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Medal winners--how did you get recommended?

wackymotherwackymother Registered User Posts: 449 Member
Hi, I'm the mother of a sophomore at a large, competitive public HS in NJ. She's got about a 3.9 or 4.0 weighted average and her PSATs were 208. She's very interested in RPI and it would be a good fit for her, but I'm wondering how she can get recommended for it.

The HS can nominate only one student, right? There are certainly stronger candidates at her school, with better grades/scores/extracurriculars in math and science. Do schools usually recommend the best in math and science...or do they recommend the best in math and science who is sure he/she wants to go to RPI? Did you just ask your guidance counselor to recommend you? Did you have to interview for it, test for it, write an essay?

Thanks for any ideas you can give us. With $15,000 a year--well, it would make my DD's college list a lot shorter!
Post edited by wackymother on

Replies to: Medal winners--how did you get recommended?

  • booboisiebooboisie Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I'm not sure if this applies everywhere, but I didn't know anything about it, (didn't even know about RPI). We have an annual academic honors type assembly and I found out then to my surprise. If there's a lot of math/science kids in her class, I think showing your interest in RPI would help. (Not many kids in my school are very math/science oriented people, so it probably made the GCs choice easier.) From what I've heard, it varies tremendously from school to school, so looking into who won it in previous years would be the best bet.
  • momsworriedmomsworried Registered User Posts: 361 Member

    My D received the medal at an assembly at the end of her Junior year. Not too surprising b/c she attained the hightest grade in Calculus that year. There were other students as qualified but I think it's just who the science and math teachers nominate. My D had no idea anything about RPI and is still not sure if she will attend if she gets accepted. The 3:1 male to female ratio freaks her out. I think if you express an interest to attend RPI, it will surely help.
  • wackymotherwackymother Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    Alas, there's no way DD is getting the highest grade in Calculus next year! Her school is packed with super-high-achieving math and science students. They even had a Westinghouse finalist this year. But I hope they want to get the medal for the kid who's interested in going...I'll suggest she go in and talk to her guidance counselor.

  • originaloogoriginaloog Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    While my son was near the top of his class in science and math, he certainly was not tops. But he knew that he would be applying to RPI, so he met with his counselor, advised him of this and asked if he would put in a good word on his behalf.

    His GC came through and he was awarded the Medal. He did apply, was accepted and eventually enrolled. He does not know of any others in his class that even applied to RPI, so it was nice that he was able to take full advantage of the scholarship offer.

    BTW, he really enjoys attending RPI, manages the tough academics, loves his dual CompSci-CogSci AI major and has managed a 3.67gpa through 3 semesters.

    The one downside of asking a GC or teacher to put in a good word for you is the likelihood that you will feel some obligation to accept RPI's admission offer, particularly if other non-Medal candidates applied to RPI. If you student is using RPI as a backup to other more selective colleges I think it would be unethical to "lobby" for the Medal. In my son's case the only other comparable college he applied to was Case(accepted and offered a $17,500k President's Scholarship) but RPI was his first choice for various reasons.
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