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Chance me for HYPS

enawordenaword 18 replies6 threads Junior Member
edited May 2019 in What Are My Chances?
Demographics: East Asian, female, upper middle class, competitive public school in California

Intended Major: not sure--depends on which college I get into, I guess. But I'm considering comparative literature or some major that's a mix of history and literature.

GPA: UW: 3.93/4.00; W: 4.61/4.00 (if colleges recalculate it, my GPA will definitely be lower, since my school doesn't consider + or - grades).

SAT: 1600. World: 800; Math II: 800; Physics: 780.

I got a C+ first semester AP Calc BC and B+s both semesters of AP Bio. I was able to get an A- in second semester AP Calc BC, but still. Yikes. I also took History and Philosophy at my community college as a rising sophomore, but ended with a B in Philosophy. I'm thinking that my grades will be a weak part of my application.

APs: 5s in Human Geo, Calc BC, French, Bio, World, US, Lang, Stats, Physics, Psych, Art History. 4s in APES, AP Chem. Will be taking APCS, AP Macro, AP Gov, AP Lit senior year.

Awards: YoungArts honorable mention in writing; Scholastic Gold and Silver medal (along with an array of gold keys); Foyle commended poet; placed in Princeton's poetry contest; three silver bids to TOC for PF; qualified to nationals for quiz bowl twice; NMSF; generic AP scholar stuff

- founder and editor-in-chief of a national lit mag (11-12)
- poetry editor for two other international literary magazines (10-12)
- had poetry published in three lit mags, with more forthcoming
- secretary (11) and president (12) of our school's writer's ensemble--hosted workshops for students who want to get better at both creative and academic writing, and also help produced a school literary journal
- literature research with a UC professor (11)
- writing and misc. academic tutor for other classmates (11-12)
- will be interning (unpaid) at a law firm (12)
- member of debate team (9), varsity mentor (10), captain (11-12)
- placed pretty high at debate tournaments (first speaker multiple times and broke at several big tournaments)
- founded Speech and Debate club at a local middle school, developed and taught original curriculum for 40+ students (10-12)
- member of quiz bowl (9), vice president (10, 12), president (11)
- volunteering: teach English as a second language at a senior residence home (10-12, will have ~80 hours)
- Mock Trial member (9, 11-12), placed first for my role regionally in 9th and 11th grade
- founded linguistics club (11) and made it to open round of NACLO
- will be giving a TED talk to incoming freshman beginning of senior year
- selected for my school's We the People team, which has historically done very well (top 5 nationally for the last few years, I think), for next year

Schools: Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, UCs (all of them, from Berkeley/LA to UC Merced), Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Pomona, Oxford. Yes, I do have safeties in mind; they're just not listed.

I'm in love with Princeton--the campus, the writing department, the location, the culture. Would applying SCEA give my application any bit of a boost, or should I just wait for RD?
edited May 2019
21 replies
Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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Replies to: Chance me for HYPS

  • OhiBroOhiBro 610 replies9 threads Member
    Congrats on such an impressive resume! I’m sure you will have plenty of takers.

    I can’t answers specifics on your Princeton question, but with a 5% acceptance rate, many kids with perfect stats get rejected.

    I would advise my child to find several places that you can afford (first priority), and where you think you can blossom.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7904 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    IMO, your headline is clickbait or false modesty, or else your sense of objective reality needs recalibrating.

    Do some homework on Oxford: your choices are English, History or English & History. IMO History is a long shot as your history background is weak, and for H&E both departments have to accept you. Look at the ELAT, to see if it suits you, but mostly look at the actual course description and see how it fits what you want- It is notably less flexible than a US English degree will be.
    edited May 2019
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  • AspiringacademicAspiringacademic 116 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    I think with your background you have a shot everywhere. Make sure to apply to some matches, though. Schools at the lower end of the T20s and just outside should be high matches for you.
    edited May 2019
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  • ThinkOnThinkOn 553 replies1 threads Member
    The only advice I can give is to choose 2 recommendation providers that can really advocate for you and outline what kind of student you will be on campus. Really work on your essays to show what kind of person you are and how having an education from xyz school will help your goals. Good luck. Be humble about your achievements...focus more on how your achievements and activities helped form you opinions and shaped your goals, outlook...etc. Good luck! Give it your all!!
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Quick queston-how do have a 3.93 UW GPA with the 2 B+ and 1 C+ grades?

    C+ may not look good for the Ivies, although that isn’t related to your potential major.
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  • tdy123tdy123 1046 replies18 threads Senior Member
    @enaword If you calculate your unweighted GPA - excluding non-academic classes (like gym) - using this scale: https://gpacalculator.net/high-school-gpa-calculator/
    what does your unweighted GPA come out to?

