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Publication Acknowledgement? Awards? 1st gen college student???

confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
edited September 24 in College Admissions
Hi, so I'm a senior applying to college in the 2020-2021 cycle aiming for some top schools, and I have a lot of questions:

1. I don't have that many awards, but I was acknowledged in a paper that was recently published concerning work that I did over last summer. Considering my lack of other awards (other than like National AP scholar, A honor roll, Junior Marshall - all lame stuff), should I put this acknowledgement in the awards section of common app & put my research/internship in my activities section? Then elaborate more in the additional info section w/ a link to the publication?

2. My summer research was obviously canceled for 2020 due to the pandemic, but I still kept up with the work virtually, reading manuscripts, etc, and the professor is writing me a rec to college. In common app, how would I mark this? Because technically, the research only happened in 2019, but I still kept up with it this summer. So, would I only mark 11th grade (then mention I did it virtually in 12th)? Because it was about 45 hrs/week in 2019, but obviously this year, it would not be that amount of hours. Also, I'm using my work from that summer in a couple of my science based clubs & such by creating presentations, so I would add that in the additional info section/covid section.

3. During the summer of 2020, in addition to keeping up with research virtually, I took a few classes on HarvardEdX. Should I mention this in the additional info section or COVID-essay? Also, how would I include "proof"? I have the certificates, but I'm pretty sure AOs don't want you attaching that to your app...

4. If we held multiple club positions through HS (ex, social media manager 9th, treasurer 10th, VP 11th, President 12th), how would we allocate hours to that on common app? Do we only address our senior year (so like 52 weeks, 8 hours), or mention every year (52 weeks, 2 hours; 52 weeks, 4 hours, 52 weeks, 6 hours; 52 weeks, 8 hours)?

5. Kind of having to do with the last question, I joined a club late my junior year, but now I have a "captain" position because a lot of people left for college. Of course, this year, I would mention I do it the whole year (52 weeks), but junior year only like half the year (~26). Again, if I'm only supposed mention most recent commitment times in common app, then no problem. But if we are supposed to address all years, that's where I get confused.

6. If my parents are immigrants who did not get a degree in America but did in their home country, am I considered 1st gen? Because while they did go to college, they can't help me in my college apps like other parents.

Thanks to anyone who reads this long message! I would appreciate any help :)
edited September 24
11 replies
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Replies to: Publication Acknowledgement? Awards? 1st gen college student???

  • confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
    I should mention that for the acknowledgement, my work was used in the actual paper. In fact, the PI of the lab said that I should be one of the authors (not first or last of course, but still on there). However, due to "lab politics" and stuff (the lab tech isn't even be an author b/c my results were better haha), I was only acknowledged. So, I assume my letter or rec will (hopefully) reflect my competence in a lab.

    TL;DR: Even though I was only acknowledged, I actually did important work that contributed to the publication of the paper, not just lab scum.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    You are not first generation even though your parents did not get university education here in this country

    I think you are handling your research project just fine. Mention it in Awards and add a link in other. Some schools will provide a conduit for research info. Many do not. Unless a school slowed for an additional outside LOR, you may not be a LE to submit the professor’s reference. To be considered part of the application , it should be part of it with all the pertinent info completed as your Guidance Counselor and teacher will be doing. You might want to send a copy of said letter to GC (and teacher if the subject is relevant ) to refer to the letter. Just sending it via email isn’t likely to add to your application.

    As I’ve said to many kids who have research as part of their application, it really doesn’t count as much as you might think. Too many kids doing it now, and so many think it’s so very unusual and a big push for admissions. It’s not. But perhaps you are the rare exception, so go on ahead and link the work, have the prof send the letter. If prof thinks you are really terrific,that can be a plus for admissions to that particular school if a/he personally visits Admissions and asks for your acceptance there. Rare this happens., but it does.

    Admissions is not interested in verifying your HarvardEdX courses, not that I’ve ever known. They can always ask for them if they want verification

    Be aware that one of the most important part of your application is your GC’s LOR. Colleges like to level the playing field in applications and tend to categorize things so they can more easily assess candidates. You want to make sure that your GC has a list of all your activities and awards such as the research and the Harvard courses. That’s what’s going to make a solid impact on your application.

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  • confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Okay, thank you for your answer!

