<p>Yes, this is a kind of lame and self-centered topic, and yes, as I'm sure plenty of generous responses will point out, the admissions process at colleges as selective as CC can be arbitrary and/or confusing, but I'd just like some brutally honest judgements and assessments of my chances of being admitted when I apply for the Class of 2015. Mostly I ask because I'm frequently told that to get into Columbia you have to be in the top 10% of your class, which I know is mostly true, but I'm not quite in the top 10%. Also, I'd like opinions on whether, with my academic and extracurricular record, it might make the difference to apply early decision. Thanks for your input!</p>
Rank: 15th (3 places below the top 10%)
SAT Is: CR 800, Math 800, Writing 770
Haven't gotten my SAT II or ACT scores yet.
Extracurriculars: 2 main ones are ballet (I'm a guy), and music, specifically composition and cello, which I expect to continue more seriously in college as well. As far as depth of involvement, I have attended a 4-week ballet summer camp in Saratoga associated with the New York City Ballet for the last 4 years and will be attending that along with a 4-week orchestral summer camp in Saratoga associated with the Philadelphia Orchestra this summer. I have almost no recorded community service hours, although I am politically active, and campaigned for Obama in Penn. in 2008. I have a small but I like to think fairly good photography portfolio. I am Vice-President of my school's MUN team. I think that's about it. I hope I didn't get too self-indulgent making my record seem good. </p>
<p>If you're kind enough to give me input on the admissions process or advice for the next semester of my high school career, please be honest! I don't want any encouragement, I want realism and constructive advice. Should I do an interview? On a different note, if you are currently a student at Columbia, what is your opinion of the experience? Do you feel like the general atmosphere is excessively competitive, or mostly pleasant (or as pleasant as such a rigorous academic setting can be)? Is the school too big, in terms of student population, or a good size? How do the graduate schools and students affect your undergraduate experience? I don't want to seem too demanding, these are just a few things I'm curious about. Thanks in advance for your responses!</p>