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What are the chances for a normal student to get into HMC?

aki2020aki2020 41 replies3 threads Junior Member
My DS20 is not a high-achiever by any means. But he has a 3.93 UW GPA, ACT composite and all subjects score of 36, He is also NMS semifinalist. He has a modest extracurriculars and did internship at a defense company. But he is male (obviously) and Indian (South East Asia). What are his realistic chances of getting into HMC?
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Replies to: What are the chances for a normal student to get into HMC?

  • bobo44bobo44 242 replies0 threads Junior Member
    No idea of his chances at HMC, but can't agree with your DS20 not being a high achiever by any means! What are you expecting of him? The ACT only goes up to 36!
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30021 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Your son is a high achiever. Yes, he’s an excellent candidate for HMC and other highly selective schools. The problem is that so many kids are so there is no guarantee of acceptance. So let him apply to the schools that interest him the most but also insist on having schools that will definitely take him on his list.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81083 replies728 threads Senior Member
    aki2020 wrote: »
    My DS20 is not a high-achiever by any means. But he has a 3.93 UW GPA, ACT composite and all subjects score of 36, He is also NMS semifinalist.

    "Not a high-achiever by any means"???
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  • aki2020aki2020 41 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I am sorry I have not made it clear. He comes from a school/demographics where every kid has a similar profile. We approached a local counselor whose advice was "Asian, male and STEM focused, that is three strikes against you". That is why I am worried.
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  • mountaincachersmountaincachers 30 replies1 threads Junior Member
    He certainly has the grades and the test scores that make acceptance a possibility, but it's not a guarantee for anyone. It will be very important for him to use his essays to set himself apart and make it clear why he thinks he would be a good fit for the community.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6415 replies127 threads Senior Member
    3000 kids a year score a 36 out of 1.7mm test takers. There are 35k high schools approx. so as a percentage, 93 percent of all SCHOOLs have zero 36 scores.

    If all of your child’s peers have these stats, I would venture to guess they all go on to great schools, ultimately. Including your son.

    Even with super-scoring a 36, it’s otherworldly, statistically speaking. He will be fine.
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  • mountaincachersmountaincachers 30 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @privatebanker: I agree that a 36 is a terrific score. Having said that, the 3,000 kids with those 36s tend to be applying to schools with very competitive admissions. A look at the stats for Cal Tech or HMC will show you that a 36 doesn't necessarily make you stand out.
    @aki2020: I really don't like the "chance me" questions, because no one here can give you a definite answer. Sure, we can say the grades, academic rigor, or test scores can keep him in the running, but admission is a hard thing to predict. In another post you say that HMC is his first choice and that he "is only interested in STEM". Why is HMC his first choice? Why does he think it's a good fit? He needs to convey that in his essays and interview. Also, while the kids at HMC are passionate about STEM, it tends not to be their only interest. Remember that this is still considered a liberal arts college, and they aren't necessarily looking for "only STEM". Maybe you meant it's all he's interested in studying, but perhaps he has some non STEM hobbies?
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1816 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Here're the 25%ile and 75%ile numbers of the most recent class from HMC:
    SAT EBRW 720 760
    SAT Math 770 800
    ACT Composite 34 35
    ACT Math 34 35
    ACT English 34 36

    36s on the ACT (or the SAT equivalent) are less (probably significantly less) than 25% of the class.

    On the other hand, a much more significant portion of Caltech's students may have 36s (or its SAT equivalent):
    SAT EBRW 740 780
    SAT Math 790 800
    ACT Composite 35 36
    ACT Math 35 36
    ACT English 35 36
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30021 replies59 threads Senior Member
    He is certainly in the running for HMC. As well as other selective schools. I don’t believe being Asian is an issue. Having a stereotypical Asian resume is. You don’t even have to be Asian to have that.

    That he is STEM focused isn’t going to be an issue st HMC either. It’s a STEM school. That’s where STRM interested kids apply

    The problem is that highly selective STEM programs have a lot of kids with very high GPAs, top test scores, taking and doing high level math and science courses and activities. Maybe a violin or piano pastime thrown in there. Look familiar? Yeah, well schools are not interested in a student body of such clones

    HMC is a bit problematic for admissions because it’s such a small school. It simply doesn’t have very many seats. It likes to try to have some diversity which means URMs are desirable, which consist of not just color but of females, non Californians, diverse SES kids,... really getting some students to spice things up a bit. It’s not as well known as a lot of the schools, so getting some of those apps is difficult.

    They also want a sports team and student activities on campus instead of a bunch of engineer/CS soldiers marching to class computers each day Intramural are big at the Claremont schools. So are club activities and HMC wants to be in on that action. It’s s vibrant student community there and HMC seeks students that contribute to it.

    And THAT’s where son’s app is lacking. You are his parent, and read what YOU write about him. Not a particularly valuable addition to any community is he? Other than them test scores, but HMC is not exactly short on talented kids with high test scores and grades. They’d gladly take a kid with the 34 or 35 that will use their marvelous athletic activities, bring some action into campus. Doesn’t matter if he’s Asian. Yeah, certain minorities that don’t tend to go to these schools do get a leg up, so indirectly it does affect those not of those minorities, but it’s nit s huge hit on your son’s chances.

    How about getting a little bit more involved in some ECs, charitable work? He’s a senior, for crimes sake! He should be having leadership roles. How is he contributing to society, community? To the family? Or Is he all take, take , take.?

    I see from a prior post that you have TWO of these students, Twins. They both are great students and test takers. How are they as citizens?

