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Chances for Brown ED (2017)

solodolo27solodolo27 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited August 2012 in Brown University
Gender: M
Race: Jewish/White (at a catholic school)
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Academic Stats:
GPA: 3.5 (unweighted), 3.9 (weighted)/projected: 3.7 (uw), 4.1 (w) - Upward trend/harder classes each year.
Class Rank: Top 20%
SAT: 2120 (CR-720, WR-720, M-680) (I am retaking the SAT in October)
SAT II: US Hist-790, Lit-680
AP Scores: US Hist-5, English Lang-5
Senior Course Load: AP Stats, AP Bio, AP Lit, AP Gov, Honors Econ, Psychology
Teacher Recs: Confident that they will be impressive, as well as a very personal letter from my camp director who has seen me grow and mature since age 8.

EC's: (years)
-President & Founder of Psychology Club (2) - Invite guest speakers to talk to us regarding different psych topics like operant conditioning, addiction, neuroses, etc.
-President of Environmental Club (2) - Worked closely with Heal the Bay (I volunteer there) to 'adopt a beach' and help our school make eco-conscious decisions.
-Vice President Sailing Club (2) - Teach the basics of sailing to those who are interested
-"Class Captain" For AP Gov. - Lead class & help develop study strategies and lessons
-Speaker at Heal the Bay (2) - only teenager among 40 adults; lead monthly beach clean ups; educate youth and adults about environmental conservation. (Featured on school News)
-Listener at Teen Line, a National Youth Crisis Line (2) (300+ hours) - 60 Hours of intensive training, 40 additional hours of observing phone calls, required to pass 15 'role-play' calls (failed 0); required to attend monthly seminars re: child abuse, rape, suicide, pregnancy, etc.
-CIMI - Marine Bio-intensive camp located on Catalina Island (10) - Sailing for 10 years, SCUBA for 5, island ecology research, leadership, etc.
-Accepted to be a Youth Ambassador for Under Sea Voyager Project (nonprofit) this coming spring, where I will be working with world-renowned marine biologists on a research submarine.
-Therapy (6) - this may sound out of place but it has tremendously influenced perspective, my integrity, and my career goals.
-Varsity Soccer (2)
-Member of the International Knot-Tying Association (3)
-Worked at a summer camp for kids with asbergers, autism, etc. (2)
-One-On-One Outreach (6) - Grass Roots organization that feeds low income families
-Boys U6 AYSO Soccer Coach (3)

Awards/Achievements:
-Master Mariner Award (Sailing) given at CIMI (aforementioned) - Demonstrated outstanding technical ability as well as sportsmanship and leadership (Number 1 sailor in camp)
-Multiple 1st and 2nd place awards in Laser, 420, and Catamaran Regattas (CIMI)
-Awarded full-ride merit scholarship to attend CIMI this year from the Anthony Dunne & Anne Cerami Foundation for a short documentary I created denoting the importance of the ocean and its effect on the psyche (With Heal the Bay)
-Before I joined Heal the Bay, I wanted them to speak to the enviro club at my school; however, my school didn't have the room or time, so i set up a makeshift screen at my house and had 40 people sit in my backyard to hear the presentation, i then created a mailing list which I still use to this day to recruit people to come help out at our monthly beach cleanups.
-I have had artwork featured at MOCA Teen Night
-Poetry Featured at Barnes & Noble
-I took the initiative in 11th grade to find out that I have severe ADHD and anxiety, which, i discovered, have impeded my academic success for my entire life. (I consider this a personal achievement because I have gained an immense sense of self-awareness and insight in the process)

Suppliment/Essays:
If I'm great at one thing, its writing from the heart. I fell in love with the brown supp. as soon as I read it over the summer, and I believe I have some really passionate, unique, witty, charming, authentic essays.

*I know for a fact that I want to major in Psych./Cognitive Sci. with a possible double in environmental studies, and I have already demonstrated interest in the school and requested to sit in on an entry level psych class. I feel that my EC's and accomplishments reflect my passions, and I feel like an authentic human being on paper. I am, however, absolutely terrified that they won't take the time to consider my essays, EC's, and achievements because my GPA doesn't necessarily fit the mold of the cookie-cutter, boot-licking Ivy Applicant.

