Are my ecs really horrible?

<p>I have:
Piano (since 8 yrs old) : private lessons + small performances.
Violin (since middle school): school orchestra, orchestra at Duke, private lessons, concerts (not good enough for solos though).
Math Club 11-12, qualified for a bunch of competitions but didn't win much except qualified for AIME and <em>almost</em> made it to the state math finals.
Science Club 11-12, placed 2nd twice in regional sci. olympiad.
Astronomy Club 11-12
Volunteered for an association to help low-income people continue their eduation (about 50 hrs), at a science camp for children (40 hrs). Assistant in a cancer research center (~100 hrs)
Some AP thing? I have 6 APs before senior year with 4/5s, don't know what award that would be, will have 10 total by graduation.
Would probably have something to do with National Merit, but I'm an immigrant and don't have the status.
I do not have any official position or major awards, and I joined the clubs at my school really late because I didn't really have transportation, my family moved many times before and moved recently before high school started so I was still adapting, and I had to take care of my little sister.
Is my ec list really bad? I mean, the only long-term things I had is playing music, and I love it but never exceled in it. No awards or offices...and I'm looking at Ivy league colleges. Any advice</p>

<p>It's not of Ivy Caliber but it's not "horrible" by any means.</p>

<p>So is it seriously going to hurt the applications I send to Ivy schools?</p>

<p>Does my "reasons" help me at all, or would they just make me seem whiny if I put them down somewhere, like in the additional info section? Those really are true, especilly taking care of my sister, which took up a lot of my time, and I'm planning write about her in my essay. My academics are probably ok for ivy schools, and I'm not expecting to get into even a majority of my reach schools, just one or two would be enough, but could I do it with my ecs draggin me down? Please help...</p>

<p>Whiny lol. My philosophy is, top tier schools want a see a student excel in even the most adverse circumstances. So giving a reason of why you couldn't join XYZ club is just making a crutch for yourself. I once read a story about a boy in China who ran 30 miles to take the SAT at the nearest town! So there's really never any excuses.</p>

<p>I'm sorry about not joining the clubs earlier too, but it's too late now to much. Plus I love my hobbies more and I'm not bad at them - just not the best. Putting aside all excuses, should I stil apply to those schools or give up? (By the way, are SATs even administered in China? I'm from there and I think it's one of those countries without SATs)</p>

<p>^how do you think so many Chinese students get into american universities that require the SAT?</p>

<p>It is probably administered at the international and american schools for sure. Do you currently live there?</p>

<p>^ they sprint to the nearest country that administers them?</p>

<p>It's administed in Hong Kong, I think. I'm pretty sure I've seen this on all the admissions websites. I do not currently live there, but that's not the point of my thread.</p>

<p>The Chinese students who take them go abroad to take them, unless the policy changed since I checked last year.</p>

<p>
[quote]
So is it seriously going to hurt the applications I send to Ivy schools?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It probably won't be a deal-breaker. Still though, you are what some Ivy admissions officers call the "stereotypical Asian candidate" - in other words, plays violin/piano/etc. and is heavily lopsided towards math and science in your extracurriculars and interests. If you present yourself interestingly enough and have some notable awards under your belt, you'll be okay. Still, as an international applicant from China, your chances are already looking mightly slim. Good luck to you.</p>

<p>I agree with decrescendo; it does seem a bit stereotypical. You have good volunteer hours, but you need more leadership and meaningful activities. </p>

<p>You can list taking care of your family as "Family Responsibilities" under the Common App Activities section and even explain the moving issue in the "Additional Information" section. </p>

<p>But that's about it. Good luck.</p>

<p>Thanks~ I am very typical, but I really do like those things, not just because I'm Asian. Those things kind of came naturally to me. My dad's a history teacher, but I got bored to death in history classes. I have the highest BC calc grade in the entire year and qualified for AIME without any preparations (as a girl), and I'm just better at the sciences than the humanities. I have a math competition coming up in NYC, maybe I'll win something there that can help, so now I guess I'll just wait and see. Does it make any difference whether I'm international or immigrant? I have been here for 6 yrs. Thanks so much for the replies, by the way.</p>

<p>Your EC is more than fine. They may not be great, but won't eliminate you at any top private schools.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I have the highest BC calc grade in the entire year and qualified for AIME without any preparations (as a girl), and I'm just better at the sciences than the humanities. I have a math competition coming up in NYC, maybe I'll win something there that can help, so now I guess I'll just wait and see.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Congratulations. Those are some remarkable feats. Unfortunately, they're not enough to guarantee you admission to an Ivy.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Does it make any difference whether I'm international or immigrant? I have been here for 6 yrs.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It makes a big difference. International applicants face a tough road, especially those from England, China, and India, the most over-represented countries. Most international applicants from China who are admitted to schools like Harvard and Dartmouth have achieved national and international recognition through awards, competitions, and/or other work. Don't be discouraged, but stay grounded in reality and remember that, although the Ivies are certainly a possibility, an international from China has a low chance of being accepted.</p>

<p>What do you mean it makes a big difference? It is even a little bit better for immigrants? I know my chances are slim, and I like my safeties, but I still want to take a shot a the top schools.</p>

<p>It is not clear whether you are an immigrant residing in the USA or still living in china? I do not even know if either will make a difference but just wondering.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What do you mean it makes a big difference? It is even a little bit better for immigrants? I know my chances are slim, and I like my safeties, but I still want to take a shot a the top schools.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Sorry, I misread your previous post. If you've lived in the United States for six years and are have documents confirming that you are a permanent resident, you are not considered an international, and your chances improve significantly.</p>

<p>I'm still living in U.S., and my family is applying for permanent resident which we won't get for at least ~5 yrs. So I'm guessing it really doesn't help at all?</p>