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Do I Have a Shot at Columbia?

jeckertjeckert Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
edited August 2011 in Columbia University
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: White
School Type: Public
State/Area: Illinois/Chicago area
Income Bracket: ~$200,000 (not entirely sure)
Probable Majors/Minors: Biochemistry or Neuroscience with a Minor in Spanish
Also, I’m planning on doing a Pre-med track

GPA (Weighted): 4.548
GPA (Unweighted): 3.95

Rank: 2/645 (Possibly 1 after last semester)

Test Scores/Classes:
-SAT: 2270 (740 Rdg, 760 Math, 770 Wrtg)-Considering retake
-ACT: 33 Composite (same score for 2 sittings)-Considering retake
-AP (so far): Calc BC (5), US History (5), English Lang (5), European History (5), Spanish Lang (4)
-SAT Subjects: I haven’t taken them yet, but on diagnostic tests from study books (with no prior studying): USH 790, Spanish 770, Math lvl2 800, Physics 780, Also planning to take Chemistry

-9th Grade: Honors Alg2/Trig (B+), Honors English I (B+), Honors Biology (A+), Honors World History (A+), Spanish II, Concert Winds (top Freshman ensemble) (A+)

-10th Grade: Honors Math Analysis/Precalc (A), Honors English II (A), Honors Chemistry (A+), AP European History (A), Spanish III (A+), Wind Ensemble (A+)

-11th Grade: AP Calc BC (A), AP English Lang (A), AP Spanish (A), APUSH (A), Honors Physics (A), Wind Ensemble (A+)

-12th Grade: Calculus III (Multivariable calc through U of Illinois), AP Gov’t, AP English Lit, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Wind Ensemble

-AP Tests senior year (though these don’t particularly matter): World History (Self-study), US Gov, Comparative Gov/Politics, Physics C: Mechanics, Physics C: Electromagnetism, English Lit/Comp, Chemistry

-Marching Band (all 4 years): Member of Drumline, have won numerous section awards at various state competitions, Section Leader senior year
-Youth & Government: Attorney (10, 11,12)-State awards 2 years running, including best Oral Argument, 2nd best Legal Brief, and 2nd best Case overall
-Percussion Ensemble (all 4 years): Numerous leadership tasks including designing our annual concert
-Church Youth Group (all 4 years): Play drumset in weekly worship band (also frequently tasked with organizing weekend worship), Member of both Leadership Board and Missions Trip Fundraising Committee

Volunteer/Community Service Work:
-About 75 hours tutoring underpriveleged, struggling kids at the elementary school level (through both church and other volunteer opportunities)
-Percussion/Drumset Lessons to Middle School students (about 20-30 hours)
-Volunteer work at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry (20 hours, will be closer to 50 at application time)
-Missions trips through church involving VBS programs in downtown Chicago, various repair and outreach ministries in Nashville, TN

-Probable National Merit Scholar (with a PSAT score of 220 and SAT of 2270)
-Selected for 2010 IMEA District IX Honor Orchestra (as a percussionist)
-Received “Best of Day” awards for solo work in solo & ensemble contests both Soph. and Jr. years, also selected for 2010 District Honors Recital (one of 15 or so students out of approximately 600-700)
-Began playing percussion in 8th grade, was accepted into school’s top ensemble (in a Grammy-award-winning music program) Sophomore year

Recommendations: Two letters, one from my APUSH teacher (the only one I’ve received; it’s wonderful) and one from my Honors Precalc/BC Calc teacher (who has known me as a student for over 2 years now). My counselor also knows me well, though he’s only been at our school for a year, and I feel confident after many conversations with him that he will also be willing to produce a glowing recommendation for me.

Essays: I have given this lots of thought, and have amassed a list of great ideas. I’m going to work with my counselor and hopefully my senior AP english teacher/english dept. chair to really fine-tune it. Also, I’ve been told that I’m a very good writer, and if I can successfully embed my voice in my essays, then I’m fairly confident that they’ll be pretty good. I wouldn't be so foolish as to say that they're the anchor of my application, but I do think that they will be a strong portion of it.

Post edited by jeckert on

Replies to: Do I Have a Shot at Columbia?

  • cjsoccer720cjsoccer720 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    yeah your grades are top notch, your sat scores are very good, and you seem very involved. they'd be dumb not to accept you! i think your sat scores are great... a solid 700 in each section... i wouldn't bother taking it again.
  • 203217203217 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I agree, no need to retake SAT. You have a good chance. Good Luck!
  • gwpolarbeargwpolarbear Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Hi, I'm a pre-med as well. Since you are majoring in the science field, participate in activities that will contribute to your major (science fairs, intern at hospitals, etc.) in order to boost your chance of getting accepted by Columbia.
  • neiro6neiro6 Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    You also do Youth and Government? I'm not alone!!
  • mustangmanmustangman Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    Awesome resume. I think with a 2270 no school is a reach for you. A setback is you don't play a school sport but I'm sure your essay could make up for that shortcoming.
  • texaspgtexaspg Super Moderator Posts: 16,599 Super Moderator
    If you apply ED, you probably have a shot. If you apply regular to columbia college, the admission rate was really low this year (5.6%?)
  • jeckertjeckert Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    Thanks guys :) I don't think Columbia would be my first choice, as I'm not sure I want to go to school in central Manhattan. I plan to visit first, but I'm not entirely sure I'd apply ED. And yes, the admissions rate was very, very low.
  • supersizemesupersizeme Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    I think RD this year is going to be higher unless Columbia is dead-set on establishing themselves as equally selective as HYPSM. This is something that you can't just change in a few years, so the low acceptance rate for the class of 2015 may just have been as a consequence of shifting to the Common App.

    Regardless, my guess is the acceptance rate is going to be higher for the class of 2016 in both ED and RD rounds.
    jeckert wrote:
    don't think Columbia would be my first choice, as I'm not sure I want to go to school in central Manhattan don't think Columbia would be my first choice, as I'm not sure I want to go to school in central Manhattan

    Columbia is actually in the upper west side in a neighborhood known as Morningside Heights. It's still in the borough of Manhattan, but in my opinion, Morningside is more quiet than central Manhattan, Greenwich Village (which is where NYU is) and the majority of Manhattan. You're visiting the campus soon, so judge for yourself, but I think Columbia still feels very much like a campus and not so much in a city,
This discussion has been closed.