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Lack of support

tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
I am going to be a senior next year and I am using my summer to prepare as much as possible for the upcoming college admissions cycle and to set my self up for a good school year.

I am wondering if anyone has tips on how to deal with an apathetic school situation. One of the components of my college application is a writing supplement. I can't get this from my school because nothing has been graded in my english courses (AP & Honors) throughout my time in high school. I have tried contacting many faculty members from my school with no response.

Right now with the current COVID situation, my college preparedness has understandably been at the bottom of the priorities list. I am also wondering if this is normal or if anyone has any ideas on how to overcome this.
18 replies
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Replies to: Lack of support

  • brantlybrantly 4384 replies79 threads Senior Member
    tennis34 wrote: »
    One of the components of my college application is a writing supplement. I can't get this from my school because nothing has been graded in my english courses (AP & Honors) throughout my time in high school. I have tried contacting many faculty members from my school with no response.

    Do you mean a supplemental essay? Or a writing supplement, as in the optional "arts" supplement to show special talent? If the former, it has to be a new essay written specifically for the application. If the latter, I'm not sure why the piece has to have been graded. Do you not have copies of everything you've written? If you are trying to show a special talent in writing, do you have published pieces, maybe from the school literary magazine or school newspaper?

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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I need to submit a graded writing supplement from one of my English or History courses for the Princeton application. They ask for something that is graded preferably with comments and teacher markups. I am going for STEM. Regardless, I should have a strong writing background, which I do not along with many of the poor unfortunate souls from my school who can't write correctly.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I know this sounds like complaining, but seriously I am just feed up about it because I value education and recognize how important it is.
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  • brantlybrantly 4384 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Oh, OK. What do you mean nothing has been graded? You hand in your assignments, and they are never graded and handed back?

    It's summer now. Teachers are not checking their email. When school starts, you'll be able to go to your teachers' classrooms and ask them directly. You can also enlist your guidance counselor to assist you if the teachers aren't helpful.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I get "grades" that are inflated enormously. Honestly I should not be getting a 100% on every assignment with no feedback or anything handed back ever in my entire high school experience. My writing is a 6/10 at best right now.

    Hopefully things change and I can get somewhere when school starts but I have a feeling that they have much bigger issues.
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  • TS0104TS0104 1482 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Does your school have a college counselor? (Check the school website if you don't know). If yes, when school starts, make an appointment with him/her (whether online or not). As for the lack of graded papers ( or rather, lack of papers with comments), work on this when school starts in your English class. See what comes back on your first assignment, and if it is more of the same (100%, no comments), talk to your teacher, explain the need for a commented paper for your application, and ask if he/she could kindly grade your next paper that way, or regrade an older one.

    You can't change your school situation, but you can do your best to work within it. You may have to do a lot on your own, but sounds like you are ready to do that, and to start early which is good. Good luck!
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 869 replies30 threads Member
    DS goes to a competitive HS and he is in a similar situation, although as the English teacher was aware of the need she did offer to mark one writing assignment up so they could submit.

    It has been astounding at the lack of comments on the few written assignments that he has done over the years. I feel quite certain the teachers were not reading but just giving top grades for submission.

    DS is very strong in STEM subjects but an average writer at best.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @TS0104 - We have guidance counselors. Unfortunately they are quite apathetic and deal more with disciplinary matters. College preparedness or admissions are not even a remote concern at my school.

    I am fortunate to find a passion at the very least. Without that, I doubt that I would have had the motivation to keep going and working hard with or without any support.
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  • brantlybrantly 4384 replies79 threads Senior Member
    College admissions counselors evaluate your application within the context of your school. The regional rep who covers your school for each college knows your school very well. If you have questions about what to do, you can find out who the regional reps are and reach out to them via email.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43383 replies473 threads Senior Member
    1) once you know who your senior English teacher is (or professor if you're taking a dual enrollment class) explain that one of your papers will have to be submitted to a college with a grade and teacher's comments, that you'd be most grateful if you could meet after school to discuss which paper to choose for that purpose.
    2) what colleges are you applying to beside Princeton (where your odds are 1 in 20, roughly)? Have you run the npc on your state's colleges? Looked into the merit scholarship deadlines and criteria?
    If these questions dont make sense or if your guidance counselor hasn't helped you make a list, explained FAFSA , NPCs, and financial aid, etc, we (adults on this website) can help.
    If your family makes under 65k a year you could apply through Questbridge - if admitted you get s 4-year full ride scholarship to a top university.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @MYOS1634

