A little help? Ivies and more

Boston College
Harvard </p>

<p>Class of 2013
White - Upper Middle Class</p>

<p>Major: Most likely biology - Following a pre-med path
Class Rank: Our school doesn't rank, but within top 5%
Average: 94 through junior year</p>

<p>SAT 1: 2270 (800 CR, 730 Math, 740 Writing)
SAT II: Biology-M 680, Math I 700, US History 770</p>

<p>AP Scores: AP US History - 5, AP Physics B - 4</p>

<p>Honors/AP Classes Taken:
Spanish 2H - 93
Spanish 3H - 92
Spanish 4H - 94
English 11H - 94
H Geometry - 88
H Algebra 2/Trigonometry - 92
H Pre-Calculus - 91
AP Physics B - 94
AP American History - 94</p>

<p>My school only offers 2 AP courses through junior year so I've taken every single honors and AP class my school provides through junior year</p>

<p>Senior Schedule:
AP US Government
AP Calculus BC
AP Biology
AP Spanish Language
College Composition/Art of Film</p>

Red Cross Club (2 years)
Habitat for Humanity (2 years)
Midnight Run Club (President, 3 years)
Students for Senegal (Charity club; member 2 years, board member 1 year)</p>

<p>Other ECs:
Food Pantry Volunteer (4 years)
Youth theater group (3 years)
School Planning Council (2 years)
Student Interviewer for new guidance counselors applying for job at my school (2 years)
Varsity Cross Country (3 years)
JV Tennis
Varsity Indoor Track and Field
Varsity Spring Track and Field</p>

National Honor Society
School Architecture Award
Research Scholarship from Cornell Medical Center</p>

<p>Work experience:
-Soccer Referee (4 years)
-Internship at Weill Cornell Medical Center (Recommendation letter from the doctor I work for and publication of 2 research papers + acceptance into conventions)</p>

<p>Thanks for taking the time to read!!</p>

<p>Interesting that you can have research published without having any sort of a chemistry background.</p>

<p>The papers are published in conjunction with the doctor I work for. Also the type of research I do, while it has its fair share of molecular biology, is not chemically intensive. It’s not like I haven’t taken a chemistry course though, my school just doesn’t offer an honors course so I didn’t put it here.</p>

<p>Good chances. What state are you from? That’s funny, I’m researching in the city as well not far from you. However, is this your research of the doctors research? If you’re in it at all it’s helpful but it’s a big difference.
Cornell will probably take you in my opinion, no guarantees, but the association with Weill and Rec, if good will be very different.</p>

<p>I’m first author on both of the papers so it depends on what you mean by “my” research. If by mine you mean it was an original idea that I came up with and sought out a doctor to work with then no, it’s not entirely original. But, I had a large influence in the research process, with all of the actual work and hypothesizing being done by me. </p>

<p>Where do you work? MSKCC?</p>

<p>And I’m from NY</p>

<p>If someone could chance me on the colleges I listed that would be great!</p>

<p>What kind of scientific journal were the papers published in? And this really comes down to the letter of recommendation from your doctor-friend. If he says you were responsible for much of the research, then the colleges will weigh it much more heavily than if he says that he did most of the work.</p>

<p>And you were accepted into conventions? I wasn’t aware there was an application process for scientific conventions ;)</p>

<p>And I have to say it is a bit strange that you have such low SAT scores. The SAT2 tests for Bio and Math are really not very difficult, and considering that you have published research in molecular biology, you would think that an 800 on SAT Biology (M) would be fairly trivial.</p>

<p>Also, are you a junior or senior?</p>


<p>I’m a rising senior.</p>

<p>Biology is low because I took it freshman year, and no advanced option for biology was given. It may seem odd, but I worked damn hard for that 680, and in all fairness I didn’t know nearly as much then about molecular biology as I do now. Math on the other hand has always been a struggle for me, so I was proud of a 700 on Math I. I have a recommendation from my math teacher who will be my BC Calc teacher next year so I’m not worried about my math scores seeming low, she knows me very well and knows that the amount of work I put in to learning is not always reflected in my grades (not that I do badly, I consistently get mid 90s, just not amazing). </p>

