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Advice, tips, comments, anything to help me join the Gate community.

Lolface849Lolface849 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
edited July 2013 in Colgate University
Hello, I am an Indian student who completed High School in March this year. I had applied ED II to Colgate to the class of 2017 last year but unfortunately, I didnt get in. I'm not satisfied with the colleges that I have been accepted into, so I decided to take a gap year and explore what I plan to study. I'll admit, my application wasn't Colgate-worthy last year. I made the stupid mistake of not reporting many things in my application. This year, I plan to leave no room for error. Anyone at Colgate, or experienced with admissions in general, feel free to comment/advise me on things I could do, criticize my chances at getting into Colgate. I apologize for the long post.

Highlights of my application (which I had sent in last year):

SAT: 2150 [Two attempts. First attempt: 1910, second attempt: 2150 (Math=780,CR=670, Writing=700, essay=10)]
SAT Subject tests: physics: 790
Math II: 800

Essays: average. I would grade them 8/10.

ECs: low. I participated in a few MUNs in 12th grade. I made a CS (Computer Science) Project that I had sent in with my application. I was the president of the school Science Club, and a part of the School's Reader's Club. Didnt report the rest.

Community Service: didnt report any

Recommendations: excellent, got them from the Heads of Departments of Physics, Computer Science, and Chemistry in my school.

Academics: I was always in the top 1% of my class in school. I always ranked first or second in my class from the 9th-12th grade. All our tests and exams were scored on 100, and my scores have always been at least 20 points above the class average. I have received many prizes for excellence in various subjects all through High School.

That was what I had sent in last year. I had applied for CS majors. This year, I plan on applying for CS and Math majors because they both seem to interest me. I am also planning on applying for financial aid. I will be needing around 80% financial aid.


So, here's what I plan to add to my application this year:

Update community service:

1) nearly 100 hours of work in the year 2011-12.
2) I am making a database of blood donors as part of a "Blood Donation Awareness Drive." I am working alone on this project and was recruited by the people in charge of this drive. I started working on this project earlier this month.

Academics:

1) I took 5 APs in May this year. I didnt take any formal training or course for these. I self studied them. I have taken the AP Chemistry, Computer Science A, Physics B, Physics C: E & M, and Calculus BC exam. I should score a 5 in CS and both the physics, and nothing less than a 4 in the rest.

2) I had not reported that I had participated in an International Math Olympiad organized by the Science Olympiad Foundation in December 2012. I had ranked 491st internationally in the 12th grade division.

3) I am taking numerous MOOCs mainly from Coursera. I am taking a few courses at my pace (so I will not receive a certificate at the end of them) while the rest, I am following the deadlines to receive a certificate from the instructor. From the top of my head, I know I am taking around 6 courses in all so far. By the time I apply ED, I should have completed at least 12 or more.

Miscellaneous activities:

1) I am learning new programming languages. I have already learned Java as part of my high school curriculum. I now plan on learning C++ and Python.
2) I am planning to start my own youtube channel where I plan on teaching ISC Computer Science (11th and 12th grade computer science) to all those who have pursued CS in high school. I have understood the subject well. I want to share with them the way in which I have understood it.
3) I plan on taking the SAT I for the third and final time in October. I have already started preparing for it. I am looking to do extremely well this time because I know that a 2150 is a very low score for an international student applying to Colgate.


Thank you for bearing this long post. Advice of any kind will be appreciated.

Edit: there are numerous ECs that I had not reported. I will report them this time.
Post edited by Lolface849 on

Replies to: Advice, tips, comments, anything to help me join the Gate community.

  • VivaciousakrishVivaciousakrish Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    Hey there! Good to see you again! :P

    Erm, taking MOOCs is not really going to help you in the admissions process because they are not official courses that can be given credit for. Though they do show some intellectual curiosity, they are essentially considered equivalent to reading a good book. (You could elect to take some courses which give credit though. Heard Udacity and San Jose State are offering Intro to Psych for $150.)

    And well, yeah, focused EC's would help - the teaching stuff would be great! (though don't do the volunteering bit if you aren't sincere about it - Colgate wouldn't mind. Just do what you like to do. And for you that seems to be science and stuff. Write programs in your free time if that's what you'd rather do than volunteering.) And lastly, a very high SAT score is unlikely to sway Colgate's decision, and most colleges' decisions. You are already at a threshold that is considered very good for colleges like Colgate and hell even top unis (except Vandy that seems to have a proclivity for accepting 800ers exclusively). The only thing that matters is how much Colgate or any other college likes you. Taking the SAT again is an exercise in futility.
  • Lolface849Lolface849 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    Hello! Great to see you!

    Uhm, everything that I mentioned out here is an initiative of my own. I am not doing this to impress admissions or anyone, I am doing all this for multiple reasons (making better use of my time, exploring what I plan to study, doing what I love and loving what I do, etc). I am just asking for some advice on anything in general that I should be doing to show that I am not wasting my time in the year I plan to take off. And yeah, the MOOCs arent for credits, theyre just to explore CS and find whether I want to specialize in that or do something completely different.
  • ColgateDadColgateDad Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    Describe to the Colgate Admissions people in your essay what you are interested in, what you love to do, and what you have done. Don't leave things out. They want to know that you aren't just academic, that you don't just study all night, but that you have strong interests in life like your interest in Blood Awareness, but avoid talking about things you "plan to do" as everyone plans to be amazing.

    Your academics so far seem excellent, but Colgate will want to hear about what makes you interesting and motivated and someone people would want to know well. There are lots of smart, hard-working people in the world with high scores, but colleges want interesting and different people.

    Your being from India helps as Colgate has made more and more efforts to attract international students.

    Your not being admitted needs to be addressed in your essay, and I would just say that you loved Colgate when you applied before and you still do which is why you are trying once again. Then I would point out what new things you have done lately as well as some of the better things you may have left out of your application last time. If you write well and interestingly, that may make some difference.

    Good luck to you!
  • ColgateDadColgateDad Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    I should add that you would do well to describe what your Gap Year involved. Did you travel? What did you do.

    Also, at what point did SAT scores of 2150 become "low"? That seems pretty decent to me. I wouldn't worry about the numbers, but put a lot of effort into describing who you are and emphasizing what you do and why you want to attend Colgate.
  • Lolface849Lolface849 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I didn't get many opportunities to travel. But, I decided to explore the different fields under computer science which is why I have taken up the task of completing various coding projects. I want to see what exactly do I like in computer science. At the same time, I am also taking a few classes in math and learning how to play a few sports and to play the violin. Whatever I couldn't do while I was in high school, I am doing now because I have the time now.

    As far as the 2150 being a low score, a few of my seniors at Colgate itself told me that its a decent score but its better to not leave any room for error because I am asking for financial assistance. They all told me that if its possible to improve the SAT score, do it. They said to me that each and every part of the application should be just as impressive as the other.

    Thank you for the help!
  • Lolface849Lolface849 Registered User Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I am pleased to report that I scored 5/5 in all the 5 APs I had taken!
This discussion has been closed.