A realistic college list? (chances thread in disguise)

<p>I'm a junior right now, but I have basically no idea what sort of schools I should be applying to if I don't want to get slapped in the face with a rejection. I've tried some online database-type things before, but I'm not sure the generated results made sense (Yale=good match; Cornell=reach?). So I was wondering if you could help me?</p>

Rank: 1/600.
GPA: 5.45/6.00. I say it's out of 6.0, but that would be impossible since it'd require taking nothing but AP and honors classes, which graduation requirements preclude.
Courseload: Most challenging available. My school does weighted grading, so if you want a high rank, an insane number of honors/APs is required.
APs: 5 on World History. I'll be taking 5 more this year.
PSAT: 223 as a sophomore. Still don't have my score from this year. Last year's score fell within the NMS range here in Texas, though.
SAT: Haven't taken it yet. Well, 1220/1600 in middle school, but hopefully I'm a little bit smarter now.
School Profile: Random, overcrowded suburban public school in Central Texas. Mostly middle-class whites. Our smart kids all end up at UT-Austin or Texas A&M. A senior recently got into Yale ED-- that'll pretty much be the highlight of my year.</p>

<p>Honors and Awards:
2nd place in district UIL Literary Criticism tournament.
2nd place in regional UIL Literary Criticism tournament.
3rd place in state UIL Literary Criticism tournament.
Gold Key Award in Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. (Regional)
Free verse poem published in Skipping Stones magazine (unpaid).
Personal essay published in VOYA magazine (paid).
Top ten winner in Creative Communication essay competition. (I know this one's not very prestigious).
Advanced to council level in PTA Reflections competition.
Honor roll for life, blah blah blah.
Hopefully I'll get NMF, a few more lit crit, and a few more writing awards this year.</p>

Yearbook. Will probably have some sort of editorial position next year, because I'll be one of the most experienced people on staff.
Key Club. Ten hours of community service every two months.
National Honor Society.
National Spanish Honor Society.
Mu Alpha Theta. Parliamentarian.
Asian Club. Sort of a regent while the president spends time abroad.
I edited the school literary magazine last year, but that's only available to the people enrolled in the creative writing class, so I couldn't do it again this year.
UIl Literary Criticism team. And I say "team" in the loosest sense of the word, because I met my fellow teammates for the first time at the district tournament. I prepped entirely on my own.</p>

<p>Community Service:
I'm pretty bad about this, since I can't drive and my parents don't have time to chauffeur me all over the place. I get my ten Key Club hours through the schools. This mostly entails going to local elementary schools for holiday fairs and helping out the local Parks and Recreational department with their events.</p>

<p>I interned at a local newspaper two summers ago and am currently enrolled in a distance learning Latin course through a nearby university. I've got an A in the course right now, but I'm not a big high-stakes test person, so who knows what'll happen after I take the final that's 50% of my grade. I think they do letter grading instead of percentage grading, though.</p>

<p>I don't know how good my essays will be. Grammatically perfect, I'm sure, since I tend to revise compulsively. Maybe a little pretentious or overly artsy-- I have a tendency to overreach. </p>

<p>Recs will be good, but not amazing, I think. I obviously get good grades and I'm not disruptive, but I'm kind of quiet. There are a few courses where I'm zealous about "participating", but most of the time I keep my mouth shut and do my work. I honestly have no idea how the counselor rec will work-- there are two of them to the 600 people in my class. I guess they'll mention my class rank a lot and extrapolate from it that I must be hard working?</p>

<h2>Oh, and I forgot to mention, I'm Asian-American. I think that's a disadvantage, but I'm not sure how much of one.</h2>

<p>So, I gather that HYP's out of the picture, while something like Texas State would be an extreme safety? What's are some realistic schools for me?</p>

<p>I don't think HYP is out of your reach. You have excellent ECs and have clearly challenged yourself grade-wise. Still, I would have some safeties.</p>

<p>you should apply to wherever you want to- don't think that HYP is out of the picture bc you never know.</p>

<p>it all depends on how far distance-wise you're willing to go. if you want schools on the west/east coasts, etc., what kind of school you want (liberal arts or not, urban or suburban, etc) and what you want to major in.</p>

<p>some schools to consider are: brown ( you said you were artsy), northwestern, uchicago, hopkins, emory, notre dame, amherst, swarthmore, venderbilt, and i guess the ucs. </p>

<p>next summer, you should definitely visit some schools in your preferred college locations and then you'll figure it out.</p>

<p>good luck!</p>

<p>I would second that all schools are within consideration, but I would probably line up a few safeties and likelies that you're interested in.</p>

<p>It sounds like your high school doesn't have much of a history with placing students into elite colleges (usually the best way of "chancing" yourself is to see where last year's crop headed to what schools).</p>

<p>I would second the UChicago recommendation (it's my school; I have to!) particularly because you're self-studying Latin. To me, that's something a Chicago person would do.</p>

<p>I don't know if you would consider a womens' college, but I feel like womens' colleges tend to be relaxed places that focus on community and education, and I think that you as valedictorian and as a writer fit the mold of the type of woman these schools look for. Great womens' colleges include Bryn Mawr, Smith, Scripps, Agnes Scott, and Wellesley.</p>

<p>Ooohh...a chance thread in disguise! Those are the most rare and illusive of them all! (lols)</p>