<p>And I didn’t expect to be getting so many questions about my research :slight_smile: but I held off on going into depth because I didn’t know how much the average person would know about the research process. The doctor I work for will 100% for certain give me direct credit for all of the work because I did do it all. As far as “conventions” go, I’ve submitted abstracts to meetings of different groups associated with my area of study.</p>

<p>Your SAT is amazing and your GPA is really good. However you only have one leadership position in your ECs and Clubs not counting Work Experience. If you have time I would work on that otherwise you seem like a pretty competitive candidate. Just make sure you write a good essay and have good recs.</p>

<p>I forgot to include a couple of my activities. </p>

<p>I’m part of a program called Peer Leaders which is an application based program. I had to apply amongst a group of 90 classmates for 8 positions. We go to the town middle school and act as role models for 7th grade students, talking to them about everything from drugs and alcohol to the inner workings of the high school. There are only 2 Peer Leaders per class of 20+ kids so I would consider this another leadership experience. </p>

<p>The School Planning Council I mentioned is also an application based program. I’m part of a panel of 4 students who join administrators and parents in creating programs for our school. </p>

<p>I was also part of the last two guidance counselor selection processes where I was picked by my guidance counselor out of her 100+ students to actually sat down with prospective candidates for the job and interviewed them, and then gave my detailed opinion to administrators. </p>

<p>I think these three things (along with my role as president of a club) provide a good sense of my leadership capabilities. </p>

<p>Also if you chance me I’ll chance back!</p>

<p>Very impressive. You’re showing your dedication to the medical field through your ECs.</p>

<p>I’d say you’ve got a very good shot at all of them. Good luck!</p>

<p>You’re really all over the place with your ECs, which is a problem. In contrast with the comment above, I think that your ECs actually show that you’re kind of shotgunning for a lot of different things and don’t really have interest in any of them (Not saying you don’t, but it makes it look that way). You have a little international relations/humanitarianism with your Senegal stuff, you have an architecture (?) award, and you have your biology research. It doesn’t seem like you were dedicated or passionate about any one of your ecs besides your research, and as stated above, the colleges will probably evaluate that from the recommendation of your mentor. You don’t really have any notable leadership positions besides the Senegal thing. You don’t really have a description of what your midnight running club does, but if the purpose of the club is to just run at midnight, I don’t think thats going to convince the adcoms of your leadership potential. You have a lot of volunteering stuff, but anyone can join Red Cross and volunteer. You don’t really have a concentrated goal that you’re working toward with your volunteering, in fact, I don’t think any two of your volunteering missions line up toward the same goal. Although Im sure that you’re sincere, an adcom would take that as a sign that you’re just shotgunning for hours. You have all of these sports, which is great, but are you captain in any of them or have you ranked on the state or regional level? The colleges that you listed are very competitive, by the time you submit your application, they will all have national-level athletes in their pockets- what makes you special? On your scores, you have to raise your Bio and Math scores. period. Those scores will substantially damage your chances of getting in, especially considering that you’re pursuing medical. Bottom line and your to-do list-</p>

<p>Get your Bio and Math scores above 730 at least (does that sound right to everyone?)</p>

<p>Show dedication and passion for just ONE OR TWO of your volunteering missions, preferably the Red Cross and Senegal. Really expand on those and try to show humanitarian effort.</p>

<p>Get some more experience in research, maybe go out for Siemens with your own work (obviously not as easy as written, but I don’t really know much about medical research)</p>

<p>I don’t really know what else to tell you, sorry for being so negative. I don’t know anything about Boston college, but all the other colleges seem to be very very high reaches for you besides UVA, which may just be a mid-high reach. Also, from what I’ve heard from people, UVA admissions is really random and inconsistent, so be wary. You have 5 months to do something about it, so GLHF.</p>

