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Chance me!!! Penn'24

upennhopeful2020upennhopeful2020 1 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
Hi!! I am currently a rising senior at a very large public high school in the greater Los Angeles area. My school is fairly competitive (it ranks in the 85th percentile of schools in Cali I think). I am planning to apply to Penn ED to SEAS (comp sci) this coming fall and was hoping someone could chance me/tell me what I can improve.

GPA: 3.9667 UW // 4.43 W
overall Rank: 3/633
10-12 Rank: 1/633
ACT: 32C (32R, 32E, 34S, 31M) (I took this exam completely cold and had never even touched an ACT test before I took this one so I am optimistic that I can get this up to a 33 minimum. Hopefully 34+)
SAT II tests: haven't taken but plan to take physics and math 2

my junior year course load was: AP Spanish lang, AP Lang, AP Chem, AP Calc AB, AP US history (i earned all A's both semesters making my junior year GPA 5.0)

Senior year I am taking: AP gov/econ, AP Lit, AP Physics 1, AP Calc BC, and AP comp sci

extracurriculars (where I think I lack most):
- Varsity baseball (3 years) // might have a leadership position this year
-club baseball (5 years, I originally wanted to pursue athletics at Penn but stopped after several injuries made it unhealthy to keep pursuing it. I might want to try and walk on and want to find a way to express that to the admissions committee)
- CSF (California scholarship federation, kind of a BS activity tbh)
-tutoring kids in STEM fields at school during lunch (mostly chem and math)
-currently self-teaching in 2 programming languages (python and javascript)
- next year I want to start an Earth/ Environment club at my school bc it does not exist and I am interested in that
-chemistry club
- in 9th/10th grade, I gave baseball/softball lessons (very basic fundamentals) to little boys and girls

hooks: sibling attends Penn right now, fluent in English and Spanish
Ethnicity: Latino (central America) and white (European)
income bracket: not low by any means, but we will be applying for aid

Strengths: class rank, GPA, sibling at Penn, already knowing/learning 2 programming languages, a general spike in STEM

weaknesses: lack of awards, mediocre EC's, ACT (as of now lol)

edited July 2
6 replies
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Replies to: Chance me!!! Penn'24

  • doublepenguindoublepenguin 62 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You have as good of a chance like the other numerous qualified candidates for Penn. With your strong academic credentials, assuming you get your ACT up, you have a a good shot. The fact that your sibling attends Penn and your URM status will give definitely give you a boost. Just make sure your extracurriculars emphasize your interest in CS. Good luck with ED!
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  • happy1happy1 22662 replies2224 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited July 2
    It is impossible to chance for a school which has single digit acceptance rates. There is simply not enough room for Penn to accept all of the very well qualified candidates. In addition 1) we will never see things that can help to set you apart such as your essay and LOR. and 2) as of now you are asking people to chance based on "hoped for" rather than actual ACT and SATII scores. Your current ACT is below the 25th percentile so work hard to bring that up. https://admissions.upenn.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/what-penn-looks-for/incoming-class-profile

    By all means apply to Penn and give it your absolute best shot. You can become a competitive candidate and ED helps. However, I'd focus on creating a solid college list that includes reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable (find out your parents' budget and run the net price calculator for each school) and that you would be happy to attend. The people I see who get hurt by the college admission process are the ones who focus on one or two hyper-competitive schools and then don't get in. Cast a wide net and recognize that (assuming no major hook) Penn is a reach for pretty much everyone
    edited July 2
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  • tchit87tchit87 75 replies15 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    From what I have learned from the Ivy league admissions process, you need to focus on creating a coherent story for yourself. For you, that should probably be baseball and STEM, and you should talk about it in your essays and when listing ec's on your common app, make it seem like you dive way into baseball... from playing it to helping other kids with it, then list everything you did with STEM and learning programming languages. Possibly this summer do an independent project in sports analytics that combine baseball with CS (it won't be a big ec but if you have space in your activities list it'll help alot). I don't think you should start an environmental club unless you just want to do it for yourself, cause it'll just be confusing to admissions officers. If you do that, and possibly get your ACT up, you could have a pretty good chance especially during ED.
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  • SougiyaSougiya 38 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I agree with happy1. To the poster above, I would honestly refrain from saying "pretty good chance" because nobody really has a "pretty good chance," it's a lot of luck of the draw. That being said, perhaps consider tying STEM and baseball together as they seem to be your two main interests. What are commonalities between those two? However, this is just a suggestion! Try not to focus too much on one college like Penn. There are a lot of amazing schools out there, so don't put all your eggs into one basket! Trust me, I went through the college app process earlier this year. The most relieving feeling in the world is getting into a safetyish-target school early onto the process, because then you know you have at least that to fall back on if reaches don't pull through.
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  • upennhopeful2020upennhopeful2020 1 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you for the advice!! I appreciate it
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  • UofPennWhtn2023UofPennWhtn2023 8 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    Your stats should definitely be inline. I was just admitted RD with a 3.92 unweighted gpa, 1510 SAT, 760 math II, 740 Bio, but I had a significant amount of leadership and solid EC’s. While all of that was good, the best piece of advice I can give you is to spend a ton of time on you “Why Penn” essay. Essentially you need to show admissions why the incoming class would be incomplete if you were not a part of it. Obviously that wouldn’t be entirely possible, but show them what part you would play in the Penn community.

    Your stats should be fine, just make sure to tell a compelling story.
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