    The letter from the professor will be going through common app as an additional LOR, and the professor works at the school at which I am applying ED. I believe he is writing me a specific one for that school and a general one for other schools (obviously pushing for my ED in that first letter). He has already said he would be happy to have me back in his lab if I get accepted to that school, so I'm hoping that will boost my research portion of the app a lot.

    Also, I know that research isn't that impressive anymore which is why I wanted to ask on here. I'm mainly hoping that the fact that he wants me back in his lab as an undergrad student will boost that portion.

    Lastly, my school has over 2400 students, so GC letters are never personal and only describe the school culture/put my transcript in context unfortunately. She does have my resume, but I doubt she's reading the resume of her 300+ assigned students.

    Thanks again!
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30787 replies59 threads Senior Member
    GC’s tend to use “cheat sheets” provided by the students. Makes it easier for them.

    Yes, if that prof is going to give your application a personal push, that is a “hook” that increases your chances of admissions. Research and a general reference letter, nope.

    Just make sure that you follow instructions on your LORs. The schools that do not have that prof on staff are not likely to give his rec and your research much clout, IMO, unless this is something truly mind blowing. If they ask for a junior or senior year English teacher rec, that’s what they want. Do not stick a research prof rec in its place. You can get a big fat zero for that part of the app process when you do not submit Exactly what is stipulated when you have it right there. Some schools really do not want outside LORs and not offer a way to include in the package. Applying to colleges is an exercise in following directions.
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  • confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Yes, I have my two main letter of recs from my junior physics & junior english teacher in addition to GC letter. The professor one is that "additional" LOR/external one on common app.
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  • TexasTiger2TexasTiger2 34 replies0 threads Junior Member
    As someone who publishes in peer-reviewed journals, is a reviewer for multiple journals and serves on multiple editorial boards, I know the importance of getting people's names included as authors for publication. Anyone who contributes something, albeit minor as it may seem, is included in my and my colleague's publications. The only time I acknowledge someone is if they edited an image or table for me. The point is to get your name on the publication, and especially in the first 3 authors listed. If you are working with someone and they did not list your name as an author, and you contributed to the work, I suggest you take your efforts elsewhere immediately. Benign acknowledged = nothing, basically. That is a big red flag to me.
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  • confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Dang. I know it sucks, but honestly, it is what it is at this point. With COVID, theres no way to go back to the lab this year and get authorship on another paper.

    The professor did say I should be an author because it was my actual data and numbers used for their charts, graphs, etc... But sadly I think their lab has extremely strict rules for who can be an author (no high schoolers, even the lab technician wasn't acknowledged/listed as an author).

    I do agree that I should bring my work elsewhere in the future. I know I got a little bit scammed.

    :/ Oh well. I guess I'll cross my fingers.
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  • TexasTiger2TexasTiger2 34 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The important thing for you right now is the experience you gained. Document the time and what you learned in your resume. But in the future work with someone where you will be listed as an author.
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  • confused0864confused0864 5 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you. You're right. I was probably blinded by the fact that a professor from a prestigious university invited me to work with him so I didn't realized that it was almost free child labor...

    I guess it's better to learn this now than as an actual undergrad student!
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  • Driverof3Driverof3 51 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @confused0864 You mentioned that the professor is planning to write 2 different LORs but that the letters are going through the Common App. If the letters are only going through the Common App then be very careful to mention to your recommender that the Common App does not allow a later substitution for a different letter, at least they did not last year. The website is very clear on this and the recommender must acknowledge it before uploading and finalizing the letter. The Common App cautions not to write a letter for a specific school. Maybe the professor plans to send the ED letter internally because he works there but I just wanted you to consider this and be aware of it. Best of luck to you in this process!
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  • Driverof3Driverof3 51 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @confused0864 I missed the timeframe to edit my post but I did want to add this. If you google Common App recommender guide then you'll see where it says this: "Important note: The Common App for recommenders is a one-and-done process. That means that once you submit a form, it’s sent to all the colleges you’re assigned to. That’s why it’s important not to customize your forms for a specific institution."

    So this year's system seems to be the same as last year's regarding only one letter being allowed. If your professor wants to send a specific one to his institution then an option is having him email it directly to admissions with your Common App Id number. Then he can upload a generic one for your other schools and you can just not assign him as a recommender for your ED school so that the generic one isn't sent.
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