3.2 GPA, 2200 SAT, moderate ECs, what are they gonna think?

<p>So yeah. My high school grades have fluctuated a tad bit...freshman year was about a 3.3 and a 3.4, they went down a bit more after that (but never below a 3.0) and I finished off junior year with a 3.4 again, with a total high school cumulative of a 3.2 GPA.</p>

<p>Now, the real kicker is that I took the SAT twice. The first time, I got a 2120. Perfect 800 score on the Writing section, 680 on Reading, 640 on math. No studying whatsoever. Cool. I took classes in the following month and took it again this past June. </p>

<p>To my "***" disappointment, it was...a 2120. Basically I raised my Reading/Math to a 740/660 respectively, up a total of 80 points. However, for some reason, the people grading the test decided my essay wasn't as good this time around (I only got a 4 on it rather than a 6 like last time) and I only got 72/80 on the multiple choice, so my Writing score ended up being a 720, which is 80 points LESS than what I had before. </p>

<p>So while I improved on my not-perfect areas the second time around, I lost as many points as I gained and remained stationary. Good news is, it's basically a 2200 when it's superscored, and some universities like NYU (which is one of my top choices) do superscore your stuff.</p>

<p>Anyways, I haven't taken the ACT yet (I will, once) or SAT subject tests, which I'm still debating on. Those are my academic credentials.</p>

<p>As far as ECs go, I'm a bit further along than most people I talk to, but apparently not far enough by Collegeconfidential's standards. I've got about 100 hours volunteering at the University of Washington (Seattle) medical center hospital. I've held down a part time job at a retirement home for the past 6 months. I'm in a couple clubs at school but don't hold a very major role in either of them. I've got an 8-year portfolio of artwork that I have assembled - pretty time-consuming stuff, and I'm not gonna try to be too humble here, I quite like the results - you can visit it here: [url=<a href="http://www.aartschool.com/PersonalArtGalleries/AndreyLevanidov/index.htm%5Dwww.aartschool.com%5B/url"&gt;http://www.aartschool.com/PersonalArtGalleries/AndreyLevanidov/index.htm]www.aartschool.com[/url&lt;/a&gt;] - a lot of it is stuff from when I was a kid or basic sketchwork, but some of the more detailed oil paintings took an upward of about 24 days (once a week) to do. I think that'd be a really good out-of-the-box addition to my application, something that doesn't quite fit the usual mold, unlike volunteering or clubs. I have an opportunity to help out kids at my little sister's after-school church, which may be beneficial if I go through with it.</p>

<p>My essay, of course, is gonna be a huge part in this, and might make or break my application. I can't guarantee anything there, of course, but I've had a very interesting (and lucky) life. I've visited 15 different countries (but only 4 states in the US), I was born in Russia, raised in Japan, and went to elementary/middle/high school in the US. I've spent extensive time in China and Japan both. So - just for example, because I know some universities work this into their prompts - if the prompt asks about how diversity has affected your life, or something along those lines, I'm gonna have a TON of stuff to write about.</p>

<p>Anyways, I know CC sometimes has a skewed perspective of how college admissions work (which leads to people trying harder, which can only be a good thing) but I was wondering - if you were a college admissions officer, and you saw an application that had all this stuff included in it, what would you think?</p>

<p>If the GPA is a noticeably low outlier, what else would you recommend I do to try and make up for it? My SAT is as high as it's going to get (and I'm quite satisfied with it, a 2120 is in the 97th percentile and a 2200 is in the 98th). My ECs can be boosted up, but I'd need to be able to do this in the next 5 months, before December.</p>

<p>For reference, my top college at the moment is the University of Washington in Seattle. NYU is second, and American U in Washington DC is probably third. I'd really love to go somewhere in California but I haven't researched anything there yet. If I don't get into these or any of my top colleges right away I'm planning to go to the community college here and transfer into the U of W - they have an agreement that guarantees 30% of incoming UW students will be transferees from community colleges every year.</p>

<p>I forgot to mention my courseload - every semester since the start of 9th grade, I’ve had half of my classes be honors or AP or advanced in some way. </p>

<p>Two honors + two-years-ahead-of-normal math class in 9th and 10th grade; two AP + two-years-ahead-of-normal math class in 11th grade. </p>

<p>AP US History was one of the classes I took this year, and it’s known to be the hardest class in my school, which is one of the more difficult public schools in the state. I’ve taken 3 AP tests if that counts for anything; got 4 on World History and Environmental Science, 3 on US History (but I didn’t try at all).</p>

<p>So it’s a decent balance of regular to advanced classes. Not unique or anything and not completely impressive like some people that I know, but if I’d been taking regular classes I’d have like a 3.8 right now - I think my total weighted GPA is like a 3.75 or a 3.8, in fact.</p>

<p>It’s better to take tough classes then easier ones.
Your GPA is going to hurt you, but with good essays you have a chance. You also need to have subject tests. If you can score well on those (700+), then your chances will improve.</p>