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I feel so discouraged (Shut out by EA schools)

ambitionsquaredambitionsquared Registered User Posts: 591 Member
Like a lot of others on these boards, I've been pretty stressed lately about college admissions. I worked very hard in high school, and thought I was a decently strong candidate. My stats are summed up below:
GPA UW/W: 3.95/4.3
SAT: 2330
Subject Tests: 800, 800
Ranking: Top 2%
Rec 1 (8/10): Talked about how I could put the class to tears with filmmaking talent
Rec 2 (10/10): Said I'm his favorite student in last 15 years (read it)
EC 1 (Film): I love making movies! My films have been featured in 20+ film festivals, and I've won a variety of international accolades for animation, cinematography etc. Won best overall film in Cali. Also nominated at nationals last few years. I spent a summer as a production assistant for a major film company (for a film you might have seen ;) ).
EC 2 (Museum): I am on the advisory board for a well-known museum. I started a new program, secured funding for it, and received "Teen Innovator Award" for my efforts. I also curated an exhibit that traveled around the nation. I organize the museum's events and volunteer regularly.
EC 3 (Sport): 4 years on a varsity sport that consistently ranks as one of the best in the nation. Not good enough to be recruited, but have had a lot of success outside school. I started a coaching business related to this sport that I've maintained consistently.

So far, I've been rejected by my top choice (Stanford EA), received 0 merit from one of my top choices (USC), and deferred from a school I thought I was competitive for (Tulane EA). I feel very discouraged, and my parents are disappointed in me as well. The bright side is that I was recently accepted to Emory (Oxford scholar), which I am honored about but realized I'm not a good fit for the school. I feel like my overall results suggest that I'm not competitive for my top choices (Penn, Brown, Harvard). I'm very sorry if I come off as whining; I just feel like I've let everybody down, and I'm constantly thinking about what I could've done differently. Has anyone had poor EA/ED results but a lot of RD success? Do my early results suggest that I won't do well with my RD schools?

Replies to: I feel so discouraged (Shut out by EA schools)

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,422 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    If you applied EA to Stanford, you should not have applied EA to Tulane or other private schools in the US unless you did so after you were not admitted to Stanford.
  • ambitionsquaredambitionsquared Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    @ucbalumnus Stanford allows its applicants to apply to other schools that offer merit aid specifically for EA applicants.
    "The student may apply to any college/university with early deadlines for scholarships or special academic programs as long as the decision is non-binding." -Stanford website
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    Why do you feel like Emory wouldn't be a good fit?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,985 Senior Member
    You seem to think that only tippy top schools can be a good fit for you. Did you take the advice commonly given out here, and spend most of your search energy on finding matches & safeties you would be happy to attend, and making sure the safeties were also affordable? I suspect not.
  • ambitionsquaredambitionsquared Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    @intparent I did take that advice to heart. I made sure I had safeties lined up (accepted to UCSB with regents), which seems to be a great school with very happy students. However, I would strongly prefer a private school for a variety of reasons. I don't think "only tippy top schools can be a good fit for [me]", since USC is one of my top choices and I have no interest in Princeton/Yale/Columbia.

    @doschicos I just realized that Emory didn't have anything particularly special for me, and wouldn't be worth paying full tuition over a UC. Plus there doesn't seem to be any school spirit, and I can't seem to get excited about Atlanta. I don't mean to put down the school, and don't want to sound ungrateful when a lot of kids would be very happy to be accepted.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,510 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    Tulane considers demonstrated interest. If you would still like to be considered, let them know how you feel about the school.

    (you might get in anyway, but the interest will help)

    Meanwhile, you have two excellent options already: Emory and UCSB.

    You must have liked Emory initially to apply. Any chance your thoughts could change (again)? If it helps, I think Emory is an academic peer of CMU, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rice, Vanderbilt and Washington U. It has a bunch of quality programs and every time the CDC is in the news, so is Emory (or it seems that way).

    And UCSB is quite good as well and as a CA resident, a fairly good bargain.

    Regarding Penn, Brown and Harvard... who knows, you might get into one. You certainly have the stats to be a competitive applicant.
  • YnotgoYnotgo Registered User Posts: 3,525 Senior Member
    If you were admitted early to USC without being asked to interview, I believe that means you have the Dean's scholarship level, which is 1/4 tuition. The paperwork doesn't say that, but I've read that in several places. Call the admissions or financial aid office to verify, though.
  • ambitionsquaredambitionsquared Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    @DadTwoGirls You bring up a lot of very interesting and valid points. I think in retrospect, I truly did love a lot about Stanford's specific programs and opportunities, but maybe the name brand/US News ranking was subconsciously part of the allure. I guess that's just human nature for many in my generation. I appreciate your kind words!

    @prezbucky It is definitely possible that I could change my mind, but my parents gave me the impression that they would prefer me to stay in-state for financial reasons unless I was accepted to a very tippy-top school.

    @Ynotgo Unfortunately, I haven't been admitted (yet). I think that means I'm not eligible for Dean's. I was only a couple questions on the PSAT from NMS, which would've guaranteed half-tuition :(
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    Doesn't Oxford Scholar at Emory come with some merit $? How does that make it compare to instate colleges?
  • ambitionsquaredambitionsquared Registered User Posts: 591 Member
    edited March 13
    @doschicos It does come with a great merit package, which would make it very comparable financially to the UCs. However, while I do appreciate some aspects about Emory, I can't find much to like about Oxford (poor surrounding area, no school spirit, grade deflation etc.). I'll be visiting soon, so maybe I'll like it a lot more after checking it out first-hand.

    @lz57c4 Thank you for answering my question, and I really enjoyed that article! What you say is all true, but I feel like many of the schools I'm applying to RD will be more competitive than USC merit scholarships. It seems like (based on results threads) that a lot of admits to tippy-top schools get merit from USC, which makes me concerned about my prospects.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    edited March 13
    @ambitionsquared You are a very talented person. I think you will get into UCLA Film School or any school with a good film and writing programs. Why go to Stanford when other schools probably have better programs in film, an area in which you are obviously talented and should pursue? I say this as a parent of Stanford admittee. If I were your parent, I would have been very proud of your accomplishments in the film making and told you Stanford is not a good school or environment to pursue film making. Perhaps Stanford felt the same and did you a favor. The way I see it, you deserve to attend a better school in the film making area than Stanford.
  • marvin100marvin100 Registered User Posts: 9,014 Senior Member
    Has anyone had poor EA/ED results but a lot of RD success?

    Yes. It's very, very common. Try to find some perspective.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    What are your goals? What opportunities are you looking for? What schools offer them? Work backwards from there.

    Then chill in the serenity that nothing is promised in life and that you should only worry about things you can control.
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