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Why was I rejected ED?

armianarmian Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited March 4 in Cornell University
I am so sad. I don't know what I did wrong. I've been thinking about this since December. I've wanted to go to Cornell since 9th grade. :( Really anxious about my RD apps now. Just don't know what I did wrong... so sad. I've been on this website for like two years but just now decided to make an account. I didn't even get deferred :( :( :(

SAT I (breakdown): 1600 (800M/800CW), one sitting
ACT (breakdown): I never took it
SAT II: 800 Math I (9th grade); 800 Math II (10th grade), 800 Physics (11th grade), 800 Chemistry (12th grade)
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 4.0
Weighted GPA: I don't think we have this, but I've never gotten a B.

College-level courses (I didn't include non-ap or non-post ap):

9th grade:
AP Physics 1 (5); AP Calculus BC (5); AP US History (3)

10th grade:
AP CompSci (5); AP US Gov (5); AP Comp Gov (5); AP Bio (5); Calculus III; Linear Algebra

11th grade:
AP Stats (5); AP Chem (one of 3 students in the entire world to earn a perfect score); AP Physics C Mech (5); AP Physics C E&M (5); AP English Language (4); Microbiology; Discrete Structures; Differential Equations; Abstract Algebra; AP World History (5); AP CS Principles (5)

12th grade:
Intro to Quantum Mechanics; Complex Analysis; Real Analysis; Organic Chemistry; AP English Literature; AP Psychology; Gym/Health (required to graduate); AP Spanish Language

summer activities: freshman year, I did like nothing. sophomore year, I took a post-ap bio course while working at McDonald's. junior year I conducted research full-time

here are my major awards:
- Mega's Moody Math challenge national finalist
- Research published. I presented my research at Intel ISEF and other symposiums.
- Perfect AP Chem Score in 2017. See my AP scores for 11th grade.
- USACO Platinum
- AIME Qualification four times
- i made a mobile app and it currently has 30,000 downloads. it won an award, but I won't mention it here bc I don't want to be identified. I was featured on two news stations because of it.
- USAPHO Qualification twice
- National AP Scholar
- National Merit
- played violin at national level

Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): Research at a top 10 university on US News and World Report; Mobile App Development; Senior Class President; Math Team Captain; Science Olympiad President; Computer Science Club Founder; Key Club President

Job/Work Experience: I worked at McDonald's for a year because I needed money.

Volunteer/Community service: 1,000 hours of community service, all recorded. i got an award for having this many volunteer hours.

Essays (rating 1-10, details): 9/10, felt that they were very well written. English teacher said it was the "perfect college essay." It was about me growing up with my deaf parents. It was pretty well written IMO, had some humor and really showed them my character. After reviewing my essay, however, I realize I had one typo. It was a verb tense ("facilitated" should have been "facilitating).

Interview: She told me she would be surprised if I didn't get in. She said if she were on the admission committee, she would admit me right away. We talked about hiking for a while.

Applied for Financial Aid?: yes
Intended Major and College: Engineering
State (if domestic applicant): edit: I used to have my state on here, but I removed it because it might be easy to identify me. if you saw it, please don't reference it in the replies below.
School Type: Public
Ethnicity: Asian
Gender: Male
Income Bracket: About $50,000.


Weaknesses: I got a 3 on APUSH freshman year, and I took my three subject tests in three different sittings so that I could study for them one at a time (never sent Math I because I thought they'd think I'm test-obsessed because I took it freshman year. plus I also took math II). Never qualified for USAMO, and never did any sports (I had a medical reason for not doing sports, though...). I really don't know what I could have done better. Cornell says they're need-blind, but maybe applying for financial aid hurt me.

I'm really just so confused.... I've been losing a lot of sleep thinking over this. I don't know. I honestly don't know what else I could have done :S. I skipped out on lots of social events in HS to focus on academics, and now I feel like it was for nothing. I see people around me getting in who didn't do as much as me :(

Replies to: Why was I rejected ED?

  • SuzuyaSuzuya Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I don't think you should keep stressing about it. Of course it's natural to stress about it a decent amount, but it's over now. In 20 days, we'll be getting most of our letters back, so just hang in there!

    As for your profile, you have an insanely competitive profile. You will get into tons of amazing universities! I'm really sorry you didn't get into your dream college. This happened to me too, as well as for a lot of others. But, just look at the bright side; you'll definitely get into a top 20 college.

    If you really want to get an honest analysis of why you didn't get into your ED choice, we can point to the biggest glaring "hole" in your application.

