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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
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Is this a good college list? Any school suggestions?

TimeUpJuniorTimeUpJunior 184 replies27 threads Junior Member
UW Seattle
UNC Chapel Hill


Super Reach:
Harvard (just for the thrill)

IB diploma (2017) at a decent public school

GPA: 3.983 (unweighted)
SAT: 2400 (one sitting), will take subject Math II, biology, and literature in October

Music: Has studied piano since age 6, performed at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Carnegie Hall (5 times) in New York, and Salle Cortot concert hall in Paris. has won numerous top prizes including:

Gold medal, Northwest Chopin Festival
Second place, Washington State Outstanding Artist Competition
Second place, American Protégé International Competition
First place, Crescendo International Piano Competition

He composes music for fun. Please enjoy two of his best compositions: Cruise (for piano) https://****/ac_7_seven/cruise and Ascent (for orchestra) https://****/ac_7_seven/ascent

Sports: Has trained in Shotokan karate since age 5, earned his black belt at age 14, has taught youth karate for 2 years, has won a gold medal at the Oregon state championship and national qualifier, will compete in 2016 USA National Karate Championship & Team Trials in July for a spot at the national junior team. He plays soccer at a local premier league club for fun.

Misc.: He founded the film club at his high school, which is currently shooting a feature film that he wrote about a high school cheating club. He is avid writer, and has written a 300 page novel that he is touching up in the summer. He will submit both his novel and film script to the 2017 Youngarts Competition.

His intended major is biology, minor in either creative writing, film, or music composition.
He lives in Washington State, will need merit scholarships.
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Replies to: Is this a good college list? Any school suggestions?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84339 replies1048 threads Forum Champion
    edited June 2016
    Are you the student or parent???

    "His intended major is biology, minor in either creative writing, film, or music composition.
    He lives in Washington State, will need merit scholarships."

    Premed? If so, stick with UWash...

    The list looks like a premed list...with nearly all schools having top med schools.

    Forget UCB...no aid....$55k per year...so that's out unless parents will pay $220k for UCB.

    Did the student do Running Start??

    What do you mean by....need merit scholarships? Does that mean that he won't qualify for need based aid (or enough aid)??

    How much will parents pay each year? Ask them, please don't guess. We see later posts from a lot of disappointed students who thought their parents would pay more.

    ?? UNC CH is NOT a safety for an OOS student, particularly one that needs merit.

    Why UNC? If premed and thinking, "I'll go to med school there," think again.
    edited June 2016
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  • InamoratiAnonInamoratiAnon 118 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I'd first like to commend him on his musical skills. I find that incredibly impressive and hope the colleges he applied to notice as well. I'll need some more info on what AP/IB classes he has taken so far just because a weighted GPA hasn't been included and colleges take into consideration the academic rigor a student has during the admission process. I can definitely see a minor in music composition, though the major in biology was surprising. At least for me, the admissions process only includes a choice of major. In this case, he would be choosing biology and not showing an intent to study music composition– a career path that is very apparent within his composition and ECs. I do not, however, see an intent to study biology anywhere within the provided extracurricular activities. I know it's hard to pursue volunteer work as someone who might want to study pre-med, but it is detrimental to show college admissions that you have an interest and passion for what you say you want to study. To me, if I were given this information and the fact that he wanted to study biology, I'd say he's an excellent student with a talent for composition and music, but no real interest in the subject he want to pursue. That could be potentially damaging to his admission chances.

    I also know a lot of students who consider top tier schools (i.e. UC Berkeley, Duke, etc.) as target schools, but it's harder than you'd think to get in. I know someone who had exceptional grades at a very competitive high school, showed a strong interest in Comp Sci (his intended major) through his international success in a robotics, and had high SAT scores who applied to UC Berkeley with the belief that he'd easily get in but he was denied. He was also waitlisted to UCLA and denied from Stanford, both of which he considered targets. When choosing these schools that one has a 50/50 chance getting into, it's best to keep a level mind and not write off some schools that would be considered lower tier in comparison. As for the safety schools, I think these are great choices and great schools to go to if he should choose so. I hope this helps!
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  • TimeUpJuniorTimeUpJunior 184 replies27 threads Junior Member
    @mom2collegekids I am the parent. You saw it through, medicine is the what he intends to pursue.

    UCB is last on the list, he may as well delete it if no aid.

    No. he did not do running start.

    We are probably well enough to not getting any need-based aid buy not well enough to full pay. We can afford at the most $20,000 a year.

    Will rethink UNC.

    Thanks for the insights!
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  • TimeUpJuniorTimeUpJunior 184 replies27 threads Junior Member
    @InamoratiAnon thanks the reply. No, he has not done anything extraordinary in biology like winning biology Olympics that sort. He will have has 3 years of biology, ending in IB Biology High Level.
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  • InamoratiAnonInamoratiAnon 118 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I think his course prepwork is great, but it worries me that there's no ECs. I'd still aim for biology at the lower tier schools, but I'd reconsider his major choices for his target/reach.
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  • InamoratiAnonInamoratiAnon 118 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I know that UCSB and UCLA have good bio programs and would suggest he try those as well. As a UCSB student myself, I know that their financial aid is helpful. They also have a regents program for exceptional students (I'm not sure if it's also for OOS, but I'm assuming it is) that gives merit scholarships to incoming students.
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