Chance an unusual Asian Male

Any info is appreciated!

Rising senior from Irvine, Cal
Asian male with upper-mid class family income (rip)
School: very open with the type of school, preferably out of state however
Intended major: Political Science, Law, Business, English, Philosophy

Garbage GPA 4.02 weighted, 3.74 unweighted (4.23 weighted 10-12)
SAT: 1570 (770 writing 800 math) in summer of freshman year
SAT subject tests: 800 in math 2, expecting a high 700 in USH, mid 700 with Literature
APs: 5s in APUSH, Calc AB, APHUG and 4s in Physics 1, Literature, and Physics C (i took physics c and literature outside of the school)

Senior Year course list

  • AP Compsci
  • AP Lang
  • AP Stats
  • AP Physics C
  • AP Macro
  • Honors Gov (don’t offer AP)
  • Band
  • no language


  • Professional ghostwriting for novels - ghostwriting action/adventure novels for online clients, have made over 5000 dollars
  • Started my own local streetwear business and made over 500 dollars, registered name in California business name database
  • 7-8 years of clarinet
    • 3 years in an honors chamber music group earning over 2000 dollars in scholarships together and earning the opportunity to tour internationally
    • consistently first chair in all of middle school to high school
  • Police Explorers - over 300 hours of volunteering in police uniform in public events like marathons, parades, etc.
  • Recording and selling CDs of my clarinet playing for Smile Train for 80 volunteer hours
  • Summer internship from sophomore-junior at a medium-sized streetwear business, doing inventory, tech support, etc.
  • Summer internship from junior-senior at a venture capital fund, doing research and surveys
  • California Boys State this summer, ran for and won Senator
  • Produced electronic music and numerous songs under an alias, acquired over 100 million views on youtube, started in 7th grade and ended in 9th grade
  • Co-founded the Cash For Good club, which takes microloans from students and uses the money to fund small businesses in countries like India and Pakistan.

2nd place award in 9th grade for regional clarinet solo competition
1st place award in 10th grade for regional clarinet solo competition
Published a research paper on the environmental effects of fast fashion and its solutions to a journal
Gold presidential service award in 2018, completed over 100 hours of volunteer work outside of Police Explorers
First Place in the International Summa Cum Laude Music Festival with Clarinet in Vienna, Austria

I’ve already been working on my essays, I’m interested in sticking out with a possible streetwear culture angle to my essays. Also considering driving home my practicality, etc.

Recs: two decent recs

UCs, UMich, Tufts, Emory, Georgetown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Northwestern

if you can reverse chance me thatll also be highly appreciated, thanks guys

Everything hinges on your essay and how you present yourself and your recommendations, I think. Duke/Georgetown ( ED Duke and EA Georgetown) ; English, Political Science, Philosophy = maybe. UC’s definitely, maybe for Berkeley. Emory = most likely, Univ of Mich EA = possible any major you listed but business, is very hard to get in so toss up for this major. Tufts = maybe. Northwestern and Vandy = maybe not. I don’t know much about admissions at John Hopkins. Really work on your essays. For Duke, highlight your co-founded club, street wear business, ghost writing. Focus on one volunteer activity that was meaningful to you and why. These Universities are not looking for a laundry list of volunteer work if it it isn’t meaningful or relevant to your passion. For example, producing music CD’s and selling them for your Smile Train for volunteer hours. You can capitalize on your unusualness but please don’t mention that fact in your essay, if you highlight your interests I am sure that difference will set you apart. Good Luck!!!

Thanks for the feedback! I’ve already gotten a personal statement draft done about how I’m a “doer” and I like to get hands-on with real-world experiences (police work, professional job, starting a business, etc.). Hopefully those are good enough for my dream schools!

OP, I am confused by your title. Why do you say you are an unusual Asian male?

It’s not really self-indulgent, it’s just an observation ive made when I’ve looked at other high schoolers similar to me, where they have identical or similar ECs, GPA, and career paths. Of course everyone is different, but my title was just a hook so people would read my stats and help me chance myself. thanks for helping clear the confusion

congrats on you’re achievements they’re stellar! i think if you apply for a business major rather than poly sci you’re more likely to get in to the schools that you’re looking at. Also, you should consider applying to ut austins mc combs honors bc u could get in as an oos applicant. good luck!

@reeeweee, no disrespect but you are a rising HS Senior. What special knowledge do you have that qualifies your advice to the OP?

lol my mom was a former admission officer at a T20 school (not going to name for anonymity) & counselor and it was just a suggestion bc a lot of the OP ec’s show a more business spike.

Convince us you really want poli sci Put another way, how will this convince top adcoms? No experience in that or advocacy?

The business experience is barely there and making money is no tip to a top college. Eyes glaze over. Other than music and Boys State, what do you do with hs peers. Do you understand what your target colleges look for?

