Chance Me - I Adore Columbia

Hi everyone, I’m a California junior.

When I was 11, I emigrated from Russia to the US with no previous knowledge of the English language. I began school here half-way through 6th grade and now am almost done with my junior year. I am almost quatrilingual - Russian, English, Latin, Armenian (currently learning). This summer - internship at the Ministry of Economy of Armenia and will hopefully get a good letter of rec from one of the head officials. I will major in biology (pre-med), and work for the World Health Organization.

GPA: W – 4.59/ UW – 4.0
SAT: 2000 - goal score of 2200
SAT Subject: Bio and Chem in June
AP: Latin, Language, US History, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology (self-studying for AP exam, took non-honors psychology because school didn’t offer AP), (will take next year: Gov, Econ, Calculus, Literature)
** took Latin in 7th and 8th grade in jr high, took 5/6 my freshman year, AP during sophomore year
DUAL ENROLLMENT: World History, Health Education, Latin, Pre-Calc, Biology, Medical Terminology
*** at my school, students are required to take an Honors science class before taking an AP for the same science (we have the semester system)

Part of the Health Academy since getting accepted during sophomore year (program that exclusively allows students to take medical-field related classes like medical terminology); as a senior next year I will complete an internship at a local clinic or hospital
President of Health Occupations Students of America (treasurer last year) – organized 2 community-wide blood drives at school with over 100 pints of blood donated total
President of Model United Nations (secretary last year)
National Honor Society (since 10th) and California Scholarship Foundation (since 9th) member
Associated Student Body officer (11th), Senior Class President (12th)
343 hours of community service so far – nearly 200 hrs completed at the local hospital
News Editor of campus newspaper (10th,11th) – editor in chief (12th)
Part of the program at school that helps freshmen transition into high school environment – only 110 people get in out of 450 in my grade (11th)

Intended major: Biology and International Relations (double major or minor in latter)

I will apply to Columbia ED because it has been my #1 since a year ago and nothing has changed…

My hooks are: solid trilingual, have only lived in America for 5 years, summer internship at the Ministry of Economy, early interest in the medical field (Health Academy, HOSA, internship, volunteer work at hospital, etc.), strong leader in school community

I realize that Columbia admissions are extremely unpredictable, but any advice or suggestions from you would be greatly appreciated!!!

Nice application! I would try to bump your sat score to at least a2200 like you said

agree - you seem like the interesting type of student that competitive colleges are looking for. Though your test score is a little low, some of this may be attributable to a late start in the English language - what is the breakdown?

If you don’t get in to Columbia, you will undoubtedly still have some great choices

@3puppies the breakdown is: 720M 620CR (640 superscore) 660W 9Essay

The reason why my math is higher than the other sections is because I practiced a lot four weeks before I took the test. This summer, besides the internship, I am dedicating my time to studying for the SAT’s and college app essays.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

You sound like a student I know at Columbia, actually! You might need higher SAT scores but Columbia loves students who have not lived in the US their entire lives. Write good essays on the application, that’s my biggest recommendation.


i have to say you write great english for someone who only learned it a few years ago. i would have assumed it was your first language if you hadnt said it wasn’t! I think if you write some awesome essays and get your score up you will have a solid application. Not guaranteeing you’ll get in but enough to be a strong contender. I’m in the same boat as you are- I have a 2030 super score and want to get it up to a 2200. Good luck!

also on an unrelated note- if you understand latin you’ll probably be able to learn the romance languages pretty easily, too