Chance a Nebraskan ranch girl for Rice, UChicago, WUSTL?

<p>Hi! I posted this about a month ago, but I had a lot of info that I posted within replies, and wanted to consolidate it to one thread. </p>

<p>I live on a ranch in Nebraska... no, we don't ride cows to school! I do go to school in a town of 300 people, though. No IB, AP, or Honors classes are offered. It doesn't offer Calc or Pre-Calc. In addition, it's somewhat hard to focus my extracurriculars.... I am in just about everything my school offers! Also, I NEED to find a school with great need-based financial aid, as my family's EFC was zero when we ran the numbers through on an online calculator/sample FAFSA thing. </p>

<p>User Name: JustMae
Gender: F
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Location: Nebraska
College Class Year: 2015
High School: Public
High School Type: A TINY K-12 school in a town of 300 people, Nebraska. Rarely sends grads to top schools.
Will apply for financial aid: Yes</p>

<p>Academics:</p>

<p>GPA - Unweighted: 4.00
GPA - Weighted: 0.00 (School doesn't weight)
Class Rank: 1
Class Size: 19</p>

<p>Courses:</p>

<p>Freshman:Algebra I (98), American History (99), Art I (99), Band (97), English 9 (98), P.E. (95), Physical Science (99), Teen Living (99)</p>

<p>Sophomore: Band (98), Biology (99), English 10 (99), Geometry (97), Health (100), Journalism (100), Spanish I (99), World History (99)</p>

<p>Junior: Algebra II (99), American Government (99), Band (98), Computers I (99), English 11 (100), Physics (99), Psychology* (98), Spanish II (99), Sociology* (99)</p>

<p>Senior: European Civilizations<em>/Independent Living (FCS), English Composition 1</em>/English Comp 2<em>, Chemistry, Band, Art II, Consumer Economics, Independent Lit/Intro to Lit</em>, College Algebra (Trigonometry)*</p>

<p>*Dual-credit college courses through the local community college</p>

<p>Scores:</p>

<p>ACT: 33 (Twice) (36 English, 33 Math, 34 Reading, 27 Science) (35 English, 30 Math, 34 Reading, 33 Science)</p>

<p>PSAT: 212 (72 Writing, 70 Verbal, 70 Math... the only prep I did was going through the math section of the practice booklet the night before)</p>

<p>Nebraska's cutoff is usually around 206, so I'll hopefully make National Merit Semifinalist!</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:</p>

<p>FCCLA (07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11)
Volleyball- JV (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
JV Basketball (2007-2008)
Quiz Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Band (marching and concert) (07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11)
One-Act (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Speech (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Letterman's club (08-09, 09-10, 10-11)
Track (2008, 2009, 2010)
Yearbook Staff (2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010)
4-H (07, 08, 09, 10, 11)
Columnist for local newspaper (2008-2009)</p>

<p>Leadership positions:</p>

<p>FCCLA State Officer (10-11)
FCCLA-Chapter Officer (09-10) Chapter President (10-11)
FCCLA-District President (10-11)</p>

<p>Letter Club-Secretary (09-10)
Journalism-Co-editor (2008-2009)
Quiz Bowl-Co-captain (2009) Captain for state-qualifying team (2010)
Class President (07-08), Secretary (09-10)</p>

<p>Volunteer/Service Work: AWANA preschool teacher- 1 1/2 hours/week, September-April; 2008-2009, 2009-2010
Vacation Bible School Helper, about 16 hours each; 2007, 2008, 2009
Various FCCLA service projects, 25 hours</p>

<p>Honors and Awards: Freshman Year:
FCCLA STAR (speech competition) District Gold, State Qualifier; Silver medal at State
Math Contest 3rd Place Algebra I
Scholastic Contest 3rd Place Vocabulary
Scholastic Contest 1st Place Vocabulary
State 4-H Horse Show, Runner-Up Hippology Team</p>

<p>Sophomore Year:
FCCLA STAR District Gold/Champs, State Gold/Champs, National Gold/Top 10
Academic All-State Journalism, One-Act</p>

