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Mid-Level GPA, High SATs?

2

Replies to: Mid-Level GPA, High SATs?

  • ThePinkoThePinko Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    I do not choose schools simply based on their prestige, and I certainly hope that was not the impression I gave. It just happens that the schools that I am most interested in happen to also be prestigious.
    Now, the person with the 4.0 certainly does have less apathy, but I wouldn't say they are more engaged with their education. Grade point average is only indicative of effort within a classroom environment. Among my peers (classmates), I am handily the most well-read person and prolific artist. I apologize for any apparent immodesty, I am simply speaking my opinion.
    I am apathetic in respect to my school's specific curricula. I am getting the most out of my education, as I believe I display in my test scores, both standardized and within my class, and in my assignment grades. I simply have not in the past seen the need to engage in exercises of banal tedium when I am already scoring highly and am more knowledgeable on our subjects than any of my peers.
    Of course, as I have earlier stated, my apathy has been remedied, recently. Remedied by the realization that to gain admission to a school with a curriculum as rigorous and challenging as I desire I must improve my grades. As I have said, my grade point average in Junior year has been a 4.0, and will continue to be in the future.
    In short, I am very much engaged in my education, but I perceive(d) my education to take place both in and out of a classroom environment. I also believe(d) that my time might be better spend reading A Theory of Justice or The Frogs than spending hours on a sheet which asks me to use twenty to thirty different "vocabulary words" I already know in a sentence.
    My higher education is of immense importance to me, and my top choices certainly are not based around prestige.

    I also forgot to mention that very prestigious schools tend to have more generous financial aid policies, a matter very much relevant to a student whose guardians refuse to pay over one hundred dollars a month for his higher education.
  • jetsfan289jetsfan289 Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    apply where ever you want. you have great stats and have accomplished a lot. with a near perfect sat score i think itll cover the .22 missing in your gpa that would give you a 4.0 .
  • jetsfan289jetsfan289 Registered User Posts: 435 Member
    plus class rank is not king. its important. but everyone applying to yale is probably the top student in there class. but so what doesnt mean if your not, that you have no shot.
  • JohnBlackJohnBlack Registered User Posts: 314 Member
    Your obsession with an athletic conference/prestige will be your undoing. It is hard to believe you're applying for the aid or want to take a gap year for 'intellectual growth'.

    I think you are missing important considerations in your 'search'.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,697 Senior Member
    ThePinko wrote:
    Quite honestly, I'm frustrated with the entire system. GPAs don't solely show a student's academic performance. Favoritism runs rampant in the grading process, and someone who is simply earnest in their attempts will be able to rank very highly.

    High school grades are nowhere close to perfect predictors of college performance, but they are the best predictors available to college admissions committees in general. Standardized test scores do add some predictive value, though less than high school grades, and their predictive value depends on the test and the student's major (e.g. SAT math has a strong correlation to college success majoring in math or physics, but no correlation overall, presumably due to lower scorers choosing less math-intensive majors).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,697 Senior Member
    ThePinko wrote:
    I also forgot to mention that very prestigious schools tend to have more generous financial aid policies, a matter very much relevant to a student whose guardians refuse to pay over one hundred dollars a month for his higher education.

    There is a big difference between "they are middle or lower income and cannot pay" versus "they are upper income and refuse to pay". In the former case, you are likely to get generous financial aid from schools that do give financial aid generously (not all do); in the latter case, your family will be expected to cover much or all of the cost, and you won't get much need-based aid even at the generous schools.