    I suggest a gap year for some of these kids whose families have told them that their only job is to study and do well in school. Cleaning porta potties would show these kids don’t feel that hard dirty work is not above them. Organizing and leading some Midnight Runs. Working and earning some money to pay for their privileged lives is a plus too.

    A lot of parents savvy about this, by the way, have understood that they can’t just have a solid academic profile for their kids and have made sure that large parts of the college applications cannot be big blanks, the part about service, jobs, earning money, leadership etc. and make sure there is that balance. High schools with kids going to top colleges generally provide a lot of opportunists. My kids were constantly encouraged to do food drives? Habitat for Humanity was a big deal on campus. By the time they were seniors, they were leading these organizations.

    So, maybe you forgot some of those accomplishments and can sit with your twins and add them to the resume, and see if they can maybe make some bigger commitments there this year, lead some ventures? They certainly do not need to test prep as some kids do. And do think about that gap year

    Having said all of this, there are plenty of schools that would love to take your son . HMC is high reach for reasons I have stated. Not Because of his grades, test scores, STEM interest, or being Asian either. But give it a try. There are excellent STEM schools like RPI, Worcester, Stevens, smaller ones like Rose Hulman, Kettering, Maybe a year at Deep Springs or Soka can bring a whole other dimension to his resume.

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  • aquaptaquapt 2301 replies48 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2019
    I was generally in agreement with the above until the last line. Deep Springs is a two-year program that is more competitive than Mudd and is looking even more closely for fit - definitely not a place for students who just want to enhance their resume in order to go somewhere else. TBH, matriculating anywhere with a goal of transferring to Mudd is a questionable plan, as Mudd accepts fewer than 5 transfer students per year. Getting in as a first-year is far more realistic. However, a gap year abroad or some other well-chosen non-college experience could be worth considering *if* it is something your student genuinely values, over and above the desire to round out his qualifications.

    I don't think we know, from OP's characterization, what his son would add to the HMC/5C's community. He may indeed have passions and pursuits that just weren't on OP's radar to describe as part of his snapshot.

    Bottom line, this student's academic qualifications are more than adequate for admission to Harvey Mudd. However, as a male from California without an identified "hook," he is in the largest pool of qualified applicants, so he needs to paint a picture of himself that will make him stand out as a good fit who has something to add to the mix. If Mudd is his first choice, then applying Early Decision could help a bit; the ED acceptance rate is not dramatically higher than the overall rate (and probably the bulk of the difference comes from recruited athletes) but still, he would get a close, early review and perhaps a slight edge, and at least you'd know sooner whether he needs to cast a wider net or not.

    Is Mudd standing out as his favorite, or is the question posed more from a parent perspective? Is he looking at Rice? There's definitely overlap there in terms of vibe and appeal, for STEM applicants. (Overall acceptance rate is lower than HMC's, but ED acceptance rate is about the same, as Rice favors ED applicants more heavily than Mudd does.)

    He is sure to have great options in the UC system, so the question becomes whether he wants to apply to private U's that are less competitive than his UC choices, or whether it's only worth applying to private "reach" schools and otherwise default to a UC. If he wants non-engineering STEM, don't overlook the option of the College of Creative Studies at UCSB https://ccs.ucsb.edu/majors where he could get a small-school-within-a-large-school experience and a "grad school for undergrads" research-focused education in a pure science or math. There's an additional competitive application process for CCS, over and above general UCSB admissions.
    edited September 2019
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  • aki2020aki2020 41 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thanks. Yes. I have twins but only one is applying to HMC. They both are socially responsible, volunteering at the local library and some schools, teaching CS. They also volunteer at a local museum.
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  • vhsdadvhsdad 215 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2019
    During the last several years, HMC has made a concerted effort to balance its class gender-wise, and to diversify it's student body (see HMC's common data set). As such, and given the small freshman , HMC might be one of the harder colleges for your son to get into percentage wise. Moral of the story: make him aware the odds are not on his side, and make sure there are other colleges you know he can get into that he would love to go to.
    edited September 2019
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  • CaryPlannerCaryPlanner 11 replies3 threads New Member
    As the parent of a Mudder, I find that HMC is made up of extremely hard-working, mature, fun, respectful, independent, resourceful, innovative, interesting, diverse, intelligent young people who are willing to take as many liberal arts classes as STEM ones, which are challenging, engaging, and fast-paced. They are drawn to a university that graduates equal numbers of young men and women in engineering, CS, Physics, and the like. They can take classes at any of the 5 Claremont Colleges and benefit from interacting with individuals who are engaged in a variety of areas of focus, because of the connection to students at Pitzer, Pomona, Scripps, and Claremont McKenna. There are many excellent colleges and universities that all offer a terrific education. The key is finding one that has a culture that meshes well with your kid. There’s no single right school...what you do there matters more than where you attend.

    Within 10 minutes of being on HMC’s campus, I knew my kid had found his home. I’m sure your twins will receive plenty of acceptances. The key is to let them figure out which one will inspire them to be happiest and their most successful true selves.
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  • haalfedhaalfed 1 replies0 threads New Member
    edited March 1
    My kiddo goes to HMC - it's a great school - and this is where my son found "his people" - we had toured many universities. HMC wasn't even on his radar, but we happened to find out about it while he was at an interview next door at Pomona College. We decided on a whim to take a tour, and I had never seen him so engaged!


    Good luck to your kiddo! He will do great wherever he goes.
    edited March 1
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