherst and was a first generation graduate. Please chance me!
    edited June 2016
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  • HonitoHonito 23 replies5 threads New Member
    Oaklandprep, I've read that legacy can be important if your parent is an active alumna. So, that may help you, but I don't have any substantial evidence to support the claim. Since our profiles are about the same, I'm hoping that you have a very good chance of being admitted. Are you considering ED?
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  • Wje9164beWje9164be 1312 replies8 threads Senior Member
    The importance of being a Legacy will vary from college to college. Almost no impact at most public universities. A huge factor at colleges like Notre Dame. If I recall correctly, Amherst does give legacy applicants an additional read but it would be at most a factor if they are on the fence about you. There is a fascinating NPR podcast / video about Amherst admissions from several years ago
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  • oaklandprepoaklandprep 3 replies1 threads New Member
    @Honito yes I will be applying ED!
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  • rmsdadrmsdad 101 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @Honito -- My daughter was admitted last year and had submitted a supplemental video of her playing violin. After acceptance, while visiting Amherst, we met with the orchestra director and he indicated that he does get to give a few nods to admissions. I am not sure how much his nod helped, but without any other hooks (and being a non-minority female), it may have been the difference between acceptance and wait list. I also got the impression that the orchestra directors ability to give input to admissions is not necessarily common at small LACs. One of the reasons my daughter chose Amherst over the other acceptances (Middlebury, Wesleyan) was the relative strength of the orchestra and high percentage of students making up the orchestra. While we didn't contact the orchestra director prior to acceptance, it probably would have been a good idea, especially if applying ED. Good Luck.
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