    That number would help to put your chances at your reach schools in better perspective.
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    I'm in love with Princeton--the campus, the writing department, the location, the culture.

    In order to enhance your greater list, you might consider other schools with similar academic attributes:


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  • enawordenaword 18 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @Hamurtle I've calculated it to the end of first semester senior year. Right now, I'm at 4.59 W and 3.90 UW.

    @tdy123 It would be 3.92 if I took out PE.

    @Mwfan1921 @collegemom3717 I know that my UW and W aren't bad by any means, but I know that my C+ is definitely not good (which is mainly what I'm referring to by "weak grades").
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  • tdy123tdy123 1046 replies18 threads Senior Member
    1600 and 3.92UW GPA are more than adequate for even the most selective schools in the country.

    That being said, admissions at the most selective schools in the country are very, very difficult for the average super smart kid.

    Non STEM is probably a plus, puts you outside the stereotype of the "typical" Asian student.
    Write some great essays explaining your passion for writing, debate, law and public service.
    Get outstanding teacher recs ("one of the best student in my career" - never hurts) @ThinkOn was right on the mark about that

    - and hope for the best.

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  • toandfrotoandfro 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    “i think my writer's statement is strong, but my writing sample is really weak. i haven't done much poetry, or even creative writing as a whole”

    I believe you posted the above on another thread, which is confusing given the awards and activities posted here.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    And I’m still wondering how 2 B+ and a C+ will still result in a 3.9+ UW GPA. Maybe a 3.8...
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 Forum Champion Summer Programs 766 replies9 threads Forum Champion
    GG You win. Yeah @Hamurtle has a very good point. How does a C+ and 2B+ equate to a 3.9+. Either way, you probably will get into a couple T20s given that your resume is stacked and your intended major isnt super competitive.
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  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Yes. Applying SCEA definitely gives your application a boost.

    I'd condense your EC list. It looks like resume padding to me.

    Make sure to write good essays--doing so is one of the best ways to stand-out.

    I wouldn't worry about the grades too much. They are what they. And, FWIW, I know people who got into Princeton with worse.
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  • wistfulwordswistfulwords 208 replies17 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    I think you're faking this entire post or at least falsifying your achievements. You said previously that you were a sophomore in 2019 and like @toandfro said did not do much creative writing. How could you know your 12th grade leadership roles as a sophomore? Also, the Leonard L. Milberg '53 poetry contest at Princeton is only open to juniors, so I strongly doubt you cheated and won as a sophomore. I know the only asian-american who got an honorable mention in the Princeton poetry contest this year, and I strongly doubt you guys are the same person.

    So I don't know why you're acting as if you're going into senior year as a sophomore. If you really had these accomplishments, then you'd have a pretty decent shot at the Ivies. But you don't, you aren't even in eleventh grade yet according to your previous posts.

    Of course you should try to achieve as much as you can in high school. But faking a resume helps no one. These "chance me"s you got are bogus, because you haven't actually achieved some (or all) of the stuff in your post.
    edited May 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30405 replies59 threads Senior Member
    With top of the top numbers in everything, it’s still no guarantee to get into HYPMS. The winning touch is often some very strong connection, truly outstanding achievement in well recognized national event or being a great asset in an activity the school covets it seeks. Certain debate honors, Siemens Competition winners , athletic recruits, impressive research, all of these things assessed by the colleges depending on what they want or need at the time come into play.

    Since hardly any of us know what’s on any particular college’s wish list,making assessments is pure guessing. Your resume is certainly one that puts you into the running. But would I bet that Princeton will take you. Nope.
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 Forum Champion Summer Programs 766 replies9 threads Forum Champion
    I agree with @wistfulwords
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35381 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Applying Early gives NO boost, if you do not match what the target wants.

    Yes, I also agree this thread looks like a hopeful projection. And by someone who doesn't yet understand what will matter.

    Just an aside. Too many kids claim to have founded a national lit mag or been publsihed in an international one, or in some low-vetting online something. That's not a tip.

    About the GPA: assume 5 courses per semester. First time Icalculated, I got a 3.93 using 8 semesters. Not going to retrace my steps.
    OP hasn't completed 8 semesters.

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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30405 replies59 threads Senior Member
    There was a book, “What The Ivy League Schools Really Want”, I believe was the title, that has an excellent section in assessing ECs as done by the most selective schools.

    I agree that too many kids and parents put too much onto certain awards that the top colleges do not assess the same way
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