chance at Georgetown SFS?

SAT I (breakdown): 1480, 700 Verbal, 780 Math
SAT II: 740 bio E, 630 math II, 730 french, 790 spanish
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.98 I’d say
Weighted GPA: 4.98/5 ish
Rank: N/A top 10% I’d guess
AP: Spanish lang (5), BC calc (5), Physics mechanics (5)
Senior Year Course Load: AP french, AP econ, AP gov, linear algebra honors, reading/writing non-fiction honors, AP bio
Major Awards: NHS, good citizenship award

Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): double bassist, jv/varsity track
Job/Work Experience: work at library
Volunteer/Community service: mentor/“intern” with middle school orchestra in same organization as my orchestra
Summer Activities: work; 4-week “study abroad” in Spain

Intended Major: STIA
State (if domestic applicant):PA
School Type: Medium-sized public high school (1400 students)
Ethnicity: White
Gender: female
Income Bracket: $100,000+
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): Jewish; I speak 3 languages (English, French, Spanish) and have dual-citizenship with France

You have languages, math & econ, which SFS likes. STIA looks like a good fit with your course background. You manage track & orchestra, so you must be pretty good at time management :slight_smile: Your stats are strong. All together, I’d say ‘why not?’ (which is the most I would ever say for somebody applying to a selective program).

Somebody else might say, ‘where are your ECs that show an international affairs interest’, but I’m assuming that you are well able to talk about why SFS STIA fits in your life plan. They will have lots of applicants who have done the usual IR ECs (Model UN, JSA, interning with public officials, etc). Those ECs are great, and if you are an American HS student interested in international affairs / politics / etc, they are some of the best venues available- but there are many thousands of applicants who have them. The STIA course is (imo) one of the most innovative corners of the SFS, and whichever part of it has caught your attention can be knit into a great ‘why’ essay w/out those specific ECs.

One thing: Georgetown EA does not come with a bump (and they are explicit about that). Go ahead and apply EA, but don’t be even slightly discouraged if you get deferred- the EA acceptance rate is notably lower than the RD rate.

@collegemom3717 thanks. that’s very helpful. I can see that my IR ECs are lacking, so I’ll try to make up for that with a strong SFS essay. I was drawn to SFS because of the STIA major, and how it combines STEM, language and math/econ. any other advice for application/essay?

@collegemom3717 you referenced an essay in which I could highlight my interest for SFS/STIA - which essay would that be? I see a short essay on a meaningful EC, the essay similar to that of the common app, and the SFS specific one relating to a global problem

there are lots of different ways to view this, but I suggest thinking of all your essays as part of a mosaic: different, but collectively they each add to an overall picture that makes sense.

So, how does your meaningful EC link to why you are a natural fit with STIA? Natural does not have to = obvious, either: what are the subtler pieces about what you love about your favorite EC that are consistent with the type of student they are trying to attract, and the purpose and goals of the program. Random example- one of the primary schools our lot went to did a Parent Handbook, with teacher bios- some astonishing % of them noted that they loved to garden. if you think about it, teaching young children is a lot like gardening. Those are pieces that you can draw out.

When writing about the global problem essay the problem you chose to write about can be considered as an indicator of why you would choose this specific program- and gives you a chance to show that you have been thinking about this (which is a ‘why’ in itself) and that your thinking is more than superficial (a different ‘why’).

Push yourself to do some 2nd & 3rd order thinking- more than just ‘I like IR type things so I do IR ECs’. You said you were drawn to STIA b/c “it combines STEM, language and math/econ”. Besides being 3 things you are good at, why does combing those things look interesting to you? and why in the context of SFS? The good essays take some real thought (and usually a bunch of drafts) but I would have confidence that you are well able for it.

Super helpful thanks @collegemom3717 . How explicit should I be connecting my EC with characteristics of STIA/SFS?

Your study abroad and your proficiency in languages is great! Georgetown loves that stuff. Also, your academic courseload is good too.
However, your test scores are slightly low specifically the verbal portion of the SAT and your math SAT subject test. Considering how generous the curve is on the math SAT subject test (top 20% get 800), a 630 is slightly low for that test. ( from this link, a 620 is the 23rd percentile
Although your high AP calc and physics score might make up for it.

Here is a helpful link for a ‘chance me’:

@Savage101 I am aware that my SAT is on the low side, but I decided it wasn’t worth the hours to bring it up a few points. I wish I didn’t have to submit the Math II score. In the moment I didn’t think to cancel the score (this was during sophomore year) but I think I skipped a question but continued bubbling (therefore got the last slew all wrong). Not smart on my end. The only way to remedy it I believe is to retake, but it seems redundant considering I have 3 700+ SAT IIs and a 5 on bc calc and mechanics.

