Chance an unusual Asian Male

@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.

@lookingforward Thanks again. I’ll just expand on my involvement in Smile Train: I’m recording music and selling it, but along with that I’m also busking, and having a live concert for the community.
In addition, would colleges consider the intensive volunteering of Police Explorers (where I am always interacting with the public, directing traffic, giving directions, etc.) an instance of community service?

No, I didn’t mean more Smile Train, it’s mostly about fundraising, no? At a distance. I meant something where you directly do something with the needs and needy around you or some local advocacy group, run by adults, for local needy. Busking is great, but not community service. It’s still more music and something most people do solo. Same with a concert, more music, not hands on.

Similarly, Explorers is volunteer work, sure, but again, not what colleges consider comm service, per se. You’d want to do more than, say, direct traffic. Is there an Explorer way to go work with needy teens or families? If not, you’ll need to find this. Easiest way is to get involved with a meal site, now and through December, at least.

WashU is unpredictable re: admissions, for several reasons.

Try to learn what these colleges look for and expect.

@lookingforward I appreciate your feedback, thank you.

Seriously, you took AP Physics C outside of school, sat the exam, and scored a 4, and are now taking the class for HS credit?

Depends on if your high school normally has BC as a following course to AB, or if BC can be taken immediately after precalculus. If the latter, then it can look like grade-grubbing through repeating most of the course.

Yes, that looks weird. Seems like taking Spanish 4 instead would be more helpful, especially given some of your possible intended majors.

You have an excellent profile. You also have a mother who can showcase your app so it looks good to AOs.

Make sure you have a school that you know will take you, preferably early. I don’t see a single early option to get that sure thing done. UCs don’t have any early notifications and they are heavily GOA driven. Your GC and mother can tell you more about your chances st them. If Merced or Riverside are your Safeties, fine. I still believe the crux of college search is finding that non selective school that will take you early that meets all of your academic wants. Anyone can just take top college names off the top school lists. Your college. list shows no work or creativity. Just name brands. It would be great to see some results of brain storming with your mother and adding some great lesser known schools to the list.

@uelliot Duke, Vandy, and NW all have ~10% acceptance rates and are reaches. WashU might be a reach, but a more reasonable one plus they have good programs in your potential fields of study.

I would consider Spanish 4 in your course schedule.

The ghostwriting caught my attention. And it will certainly catch the attention of the adcom people, if dished up correctly.

Your main task will be to distinguish yourself from the hoardes of other high scoring Asians from California.

I wish you the best of luck.

It’s not OP who said his mom was involved. And of course, we have no idea if that other poster’s mom did it 20 years ago, directly after college, or more recently, so the experience might apply today.

I agree this thead is getting more confusing, as posters add. If you took physics C, why retake? You’re supposed to report outside classes and adcoms will see it’s a repeat.

And, “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.” That’s another bit of confused thinking, sorry. Retaking physics C is the issue. It’s the same course, not any progession.

The ghost writing is interesting, but not something adcoms look for. We know noting about how OP got involved, if it’s a connection/favor, true responsibility for a body of work or just “help.” Inlude it, if you wish. On this thread, we don’t need that explanation, but it’s not a tip.

Imo, OP has some thinking to do and the best person to help may be the GC. And his own look-see at how colleges describe what they look for.

Whoops, sorry. Thought OP’s mom was in Admissions.

I think OP looks good but those schools he wants are lottery tickets. He should get some more likely admissions and sure shots on his list.

@cptofthehouse I agree with you 100% on your comment on the list of colleges I showed you. Those colleges are reaches/low reaches for me. I just wanted to see a probability. In your opinion, what should be my targets/safeties?

You need a Fiske Guide to Colleges. You need to do the digging. Anyone can throw out names, but the aplicant needs to know what those schole look for and then do some self-assessing.

You might want to consider adding Rice to your list. Sounds like you would enjoy getting involved with the Baker Institute, Rice’s on-campus public policy think tank (and one of the top-ranked university based think tanks in the world).

A surprising number of Irvine students have ended up at Rice, including my OCSA-grad daughter. Her academic interests were similar to yours, and she had a great experience at Rice.