Chance Me: College willing to consider low scores?

Please keep in mind that I am an international student from India (highly competitive applicant pool) that has taken a gap year.

[] SAT I (breakdown): 2060
] SAT II: 730,730,730 (Math II C, Physics, Chemistry) (tests taken the same day)
[] Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 4.0
] Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): top 1%
[] Predicted A-Level Grades: Three As, Three As
[li] Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): [/li]Award from ex-president of India for Invention
National Innovation Foundation Award for Invention
ISEF Semifinalist Awards
Selected as ISEF 2015 Finalist (scheduled for May 2015)
Top 10 out of over 1000 Students in Inter-District Art Competition
Gold Medal - 1st out of 250 Students in Institute Art Exam
1st Prize in Local Club Tennis Tournaments
Have a provisional patent

[li] Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis):[/li]School Art Club ( Founder and President);
7 Years from Private Art Institute with distinctions and awards and participation in exhibitions;
Student Government ( Vice President);
Student Government (House Captain);
Varsity Tennis (Vice Captain);
Local Club Tennis (Captain);
Debate Club (Moderator);
Varsity Cricket (Captain);
School STEM Club (Founder and President);

[li] Special Projects and Activities during school years:[/li]Student Exchange Program where we worked on sustainable development;
Conducted and organised city’s first Inter School Coding Competition (Hackathon);
Built a social network for artists that was crowdfunded;
Project on car chassis that can be easily be recovered after collision;
Cleared Zonal Computing Olympiad;
Representing state in Indian National Olympiad in Informatics;

[li] Special Projects and Activities during Gap Year:[/li]Research on graphene supercapacitors that can charge a cell phone in 12s (successfully achieved). Novelty of the research lies in materials science ( the subject I have applied to most of the colleges for). Patent expenses payed by National Innovation Foundation. Getting funding for further development of invention from Boston Based venture fund.
Set up Self Organised Learning Environments in and around city (based on Suagata Mitras Ted Talk) basically uses computers and internet to help promote creativity and encourage curiosity in children. Catering to about 1000 children in total from 5 schools;
Interned in a farm and carried out successful affordable vertical multilevel farming research;
Also carried out hydroponics based vertical farming research - can increase crop yield by 40 times;

[li] Essays: Pretty decent.[/li]
[/list][ b]Other**
[] Country: India
] School Type: Private
[] Ethnicity: -
] Gender: Male
[]Income Bracket: Applied without aid
] Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): None

[] Strengths: Researchwork, Awards, ECs
] Weaknesses: Testing Scores

Colleges Applied to : 8 Ivies; Duke, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, Harvey Mudd, Rice, Northwestern, Washington Uni in St.Louis, Michigan, GeorgiaTech,

Your test scores are too low for all of these schools you have listed. Even more so as an international applicant.

You need to aim lower.

Your EC’s and projects during school and gap year are impressive but the 2060 is too low.

@TheDidactic‌ and @mnm111 thankyou so much for chancing me. If it helps (cr 640, m 720, w 700).

I too think my SAT is too low but I had to make a choice - to follow my research projects or spend time preparing for SAT(which i know is important). I do sometimes regret not taking out maybe even a month to pull my scores to high 2100s or low 2200s atleast and maybe then colleges like Duke and Brown would have been a match or low reach for me(specially without aid), but then i probably wouldn’t have been able to do a few of the thing I was really passionate about.

Anyhow, my main question is that given I am an international applicant, do you think its fair for me to be naive enough to think that maybe just ONE of those several reaches i have listed would be willing to forgo a Test Score simply for the fact that I have shown true passion, hard work and achievements in the fields I have applied?

If I am being naive, then let me know. :stuck_out_tongue:

And as a separate question, can I consider georgiatech as a match?

You’re not being naive, but colleges do expect international applicants to be more competitive than the average student. By now, colleges realize that not everyone has the scores to carry the weight of their application, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to see a GOOD one. So no, it’s not naive to hope that one of the reaches may forgo your lower test score because they see your hard work/passions etc.

For this reason, they may look at your recommendations, essay, course rigor etc. to base their decision too. As a side note, your English is excellent so I’m sure you had a decent TOEFL score too. :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s GA Tech’s Class Profile for last year’s entering class.
You’re a high match/low reach. It’s a shame you couldn’t get the CR up enough since that was what was holding you down.

Why all the talk about “fair” and “naive”? Your scores will hold you back. You made the conscious decision to not prepare for your SAT or ACT to the best of your abilities. Probably a mistake.

Nobody can tell you if these schools will look past your scores which are all on the low end of the range (including your subject tests).

You really should consider broadening your search. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were rejected from all the schools you have listed. Have you considered any schools in India?

ECs never make up for scores, they are simply too low.

@TheDidactic Yeah, I do understand what you’re saying. And I didn’t have to sit for the TOEFLs as I was in an international school here and followed the A-Levels (British curriculum). And thanks again. Good luck for your college decisions!

@mnm111 I do agree with you. In fact it was the thought that its very possible for me to get rejected by all of these colleges that made me make this post. I have actually applied to Colgate, Bucknell, Tufts, Grinnell, Trinity too … but unfortunately with aid which again puts me in a competitive international pool. I have applied to univerisites in Singapore and UK and should easily manage getting into most of them as my grades are fine. However, like Indian colleges, the colleges in UK and Singapore barely have any undergraduate research opportunities - something I am not excited by. If possible, do recommend me any good colleges in the states that I may still be able to apply to. And again, Thanks a lot!

@qpqpqp Yeah, I sorta guessed. But was really specifically talking about my graphene supercapacitor research. Its basically an energy storage device that can charge a cell phone in 12 seconds (As opposed to 4-5 hours it takes to charge a cell phone using normal batteries). It is also biodegradable, solid state, non flammable and can last 3000 years as opposed to 3 years of the conventional lithium-ion batteries. Many institutes have been trying to make this and the few that have been successful (UCLA and Rice) use manufacturing techniques that are too expensive and not scalable. However my process is easy to scale and infact cheaper than lithium-ion batteries. Its basically a pretty big and novel research. Hence the point of my post was to see not really if ECs can make up for scores, but if one really big project - which is pretty revolutionary in its field - can make a difference.

While your scores are a bit low for the Ivies, there are many prestigious schools in the United States that would be overjoyed to have you and many have deadlines/rolling admissions that are still open.

Colgate, Bucknell, Tufts, Grinnell, Trinity

Trinity seems like the only safety school where you applied. Please look for any rolling admission schools

Why Grinnell? It is a writing/English type school and tiny.

I am not sure if you make the first pass on any of your schools - first list and second list