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Chances for Columbia Early Decision?

kygoatkygoat 6 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
Hi! I'm a senior and I applied to my dream school of Columbia University Early Decision (to hopefully give me a better chance) as an Economics major. I've taken every honors/ap class that was offered except AP Lit bc senior year isn't really that important. It was pretty overwhelming which is why my GPA is so low but I think my intense academic rigor explains that.

UW GPA: 3.773
ACT: 32 (33 super-scored)
AP Tests: 4 on AP Chemistry, 5 on APUSH
Subject Tests: None bc Columbia doesn't really care as much as the other Ivy Leagues

Church Group Leader: 3 years
Tutor for Honors/AP Chem, Algebra II, Pre-Calc, & Calc AB: 3 years
Member of the National Society of High School Scholars: 2 years
JV/Varsity Soccer: 4 years
Private Investor: 2 years - I included this bc I think its relevant to my major and it's a pretty big part of my life

Community Service:
Treasurer of Beach Revival Club: 2 years

Please be honest if you think I actually stand a chance or not; If you also have any suggestions for making my application stronger also let me know. Thank you!!
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Replies to: Chances for Columbia Early Decision?

  • kygoatkygoat 6 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
    oh also to add to my extracurriculars, I'm the ASB Senior Class Treasurer where I put fundraisers together in order to garner funds to spend on senior events (similar to being treasurer for beach revival club - a beach clean-up club - where I collaborated with panda express to raise funds for things to pick up trash with).
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  • columbialions21columbialions21 17 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I’m going to be honest, and I don’t mean to be rude at all but Columbia is really particular in selecting students who are really passionate about 1 main thing. If someone has lower test scores (which a 32 might be considered even though it is phenomenal elsewhere), Columbia is really looking that you’ve done a number of things to exercise your passion - whether it be internships, research, formed a club... You have a lot of great stuff (all honors APs), but at the same time a lot of Columbia students have that. I wish you the best best best of luck!!!! And you didn’t mention it but certain ethnicities/ the area you come from may help..
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  • kygoatkygoat 6 replies3 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for your input; I really appreciate it. My personal statement and supplementals were amazing (according to the head of the English department at my school), so hopefully those do me some good at least lol. Thanks once again!
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  • Jleto18Jleto18 231 replies85 postsRegistered User Member
    Your ACT and GPA are both low for Columbia as well as the number of AP tests you've taken. This stacks the odds against you, and you'll probably need out of this world ECs and essays to be considered. Your chances are low, as they are for even the most qualified students, but it's not completely impossible. I would like to point out that you probably shouldn't mention NSHSS because it's a scam, and colleges know this. NHS is good to mention if you are in it, but, for the future, I'd probably say don't mention NSHSS. Also, senior year is important. They look at your rigor and grades you have senior year and can rescind your admission if you do poorly. Don't slack off for sure.
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  • happy1happy1 22677 replies2226 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    Columbia is a reach for any unhooked applicant but your academic stats make the school even more of a reach. Your ACT is below the 25th percentile and I don't see any ECs that are truly unusual/stand-out. Since you applied ED and wrote great essays then rest easy knowing you gave it your all. https://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/classprofile/2022

    As a piece of unsolicited advice I'd recommend that you give up the idea of a dream school and focus your attention on creating a solid college list that includes reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable (find out your parents' budget and run the net price calculator for each school) and that you would be excited to attend. The people I see who get hurt by the college admission process are the ones who focus on one or two hyper-competitive schools and then don't get in.
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  • NUalumniNUalumni 6 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
    Actually, I disagree with you @happy1! Admissions offices look at a whole lot more these days than just where someone ranks in terms of test scores (and even test scores are becoming less important -- UChicago just dropped this requirement). When you take into financial need and differences in high schools, etc., no place is guaranteed (unless it's open admissions). So we (my wife and I) think students should apply to places with the programs they're interested in and give it their best shot. You never really know until you get that decision.
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  • happy1happy1 22677 replies2226 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    @NUalumni I think you may have misinterpreted my post. I NEVER said that the SAT was the sole criteria or even the most important criteria looked at by Columbia admissions. What I did say (which I stand by) is that:
    1) Columbia has a 5.5% admission rate - it is a reach for anyone without a major hook (ex. recruited athlete, child of a huge donor etc.).
    2) Having any one part of an application stand out as below the average makes Columbia even more of a reach.
    3) I did not for one second discourage the OP from applying and noted that by applying ED and writing strong essays he/she has given his/her application the best possible chance of success.

    I think we are in basic agreement. The only exception is that my understanding is that standardized test scores are regarded as an attribute (although certainly not the only attribute) by Columbia admissions - this is based on a conversation with an admission officer there. Just because a number of schools including UChicago went test-optional does not mean every school discounts standardized tests-- each college has its own requirements/ criteria and at this point the standardized tests remain a part of Columbia's review process.
    edited December 2018
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