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How to improve chances at college

WannabeWannabeWannabeWannabe 76 replies24 threads Junior Member
Hey guys, I am currently a junior in HS. I wanted to ask what I can do to boost my chances at sub 20% acceptance rate schools. I would like to do premed in college. My only achievements so far are being a part of my city's math team and qualifying for the AIME.
11 replies
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Replies to: How to improve chances at college

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4416 replies18 threads Senior Member
    It would be helpful to have your unweighted grades and stats
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  • WannabeWannabeWannabeWannabe 76 replies24 threads Junior Member
    SAT: Yet to take, I expect 1550+
    Unweighted: 96.5 (Stuyvesant)
    Senior year schedule (expected)
    Math Team
    Multivariable calc
    Complex calc
    Organic Chemistry or AP Physics C or Quantum Mechanics
    AP Macro and US Gov integrated
    System-Level Programming or Software Dev (post AP)
    Regular English
    Maybe AP Spanish

    Current (Junior Year schedule)
    AP Calc BC
    Math Team
    English
    USH
    AP CS A
    AP Chem
    Spanish III
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  • AndorvwAndorvw 359 replies9 threads Member
    edited November 8
    Stuy is a great HS and college admission offices do know. You should take SAT2 chem at end of your AP chem.

    Your ECs are kind of weak (no sports or leadership?). For pre-Med, if you shoot for Ivies, Brown is top choice; LACs are another great option (less cut-throat, more support); public schools such as Bing or Hunter are good.
    edited November 8
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7582 replies61 threads Senior Member
    I think you are asking the wrong question. Sub 20% acceptance rate schools are reaches for all students.

    Spend time identifying what you want out of your undergrad experience, talking to your parents about your budget, and finding the right fits across all categories - safety, match, and reaches; spending the most time on safeties and matches.

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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33151 replies3865 threads Super Moderator
    Start with at least one safety (you can definitely get into, can definitely afford, and would be HAPPY to attend) and build from there.
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  • Nicki20Nicki20 423 replies5 threads Member
    I'm always intrigued on when kids expect 1550+ on the SAT. Based on what? I can see the 800 in Math based on Math/Science. But the regular English/History would not suggest a 750+ on the reading/English part.
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  • WannabeWannabeWannabeWannabe 76 replies24 threads Junior Member
    Well, I'm first-gen and I barely know anything about good colleges, the impact of college name on one's success, etc. How can I improve in my junior year to shine in college admissions?

    Additionally, what are some good colleges for premed?
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 335 replies27 threads Member
    edited November 11
    @WannabeWannabe For Pre-Med, it matters not the school but the tier.

    LAC are great for Pre-Med like Brown, Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin, and Hamilton just to name a few.

    This isn't to say a research school like UPenn, Northwestern, Emory, and WASHU, for example, are bad, but a LAC education has a plethora of benefits (one on one meetings, smaller, more intimate class size, and serious clinical opportunities just like those research schools.

    How can you shine? Get your testing all done Junior year - that's what I did, and it will make Senior year much easier and allows you to focus on some other things like building up a clear interest in something, extracurriculars, and etc.
    edited November 11
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  • WannabeWannabeWannabeWannabe 76 replies24 threads Junior Member
    Ah ok. But I still dont know how to improve my ECs
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  • momprof9904momprof9904 365 replies3 threads Member
    @Wannabeewannabee Since you are a junior, look up Questbridge and see if you are eligible to apply for their programs. They are a nonprofit organization helping first gen students such as yourself apply to colleges.

    NY has good in-state public universities with a generous financial aid program. Start there to build your safeties.

    Did you take the PSAT as a sophomore? Do you have those scores?
    If premed is your goal, then you need an undergrad university where you can get a good GPA, and a good background to score well on MCATs, and one where you don't need a lot of debt. Also, be aware that lots of students start with premed ideas and then change their minds once in college.

    About the reach schools -many fill about 50% of their spots through ED, with extra "lift" for legacy, athletes and URM's. So the acceptance rate for a student such as yourself (assuming non-URM) during RD is really even less than the advertised percentage. As someone who's qualified for AIME, it should be fairly easy for you to estimate your overall probability for regular decision from published stats.
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  • WannabeWannabeWannabeWannabe 76 replies24 threads Junior Member
    edited November 11
    kk. I didn't do all that well on the PSAT last year (low 1400s), but I think I did really well this year. I dont think I qualify for Questbrige though... :( Also, does being a member of the NYC Math Team help? Additionally, I will be the first person in my family to go college in the *US* and the second person to go to college *overall*
    edited November 11
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