Chance/match for international relations


  • US domestic/citizen
  • State/demographics: NJ, suburban ~150k/yr-ish
  • Type of high school: nearest public HS, 2k students, avg 1150 sat
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: (east) asian female
  • Other special factors: n/a, adhd if that’s an extenuating factor anywhere

Intended Major(s): international relations

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA: 7.0 (90-100 Honors or AP = 7, 80-90 = 6, etc.)
  • Class Rank: school doesn’t tell until application season, begging counselor for it anyway
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1510 SAT (770 eng / 740 math) - working on this

14 APs, 12 honors, 5 DEs. ap multivar calc senior year (highest possible), AP spanish 5 (also highest)

taking in junior year AP tests for eng/lang, calc bc, phys 1, us hist, micro, macro, usgov in school. self-studying AP spanish, chinese, japanese, comparative govt&pol, human geo

picked stupid electives 9th (no aps possible but still) and 10th grade (could’ve done ap world/euro). 11th and 12th grade taking college courses online (polisci/hist/foreign lang), probably ~60-80 credits by HS graduation

2nd place twice in behavioral science category, regional science fair (1st place could’ve gone to isef, oof). deca icdc finalist 10th grade, probably something for ap tests.

write short papers/analysis on international politics/history, also simplify/explain other articles on website–professor looking into getting one of them published somewhere

teaching self japanese (spent ~120 hrs last summer teaching primary schoolers to spell (virtual)–can I count this as separate paid work?) and chinese since HS started. hoping to get proficiency certifications before application

cultural exchange ‘club’ (?): last year helped 6 friends apply for a scholarship to study abroad (all rejected, but I got an interview at least). this year helping ~15 kids apply so far, looking at other virtual/online cultural exchange programs we can direct people to. not a school-sanctioned thing but we meet after school/online—should I try to turn this into an actual approved club?

model un: vice president, help get novices acclimated, run simulations/conference prep, proofread position papers, lend spare formal attire, tech, etc. some best position paper/delegate awards, regional/state competitions mostly. get to be team captain if president can’t make it—only happened once, though.

debate: officer, pretty much same as above since my school’s model un and debate have like a 70% overlap and serve as pipelines into each other

-----the “is it even worth adding these?” ECs-----
piano: since age 4, won/placed in a few local contests (nothing special), barely have time to play and just transcribe/reproduce anime music at this point

martial arts: since 8, brоwn belt, barely any time to practice

varsity track: literally run in straight lines and sometimes circles.

“discipline committee”: listen to gossip about cheating, get an advisory/fake vote on guilt/punishment

In junior year so I can’t guess too accurately, but probably just mediocre/decent. Good writer (supposedly) but not good at personal essays.

Expecting good LoRs from apush teacher/mun advisor, ap econ teacher. Hoping for additional better ones from japanese prof (great relationship), history prof (dont know too well, but do well in and am engaged in his class) and polisci prof (trying to get my thing published, so hopefully he can write something really good). I’ve literally not seen my counselor in person ever, doubt she can write anything stellar having 200 other kids beside me.

No idea if I can even submit all these, hoping to be able to select/match the best ones.

Cost Constraints / Budget
Family pays for everything if I get in “somewhere good,” encouraged to “just apply” without considering cost.

Intrel/polisci major, so main goal georgetown w/ gwu and american just in there too. SAT is kinda low and feel ECs are weak in comparison—is it worth shooting for t10s? Do I have a reasonable chance at t20s/30s? Any good matches/safeties I don’t know about?

Based on your interests, you may want to consider some of these suggestions:

Your 1510 SAT is low ? Boy the 98% who scored lower than you must feel like garbage.

You will get in all three but can your parents afford all three ? Gtown has only need aid. Did you run the NOC to see if you can afford it ? American- you need to demonstrate interest a lot to get their best merit…I think about $25k

The three schools are very different. If you want be near DC you could add UMD.

With your stats you’d get awesome deals at Florida State, Bama and U AZ. Also U of SC with Honors. Pretty much any LAC and if you apply to second tier like Dickinson you’d get merit. Macalester is wonderful as well.

Btw yea to track on your app. Under interests or in essays you can your interests…piano etc. also discipline committee. Both show team orientation Abd frankly your ECs are your weak point and show an I vs We.

Good luck to you.

Pretty sure you are mis-directing your time and energy by self-studying for 5 APs, especially if you think that it is going to help with admissions (b/c it won’t). Junior year coursework steps up, and in theory so do your ECs. You have a perfect GPA, a strong SAT, you can work on your essays all next summer, and you already have too many LoRs- so ECs do look like the weakest part of your app. IMO, taking a good hard look at your ECs, and focusing (yes, I noticed the ADHD- not a hook btw!) on one or two, to take them to the next level, would be a better use of that energy.

Looking at your ECs:

= The first is basically ‘I write stuff, and do Reader’s Digest versions of other people’s stuff and somebody else might help me get something published’.
= The next is confusing- you are teaching yourself Japanese & Chinese (one of which might be a heritage language?) and you are also paid? to teach little kids how to spell in Japanese? Also, there is a disconnect between having an LOR from a Japanese prof while leading with ‘teaching myself Japanese’.
= The third is helping friends do applications to something you were also applying to. Hard to see that as an EC. Wait till college app season…
= The last 2 are straight forward school clubs at what looks like a moderate level of involvement. Perfectly credible, but not something that is going to make a big impression. Again- that is based on how you describe you involvement- there may be more to it / you may be underselling yourself.

Just to clarify, the OP’s SAT score is 1150, not 1510.


I think the average SAT at her school is 1150, that’s not her score.

Oh u r right. Just re read. I answered correctly the first time. Congrats to the OP. My original response stays :slight_smile:

Back to gtown it has its own app. So make sure it’s 100% definite you can and want to afford because it’s a lot of work.

UMichican is terrific for all of your interests. OOS full-pay is less than Gtown full pay. William and Mary is another top-notch school. Both of these should meet your parents criterion of “somewhere good!”

Do you have particular study-abroad aspirations? (For example, if you want to study in Japan, Temple University might appeal, as they have their own campus in Tokyo.)

If you’d consider the west coast, the Claremont Colleges are terrific for IR and Asian languages. They’d all be reaches, though; Scripps could be a high-match but decisions are unpredictable.

Safeties: Dickinson and Brandeis are both very internationally oriented and good for undergrad IR. U of Delaware has some interesting IR programs (Look into the World Scholars program) and is close to DC and has a great campus environment and some nice merit awards for high-stat students. As previously mentioned, Temple: you can do a whole degree at Temple Japan, fwiw, or study abroad there as a main campus student.
Matches: URochester, Boston U
Reaches: Tufts, BC, Tulane, UMich, W&M