    Your essays, ECs, GPA are all pristine, and above and beyond most students accepted by your ED choice.

    In all honesty, your ethnicity and gender are most likely the biggest knocks on your profile, as it is for me and many others.

    There's no use in complaining about it too much, but ethnicity plays a great great role in admissions, and unfortunately you fall under the wrong side of the line. It's unfortunate that you've most likely done the best job that you could with what you had and that it's unfair that your admissions is dictated even partially by something you cannot control, but such is life.

    You'll do great man! Just keep holding on! I'm stressing a bit too, and I have nowhere near the stats that you do. Just keep chugging along and we'll eventually do great things! (I hope)
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,383 Senior Member
    You could ask your GC to check into it. The school might tell them something they won’t tell you. Could there be something lukewarm or bad in your recs? It might be that you just look like a lot of their ED applicants, though. I’d hope you you still have some schools on your list that are easier to get into and affordable.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,577 Senior Member
    Maybe they thought that you were applying to teach, rather than to study, at Cornell ???

    Otherwise it might have been due to something in your recommendations or, possibly, something in your essays (tone maybe) that affected the admissions committee's decision.

    To which other schools did you apply ?
  • armianarmian Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    edited March 4
    @Suzuya thanks for your comforting words. i will be sure to let you know what happens during the RD round.

    @intparent ok. i will do that sometime this week. i honestly don't think the recommendations could be it. i got it from my ap chemistry teacher (we were on the news together bc i got a perfect ap chem score), and my physics teacher (i started the physics club this year with him, but i didn't put it on my app bc i thought admissions might think i made it just for college apps). i was accepted to my one safety school I applied to with a really generous scholarship, but Cornell has been my first choice since forever :( :( the rest of my decisions are a few top 20 schools

    i am just so confused, and I haven't been sleeping more than four hours a night ever since i got rejected just because of anxiety...

  • SuzuyaSuzuya Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    @armian Ah man, 4 hours? Well, I've been sleeping around 5-6, which is not much better, but dang man!

    I really think you should've put that you started the Physics Club in your App. It's definitely quite impressive.

    And I hope you do let me know haha. I've been accepted to two schools too, with a possibility for Regents scholarship, although I'm still waiting for additional admisisons just like you! I'm also Asian and male too haha. Welp, good luck to both of us! If you let me know what happens during RD, I'll let you know what happened with me as well XD, although I'll most likely not do too well.

  • armianarmian Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @Publisher ha ha, I laughed at the teaching thing because I actually want to become a professor in the future. I got into lynn university and hartwick college so far. I'm waiting for georgia tech, columbia, princeton, carnegie mellon, stanford, upenn.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,302 Senior Member
    You were heavy on reach schools and two safeties. No match schools??
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,577 Senior Member
    Hopefully you applied to MIT, Stanford, Northwestern & some other private schools with enormous endowments (more generous financial aid ). As well as to some safeties.

    What area of engineering do you want to study ?
  • Winky1Winky1 Registered User Posts: 1,367 Senior Member
    @armian , you are awesome. My wish for you is peace because you are not your grades. You are you, and there are things out of our control. I am sad for you, but I have a feeling things are going to be just fine. just not what you thought. As far as the anxiety, please let your parents know, or a trusted friend or counselor. You may need some help. My son has anxiety. Be good to yourself, and let Cornell go. They missed out, and you will do great.
  • armianarmian Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @TomSrOfBoston Unfortunately not. I posted a chance me thread on Reddit while looking for colleges, and people on there told me I would almost certainly get into Cornell ED. Also to add to my previous comment, I also applied to Harvard (I know it's also a reach, but I just realize that I forgot that one)

    @Publisher I want to study mechanical engineering. Also, unfortunately, I didn't apply to MIT or Northwestern.

  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,302 Senior Member
    reddit is full of high school kids who have no clue what they are talking about in college admissions.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,559 Senior Member
    agree with intparent. Have a heart-to-heart with your counselor. Assuming great recs all around, you should have had a high chance of admission to Cornell. At worst, a WL.

    Good luck.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,383 Senior Member
    @Publisher, the poster doesn’t need more reaches. Every other school they applied to other than the two safeties is a private with a good endowment except Ga Tech.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,577 Senior Member
    Applications are done. I was just asking to which schools did he apply.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,679 Senior Member
    Whatever else, you were not rejected b/c of your typo, nor for the 3 on APUSH.

    I am surprised that you haven't talked to your GC yet: that should be your first port of call. It's obviously not your stats that are an issue, so it's down to either recs, essays or the overall sense of how you would/wouldn't fit into the community.
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