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Class of 2014 help

An0malyAn0maly Registered User Posts: 2,792
edited January 2010 in Harvard University
Hi. I'm a junior currently, and I had some questions to ask. I've taken three ap classes so far, and got a 5 on apeh/ calc, and a 4 on biology.

This year I'm taking ap calc bc, chem, physics b, envi. sci., ush, and eng lang/comp. I'm also taking ap comp sci A online, and P.E. online as well. My school only offered like 8 ap classes last year, which is why I couldn't take many and I had to struggle to get these classes since most weren't offered. Our teachers aren't that good either, since there's like a 10% pass rate in the classes. My counselor told me that they can put that on the ap report, but I was wondering if that would help me or hinder me. On one hand, it makes it essentially a self study class, but on the other hand it's a sign of grade inflation.

I've played varsity tennis the last two years, and this year I plan on doing tennis and basketball. I don't have many EC's because our school offers so little, but I'm starting FBLA and book club this year, and I was in the chess club last year. I will also be in NHS this year. I want to major in computer science, and I feel I should get more EC's, although I'm not sure what else I could try. Any suggestions?

Also, I also play rec league basketball for the last two leagues, and I have practice for two hours each day Monday - Thursday, and on saturday's. Does this count as EC's, even though it's not directly school related?

I was born in India, so I don't really have any special URM/hook, and I currently live in South Florida. I have gone to an engineering/science program for all 3 summers in middle school and I completed the final level in the summer of 9th, and I volunteered there last summer for about 140 hours. Would that be worth mentioning in my app? I know a lot of Indian people do med/engineering, and I'm not sure how I can distinguish myself from "the crowd," and any help would be good. I also plan on volunteering there this summer assuming I don't get into MITES.

Thanks for any/all help.
Post edited by An0maly on

Replies to: Class of 2014 help

  • harvard1636harvard1636 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    First of all, don't put down anything you did in middle school--it's irrelevant.

    Harvard's admissions office knows what it's doing when it comes to high schools--officers focus on various regions, so they tend to know details about the schools in those areas. They know what their reputations are, what they offer, etc., and if they happen to be unfamiliar with your school, they can always refer to the report your school is required to send...so for example, they would see how many APs are offered versus what you've taken, and see what sorts of extracurriculars you guys have. Any way you can get it in that you're striving to get the most out of your high school experience both academically and extracurricularly (is that a word?!) despite your limited resources will help you, so the school report and your counselor's recommendation will do a great deal in emphasizing the fact that you have gone out of your way to educate yourself.

    As for EC's, why not start your own with something you're passionate about? Since your school offers so few options, it'll look great if you have the initiative to start something up...plus, you'll get to do something you like! Someone at my school started a tutoring program where high schoolers head to our middle school a few hours a week to help students with homework and mentor them. Almost ten years later, it's still going strong (and he's now a successful Princeton alum). Just think about something you enjoy doing and figure out how you can start a club about it.

    Community activities count too, so if the basketball thing is official and not just like a pickup game, put that down. Also put down any volunteering you've done--community service is big...they want to know that you'll contribute positively to the community.

    Last thing..everyone is so worried about distinguishing themselves from the crowd and having one exceptional thing..but you have to remember that some well-rounded people get in too. I don't consider myself to have any special talents or anything--I just did well in school, volunteered a lot, wrote what I considered to be good and heartfelt essays, participated in activities that I love, and worked my way up in the ranks within them to be some sort of officer by my junior and senior years. So just do what makes you happy and you have a passion for, excel academically, and whatever happens, happens. Hope this all helps!
  • nickybolnickybol Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    If you are good with a computers, try to get a computer internship!
  • An0malyAn0maly Registered User Posts: 2,792
    Well our school is a charter school, so the middle school is right across the street. Our school has a tutoring program for kids that I regularly help out with.

    Thanks for the ideas; I'll definitely keep them in mind.
  • White_RabbitWhite_Rabbit Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    I got in this year as a well-rounded student from a high school that had limited offerings. I actually think they look for a number of students that fit that profile. The only downside is that when you start talking to your future classmates you feel like you've done nothing in life.
  • harvard1636harvard1636 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    Don't worry, white rabbit! There are lots of people like us who never published novels or ranked nationally in anything...who were just hardworking, well-rounded students. But hey, truthfully, half the fun is meeting the amazing people who did all those ridiculous things and realizing how cool they are.
  • CarlosL1992CarlosL1992 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    i think harvard1636 has a point. :)
  • CarlosL1992CarlosL1992 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    @ White_Rabbit
    so you got in as a barely above average student? i would love to hear about it since im in the same situation and i really want to go to harvard!!!!!!!!! haha
  • Xargon42Xargon42 Registered User Posts: 818 Member
    lol online P.E.
  • An0malyAn0maly Registered User Posts: 2,792
    Geez, this is an old thread.
This discussion has been closed.