<p>I am visiting Davidson soon, and am very excited about seeing the campus. I am very impressed with the Honor Code - it sounds fabulous!
How difficult is it to become a Belk Scholar, or win the Patricia Cornwell Scholarship?</p>
<p>What do you think my chances for admission are?</p>
<p>Female from Rural Kentucky
GPA: 4.25w, 3.95uw
7 APs by graduation: 3 this year with all 5's. School has block scheduling which has made it hard to take copious amounts of APs, plus we are not allowed to take any APs independent study.
ACT: 30 (will retake in October, hoping for a 33)
SAT IIs: Lit: 730, Math IIC: (will take in October,*700), Biology: (will take in October, *760)</p>
Mock Trial (9,10,11,12): Capt., Best Witness in State, Best Witness in Tournament, State Runner-Up (2 years), Regional Champs (2 years)
School Newspaper Editor-in-Chief
Teen Columnist for local paper
County Young Democrats (10,11,12): Founding Member, Secretary, Vice-President
School Young Democrats (12): Founder, President
NHS (10,11,12): President
National Latin Honor Society
Y-Club (11, 12): Founding Member, Vice-President, School Service Chair, Organized many service projects
250+ service hours with various organizations
Various summer enrichment programs
other various award and ECs.</p>
<p>The Belk scholarship? Mathematically, probably 10 times more difficult than admission to the most selective colleges. A similar scholarship at a comparable but less selective school I'm aware of had 800 applications for 3 top scholarships.The average SAT for finalists was 1511 at a school where the 75th percentile is historically around 1360. I would google around and see how your stats stack up against recent winners.</p>
<p>You can't do much better than a 3.95uw, and you can't do much better than salutatorian of a class of 350. Your current ACT is 97th percentile. There is a little room for improvement there. A captaincy of a state ranked Mock trial team with an individual state award, an Editor in chief, a couple of presidencies, a VP, and a teen columnist for your local rag. You didn't cure cancer or win the Pulitzer but I'd say that was pretty impressive.</p>
<p>If you can get to a 32 (99th percentile, or even a 31 which is 98th) I like your chances. Remember, have some safer bets with the same feel , but by all means you're in the game. I'd play up the newspaper bits (portfolio?), the Mock Trial, and the community service projects. Review the profiles of the Belk winners on the Davidson website for an idea of what the school thought was important enough to highlight in the student's "thumbnails. It might be revealing.</p>
<p>D and I have visited Davidson. It is a wonderful school. Their newspaper is a riot. Best humor I've seen in college newspaper. The kids looked great. Lively, happy, involved. </p>
<p>For a safer bets but still top fifty wonderful schools with some of the same feel I'd look at Centre in your state, Rhodes, and Furman. All have beautiful campuses, and you stand a better chance at merit . (All three just happen to be on my D's short list,too. LOL. ) </p>
<p>You've got a great record. You have done yourself proud. Now make sure you reward yourself with great options in April. Good luck to you.</p>
<p>You sound like a pretty strong candidate for admission to Davidson but I don't know about major merit aid; the admissions Web site goes into quite a bit of detail about the various scholarships available and profiles Belk Scholars of the past few years. (Keep in mind that there are many students at Davidson who get no merit money and also have pretty impressive credentials.) As you may know, Davidson has done well lately with its mock trial team so that might be a nice selling point for you. In any case, need-based aid is also available, and it's a wonderful school so certainly well worth pursuing, as long as you don't pin your hopes too strongly on one of the major scholarships. Good luck.</p>
<p>Although there are no certainties in life, your fit at Davidson would have to be very good. As far as I'm concerned if they don't accept you, it is too bad for them and they should look for a new dean of admissions. </p>
<p>The Belk scholarship seems to be focused on deserving candidates who otherwise would not be able to come to Davidson and if that fits your situation your profile it would seem to me would be right smack in the middle of what they would be looking for. I would not worry about a manic attempt to upgrade your SAT score. The new SAT has a built in penalty for literacy and your math is unlikely to change very much. If with 7 AP's at the 5 standard they won't take you it will have nothing to do with the SAT and everything with their sense of how you fit their profile of intense seriousness of academic purpose and honorableness. The Belk is a crapshoot. Rhodes is a very good alternative as is Sewanee. Apply to all three. You have no downside.</p>
<p>They are looking for a new dean and the job description gives a good indication of what Davidson is looking for in prospective students. </p>
<p>It is obvious that within the constraints of building a class iamnotabronte would have to look very good. She would be sitting at just about the 74 percentile of the accepted applicant pool.
