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Chance me at Northwestern?

smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
edited January 2011 in Northwestern University
White female, Illinois
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
Weighted GPA: 4.3

ACT: 33
SAT Math: 610
SAT Critical Reading: 680
SAT Writing: 730

SAT Math Level II: 610 :(
SAT Literature: 680

Varsity swimming (four years, captain as senior)
JV bowling (two years)
Academic team (one year)
Student council (one year)
National Honor Society (two years)
Spanish National Honor Society (three years)

Work as a lifeguard (all four years of high school)
40+ hours of community service

Had an interview with an alum last weekend on campus, I think it went pretty well

Neither parent has gone to college
Lived in South Africa for two years:
My appreciation for diversity was enhanced by living in Johannesburg, South Africa while in fourth and fifth grade when my father was working there. I realized the commonalities of grade school children all over the world when I joined my mother in assisting less fortunate students of my own age in a local slum. I was challenged by going to an American school, where my classmates hailed from over fifty countries and hardly ever stayed for a full school year. I lived in a multi-racial community where my closest neighbor was one of the three wives of the president of Angola. This experience has assisted me in recognizing my ability to overcome adversity and I now appreciate the differences in human character and lifestyle to a degree that I couldn’t fathom prior to my time overseas. Many of my preconceived notions of other places in the world have been proven wrong through this experience, and in turn, I’ve become an open-minded person and an advocate of compassion.

And if you want to read this, you can, but don't feel obligated. This is my main application essay for Northwestern:
I’m not afraid to declare myself an undecided undergraduate; in fact, I’m thrilled. I value the variety of programs and courses included in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and realize that the opportunities don’t end there. While enrolled in Weinberg, I plan to take intriguing courses throughout the University, and further my knowledge by studying abroad.
I enter university unsure of my major only because of my confidence in Northwestern, and the fact that any major I eventually choose will be part of an acclaimed program at a renowned and recognizable university. Then, as a graduate of this institution, I will utilize my education to help create change in the world.

Stephen Colbert, famed Northwestern alum, may be the very reason that I’m interested in politics. Although he studied in the School of Communication, he has shown me a passionate side of politics that I have come to enjoy, even through his satirical and obnoxious TV character. I’ve been interested in political science since entering high school, and obtaining an interdisciplinary degree in this subject and another accenting subject would be ideal. I am drawn to Weinberg’s Political Science Department by the possibility of studying abroad, the opportunity to take seminars that link all forms of political science, and the fact that many undergraduates in this program obtain interdisciplinary majors. I look forward to studying under Northwestern professors, such as Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, whose current work concerning the impact of law and religion on international relations intrigues me. I plan to eventually become a college professor in a similar subject to that of my undergraduate major, and would be thrilled to work under someone who has accomplished my ultimate goal.

My tour guide, during my campus visit, came all the way from California, and told me he often gets asked why. He revealed to me that his top three criteria in picking the perfect school involved size, spirit, and reputation. These three basic expectations are identical to my own. The school I attend must be small enough for students to know their professors on a personal level, the school must have competitive sports teams and a lot of “game day spirit,” and the academics must be challenging as well as renowned. Northwestern is all three of these things, and boasts an ideal location as well. While the campus is contiguous and rather private, the city of Chicago lies just 11 miles away. I’m familiar with Northwestern’s Chicago Field Study, and realize that an internship in a government office may be available to me. What better place in the world to study politics than the Windy City itself? While only 50 miles from Chicago, my hometown of McHenry is rather insular and homogeneous. A move from my small town to this big city will be an exhilarating escape from my usual comfort zone, and I will exit Northwestern not only as a much more competent and eager-minded student, but as a human being with much more experience in diversity.

I’m ready to challenge myself with new experiences while I’m at university, and though I’ve lived in northern Illinois the majority of my life, Northwestern is different from where I’ve grown up. It will present me with new opportunities, a variety of intelligent people, and an education essential to my future plans. Northwestern University will provide me with the resources and education needed to achieve both personal goals and the common goal of each person seeking higher education: to become an informed and dynamic citizen of the world.

I can't make any changes to my application essay now, seeing as the deadline is far passed and my application is already in, so just let me know if you think it's worth the admission officer reading it, haha.

Northwestern is probably a stretch, and living in Illinois doesn't help, but I guess I've hung a lantern on my problem in my essay.

edited January 2011
11 replies
Post edited by smtrost on
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Replies to: Chance me at Northwestern?

  • ChromeyChromey 135 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Do NOT submit SAT scores.
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  • averbyaverby 284 replies21 threads Member
    I say you have a great shot at getting in due to your high ACT score and ecs. I don't recommend you submit your SAT score though. I think your experiences in South Africa are very interesting as well.
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  • smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
    Thanks to both of you for your input, but sadly, it's too late and my SAT scores have already been sent in. My college advisor agreed that they weren't great scores, but he said that showing that I took the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests would be more important in the long run, because it shows interest.

    Aside from this, does anyone know how much pull the Northwestern alumni interviews have in their admission process?
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  • arbiter213arbiter213 3501 replies71 threads Senior Member
    Sending SAT scores was a HUGE mistake.
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  • smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
    Well, there's nothing I can do about it now, but thanks :/
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  • smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
    Will these SAT scores really break my admission decision if I have a solid application otherwise? My school is very small and midwestern... We do no preparation for any SAT testing, it's all geared toward ACT testing.
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  • arbiter213arbiter213 3501 replies71 threads Senior Member
    I'm surprised your school has prep for either. Anyway: No, it will not break it. But it'll hurt you. You're otherwise decently strong. Had you applied ED I'd have given you a good chance. Being from Illinois actually helps- it makes them note you're more likely to attend. Don'ts stress too much.
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  • smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
    I had wanted to apply ED, but my parents really pushed Stanford. I was rejected, obviously, so I had to apply RD, but Northwestern has always been my first choice. I had an interview with an alum and I made sure to mention this to her. I also noted how my school was not competitive at all and offers very little academic rigor in course selection.
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  • WCASParentWCASParent 2095 replies16 threads Senior Member
    I think that both your college advisor and your parents gave you poor advice - the former on submitting SAT poor scores to "show interest" and the latter to have you apply to Stanford early, even though you had almost no chance of getting in, and thereby passing up your ED shot at NU, which was you genuine first choice.
    Notwithstanding these missteps, you've got a shot, but you are in the midst of a large and very qualified and competitive applicant pool.
    Good luck.
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  • envscienvsci 18 replies1 threads New Member

    If it makes you feel any better, my daughter got EXACTLY the same advice you did about the SAT II's, from a friend that is connected with admissions (without giving too much on the specifics of that away). Her scores were both midway between your high and low, so in total, are no better or worse than yours.

    I don't get the impression from anyone I have spoken to that SAT IIs are going to make or break and application and that is why they are optional outside of certain programs. Your ACT score is great, and that will put you in a very good light with admissions.

    I really like your essay. It is very personal and I'm sure will be viewed well in your application.

    Good luck and don't worry too much (I know that is easy for me to say). You have obviously worked very hard over your high school years, have been very successful, and will continue to be successful. Don't let a few things that did or didn't happen with your applications fill you with regret.
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  • smtrostsmtrost 22 replies4 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for your optimistic advice :)
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