    1)- Good idea. I thought that this could work. I will have a professor next year and hopefully they will understand.

    2)- JHU, Vanderbilt, PSU Millennium Scholars, Swarthmore, Cornell, CMU, Dartmouth, Tufts, University of Michigan, Lehigh- I don't have an SAT or ACT score due to cancellations and am having trouble determining where I fit in along with merit aid.

    I am doing Matriculate which is a free college counseling program. It has been helpful but honestly I do a lot of research on my own that has helped more. I can't do Questbridge because we are at about $75 k with some assets.

    I asked my school about some data regarding where past seniors attend college. They did not have this information. It seems to be that we only send students to a local university and PSU for full price, which is out of the question financially.

    I appreciate the willingness and help here. CC has been more helpful than anything this far.

    I would love some input in determining the efficacy of my college list. My scores on practice exams are around 34 ACT and 1530 SAT. As far as extracurriculars, I have done everything I possibly could have along with starting my own tutoring website. I would say my college essays will be fairly decent and creative. I don't have any notable summer programs under my belt. Got rejected from MIT OEOP and UPMC Hillman partially because of COVID.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43383 replies473 threads Senior Member
    You need to add more matches and safeties.
    Basically everything on your list is a high reach or reachable reach.
    Psu Millenium is a reach due to selectivity making it very unpredictable (and obviously you should also be working on your Schreyer essays) and you must make sure it's affordable.
    Add more instate universities (if you're in PA, pick from Pitt, Temple, WCU; SUNY Bing, Suny Albany, SUNY Geneseo may be within price range too depending on your budget) and run the NPC on all of: Dickinson, Muhlenberg, Lafayette, Juniata, Gettysburg, Skidmore, St Lawrence, Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster, Kenyon, Denison, Kalamazoo, Albion, Siena, St Bonaventure, Drew, Ursinus.. . Pick 4-5 from those with the lowest cost.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I am looking to go to a MD/PHD program. Looking at the admissions stats, it seems that they only recruit from certain schools.
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 1033 replies8 threads Senior Member
    My daughter did all dual enrollment for two years but the high school was very willing to have an English teacher work with her on an essay if needed. However her college dual enrollment English professor was very excited to be asked and very helpful. Hopefully it works out just as well for you.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43383 replies473 threads Senior Member
    Md/phd programs recruit students with a 3.8+ GPA (very hard and rare in college) who have published research.
    As a result,you should look into your state's Honors colleges as well as LACs (if that information is available, you want a LAC with 3-2, or 3-3 teaching load, not 4-3 or 4-4.) What matters is how professors involve undergraduates in research.
    What's your plan B?
    Most students don't make it so you should choose your college based on Plan B.
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Plan B is medical school. My alternative plan A is engineering. I am ready to spend 12 more years in college or as long as it takes.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43383 replies473 threads Senior Member
    Plan B cannot be medical school since odds are only slightly higher than MDPHD...
    Engineering isn't very conducive to MDPHD or med school because the curriculum leaves very little room for electives (premed pre-reqs) and the grading scale is different (ie., a 3.0 in Engineering is good, but nowhere near what med schools expect, and they won't cut you any slack due to your major).
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  • tennis34tennis34 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I would become and engineer after majoring in engineering. At that point I should have more figured out. Right now I am just a high schooler who likes science and has never taken any engineerings courses.

    The world needs more medical scientists. This pandemic is proof. It should not be a mine field to get in to a medical program when I know that I could do great things.

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