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Could I get accepted? Not a genius ...

hailcaesarhailcaesar Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I've seen many posts about Columbia and apparently everybody who applies seems to be some kind of genius/saint. Is it possible to get accepted if I am above average (grade wise) but not exceptional? The only ECs I have are orchestra and the Junior Classical League ...

In orchestra:
-GMEA Statewide Honor Orchestra 2013
-GMEA All State Orchestra 2014
-(I made it to a youth symphony orchestra but did not participate. However, I am confident that I can make Emory Youth Symphony and maybe Atlanta Youth Symphony ...)
-Varsity letter 2013
-in a club that performs for at nursing homes 2012 and continuing
-will be in Tri-M next year

In Latin (keep in mind that this is only stuff I did in Latin I last year, so more to come):
-Gold Medals (top 10%) in National Latin Exam (perfect score), National Etymology Exam, and National Roman Civilization Exam
-1st-5th place (tests) at state convention 2013; ranked 16th or 19th in the state of GA
-3rd and 5th place (tests) at national convention 2013 and 9th place in the Academic Heptathlon
-1st place in certamen (Latin quiz-bowl) at state convention
-Officer at the school's Junior Classical League
-will be in National Latin Honor Society next year
-nominated for the Governor's Honors Program for Latin

(And yes, I am hoping to continue Latin after high school ... maybe even major)

-Will be doing church stuff to help the homeless.


Grades (unweighted; honors and AP earn 7 points though):

2012-13 (Super Honor Roll, weighted averages of 96 and 98 for S1 and S2 respectively)
Honors Math: 81, 87 (S1, S2)
Honors 9th Lit: 90, 92
Orchestra 3 (2nd highest out of 4 orchestras): 99, 100
American Government: (S1 only) 97
Health: (S2) 97
Honors Biology: 99, 98
Latin I: 98, 100

2013-14 (I just want to say that this year was definitely not my best ... not sure what happened here ... Honor Roll, weighted average of 94)
Honors 10th Lit: 91
Orchestra 4 (best out of the 4): 100
AP World History: 87 (Definitely improving. I think, just maybe, I can manage an A)
Honors Geometry: 81 (I got a 96 on the final ... brought my grade up 11 points. Doing much better now, should have an A by the end of the year)
Honors Chemistry: 74 (It's bad, I know. Expecting a high B/low A by the end)
Honors Latin II: 98

Assuming I get decent scores on SAT I and II (let's say over 2100 and over 690) and do better this semester and next year (unweighted average of 95? Extremely confident this can happen), could I get accepted into Columbia? My mother was in Barnard College before Columbia went co-ed and she occasionally donates, by the way. I know my grades are pretty screwed up, but I've heard stories of people with a fairly low GPA getting in ... and I am hoping to do Latin there and not much math and science.

All right. Thanks in advance for any advice/feedback. Also, I'm not planning on putting much hope on Columbia (reach school). I'm realistically going for UGA and maybe Georgia Tech.

Replies to: Could I get accepted? Not a genius ...

  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,290 Senior Member
    What year are you in school?

    If you are a junior, why have you not taken the SAT yet?

    Most of the Ivy League admittances that are "low" GPAs or test scores are recruited for sports or at least legacies (or famous).

    You should consider attending a summer school program at Columbia if you are really interested in going there.
  • hailcaesarhailcaesar Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Sophomore. I haven't taken the SAT yet although I know I can get an 800 on the Latin SAT.
  • Falcon1Falcon1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    "You should consider attending a summer school program at Columbia if you are really interested in going there.

    This advice is not correct. Taking a summer school program at Columbia will not increase your chances of acceptance. The three-week programs are very expensive and no grades or course credits are given. Many of the courses are taught by grad students or lecturers and even if you were to obtain a recommendation from one of them it would not carry much weight. You should attend such a program only if you feel it would help to satisfy your love of learning, not to increase your chances of admission.
  • ivyleaguefanivyleaguefan Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    Do you need aid?
  • bobdylansmith123bobdylansmith123 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    @hailcaesar First off, for future reference, you shouldn't be too specific about certain awards, such as JCL awards. They are very easy to verify and therefore can blow your anonymity in a heartbeat (if that's important).

    Also, since you're only a sophomore, my main word of advice is come back to cc when you're a junior or senior. I can easily tell which school you attend, and I know that it's competitive, but cc won't help you right now, it will just take up more time.

    Pull up your gpa and get 2300+ and/or 35+, but your dedication to Latin (which you don't have to necessarily major in and can minor in if you want) is pretty significant. I encourage you to keep that up as well as your commitment to orchestra.
  • hailcaesarhailcaesar Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @bobdylansmith123 oh great... any way I can edit this post to get rid of the awards?
    Also thanks for not putting me down :). (I know I definitely have no chance now.)
  • bobdylansmith123bobdylansmith123 Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    I don't think you can edit comments after a certain amount of time sorry.

    Just because you aren't scoring so highly on your SAT and your GPA doesn't bear semblance of that of a superstar at this very moment indicates almost nothing because you have a great deal of time to pull both up.

    In 9th grade, I got a 170 something on the PSAT, then a 190 something in sophomore year, but in the end, I studied hard enough for the SAT to get it to 2350+ in one sitting. Also made NMSF junior year

    I wasn't even in the top 10% of my class in 10th grade because of a horrible freshman year. But now, I've advanced to top 2-3% and just got an LL from a top 20 school. I'm not trying to bore or intimidate you with a boastful saga, but I'm trying to help you realize that, as trite as it sounds, success can and will come with hard work. (My school is also very competitive I might add)
  • neuromajorneuromajor Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    I'm going to second that previous comment, you are way too young to be saying you have no chance. You have two more years to get your grades at A's and your SATs over a 2200. It's a test that you can absolutely increase your score on a massive number of points (personally I went from a 2150 to a 2390, and I've tutored kids with 300 point increases). You haven't even learned all of the content for that test yet. Your ECs are fine, especially since Latin seems to be your passion and you have a clear directionality there. Being legacy does help some. Columbia is a highly competitive school, but if you can keep your GPA up going forwards it's not bad at all. You absolutely have a shot. (FYI I was accepted to Columbia with a likely letter this admissions cycle. Feel free to message me with any questions).
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