    In the latter case, you need to look for some cheap options:

    * Low safeties with big merit scholarships (Alabama, UAB, etc.).
    * Community college, followed by transfer to a four year school to complete your bachelor's degree.
    * Military service academies, but that probably is not appealing to a communist.
    * Deep Springs College, but highly selective and only a two year school, so you need to find a four year school to complete your bachelor's degree.
    * Wait until you are independent for financial aid purposes (age 24, married, or veteran of the armed forces) before attending a more expensive school.
    * Try for the rare full-ride scholarships (e.g. Robertson at UNC or Duke), but those are likely harder to get than the admission to the most selective schools.
  • ThePinkoThePinko Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    They are mid-income and refuse to pay what little they CAN. I have done extensive financial aid research, and my family/I is/am well within the range to receive large amounts of aid.
  • ThePinkoThePinko Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    Also, I have certainly looked at Deep Springs. In fact, it is my first choice of school. But it is, as you mentioned, highly selective. Moreso than my other five top choices (only one of which, by the way, belongs to the athletic conference I believe JohnBlack is referring to).
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    Man, I was just gonna suggest Deep Springs! My son was not interested in philosophy (as a major) and I didn't research those schools. But I would guess that your best choices in schools wouldn't be the Ivy-equivalents anyway, because my UNINFORMED GUESS is that those schools are for more standard students than you anyway. (Honest, I'm not dissing the Ivies, I just think OP is a little off the wall for my uninformed guess about those schools!) I suggest you get the book "Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different". Colleges I've heard of that sound interesting for you are Reed, Marlboro, St John's College (and of course Deep Springs).

    And as for the gap year, I'd apply to colleges in senior year of high school and take a deferral from your favorite, or, if you don't like the options in April of senior year, THEN plan to redo it all during the gap year. The reason for that is 1) it's easier to collect letters of recommendation, etc., when you're in school all the time, 2) if you get into a school you like in senior year, your gap year can be all the more scrumptious for not having to worry about applications, and 3) you'll only have a few months of gap before applications start again and it really isn't that much time to reinvent yourself on the applications.

    For your essays, I'd advise not even mentioning your GPA. It's good but not great, but it would be hard for you to mention it without letting a hint of your "woe is me" or arrogance out. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things you've done and what you've learned from them.

    Feel free to PM me if you want.

    Good luck!
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    Also, you can take AP tests even if you didn't have an official AP class. If that interests you, you'd better check into it immediately. I don't know when the deadlines are in spring, but they're early.
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    If you have 4.0 Junior and Senior year you might increase your chance. I wouldn't retake your SAT at all unless your scores for each section are uneven, ie less than 750+.
    At this point there is not much anybody can tell you except to apply and see what happens.
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    Your stats are good. I'll say this straight up: anyone like Waverly who says straight out that you won't get into a top school, is peddling terrible advice. He can't predict elite college admissions. Neither can I. This is why we build lists with reaches, matches, and safeties. Apply to ANY school in the country, even Harvard, if you think you want to attend there. Just make sure you have a backup plan if you do get rejected. There's no harm in applying, and you stand to gain a hell of a lot more than you do to lose. With a 2300 SAT, it's total BS for someone to say you have no chance.

    Also, I'd like to echo GeekMom63's advice. Focus on the positive in your essays. Your GPA isn't so bad that you need to write an apologetic essay about your GPA, and you have a lot of amazing material for your essays. Essays are your place to sell yourself. Don't waste one talking about your GPA when you could be talking about one of your other amazing activites.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,038 Super Moderator
    ^ Waverly was not "peddling" anything but he has worked in college admissions for 25 years. What are your bona fides?
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    ^I believe in content over simple authority. He said, and I quote, "You will get into very solid schools, but not very top ones."

    I take issue with this statement. I don't believe college admissions are that straight up and simple. I don't care if you've worked in college admissions for 25 years. You can't predict admissions at even one "very top" college, let alone predict admissions at every single college that falls under that slippery definition.

    If the OP believes that, say, Harvard is his or her dream school, no one should say that it's impossible or speak in concrete terms like the above quote. You can say it's a major reach, but to say that someone flat out won't get in is like predicting the future. We're here to give advice, not predict the future. Unless they give you a college admissions crystal ball after your 25th year in the business, I don't think such a definite claim is justified.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,697 Senior Member
    Kudryavka wrote:
    This is why we build lists with reaches, matches, and safeties.

    Of course, some people incorrectly estimate the safety of their safeties. Admissions selectivity has been increasing at many schools, even at moderately selective state schools. And affordability must be taken into account before designating a school as a safety. Also, schools which list "level of interest" as an admissions criterion should not be counted on as safeties.
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