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syncccsynccc 6 replies4 threads New Member
This is from a "chance me" thread, and reposted at the request of @gearmom, which understandably says I should apply to some different schools. Where do you think I should go?

Hello. I convinced myself that a <10% admit rate is doable, but I just need that "extra bout of confidence" before sending my applications off. /s

I graduated in May 2017, but I'm taking a gap year. I will go to college in the fall of 2018.

The "holistic" part:
- Florida public school
- Immigrant (born in Mexico to Mexican and Cuban parents)
- Male
- Not brown enough to be randomly stopped by immigration
- Computer nerd (started teaching myself coding since age 12-ish)

- 1500 SAT (750 English, 750 Math, 5/5/5 Essay)
- 760 SAT Mathematics Level 2
- 750 SAT Physics
- 34 ACT Composite (35 ENG, 34 MAT, 33 REA, 34 SCI, 07 WRI, 29 ELA, 34 STEM)

- Unweighted GPA: 3.16 (damn it, so close to pi)
- Weighted GPA: 3.97
- 74th percentile in school

- 5 AP Calc BC
- 5 AP Calc AB
- 5 AP Lang
- 5 AP Physics C: E&M (self-study; school didn't have this class)
- 5 AP Physics C: Mechanics
- 4 AP Computer Science
- 4 AP Lit
- 4 AP Physics 1
- 4 AP US History
- 4 AP World History
- 3 AP US Government (retaking 2018)
- 3 AP Macroeconomics (retaking 2018)
- Taking AP statistics test 2018 probably

Course load:
- Freshman: Eng Hon, Algebra 2, Chorus, ROTC, Bio Hon, World Hist, Electronics
- Sophomore: Eng hon 2, Geo hon, Chorus, ROTC, Chem Hon, AP World Hist, Electronics 2, Pre-calc Hon (online), Intro to IT (online)
- Junior: French 1, AP Lang, AP Calc AB, AP Physics 1, AP US Hist, Electronics 3, Digital Video Production, AP Computer Science (online)
- Senior: AP US Govt, AP Macro, French 2, AP Eng Lit, AP Calc BC, AP Physics C: Mechanics, Electronics 4, Cybersecurity

- I can't kick/throw/dribble a ball very well yet, so I probably won't get admitted because of sports.
- Sung in my school's Concert Choir 2 years (My grade depended on this one so I had to go)
- Started a club where I taught coding every week. I guess this counts as community service but I never kept track of the hours.
- Programmer (Junior) and Team Captain (Senior) of FIRST Robotics team.
- Interned at Lockheed Martin Summer 2017
- Work full time as a remote software developer

- "Most improved science award". I was pretty pissed about getting a "most improved" award, but the award also came with a check for 100 bucks so all is forgiven.
- AP Scholar w/ Distinction
- My mom says I'm pretty smart

I'm probably majoring in Neuroscience or Computer Science.

Okay, now here's the part where you spit out your drink laughing. Here are the colleges I'm applying to:
- University of Florida
- Boston University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Harvey Mudd College
- Carnegie Mellon University (School of Computer Science)
- Stanford University

The Stanford app is just for a goof. I'm showing a neural net a bunch of example essays so that it can generate the "perfect" essay. I'll submit whatever the algorithm comes up with. Given my grades, I don't expect it to work lol.

Thanks for reading this summary of my boring life. Chance me?
22 replies
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Replies to: Intervention

  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    edited December 2017
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @synccc What is your financial need? What can you/your parents pay?
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  • syncccsynccc 6 replies4 threads New Member
    @gearmom I'm can make around $48K a year before taxes, but my parents are broke.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10414 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    Wait, you mean you yourself make 48k a year before taxes? Can you please clarify? Is this a serious post?

    You need to have a conversation with your parents about how much they can actually contribute. Or run the FAFSA based on your income and see what your EFC will be. You are probably going to be limited to instate options.

    Are you planning to apply to just these schools by tomorrow night? Has your guidance counselor sent anything to these schools, even though you graduated already? Have you sent these colleges your transcripts, AP scores, and test scores?

    There is zero reason to retake any of the APs you got a three on. You already have ten scores of four and five. Most colleges that you are considering will either cap how many you can get credit for, or won't give you credit at all, or will give placement for only a few of them.

    Your list has no safeties. The acceptance rate is 38% at UF and your UWGPA is on the low side. Your stats are very good, except for your grades. Being a URM is helpful, but I think your GPA is going to make almost every college on your list very difficult. While there are plenty of scholls that would accept you, it's going to be more difficult to get merit aid due to your GPA. You need some affordable options with higher acceptance rates. There are some colleges that will give automatic merit aid for your high ACT scores. Google it. I know prep scholar has a list, but we can't link prep scholar here. A lot of those scholarships may have had deadlines that have passed.

    I suggest you apply to some less selective Florida colleges. New College is a public Liberal Arts college in Florida. Eckerd is also a LAC in Florida which might give you merit aid. Both have good reputations. There are other Florida unis that are good and less selective than UF. What about FSU and USF?
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  • milee30milee30 2869 replies17 threads Senior Member
    In his EC list he mentions he works as a software developer. $48k a year is actually on the low side for a software developer so I'm not sure why Lindagaf is so shocked about OP earning $48k.

    Don't know how the various schools will view this app; it's really interesting and has a mix of very appealing things (test scores, ECs) and things that will be tougher to get schools past (GPA.) The weird thing is that this could be one of those cases where the places that are highly metric based - like most state schools - will reject but a few of the selective private schools will accept. It probably varies at different schools, but my son is graduating from a very strong magnet type school in FL and looking at Naviance, it's obvious that GA Tech and UF have very hard, firm GPA cutoffs, so would reject an applicant like this. But a school like BU might ignore the GPA because the applicant clearly is capable of doing well in college, as demonstrated by SAT and AP scores and his software work.
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  • syncccsynccc 6 replies4 threads New Member
    @Lindagaf Yeah. Like I mentioned in my original post, I'm a software developer. If I work at the rate I'm paid for an entire year, I would make $48K minus taxes.
    I guess now that I think about it, that does sound a bit unrealistic for a teenager. I am serious though.