Btw, OP doesn’tt have real spike and that’s a good thing. But he needs to figure how to make sense of this jumble, what matters most. This isn’t a coherent list. It’s possible he really wants STEM. Or finance. Sorry, OP, but you need to qualify for us.

I do agree your title caught my eye to look at your post. You are clearly very strong in math and science but your intended majors (not including your business), ghost writer (you can write and communicate) and of course you are very strong in business. I agree that applying for business seems to be a no brainer given some of your skills, however, it would be a field that as an Asian male, you may find more competition. I’ve put 3 kids through college and now my youngest is looking at many of the schools on your list. I’ve been to their information sessions and private admissions meetings times 4 now. Also, I’ve been fortunate to have all 4 of my kids attend a high school with a very good college counseling department and a high school that has parents/students participate in case studies of actual applicants (minus their personal identifiers) who applied to these highly selective schools. Working through these case studies with the actual admissions reader gave a greater understanding of what goes into selecting an applicant. You have mostly Liberal Arts Schools on your list, if they have an applicant who will use both the arts and science of a school (interdisciplinary), that is of interest to them. Yes, you are great in business even a bit of an entrepreneur but it doesn’t mean you need to major in it, just another interesting fact about you. If you also have an interest in political science, public policy or how about global policy and philosophy it will not hurt for you to lean in with less competition in a major you also love. Although they say business and politics do not mix, this day and age its far more common than not. As a CEO of a company, knowing the values of their company and leading with that is becoming popular than being silent. Leaning in on politics, expand about your California Boys State.

@lookingforward hey, thanks for the reply. I do agree that a lot of polisci-major application consideration leans heavily on my acceptance and performance in Boys State. However, I’m open to applying with something like English and Business, where I have significantly more experience. I gained experience with the commercial world of music producing electronic music, and about brick-and-mortar business with my two internships.
Would this change any of your considerations in your opinion?

In addition, you seem to be the only person in a wide range of people I’ve asked that says my ghostwriting and business experience is not very unique to admission officers (no hard feelings btw). Can you possibly explain why you think this way? I’m always open to hearing different perspectives. Again, thanks for the feedback.
I’ll also like to add that I really, really detest STEM. It’s one of the reasons my GPA is so low, and I would not even think of doing a STEM major or job ever. has some information about 2018 UC admit rates by GPA, but you need to recalculate your GPA by the UC method (use the weighted-capped version to compare to that table) – links to calculator and information on GPA recalculation in that post.

Out of curiousity, are you re-taking AP Physics C to get a 5?
And, why stats instead of Calc BC? schools are different, but in the schools our lot went to, that would not be considered a very demanding senior course load.

^The OP has stated that he has NO interest in STEM. No reason for either of those things.

@collegemom3717 i’ve heard from many, many people that taking AB then going into BC 12th grade is not a good look.
And no, I’m not retaking Physics C. I’m satisfied with my score because I didn’t take the class for it.

…maybe a typo then? b/c Physics C is on your course list for senior year

As other posters have noted ‘the plural of anecdote is not data’. For schools that look at rigor, Calc BC (the natural follow on to AB in many schools) > Stats… And taking out physics from your senior courseload reduces the rigor.

But as a non STEM kid, maybe he needs to focus on making sense of the ECs. Best way to stand out for poli sci is to get experience volunteering on a campaign or in a rep office. So many kids do not do this.

OP, it’s not about a count of xx big things, with titles or awards. You have a lot of music, which you’ll likely need to condense for the activities section. 80 hours recording music isn’t the sort of community service top colleges want- they like real community engagement, hands on, outside of your usual comfort zone. Starting a biz is not, in itself a tip (and it sounds like a solo experience.) Despite not wanting stem, you have AP comp sci planned, physics C. Etc. And as said, your stem scores are stronger than the others.

I think adcoms may be confused what you really want. Breadth is great. But this feels like a jumble. I think you can stop, rethink it all, and improve it. You want to learn what the different colleges value and decide how you can show that.

If I were the OP, I might consider WashU and take Vandy, NW, Hopkins, and Duke off the list.

Also there is nothing wrong with not taking Calculus BC after AB. The OP’s course schedule is rigorous enough and the AP scores are all 4s and 5s.

The concern might be no mention of a foreign language in the course schedule, as most Top 20 schools like to see an FL taken to at least Level 4.

@collegemom3717 I meant that I won’t be taking the AP test, but I will be taking the COURSE. And in AB and BC are pretty similar in their content, so colleges might think I’m taking the easy route for taking those two back to back.

@Hamurtle I’ve taken Spanish from 1 to 3, and I’m not sure if I should add a Spanish 4 to my 12th grade course list. I’m also fluent in Korean, if that changes anything regarding languages. Thanks for the feedback!
Do you have any particular reason you would take those particular colleges off my list? Do they have certain patterns regarding admissions? I appreciate the answers.