<p>I would say most of them are reaches, because those are VERY tough schools for anybody, and it’s a gamble for anybody.
Harvard- reach for anybody
Stanford- accept more west coast students</p>

BC- still a tough school but I think your stats should get you in.</p>

<p>And a couple in between reaches and matches:
Cornell- Maybe more of a match if you apply ED
UVA- Could be a match, but for out of state it is VERY difficult, kind of like UNC Chapel Hill</p>

<p>Good Luck!</p>

<p>Thanks for the responses everyone! </p>

I understand where you are coming from. Just so you know, the Midnight Run Club is not a literal name. We go into NYC with collected clothing and food from my town and we distribute it at or around midnight throughout the city. In contrast to what you may believe it actually takes hours and hours of organizing, something one of my recommenders can speak to, since she is the supervisor of the program. I’ve help grow the club from a group of 10 kids to a group of 50+ kids, which for our school is a big increase in club activity. It is not as quite straight humanitarian as Senegal, but I would most definitely say it is in the same vein as Senegal. It takes hours and hours to organize these events, and they happen twice a year. I think it shows a level of dedication to a certain goal that we’ve continued to achieve upon.</p>

<p>Unfortunately getting my Bio SATII and Math scores up is out of the question. While they are not stellar, there are reasons for what they are. Like I said, I took the Bio-M freshman year, with no advanced biology experience. It’s not ideal, but the majority of kids in my grade score around a 680 (not that that is great because it doesn’t really set me apart). On the other hand MathI is a test I took 3 times. I showed a 30 point increase each time I took it, and after 3 times I finally reached my goal of a 700, so I’m not going to continue studying for that since I took it almost 2 years ago. I’m not in the business of nickel-and-diming 2 Subject Tests for 30-50 more points because 1) I would rather dedicate that time somewhere else and 2) While I’m applying to multiple top schools, I believed that my application is strong enough to offset certain weaker areas.</p>

<p>As far as sports are concerned, no, unfortunately I don’t occupy any captain positions. It’s hard to be a captain when you are on the same team as a national indoor track champion, state spring champion, and Duke recruit. All captains are usually seniors, so it would have been strange to be placed as a captain as a junior, so while I agree with your assessment, I would not say its a fair assessment to say that since I wasn’t captain for 3 years of my participation, it doesn’t count. </p>

<p>@mschusler28 Thanks for the chances! My mom is an alum from NW so I’m hoping that it will have a little more pull than the average applicant would. My grandfather is a heavy donator to Princeton and is an alum himself. He obviously can’t get me in, but I think he has a few tricks up his sleeve (but then again nowadays pretty much everyone is on the same playing field). </p>

<p>Let me know what you guys continue to think!</p>

<p>You are getting (and resisting) the same good advice over and over. I totally understand that re-taking the SAT II Bio is not appealing. But, as an upper-middle-class white boy applying as a BIO major to Harvard, princeton, stanford, etc. a 680 SAT II in Bio is not going to reflect well. You have done the rest of the work - good SAT’s, high class rank, good EC’s, you need to finish up the profile. You have one very good SAT II (history) - you need one more. To get into these schools, you need to do better than the rest of your grade, in your words “set yourself apart” - not merely average to your grade.
That said, even without re-taking, I think you are a good candidate for the other schools on your list. HPS - require something exceptional though. Depending on how good a donor your grandfather is, that could obviously be the something exceptional for Princeton. If I were you and were trying to maximize my admissions opportunities - I would apply ED to either NW or P (depending on how good a donor grandpa is).</p>

