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What do you guys think my chances are at Columbia?

sweaterqueensweaterqueen 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member

I am not allowed to apply early decision to any school so I am restricted to RD for Columbia. I have a 3.98 unweighted GPA, 4.16 weighted, a 32 ACT (it's pretty low so I need to work on that), but no APs or IBs. My school does not offer AP or IB classes. Instead, I currently have 22 credit hours (about 9 classes so far) of college coursework. I currently take classes at Ohio State and attend them as a normal college student would! Many of my classes are either GEs or rigorous science classes, along with some prereqs for med school (I've completed the 1 year of biology with lab requirement). I will graduate with 52 credit hours worth of college credits so I hope that can compensate for the lack of AP or IB classes. I have gotten 1 B in a difficult college class, but otherwise, I have all As, so hopefully this can prove my college readiness better than my low-ish ACT score.

As for extracurriculars, I will list them below:
Photography Club: President, Founder, 9th-12th
Yearbook Club: President, Founder, 9th-12th
Creative Collective (a larger art club with a focus on all the arts): President, Founder, 11th-12th
Student Council: Treasurer, 9th-10th
GirlUp: Secretary, 10th-12th. Won an award from the UN with this club!
Theatre Club: Dance Director, 11th
Research Assistant @ OSU ( I work on a research project with the Kinesiology Department): 11th - 12th

I don't have many academic honors or awards but I'll list them below:
Venture Scholar
Questbridge College Prep Scholar
Ron Brown GPS Scholar

I am also a first-generation American, African, low-income, and a URM in STEM so I hope this helps with diversity.

Columbia is my dream school and I really want to be able to attend. I know that college applications can be super random and that you guys won't be able to give me much advice, but I just wanted to see if there was even the slightest chance I could get in or if it would be impossible.

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Replies to: What do you guys think my chances are at Columbia?

  • Techno13Techno13 175 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Your hooks are good but I'd try to get the ACT/SAT improved if there is time. And even then applying to Columbia is like buying a lottery ticket. Good luck!
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  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 266 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Did one or both of your parents graduate college? That could be a big factor. If they didn't, I'd say you have a pretty good chance.

    Do you know if you are low income enough to qualify for a Pell grant? Same comment that that could help you greatly.

    If your parents did go to college and you are not Pell eligible, then I would echo what was said above to try to get your ACT score up a little. Particularly in math, if that is a weakness. (By the way, it would probably help if you posted your individual ACT section scores.)

    Columbia is an awesome school. Try to learn as much about the core curriculum as possible and make sure that it appeals to you. Look at the reading lists for contemporary civilization and literature humanities, and even try to get the syllabi for the art and music core courses.

    Best of luck!
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  • SlowPopSlowPop 36 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 26
    As your Questbridge and Ron Brown mentors have probably told you, you are a highly-qualified candidate for Columbia or any other super-competitive admissions college. You've accomplished an awful lot and you have every reason to be proud of yourself. Don't be down on your ACT score. It is a very high score and I doubt it would be a negative for you at any college. A critical part of your application will be the recommendations. In addition to the teachers at your high school (who may or may not have much experience with Ivy students), it could be helpful to have recommendations from an instructor of one of your Ohio State classes. Did you attend office hours and get to know one or two of them? If you didn't get to know the professor, recommendations from the graduate TAs who ran the labs or discussion sessions can be very influential.

    I'm assuming you aren't applying early because you in the Questbridge match process. But if you match, you will know December 2, before Columbia's mid-December early decision notification date. So its even better than ED! Keep in mind that if you aren't selected as a QB finalist on October 12, you can submit an ED application by November 1.

    The one thing to keep in mind is that you have racked up a lot of college credits. If you got credit for those classes, you could graduate 1 or even 2 years early. None of the single digit admission colleges will accept those as transfer credits for a first-year student. Ask your mentors about what it would mean academically and financially to choose a top-flight college where your credits would be accepted.
    edited September 26
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  • sweaterqueensweaterqueen 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My mom just graduated from college this May! In my most recent ACT I got a 36 Reading, 35 english, 25 Math, and a 30 Science. My superscore is a 33 with a 36 Reading, 35 English, 27 Math, and 33 Science. I am Pell Eligible and have an EFC of 0 so hopefully, that helps out a bit.
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  • sweaterqueensweaterqueen 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I can probably get a recommendation from a head professor in my Bio class, a professor from my theatre acting class (I'm thinking of either a minor or double major in theatre), and a head researcher and neuroscientist from the kinesiology department! The neuroscientist and professor both have doctorate degrees, and the theatre teacher is just a grad student. For some personal reasons I would like to attend college away from home, but my family is mostly against it unless I get into a school like Columbia. I don't view myself as competitive, but I think that's probably just the imposter syndrome talking.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3490 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you have a decent shot at RD. If there is anyway you can swing an ED application, your chances would be a lot better.

    Just note that Columbia does not accept credit for college courses taken while in HS. So those 52 credits won't count for anything -- except placement into higher level classes. If the credits are important for you (in case you want to graduate early), def look at other colleges which will accept at least some of the credits.
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