Georgetown requires you to submit all your scores. A 5 on BC more than trumps a low Math II from Grade 10. Georgetown is not a strongly test-driven admissions office (though scores are ‘very important’). Your scores are well inside the middle 50% of admitted students and imo are not likely to be the reason for a rejection.

As for how directly you connect the dots, that’s really hard to answer from here. At some point there should be language that clearly links you (not necessarily ECs) to the program- that is the point of the game after all.

My default is ‘start with what’s true’. Taking scraps from your posts, I can imagine a true story along the lines of 1) as a kid, seem to be good at science & music, follow both; 2) comes time to think about what that means for college/adult life, so look at upper tier colleges that will allow exploration in something sciencey/engineering; 3) as you try to identify your own +/- from college application pov identify languages and international perspective as strengths/interests that you have always taken for granted; 4) as you research college programs you discover STIA- et voilá, it all comes together: a program that actually values the math/science and international and the language parts of you. It makes sense to you, you already know which of the strands speaks to you,* it fits. Does it matter that you haven’t been doing explicitly international-type ECs such as Model UN? no- that’s not what the STIA program focus is.

So, marinate in their language- read everything you can find, keeping an eye out for words/phrases/concepts that recur. Look at the faculty profiles for the people involved in the strand that you are most interested in. Look for where that language aligns with what is true to you. You’ll work your way through it!

*I have a guess on that / know which one I would choose :slight_smile:

wow thank you so much @collegemom3717 . I was thinking I was going to discuss languages in my common app essay/general georgetown essay, highlighting how different languages make up a different part of my identity (French=citizenship, grew up speaking it; Spanish=started in elementary school, it was easy so I skipped 4H, chose to continue in highschool and beyond; Portuguese=decided I was interested in learning it around 10th grade and found a way to take it online next year (since I finished the Spanish sequence)). I started but I’ve been having a hard time actually writing it. I guess it’s that I don’t know what I’m trying to put forward/what impression I’m trying to make with the topic I chose.

Also, any advice for the SFS specific essay? I was considering crime in Latin America, and foreign aid as solution. Maybe comparing Colombia or a country where the US traditionally has given large amounts of aid and how well its worked, and apply that to a different country.

Going into the effects of outside aid on crime in another country is going pretty far into the policy weeds if it isn’t something you have focused on before! (& the aid history for Columbia is heavily influenced by drugs and FARC).Look at the module you are likely to apply to, and see if there is something that makes sense with that. If that isn’t a story that you have followed over time/is linked to where you are headed, start with something that you have already followed just out of interest.

Trying to write these essays can feel as if you are spinning your wheels- until it clicks. With your language essay, is the problem that you don’t know where it’s going? so, it’s been part of your identity: ‘I’m French so I speak French! So I took Spanish in School & it was easy! I finished Spanish so I picked up Portuguese!’ leads inevitably to ‘so…what?’ what does it mean that you have this identity, this skill, these languages now? Don’t be afraid to start or outline multiple essays. It really is not wasted time- each time you sharpen your thinking, clarify your focus. It will come right :slight_smile:

For fun, somewhere in the middle of this article is a successful SFS (not STIA) essay:

Read it at least twice. It looks like a ‘kid overcomes difficult background’ essay, but see how many elements she packed in about herself: a person who pays attention to detail (car negotiations), who can politely but firmly navigate tricky interactions (parents & shop keepers, car dealers, etc), has morphed a coping skill into a long-term goal (public service), and at least 3 more elements.

It’s true, I don’t know what point I’m trying to make with the languages. My story doesn’t match the girl’s in the article’s; while my dad fled Romania when he was young because of religious persecution, that’s not my story. My parents have always been able to provide me with opportunities (economically). I’m not sure how to shape my essay into something meaningful about myself. I asked my AP spanish teacher for a rec letter, and I’m sure she will talk about how I’m “gifted” at languages, but that’s not what I should be writing about myself. I guess my - somewhat rhetorical - question is what should I be writing about myself? @collegemom3717

About the SFS specific essay - I chose to write my research paper last year on how foreign aid to North Korea benefits the US and became interested in US foreign aid. It’s true that I have no special knowledge on Colombia/it’s history with US foreign aid, and I guess it could be said that it’s therefore clearly not a topic that’s close to me. I would most likely chose Latin America as my area of study (in terms of the core history courses) so decided that looking into Colombia and another Latin American country not only tied in Spanish/Portuguese but would make sense??

Not being snarky here. It’s 14 percent less athletes, legacy , faculty and staff, international, diversity/inclusion candidates or as a significant donor potential cases. Georgetown has a small endowment relative to its peers. That would be a guesstimate of 8 percent. Divided by gender is 4 percent. That’s the math. 4 out of 100 applicants. You are a great student and the core applicant at Georgetown is great. So your not an academic outlier that would be a slam dunk. Your language skills are important. Focus on great schools across a spectrum and don’t put your heart into one and only one.