<p>Thanks Carla2012 for the advice. I’m not trying to resist it (of course this reply may seem like a form of resist). I agree with what everyone is saying with regards to my bio and math scores. I’m not trying to be stubborn, but I don’t see how to solve the Biology problem. Realistically what would my timeline look like? Would I study from now until early October and then take the test, hoping that one month of studying a subject I haven’t studied for 2 years would yield true results?Again, I’m not trying to resist, but what if I get a score back from collegeboard only a week prior to the ED deadline of Nov. 1st and I only scored 30 points higher with a 710? I agree that to colleges they’ll be perplexed by a 680 on the Bio test if I’m applying as a prospective bio major, but I would like to think that someone is smart enough to connect the dots of the situation. One test does not necessarily represent my overall ability as a bio student. It’s not to say that since I got a 680 I’m no good at biology. I’m enrolled to take AP Bio this coming year, and coupled with my participation in a research program at a prestigious hospital, I would hope that someone realizes that I’ve improved. </p>

<p>I agree entirely with what you say, and it’s something I’m nervous about. I think that the time spent on studying for the test would be better spent refining my essay and short answer questions. If no one agrees with my rationale then I guess my view may be skewed. </p>

<p>Also, in regards to math, is the math score from the SAT1 not taken into consideration as much as a subject test is?</p>

<p>The subject test scores are very trivial in the application process. Send in your two 700’s. Also, I think there is a misunderstanding with “passion and continuity in ECs”. You DO NOT have to join a club or something to demonstrate your career path. It will most likely show itself in its own way. I’m not sure why people are bashing you for your humanitarian work. That’s a new one for me. Colleges specifically say the consider volunteer work. It goes along with character. It technically lends itself closer to work experience rather than something like an EC. In other words, just because you are interested in biology doesn’t mean that you have to do a volunteer gig pertaining to it. If you like what you’re doing and it can be seen you put substantial and devoted time to them that’s what they are looking for. I don’t know about the rest of you but I know many professionals who do community service for the soul and not for their career…(on woman I know volunteers at a hospital and she works at a law firm). Like I said, passion and continuity is a must but having every last little thing geared toward medicine is actually more of a bad idea than a good one. In fact brown to name one school, has said that they like those who challenge themselves in all fields, I thin try put it like this, “we want doctors who can diagnose your illness and talk effectively on the art exhibit in the same conversation”. Granted, they are a little more in that direction with the open curriculum but most officers like the kid who does different things with passion and continuity not just a bio, engineering, English machine.</p>

<p>Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Northwestern, and Duke are about high reaches, class rank is a bit low but you have strong stats overall and your ECs are above average. You’ll need really great recommendations and essays to get accepted.</p>

<p>Cornell, UVA and Georgetown are about low reaches- basically a 50/50 shot. If you apply early decision to Cornell I think you will probably get in (chances are higher ED for any school really though)</p>

<p>Boston college is a match, I would say likely.</p>

<p>You need some real safety schools if you don’t have any already.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice cortana431.</p>

<p>My recommendations are going to be very good I think. My counselor suggested I get 3 different recommendations, so I’m going to have to see how this plays out, but I have one from each of my APUSH, Honors English, and Honors Pre-Calc teachers (all three liked me very much). I’ve had my Pre-Calc teacher for two years and will have her next year, I had a very strong writing portfolio in English with specific strength in creative writing - I also got the highest grade on our literary research paper out of my whole entire grade from my English teacher. My APUSH teacher really liked me as well and is one who will provide a very thorough and complete overview of me as both a student and a peron. I’ve gotten to know my teachers very well, so much so that when I go for extra help I find that we spend long times talking about many different things besides school. Also my school doesn’t provide weighted or unweighted rankings, so counselors tell colleges generic rankings. Top 5% is the highest ranking that counselors give to schools, so I’m within the top 18 kids in my grade - that’s as specific as it gets.</p>

<p>Does anyone have any ideas on how to decide between these three? Can I even send three teacher recommendations?</p>

<p>i think you have a chance to get into most schools on your list although Harvard is a reach for anyone</p>