Am I "top" college material?

<p>Hi! I'm a high school senior and I would really appreciate it if anyone here can give me some advice towards which colleges I should be applying to.</p>

<p>Reach schools: Brown, Cornell, Harvey Mudd, Johns Hopkins, Stanford</p>

<p>Fit schools: Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD</p>

<p>Safety schools: Rensselaer, Scripps, UC Irvine, UC Davis</p>

<p>I must admit that ** I am not finished with my college search and would greatly appreciate recommendations! ** I am interested in Biochemistry, Medical Science, International Relations, Business, and Studio Art (in descending order of interest).</p>

<p>MY STATS:</p>

<p>The basics: Female, middle class, Asian. Goes to a public school.</p>

<p>GPA: 4.29 weighted, 3.78 unweighted</p>

<p>ACT:
* 35 (English 34, Reading 33, Math 36, Science 35, Writing 8) - LATER TEST DATE
* 34 (English 35, Reading 34, Math 32, Science 34, Writing 10)</p>

<p>APs:
* CompsciA - 5
* CompsciAB - 5
* APUSH - 5
* Euro - 5
* English Lang - 5</p>

<p>IBs:
* Physics - 6</p>

<p>SAT2:
* Bio - 720
* Chem - 770
* Physics - 730
* US - 750
* Math2 - 770</p>

<p>Senior Schedule:
* AP/IB Chem
* AP Gov't/Economics
* AP/IB English Literature
* AP/IB French Language
* AP/IB Calc BC
* AP/IB Studio Art
* IB Philosophy/Theory of Knowledge</p>

<p>Other (extracurrics; jobs; general awards):
* IB Diploma Candidate
* Pres. of The Illustrator's Society, 2 years; Treasurer 1 year
* Pres. of French Club, 1 year; VP 1 year
* Publicity of Amnesty International
* Founder of Troy Art Show (a gallery-like event where artists at my school can exhibit their work in the school auditorium for a couple days)
* 150-hour internship at Merrill Lynch
* 150-hour internship at UC Davis (I was a research assistant)
* 150-hour community service through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and student tutoring
* National Honors Society
* California Scholarship Federation member
* Play piano; Certificate of Merit Level 9
* I go to Art school - I have been featured in group exhibits twice - I WILL BE SUBMITTING A PORTFOLIO!</p>

<p>Random thing about me (that is worth noting):
* I lost 40 lbs through diet and exercise (started in 7th grade; I haven't gained weight back since)</p>

<p>*I would really appreciate any comments/suggestions on what colleges I should apply to, what I should expect, etc! * I know I have the "typical Asian profile", but I'm sure my essay will make me stand out. I also plan to submit an art portfolio to any school that will accept it (most top private universities do). My goal is to show the admissions offices that "yeah, I may look like the typical Asian overachiever, but I am much more than my test scores".</p>

<p>I think that you have a pretty good grasp on what's a fit, reach, and safety. My only recommendation is to break the racial stereotype without taking it head on (i.e. don't directly mention it)</p>

<p>I'm assuming you're a California resident. I'd say you definitely will get into the UC system and have a good shot at Berkeley, UCLA or UCSD (though I thought they required SATs as opposed to ACT---am I wrong about this?)</p>

<p>If that's the case, then I think the question for you is, are there schools you'd prefer to attend, as opposed to each of the UCs to which you plan to apply. I'd say select a UC at each level---reach, match, safety. (I'm not convinced Berkeley and UCLA are really matches; they're very selective, even for California residents, and both might belong in the "reach" category).</p>

<p>Then in each category, select one or two schools that you'd PREFER to the UC in the comparable category.</p>

<p>You seem to have diverse interests. Harvey Mudd seems a little too one-dimensionally math-science, Rensselaer too one-dimensionally engineering, Scripps possibly too one-dimensionally humanities to be on this list. Keep searching!</p>

<p>I'm not sure if UC's accept both SAT and ACT, but I thought they accepted both. I guess I've got to get back to my research! By my SAT score is 2170. Not good, in other words. :/ </p>

<p>Would you think UC San Diego would be a good "match"? One of my biggest problems is determining exactly what a match school would entail. Everything either seems too hard to get into (as in the case of UC Berkeley; I sent my stats to a friend who is going there and she said I should be able to get in, but I do agree that Berkeley is very selective!).</p>

<p>I was considering Harvey Mudd/Scripps because they all belong to the Claremont college coalition. In other words, if I attended Scripps, I could take classes at Harvey Mudd, and vice versa.... I really don't think that there exists a school that will cater to all of my interests (except an extremely competitive Ivy that's "good at everything"), so I've really compromised with my fit and safety schools. :/ If I had to pick one interest to pursue, I'd pursue my interest in biology/chemistry... but I would hate to have to give up my artistic side. </p>

<p>Thank you for the advice! I will definitely keep on searching! :)</p>

<p>@ CWalker: Thank you for the advice! I will definitely keep that in mind when writing my essay. It would definitely sound funny if I opened my essay with "I am not the typical Asian". :)</p>

<p>yami, I think you have a good understanding of what it takes to be competitive at selective schools. I would suggest that you take a look at Williams. Williams has excellent sciences and an excellent studio art / art history department. It is common for students to double major in both disciplines. I think they would find you a person of interest.</p>

