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How likely am I to be accepted into Columbia PhD program in Mathematics?

mi1717mi1717 0 replies1 threads New Member
Here are my stats:
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Indian
GRE Subject Math: 900
GRE Regular: 169 Math/ 169 Verbal/5.5 Analytic Writing


I really want to get into Columbia University for their graduate math program. Here is my issue. I am almost done with my Masters degree in pure mathematics, I received all A's except for one class. My brother was sick that semester so I was constantly flying back and forth from India to the US when he was sick. All my professors were understanding except one who gave me 50% on homework and midterms because even though I solved them all correctly, it wasn't the way she showed in class so she said it didn't count.

Anyways, she said I needed to drop the class and she would give me an incomplete and then the next semester I would need to make it up. Then the next semester my brother passed away and it was the worst year of my life, making this class up was the least of my worries. So I don't know what this grade of incomplete even translated to, maybe an F? But in any case I am signed up to take another class next semester to make up for it.

Will this severely ruin my chances? On top of that, after my brother's passing, I was being forced to marry someone twice my age and move back to India. My family is ultra conservative Muslim. I just could not do it so my family completely abandoned me. Although I wasn't born in America, I am a U.S. citizen now so thankfully I was able to stay in America. But I went through months and months of physical and verbal abuse and I was partially homeless for part of the year (couch surfing from friend to friend) and eventually I was just trying to study in between shifts of working as a waitress and tutoring other kids. I finally took the GRE and scored a 900. My undergraduate grades were decent, nothing spectacular at all. For the most part all A's in my math classes but there was probably one B and another C (I don't really remember anymore).

I'm not writing all this to tell a sob story, I just want to know if my situation will be taken into consideration at all. I know that this is graduate school and they don't like excuses so I hope mine doesn't sound like one. I tried very hard to compensate by doing decent on the standardized tests. My recommendations are all from my undergraduate professors, and that was a while ago so I don't know how much that will help either. But I have sat in on lectures at The Graduate Center of New York for different graduate level classes and taken the comprehensive exam in Real Analysis at the Graduate Center in addition to passing all the comprehensive exams for my Masters degree at my school.

Do I have any chance at all? And if my extenuating circumstances is something worth mentioning, where should I mention it?
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