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Adult Aiming for Ivy League

LetsGoHiking27LetsGoHiking27 2 replies1 threads New Member
My history is dense

I was raised in the southern boondocks on a rather large horse farm. Although a pictueresque place to be raised, my home life was terrible. I was living with an abusive, alcoholic father and my mother was never home because of her job. My GPA was not very high because I would never complete my homework; however, this was no testament to my intelligence. I tested very well in all of my classes, including my honors and AP classes junior and senior year (I contribute this to the fact that my school was my comfort zone so I was able to relax and learn). I received 1250 on my SAT, although I know it would have been higher if I was able to study at home. When I wasn't at school, I would work in the barn with the horses until after I knew my father was asleep which was more often than not, close to 2-3 am. My love for the barn and the horses eventually grew into a serious business and at the age of 16, my mother helped me open a nonprofit 501c3 rescue for abused horses (which I still run to this day).

After graduation, my horse business caught the attention of some big-name horse farms (whose names I will keep confidential) around the USA so I then began my career as a professional horse trainer. I was competing on the national level for many years, broke several national records, won a silver medal at the world cup, and even served as Team USA's team captain for a few years...but this didn't satisfy me as it used to. I began contemplating my future and thinking of what new adventure I should undertake next and finally, I settled on going back to school (10 years after graduating high school).

Fast forward to now...
I am currently enrolled full time in an undergraduate program at a top ten community college in the US. I am a biology major with my sights on nueroscience or genetics and I have 4.1 GPA. I am active in a a couple clubs as well as the honors society and my 501c3. Side note: My school does have a handful of Ivy League transfers as well as a variety of celebrities, famous scientists, and even an astronaut. I know my goal is difficult, but evidently, it is not impossible.

I truly believe my hardships in life have enabled me to cultivate a passion for learning and an incredible work ethic that will carry me far in life. Ivy League may be a stretch but so was Team USA, my silver medal, and my current 4.1 GPA.

What are some things I can do to increase my chances of Ivy League?

Side note: I am really open to any school suggestions so long as they have a good bio, nueroscience, or genetics program. I am also willing to travel out of the country if the opportunity reveals itself to be appropriate.
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Replies to: Adult Aiming for Ivy League

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 7029 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Ivy League universities are a long shot for most students, even students who have straight A's throughout high school.

    However, I think that your story is quite compelling. Also, different students mature at different ages, and it is reasonably common for people who were so-so students when younger to be very strong students at some point. Personally I did much better as a graduate student than I did in high school, even though I was at a grad school that is known as being quite difficult (it should have been harder than high school, but I was a better student).

    Your 4.1 GPA in community college is also quite compelling. Is the "greater than 4.0" based on your school giving a 4.3 or a 4.33 for A+ grades? I do know a couple of students who had or have greater than a 4.1 for this reason.

    I think that you will get accepted to a very good university.

    What is your home state? What is your budget?

    Do you care about a big university versus small university, or rural versus small town versus big city?
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  • LetsGoHiking27LetsGoHiking27 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Thanks for the response!

    It's amazing how your perspective changes on education as you age isn't it?

    I still have a little time before I can transfer; however, the sooner I begin my search the better. My home state is Tennessee but I live in New York now about an hour from the city (which is what is motivating me to get into such a good 4 year school, I'm SURROUNDED by famous institutions and successful people).

    Currently, my budget is still somewhat up in the air. I'm going to school for free right now because of a couple grants and a scholarship; I was even able to pocket about a grand because of the scholarship I won.

    The size of the school doesn't matter so much as the student/teacher ratio. I would prefer to go somewhere that has more intimate classroom settings. I don't have much experience living or navigating the city areas as much as I do rural but I don't believe that would make or break my decision. I guess from sheer preference, I would like rural because it's familiar to me but ultimately I'm open to whatever.

    Interesting questions. I haven't really taken some of these things into consideration.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 16082 replies1082 threads Senior Member
    Why do you want to go to an ivy League school other than it being an Ivy League school? They do not like applicants they believe to be prestige hounds.
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  • happy1happy1 24694 replies2511 threads Super Moderator
    edited November 21
    Congrats on your accomplishments. I think many colleges will be happy to have you as a student.

    Some colleges do have programs specifically geared towards returning/non-traditional students. These programs are often more flexible in terms of admissions (ex. looking more at maturity/growth/accomplishments over the years) and might even give you a better peer group. Although I agree that you don't need an "Ivy", one such program I know of happens to be Columbia University's School of General Studies. https://gs.columbia.edu/

    I would also work with a transfer advisor at your CC who likely have had some expereince placing other non-traditional students into four year colleges.
    edited November 21
    Post edited by happy1 on
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 7029 replies2 threads Senior Member
    It you are living and working in NY, at least 25 years old, and living independently from you parents, you might be considered a resident of New York. If so this might make you in-state for the CUNY's and the SUNY's. This would be fortunate because this opens up multiple very good universities at in-state prices.
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  • LetsGoHiking27LetsGoHiking27 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @TomSrOfBoston My honest response to wanting to go to an Ivy school is I know I have what it takes to make a difference in the world. I am fully dedicated to my education and I have a goal to help others with the strength I gain from my schooling. Ivy is more than just a personal challenge for myself; it is mostly the best way I can imagine investing my time and effort towards goal that can change people's lives. Whether I get my doctorates in nueroscience or biology, my purpose is to be the best I can be and invest my time the most efficiently, and positively I physically can.

    @DadTwoGirls Yes, I am a resident of New York now and I am getting in state tuition. I am currently enrolled in a SUNY school; one of the top ten CC in the US (which I wasn't aware of prior to enrolling). Stony Brook is actually right around the corner from me. They have an exceptional science program and they have a program worked out with my school that helps students transfer quite easily.
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  • brantlybrantly 4421 replies79 threads Senior Member
    If you are in a NY state community college (is it Suffolk CC?), it will have an articulation agreement with Cornell.
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