<p>Junior Year:
Scholastic Contest 1st Place Health, 2nd place English
Conference Principal's Academic Team
Conference Superintendent's Academic Team
Academic All State in Journalism and One-Act
Girls State Citizen</p>

<p>Numerous other school awards I don't feel like listing! :)</p>

<p>Chance me for: Rice, UChicago, Washington University in St. Louis, Grinnell, Columbia, Princeton (haha!), Yale (just for fun!)</p>

<p>Thanks so much! :D</p>

<p>You might get the list of schools that meet full financial need--not my area of expertise. I know that a couple on your list do. Also, you might look around for sample recommendation letters and really talk to your teachers about their letters; IMO kids who are in small, rural schools don't always get letters that make them stand out from a crowd.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I believe you might also qualify for merit scholarships (which do not rely on need), depending on the school. I'm not sure, but I believe that your ACT will superscore higher. Your science score on the second test is six points higher - which should push your ACT superscore higher ... maybe a 34? For example, Wash U in St. Louis gives need and merit - and your stats might put you in that merit pool. If you are seriously interested in Wash U - you should try to visit, as that goes a long way with that particular school.</p>

<p>You can also self study for an AP test in your favorite area - and if you can score high enough - that will show initiative without the AP scores at your school.</p>

<p>Just to be Clear - Wash U will superscore the ACT and SAT. Not sure if any others on your list will do the same. A few schools superscore SAT and fewer the ACT ... some for admission, some for scholarships, some for both.</p>

<p>Check out Baylor for some formula-based scholarships. Since you come from a rural area, I am not sure I would recommend Grinnell. I would encourage you to stretch your wings a bit, and consider a more urban school.</p>

<p>Macalester, St. Olaf, and Carleton in Minnesota might give you an interesting experience.</p>

<p>Thanks for all of the advice! I will definitely look into Macalester, St. Olaf, and Carleton. And my superscore is a 34... I'm hoping to retake it a couple of times and (hopefully!) get a 36 Reading, which would push me up to a 35. I'm also taking the next SAT. :)</p>

<p>Any thoughts on where I stand at the colleges I listed, though?</p>

<p>I think some good schools require 3 years of foreign languange. Can you get another year of Spanish?</p>

<p>I forgot to put that in there... no, our school only offers two years of Spanish! :(</p>

<p>i think your chances are pretty good as long as you can differentiate yourself. you have proven that you take advantage of all of your opportunities in school and colleges like that. id say get some good recommendations and princeton requires subject tests by the way. any two for BA and math physics or chem (2 of them) for engineering</p>

<p>Thanks! 10char</p>

<p>i think you have a great chance at most of those schools. because you live in a rural area and underrepresented area of the country some of those top schools will want you to maintain more diversity. the only thing i see that is going against you is the small size of your class. </p>

<p>Good Luck</p>

<p>Reiterating what goodbetterbest said, if you can find a way to take another year of Spanish it would probably be very helpful in your admission processes. - whether you can find a way to Spanish it through videoconference with another school, or as an independent study with your current spanish teacher, etc. That would also show motivation and all those good qualities.</p>

<p>However, given the situation of your education (very small school in a small town), i'm sure that you will have an opportunity (or your guidance counsellor will) to explain your situation and why it was impossible for you to take more language than you did.</p>

<p>You seem to have a good chance at your schools, as it seems that you have made the most of your resources.</p>

<p>Your situation is certainly unique. I would say Grinnell is a high match/safety -- a girl with lesser stats got in, and you shouldn't be worried. Harvard and Princeton are toss-ups, BUT...your location may help you out greatly. WUSTL and Rice look like high matches, and Columbia and Chicago will care about the essays you write, from what I've heard. Best of luck. T</p>

<p>Splendiforous-I know that would help, but, unfortunately, the only Spanish we have is already a distance-learning class! :(</p>

<p>Thanks for the chances!</p>

<p>You've heard this before, but schools will not penalize you for what your school doesn't offer.</p>

<p>Yup! Even though I do wish we offered more classes just for the language experience.</p>

<p>Bump! -10char-</p>