Thanks a lot for your input!
Post edited by solodolo27 on

Replies to: Chances for Brown ED (2017)

  • WordworkerWordworker Registered User Posts: 869 Member
    Let me give Martin Buber a voice.

    A rabbi named Zusya died and went to stand before the judgment seat of God. As he waited for God to appear, he grew nervous thinking about his life and how little he had done. He began to imagine that God was going to ask him, "Why weren't you Moses or why weren't you Solomon or why weren't you David?" But when God appeared, the rabbi was surprised. God simply asked, "Why weren't you Zusya?"

    Adcoms get tired of reading cookie-cutter applications. They need to be sure you can handle the academics (shown by sufficiently high grades and tests), but they're also looking for people who have deep and long-standing interests, curiosity, and initiative. Your post suggests that you do.

    Although I have no inside information or authority, I suspect you have an excellent chance. But you'll be a leader wherever you go.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Registered User Posts: 3,501 Senior Member
    I am, however, absolutely terrified that they won't take the time to consider my essays, EC's, and achievements because my GPA doesn't necessarily fit the mold of the cookie-cutter, boot-licking Ivy Applicant.

    I think you would be surprised how many students near or at the top of their high school class are definitely NOT "cookie-cutter, boot-licking Ivy Applicant." The competition is stiff enough that Brown can demand it all. Your competitors are either naturally smarter than you (able to do consistent A-level work with much less effort) or they are much better able to prioritize their time to get top grades AND participate in multiple ECs. Insulting them will get you no Brownie points.

    You may well have an admissions edge due to your sailing credentials. Otherwise, be aware that Brown only accepts 2% of its applicants who fall below the top 10% of the class.
  • solodolo27solodolo27 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Typically I wouldn't care enough to insult those who perform outstandingly both in and out of school; I think it just attests to my nervousness and insecurity about my gpa. It's just painful to see a gpa that I know isn't reflective of my abilities.

    For the record, I haven't the slightest interest in "brownie points" from anyone on this forum or anywhere else; like I said, just pretty nervous and insecure. :)
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Registered User Posts: 3,501 Senior Member
    It's just painful to see a gpa that I know isn't reflective of my abilities.

    There are lots of smart kids who are bored with the pace in high school and thus do poorly in the early years. It's only when they start looking at college that they realize their mistake in not having put the nose to the grindstone earlier.

    Of course you should give your top choices your best shot. But if you don't get in, remember that it's not so much you as it's just bad historical timing: these are the most competitive years ever for top schools and lots of alumni from these very schools would not get in today. Maybe this round is lost because the game started before you were even paying attention; no matter, it's only the first round and won't affect your overall success in life.

    You'd also do well in the honors program of a public flagship and likely have an even better chance at getting into one of these elite schools as a graduate student, which would mean more on your resume. Late-bloomers often make the fiercest competitors because once they "wake up" to the reality of the academic game/business world, they'll never again be willing to work at less than their best.

    Good luck!
  • perazzimanperazziman Registered User Posts: 2,420 Senior Member
    You are in the same low class rank boat as my son. Your rank is low because you had undiagnosed ADHD. My son's is low because he moved from a school in a poor URM neighborhood to a mainstream competive high school. So, the odds are not your favor or his.

    That said, let me ask you, what do you think is the most important factor in the admissions process at Brown? How does your performance stack up on that factor?
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,261 Forum Champion
    Pardon my ignorance and intrusion but if you have been in therapy for 6 years, how did you only discover you have ADHD and anxiety last year?
  • solodolo27solodolo27 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    the answer to your question lies in the difference between therapy and psychopharmacology. My therapist has an MFT; my psychopharm has an MD. Therapists can diagnose (somewhat) but not medicate. It would be like asking your pool man to fix your air conditioner.
  • BrownAlumParentBrownAlumParent Registered User Posts: 661 Member
    Pour your passion into your essays. Write and rewrite and have good trusted proof readers who you think can also give you fair critique as to content and tone. Pride is great, arrogance is not, and a valid sense of humor helps. Choose your letter of reference sources carefully for those who know you well, can be honestly very positive if not glowing in their reference, and who will also write well. (I think this is where some very good applicants get short changed. Sometimes the best teachers are lousy or just overwhelmed letter writers, and students have no real way to know that. Guidance counselors often are reluctantly helpful about this, or even clueless).
This discussion has been closed.