    I forgot to mention UCF on my list. I guess that counts as a safety, right? It has a 50% admit rate. I had already been admitted to UCF in 2017, but I decided to take a gap year and reapply to other places.

    Anyways, it's a bit too late now but thanks for your advice.
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @Lindagaf He is on a gap year.
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  • shawnspencershawnspencer 3121 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I feel like if you add a couple more match/safety schools that you would be happy going to, your list is not completely unreasonable.
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @Lindagaf Any LACs that he could have a chance at holistically? Skidmore? Or Dickenson?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10414 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    Ok, I missed the line about the full time job. He is still going to have an issue affording private colleges unless they meet all demonstrated need. I know he's on a gap year, but I am wondering if everything is in place in terms of his high school sending all the info to his chosen colleges. Maybe OP sent it all before he left high school. Maybe some colleges will be ok recieve ing the high school info and test scores late as long as the app is submitted by the deadline.

    OP has a UW GPA of 3.1, which will be on the low side for colleges that give merit based on grades and test scores. Public U's where his GPA is below the 50th percentile will be very tough. OP needs to look at colleges in the 60% and higher acceptance range. I don't think 50% is a safety.

    OP, you can try some of the LACs, but you should look up colleges that will give merit aid based on high ACT scores. Are there mitigating circumstances that explain your GPA? If you have some credible info to add to the additional information section, you should. You have a full time job, which is good. Part of the reason colleges care about GPA is because they use it to boost their stats, and because it shows you can make the necessary effort to do college level work.

    There are a lot of LACs that might love to have you, but will they give you enough to make it affordable? How about American University? You can also try Dickinson, but I think they require a supplement. Hampshire College could be a great choice, so check that out. Clark University, Union College, Susquehanna, Muhelenberg, Juniate, Goucher, Denison U, Quinnipiac U. Many of the private colleges that offer merit care about demonstrated interest, so request interviews as soon as you can.
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  • my2caligirlsmy2caligirls 926 replies10 threads Member
    Baffles me that your UW GPA is so low given your otherwise stellar stats. Anyways, your stats qualify for the Presidential at a Bama - pretty good deal but maybe similar enough to your instate costs and instate options may be better academically.

    With your GPA issue all these schools on your list are reaches but some may like your story and give you a chance. With that said keep working on your Plan B schools. Good luck and keep us posted as I think you have a great story to tell.
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  • brantlybrantly 4228 replies75 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    I would advise to apply widely. I think his/hers would be an interesting application to Stanford, Cornell, Yale, Rice, and WashU. Maybe even Vanderbilt. I wouldn't advise to apply exclusively to those types of schools, but pick a few in addition to a few on the list that @Lindagaf provides above.

    But the greater question is, how is this just happening now, on December 31?
    edited December 2017
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4142 replies27 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    Regarding @Lindagaf's list of schools -- an unweighted 3.1 and 74% class rank will make schools like Dickinson, Denison, Union a tough sell unless there is a coherent story about why the gpa is so out of balance with the test scores.

    Did I miss whether OP has applied to other Florida publics? What about Emory -- still a reach, though. And most importantly, OP says his parents can't contribute -- but what does the NPC say their EFC is? If the EFC is basically 0, then he needs meets full need schools. If his EFC is unaffordable, that changes the calculation, making full tuition merit essential.
    edited December 2017
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  • HellofagalHellofagal 148 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Quite a few schools have deadlines of January 15th including: Macalester, Vassar, Colgate, Carleton, Bucknell, Kenyon, Lafayette, Dickinson, and Saint Olaf.

    I'm sure there are many more.
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  • HellofagalHellofagal 148 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Sorry, not Vassar. Their deadline is tomorrow.
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1689 replies30 threads Senior Member
    What about WPI or RIT?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10414 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    This student needs match and safety schools with acceptance rates closer to 50% and above. Yes, there are colleges that don't have a Jan 1 deadline. That might give him time to ask his high school to submit materials and to get test scores sent. OP, if you are still reading this, you can ask your employer to write you a recommendation. That would be a helpful selling point for you if you are a good employee.
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @synccc What can you afford each year?
    How much have you saved?
    Can you work part time during school?
    Have you run the NPCs? Is UF affordable?

    You can always go to a fancy school for grad school. It's the last school that matters. UF is HIGHLY ranked. #42 for best universities.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43084 replies470 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    UF is NOT a safety for you. They hardly admit anyone whose weighted GPA is below 4.3 although some people in the 4.0-4.3 weighted get in.
    Apply to Wilkes Honors College and NCF RIGHT NOW.

    Run the NPC on St Olaf, Gustavus Adolphus, Luther, Butler, Creighton, University of Iowa, UMN TC (CS-CLA), ASU Barrett, Truman State, Missouri-Rolla ("MUST"), UAlabama Huntsville, SJSU (if the application's still open for OOS students and do apply to the Honors in Humanities program), Marist, St Lawrence, Hobart&WilliamSmith, Wheaton MA, Ithaca. If you're not afraid of leaving the country, Simon Fraser would be hospitable to high test scores and Vancouver is terrific for someone interested in CS.
    edited December 2017
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  • gearmomgearmom 3964 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @synccc ^ There isn't anyone here that will be more expert. Plan for a Phase 2 admission round to safety/matches.
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