Am I "top" college material?

<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.</p>

<p>I dont think I am the one making the misconception, but rather you are by assuming that all application pools are equal. The Cal OOS application pool is highly self-selective; the typical OOS applicant is much stronger than instate applicants which is why they share similar admission percents. Also consider that 90%+ of Cal students are instate and what that implies about application pools. </p>

<p>And I disagree with the statement "California residents who don't meet the fairly high numerical standards to qualify for admission to the UCs simply don't bother to apply."
Its only a single check mark more to apply to one of the most prestigious universities in the world and many people are willing to throw away a mere 60$ for a crack at that. Teachers at my high school even told the students to 'go for it' because of that. I believe that is the reason that Cal DOES have a 20% admission rate. Compare it to 33% for Vanderbilt which is ranked about the same on USNWR. </p>

<p>Anyways, I merely call Cal "safe" because its much more stable for the top instate applicants, I am not trying to push the idea of it being a safety. And it would be totally different if she were applying into engineering.</p>

<p>*
LOL well, it's not like I'm going to be "yeah, I lost tons of weight! Go slimfast!" on my application.*</p>

<p>Well I wrote about losing 35 lbs playing DDR on my Mudd application; youd be surprised what works for you ^_^. Afterall to lose the weight you need determination and persistence.</p>

<p>


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<p>You may be right about the OOS applicant pool being stronger. I've never seen a comparative breakdown of the stats of OOS and in-state applicants at Berkeley. If you've got the data, I'd love to see them. </p>

<p>I would note, however, that the Berkeley in-state applicant pool is also highly self-selective, far more so than for most state flagships. In the first place, only about 15% of California HS grads meet the threshold eligibility requirements for the UC system; a few ineligibles apply anyway, but most don't as their GCs would steer them away from applying to any UCs. Second, of those who do apply to the UCs, Berkeley actually gets fewer applicants than UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, or UC Irvine. This may in part reflect local preferences, but it almost certainly also reflects a "why bother?" view among applicants who meet the minimum UC eligibility requirements but know they won't be competitive at Berkeley. </p>

<p>I also wonder how many of the OOS applicants are rejected out of hand because they're ineligible. The UC system has a highly arcane set of eligibility requirements, with which many OOS applicants are likely to be unfamiliar. One reason for the lower OOS acceptance rate may simply be that a lot of otherwise-qualified OOS candidates fail to take the right HS courses or otherwise get tripped up on eligibility, and consequently are never seriously considered. </p>

<p>I did find the 2008 Berkeley entering class breakdown, by the way: 22% acceptance rate in-state, 17% OOS (US), 22% international---the first time the international admit rate exceeded the US OOS rate.</p>

<p>Just two points about that: First, a 22% admit rate (Berkeley's in-state rate) is extremely low by any standard. Only 17 schools have lower rates: all the Ivies, MIT, Stanford, Caltech, WUSTL, Pomona, CMC, Williams, Swarthmore, Bowdoin. I'd say any school with that low a rate has to be considered a "reach" by anyone. Especially when its admit rate is 22% of the 15% most highly qualified HS grads in the state.</p>

<p>Second, as for the OOS rate: yes, 17% is extremely low. But it's roughly double Harvard's rate, and well above Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and MIT. It's also above Penn, Dartmouth, Brown, Pomona and CMC. It's the same as Caltech and WUSTL (both 17%). And it's just slightly below Amherst (18%), Williams (18%), Swarthmore (18%), and Bowdoin (19%). I'm sure Berkeley's OOS applicant pool is self-selecting and on average very well qualified, but I doubt it's significantly more qualified than the self-selecting applicant pools of these other schools. So I just want to challenge the conventional wisdom on CC that's it's pretty much pointless for OOS candidates to apply to Berkeley. No one says that about these other highly selective schools, even those that are significantly more selective than Berkeley OOS.</p>

<p>So I just want to challenge the conventional wisdom on CC that's it's pretty much pointless for OOS candidates to apply to Berkeley.</p>

<p>I dont think anybody is saying that here. I was just saying there is a significant difference in the stability of the instate and OOS for Cal. There are cases when usually you can say someone in a particular CA schools is over 95% sure of getting into Cal, in state. For example, I went to a HS that admits about 25 students every year to Cal; so for the valedictorian who wrote a book and had numerous other awards, it would be relatively certain he would get in assuming he didnt bomb anything on his application. I am not saying the OP is like that; Im just giving an anecdote. </p>

<p>Anyways, lets not argue about this anymore here. It just doesnt seem like the right thread ^^.</p>

<p>I agree with momrath's suggestions. I would also point out that your sustained interest in art and related activities are NOT part of the "typical Asian" profile you are worried about.</p>

<p>All I can say is, I am very glad I am not a kid nowadays! I went to Princeton and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1984, with 1410 SATS, only took one AP course, graduated early from high school to pursue riding horses (My only extracurricular!) and was 2nd in a class of 300. Kids today are so much more accomplished- but I wonder- do they do any better at school? Do you have any time to daydream or watch birds or take a walk on a crisp fall day?</p>

<p>Your 1410 SAT in 1980 would be a 1490 after the recentering, 2/300 is still going to be considered very good today and your interest in riding horses would still have helped you stand out as a unique (among the qualified) candidate today. The people on here are a small subset of even the sucessful top college applicants.</p>

<p>@ Seiken - Yeah, that's what I figured. :) If you can lose a lot of weight, it shows something about you. I love DDR, btw. :D</p>