Now that I have reviewed the Belk criteria I would like Curmudgeon advise her to invest in 10 real SAT's and see if she could get her score up to 2250. That might take some dumbing down in the literacy department in order to find only the most obvious of the errors in the grammatical section but will make it easier for the school actually to give her the Belk.</p>
<p>I see no reason why her current high school school should not nominate her for the Belk, which will in any case help her candidacy for admission. If the nominating school tells Davidson that this student can't afford to apply ED and is also applying to peer schools like Williams or Haverford, Davidson will in all probablility find some money for her. Come to think of it, if she can get 2250 on the SAT and feels able to get into Davidson, why not apply to Princeton? Princeton in origin has the same high minded Presbyterian cast as Davidson and probably has the endowment to be able to afford her.</p>
<p>Obviously yes. The Belk scholarship is an expression of what Davidson is about. If your school nominates you, it expresses to Davidson that you are exactly the kind of student they are looking for. It might help if you gave the GC a list of the scholarship qualifications--academic purpose, honorableness, public spiritedness, international awareness. Remember Davidson is a Presbyterian place in the same sense that Sewanee is Anglican. The people who fund the Belk believe in these ideals, and the Presbyterian/Reformed educational ideal is very high indeed.</p>
<p>Sorry to digress from the Belk here but I think you are talking apples and oranges; the OP has not indicated that she will only be able to attend Davidson if she is named a Belk Scholar or something similar, and I think her record will speak for itself as a highly qualified applicant who may indeed get major merit funding, minor merit funding, or need-based aid depending on her circumstances. She wants to go to Davidson and was initially querying her chances of admission which I would think her quite good but not certain; just as likelihood of admission depends to some extent on each year's applicant pool, so does the degree of merit aid she might get. </p>
<p>Also, without rehashing an earlier discussion on the Parents Forum about the senior Mr. Belk who funds the Scholarship, and his outlook on Davidson's religious affiliation and how it should be interpreted, I do not think for a moment that recipients of the Belk or any other major funding need to be Presbyterian or in the Reformed tradition. The Belk as I understand it is simply given to stellar applicants whose academic and personal credentials make them outstandingly tempting to Davidson and presumably to other schools as well. Applicants need not be nominated by their school; I believe the admissions office also identifies possible recipients from regular applicants whose applications are received before January 1; again, the Web site is very informative in this regard and I'd urge the OP and othe interested applicants to visit the college's Web site. I don't think it's necessarily going to be helpful for the GC to try to start a bidding war; many Davidson applicants have also applied to Williams, Princeton, Haverford, and so on.</p>
<p>In fairness to the OP also, I want to say that knowing both Princeton and Davidson pretty well I don't think they actually do suit quite the same kind of kid; nor do Haverford and Davidson. All are fine schools, all have some traditions in common, and all have very different atmospheres and campus cultures. It's important to look beyond the Prsbyterian/Reformed tradition, the Honor Code, the high academic level, and the other tangibles to identify the school(s) within the wider group that suit a specific applicant.</p>
<p>I had not read the imbroglio about Mr. Belk's resignation and its implications for the Presbyterian character of the college. Personally I like a university that at least knows what it is about intellectually and doesn't feel the need to suck up to the fashionable nostrums of the day. </p>
<p>With respect to the concerns of the OP, I believe she wanted to know two things, can she get in and the answer is probably yes, Can she get the Belk scholarship? Again if you check out the website to read the bio's of who actually gets these scholarships, the winners all seem to share a modest backgroung and to articulate an academic ideal that to me at least sound remarkably like the Scottish /Presbyterian university ideal of high thinking and plain living. There have been worse ideals.</p>
<p>If you really can see yourself at Davidson and you want to be considered for the Belk Scholarship it is almost imperative that you apply early decision. We know that when applying for anything this competitve you need to seek out every advantage big or small. I would think of it in these terms, you put yourself at a great disadvantage by not applying early decision because your competition will be. Schools like to know early who their scholarships are going to; I'm also basing this on a conversation I had with a Davidson representive. In general you really need to show an interest in every school you are seriously considering. Make sure to interview, and try to stay overnight with a student.
Also lets not kid ourselves, every SAT point matters. I wish someone had told me that, I only took it once and was too easily satisfied. My non reach schools turned up with no merit aid and I was shocked. What you need to realize is that kids applying to three or four Ivy's with great applications also send them to "lesser schools" (down as far as --- this year you might call it average sat = 2000) and those "lesser schools" throw all their scholarship money away hoping to attract them. Every SAT point matters about ten times more in merit aid competitions than the admission proccess.
You have your work cut out for you between now and the early application deadline. You need to create an application at the level of success you have demonstrated in high school AND you absolutly need to raise the SAT/ACT (you said 30 right) score to have a shot at Belk.
Ok, one last thing. I think you have an excellent chance of being accepted. But here is something my memory is shouting at me that might scare you into studying for ACT/SAT. I thought I read somewhere that the top quartile of the admitted class had an sat over 1500. Yet I could be wrong in so many ways, that could have been the average of the top quartile, the stat could have come from Brown, or it is not indicative of the true incoming class as those kids matriculated elsewhere. But whatever the top quartile is, if you want Belk I would assume you have to be part of it. </p>