<p>Of course you're top college material. I also think you're going to get into at least one of your reaches, if you write strong essays and don't mess up the interviews.</p>

<p>UCSD is more of a safety for you.</p>

<p>@ momrath - Thank you very much for the recommendation! I've spent a couple minutes browsing through the Williams website; it seems like a great school for me! I am particularly intrigued by their biochemistry program and their new Williams in Africa program (I wanted to do something like that for a study abroad). :D</p>

<p>@ kyle - Well, that's good to hear. I have heard quite a few nightmare "2300 and 4.0 and still rejected" stories, so I'm being quite cautious with my applications. The last thing I want is to apply to all these schools only to get a bunch of rejection letters! Lol. Thank you for your advice!</p>

<p>yami, all of the schools on your list have excellent sciences. For art plus science (and rigorous academics) I would recommend Williams, Wesleyan, Brown, Yale. In the less selective category you might look at Hamilton, Kenyon and Smith.</p>

<p>You definitely are top college material, and I think that your list is realistic. I hope that you have thought about the financial aspect to attending your reach schools. Look at University of Chicago. Many Cornell and Hopkins applicants also like Chicago. Admission is easier than Cornell, and probably about the same as Hopkins. Rice and University of Rochester are also good for you. Rice would be a match, Rochester a safety.</p>

<p>Wow, I just looked at the first few things in your interests, and Johns Hopkins immediately clicked in my head!! I see that you have it under your reach category...I personally think that you def. have the stats needed to get into JHU, but I've heard that the 'asian" thing is kind of prevelant at JHU, and they refrain from taking too many...</p>

<p>I agree with what the second poster I believe said..break away from the stereotype...and try to separate yourself from the herd of applicants!</p>

<p>For maybe Nursing/Business try UPenn [Wharton is very tough, but Nursing you may make]</p>

<p>Good Luck!!</p>

<p>Berkeley and UCLA seem relatively safe matches for you since you're instate. I really cant seem them rejecting you.</p>

<p>Also, since you are female Mudd is probably going to be lenient as well, making it a matchy-reach.</p>

<p>**
NOTE** For the Scripps/Mudd reason you mentioned before, you should also look at Pomona College which offers the same cross-enrollment opportunities, is a bit more well-rounded than Mudd, and has been investing a bit in their biochemistry department.</p>

<p>And are you going to mention that weight thing in the application? lol</p>

<p>you are certianly top school material. now, what will distinguish you among all the other "top school material" kids will be your essays. make em shine!</p>

<p>


</p>

<p>It's a common misconception that it's much easier for an in-state candidate to get accepted at UC Berkeley and UCLA than an OOS candidate. In fact, the admit rate for both in-state and OOS are very low at both schools. In 2007 Berkeley admitted 25% of in-state applicants and 20% of OOS candidates---a difference, to be sure, but not a big one. For the 2008 entering class the admit rate was even lower, about 22% overall; I don't have the in-state/OOS breakdowns at my fingertips but I believe both percentages went down from previous years. In both cases the applicant pool was very highly qualified; California residents who don't meet the fairly high numerical standards to qualify for admission to the UCs simply don't both to apply. In short, while the OP is a very strong candidate for admission to these schools, I think it's a mistake for anyone to count a school with roughly a 20% admit rate as "safe."</p>

<p>@ momrath - Thank you again for the extra recommendations! I really appreciate it. :) I really needed to get out of my "apply to UC's and famous schools" bubble!</p>

<p>@ OneMom - Thank you for the recommendations! :) I HAVE considered the cost of my reach schools, but my approach might not be too wise - it's somewhat along the "well, I'm probably not going to get into school x, y, and z, so I'm not going to consider the cost until I DO get in". ^^; I mean, I do understand what an Ivy League school (and all other private universities) cost, but I'm not letting the price tag be a factor in my application decisions. Is this a wise approach? I'm really not a sucker for "brand-name" schools, though, so if one of my safeties gives me a really good financial aid package, I might go there instead of the well-renowned reach school.</p>

<p>@ vader - Thank you for the recommendation! I don't know if you're right about the Asian thing, but I've heard the same rumor. Lol. So thank you for the advice! The last thing I want to do is to be thrown out because "there's a million other asian applicants like me".</p>

<p>@ Seiken - Thanks for telling me about Pomona! I've heard of it, but I never went to check it out... I guess I should check out all the Claremont colleges, actually. ^^; I guess I haven't done enough research!</p>

<p>LOL well, it's not like I'm going to be "yeah, I lost tons of weight! Go slimfast!" on my application. Then I'd seem like a shallow kid whose sole desire is to "look hot", wouldn't I? My weight loss is important to me because it helped me realize that a person is still a person despite his/her appearance. Stupid lesson? Lol from all the discrimination I see against "fat" people, "black" people, etc, I think it's a lesson many of us still need to learn! :)</p>

<p>@ cory - Thank you for the encouragement and advice! :) I'm sure that my essay will be a deciding factor in my application. Do you have any topics, tips, etc for writing a strong essay? I would really appreciate it!</p>