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Might I be competitive enough for USC's Resident Honors Program?

FirstFirst Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
edited November 2009 in College Admissions
This is a bit long. If you don't feel like reading all this, just skip down to the bottom where it says "The Problem" in bold :).

*NOTE*: for juniors interested in applying, the website is usc.edu/rhs
Who knows, we might end up being buddies if both accepted :).

Earlier in the fall, I got a brochure and call from USC saying that they were "impressed" with my academic record and PSAT score and invited me to apply a year early for the Resident Honors program, which is basically an early entrance opportunity.

I am currently a junior, and being accepted would mean that I would attend USC without graduating high school and without senior year.

Summary:
Asian-american from a good high school in the Northeast. School has an average SAT of ~2000, all average SAT II scores are above 700.
I have a 3.3 unweighted and am in the top decile.

I believe that I have a solid extracurricular record with several leadership positions. I don't have pages upon pages of ECs, but have several that I am committed and passionate about.

I also have two different documented learning disabilities, but I feel that the fact that I can still maintain decent grades is an attestation to my work ethic and independence (I don't consider B's, especially in hard classes, to be bad!).

Can get decent teacher recommendations, but probably not amazingly fantastic. I don't think the guidance counselor particularly likes me very much, though... she's always having to attend "meetings" with special education teachers for my disabilities. However, I am not involved in special education, the opportunity "is just there should I ever need it." I am independent and don't really see myself as having disabilities and would much prefer to think of myself as a normal kid.

I have not taken my SATs yet (RHP applicants are required to take the SATs with the latest test date as December 12th). My sophomore PSAT is a 210 without studying, and after studying for the PSAT as a junior, I feel like my score has improved.

I am capable of paying the full tuition without any FA. (All RHP students automatically get Deans merit scholarships, I'm excited about that!)


But the problem is:
On the website it mentions:
you will need:

* A high High School GPA with few grades lower than an A-
* Evidence of the high level of maturity necessary for entering college

On my transcript, there are a lot of B's. My current GPA is a 3.3 unweighted. Junior year, though, I am taking the most rigorous courses possible and am making almost all A's.

Also, I skipped a few grades. This means that if I am accepted, I will be going to USC at the age of 15. I also don't think that 15 reflects a "mature" age, but I really do think that I'm the most composed person I know (aka far from being a drama queen). My life motto is literally "get over it," so I don't brood. People describe is as friendly, but "unemotional" in the sense that I believe logos comes before pathos.

Do you have any advice/comments for me? Any wisdom is appreciated and will be stored in my book of wisdom :D (yes, seriously!)
Post edited by First on

Replies to: Might I be competitive enough for USC's Resident Honors Program?

  • FirstFirst Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Bump! 10char
  • PBushPBush Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    Have you already exhausted your school's curriculum?

    I would have considered applying if I didn't go to a good school with lots of AP classes. And I did not skip grades, had a higher GPA, and higher PSATs. I'm not sure if this is the best option for you.
  • FirstFirst Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I have not taken AP Calculus or AP Physics, yet, which are the only classes left that I should be taking. Otherwise, yes, I have exhausted the curriculum. Before senior year, only four AP classes are available and I have taken all of them and am currently taking two junior year. However, in senior year, there are 10+ availabe but I'm not sure if it would be that beneficial for me to take them (Languages, Psych, Econs, Comp Sci, Art, etc...)
    if I plan on a medicine-related field.

    Can you detail some reasons why this might not be the best option for me? I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.
  • PBushPBush Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    Don't take this the wrong way (You seem like a great and mature person in your posts here), but I would almost never recommend a 15-year old to move across the country by himself to go to college.

    I got the same invitation and here are some reasons I didn't apply. I hope they help you make the right decision.

    1. Chances are, this USC program is to lock in applicants who honestly would probably end up at a "better" college. You sound like you could go to better places. If USC is your absolute first choice for a good reason, this is obviously not a factor.
    2. I hadn't exhausted the curriculum at my current school. It looks like you've pretty much done that, but maybe you could look into co-curricular opportunities? Flying across the country is not the only way to get some exposure to college classes.
    3. Admittedly, I didn't really consider this myself because I would enter when I was 17 and I would have three years of living by myself at boarding school under my belt. Have you ever lived away from your parents? You seem very mature (at least you write coherently) but I know that as mature/independent/intelligent as I consider myself to be, I was definitely NOT ready to go across the country for college when I was 15.
    4. Fit for the school. Have you visited USC? Know any alumni? USC doesn't seem like the best place for someone that describes themselves as "unemotional".
  • FirstFirst Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    You make some good points - I haven't visited the school yet nor have I looked into co-curricular opportunities. What exactly would those be?

    And is the Stanford anything like USC? I was at Stanford for 5 weeks for a summer camp and absolutely loved the place (probably false impressions since camp people are far different from college students...)

    I thought that I should at least take the opportunity. If I get rejected, well, no problem anymore. But if I was accepted, then I would still have the option to deny and the end of junior year is quite a while from now so I feel like I should keep my options open!
  • PBushPBush Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    Yeah, not much harm in applying. It might actually help you get some experience with the application process.

    I wouldn't judge campers as indicative of what Stanford is like. That said, I don't consider Stanford and USC to be very similar at all.
  • christoferrrrchristoferrrr Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    There is no harm in applying anyway. In terms of chances, grades aren't the single most important factor of admission...they are really looking for well rounded students who they feel would do well in a college environment. Also, age shouldn't matter...there's an RHP student who is also 15 this year. The best way to see if the school is right is to visit and get a feel for it, that's what I did.

    -Current RHP student
This discussion has been closed.