<p>@ Consolation - In my isolated high school bubble, there are more Asians who excel in art and science than Asians who don't. LOL. No doubt my view of the world is distorted, but I cannot know anything that I have not yet experienced. But thank you for trying to show me reality. And yes, I will be heeding momrath's advice. :)</p>

<p>Pomona is an excellant option. The UC's do accept the ACT, but as of now, you do need SAT II's/subject tests. Your SAT1 is not bad at all, epsecailly for the UC's.</p>

<p>You're definitely top college material, especially doing all the stuff while at Troy (I went to Troy, too! Did you start your EE yet? haha). If you write some good essays about your passion for art you definitely have a good shot at getting into a top school.</p>

<p>@ kerry - From a 17-year-old's perspective, I'd have to disagree with you. Kids today aren't more accomplished... Rather, we've become into robots, competing for "top" places at universities because we believe that our lives would not be fulfilling otherwise. While we may boast 200 hours of community service and vast internships, we've essentially forgotten what we live for. We don't want to work hard in high school because we want to learn; we want do do as much as we possibly can to look good on paper because we believe that if we get into Harvard we'll be rewarded with "a stable life in 30 years". We invest everything in the future, and forget about the now.</p>

<p>To me, that's anything but accomplished. In trying to excel, we've lost the essence of who we are. It's no wonder so many of the kids I know are panicking over the college essay. Who am I, now?</p>

<p>Hahaha. I guess you could call this an expression of "teenage angst". I've had too many friends crying over B's on math tests to be sane. :) Personally, I want to go to college because I want to learn. While I have pulled a few all-nighters to finish that English essay, I work hard because I want to know everything, not because my parents told me that "if you become a doctor, you'll make lots of money!!!" And yeah, I do daydream and I do watch birds. I don't take walks on crisp fall days, though, because I live in the desert and it's rare that our fall days are crisp. LOL</p>

<p>(I've got to say, though, that I go to a very academically competitive school, so my view isn't representative of the average kid's! I do believe that there are level-headed kids out there NOT completely obsessed with their grades. They're just pretty rare at my school.)</p>

<p>@ floppy - I guess the "Troy Tech internship" shows it all, doesn't it? LOL. It's amazing! I guess I must be pretty blind to think I can put "public school" and not expect people to find out I go to Troy in CA within 2 days!!</p>

<p>I plan to finish that EE tonight! Hahaha.</p>

<p>I hope you don't mind if I ask you what practically all Troy kids must ask you - is Troy REALLY harder than college? One of my friends in Berkeley says it is! Lol</p>

<p>@ Shrinkrap - Thank you for the recommendation! I will definitely be considering Pomona! :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
You may be right about the OOS applicant pool being stronger. I've never seen a comparative breakdown of the stats of OOS and in-state applicants at Berkeley. If you've got the data, I'd love to see them.

[/quote]
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<p>Just saying, but you can use StatFinder and compare in-state and overall data to get a feel for OOS student data.</p>

<p>I'd add UChicago and Penn to your list of reaches, given your interests and the other, somewhat-trending urban schools you put there..</p>

<p>They are both excellent in your fields of interest.</p>

<p>Well, school's starting in a few days and I've really got to get cranking on that IB essay, not to mention securing teachers to write my recommendations, so I've got to abandon this thread. Thank you all for your great advice and college recommendations! Your input has really helped me get a better idea of what colleges I should be applying to. I guess all I have to do now is finish up those application essays. :)</p>

<p>Again, thanks! I really appreciate it.</p>

<p>haha. Well I would say the workload is about the same as Troy, but since you have a lot more free time in college than in high school, it actually becomes a lot easier to do your work haha. Having classes start at 11 also helps. Sorry to tell you that you have one more year of hell, but don't worry it'll all be worth it once you get into college. Good luck!</p>

<p>Re: posts #21, 22, 23, 34</p>

<p>kyledavid80, thanks for the top about StatFinder. It's a useful tool on UC admissions, though not broken down into every category that would be useful. </p>

<p>Based on what I've seen there, though, it's a little bit of a mixed bag as to whether OOS applicants are more qualified than in-state applicants at UC Berkeley. In-state applicants actually have slightly higher HS GPAs: 59.4% of California applicants have GPA > 3.8, as opposed to 51.5% for OOS applicants. But a higher percentage of OOS applicants have top SAT scores: 31.6% of OOS applicants have their highest SAT score in the 700-800 range, as opposed to 19.8% of California applicants. But that still leaves well over twice as many California applicants as OOS applicants in that top SAT range. To get to their total number of acceptances, however, Berkeley's adcom probably needs to dip a little into the pool of in-state applicants with high grades (over 3.8) and slightly lower SAT scores (highest in 600-699 range). In contrast, a significant number of OOS applicants with GPA > 3.8 and at least one SAT score > 700 get rejected.</p>

<p>OP --</p>

<p>Your 35 ACT, high gpa and strong extracurriculars put you above the midpoint of almost all schools, including top 20.</p>

<p>Your drawing stood out to me. It will to an adcom. If adcoms are anything like me, they look for the "dog bites man" story in every applicant. It is different. The piano part is boring... Asian, high gpa, high ACT, great at piano...yawn. The drawing stands out! The weight loss stands out! Use them both to paint the picture of who you are, and why you will be an interesting addition to their campus.</p>

<p>Pomona!</p>

<p>the individual thanks yous are very cute :)</p>

<p>not that i have anything to add...<em>tear</em></p>

<p>um, my dad went to berkeley as an international ;)</p>