Chance Me: possible ED JHU or BC, RD Tufts, BU, Colby, UCs

Demographics

White male, very competitive public school in South Jersey, first-generation college student

Intended Major(s)

Chemistry, Biology, Biochem, Environmental Science

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

3.86 UW GPA (as of end of junior year, will go up)
4.988 W GPA (as of end of junior year, will go up)
Major upward trend in my GPA as I was dealing with a very serious undiagnosed illness in freshman year – teacher talks about this in LOR
Weighting System: (+1 for Honors, +1.25 for Honors A, +1.5 for AP)
Top 12% (estimate)
Test-Optional

Coursework
13 AP classes (3-5s on all tests), 16 Honors, 2 Dual Enrollment with Stockton University (school doesn’t have IB)

AP: US History, Macro, Comp Sci Principles, World, Chemistry, English Lang, Gov, Psych, Comp Gov, Calc AB, Biology, Stat, English Lit (can’t take freshman year)

4 years of math, science, English, history, and language (AP and honors classes in all disciplines)

Awards

National Honor Society
AP Scholar with Honors

Extracurriculars

Student Council Officer (4 years)

Elementary-to-High-School-Level Tutor (4 years)

Model UN Secretary (2 years – member for 4)

Interact Club Secretary (2 years – member for 4)

Shift Supervisor at small food place working 40+ hours a week (4 years)

Treasurer for club at my local hospital (2 years – member for 5)

Founder of Book Club (3 years)

Community service volunteer at a local food bank (3 years)

Member of organization that connects with nursing homes (3 years)

Latin Club (4 years)

Essays/LORs/Other

Essay: 9/10
LORs:
Latin teacher of 4 years: 10/10
APUSH (sophomore) and philosophy (senior) teacher: 10/10
AP chem (junior): 9/10
Guidance Counselor: 9/10
My boss: 10/10

Cost Constraints / Budget

Disregard this please!

Schools

Johns Hopkins (in-person visit)
Carnegie Mellon
Colby College (in-person visit)
Tufts University (in-person visit)
Swarthmore College (in-person visit)
Middlebury College
New York University (in-person visit)
University of Michigan
Boston College (in-person visit)
Boston University (in-person visit)
Wesleyan University
Fordham University (in-person visit)
Drexel University (in-person visit)
Loyola University Chicago
UCSD, UCSB, UC Berkeley

Calculate your UC GPA’s: GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

Your HS honors classes will not get the extra weighting as an OOS applicant but your AP classes will.

On budget nothing is stated so $67K/ year to attend a UC is fine?

Best of luck. Overall you look competitive.

Do you have nothing but A’s after your freshman year of high school?

I do not know anything about Loyola University or Drexel and I know very little about Fordham. I do not see a safety on the list except maybe the schools I know very little about. In most cases you are competitive for the other schools assuming that your GPA is pulled down almost entirely by your freshman year of high school.

I know someone with similar stats but a very good SAT who got into BU but at full pay.

17 universities is a lot. This will for example make it difficult for you to focus on each essay that you need to write, and difficult to give a credible answer in every case to “why do you want to attend this university”.

I do not see any theme in your list of universities. Looking at it I cannot figure out what you want in a university. Michigan (out of state) and Colby College for example seem quite different to me except that they both have real winters (unlike the California schools). I do not know why Rutgers is missing from the list given that you are in-state.

For most students disregarding costs is sort of like going to someone’s house for dinner and disregarding the fact that the house is on fire. I do understand that this is not true for everyone.

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I think you are in at Drexel, Fordham and Loyola. The others are all reaches although I think you have a decent chance at BU. If you want a northeast safety with good environmental science I 'd check out UVM.

I think Wesleyan is a reasonable Reach. You’re male and a potential STEM major and, for a LAC with a gender gap that has been widening in recent years, that’s a potential boost.

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UVM will appear on any list of schools notable for their environmental studies programs, such as Top Colleges - Environmental Science.

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Have you taken either the SAT/ACT yet? When I read through your profile I don’t see anything to let me know what makes you, you. As you go though your ECs try to weave them together so they don’t just look like a laundry list of clubs you signed up for.

How did you come up with your list? What did you like about the schools that you visited? What didn’t you like? You have large state schools, small liberal art schools, urban schools, rural schools, East Coast, West Coast…

Nothing wrong with having some variety on your list, but you might want to do a little soul searching on what you are really looking for in a school and refine your list so that you have a good blend of reaches, matches and safeties that you will be happy with.

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As you are a South Jersey resident, I strongly suggest that you apply to Rutgers and Rowan if only as safeties.

You might want to read Side discussion thread for top New Jersey engineering students looking for advice getting merit aid - Financial Aid & Scholarships - College Confidential Forums

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How did you manage to work over 40 hours a week for four years, and it did not impact your other activities, as well as your grade point average, and your coursework? Was it summer work?

If I’m asking that question, you can bet that the admissions officers will wonder about that as well.

The UCs require one year, in a graded course, of visual or performing arts. This requirement usually trips up non-residents; do you have a full year in a graded course, like AP Art History?

The UC‘s are public universities, funded by the state of California’s taxpayers, for their resident students. There is no financial aid/ scholarships, nor anything that would cover your fees of $67,000 a year, as noted by @Gumbymom. Are you prepared to pay that amount for a public university? Loans are really not an option because you can only borrow $5500 -7500 per year.

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Someone mentioned this student is from NJ, high school students must take 5 credits in visual or performing arts to graduate.

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The UC’s require a full year in the same discipline, (a semester in photography and then a semester in pottery wont work) as long as the student has taken a course in fine arts, or performance, then he/she should be good to go.

Yes, that’s what I’m referring to, a whole year (at our HS all classes are for the whole year).

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Sorry for lack of specification-- it’s a summer job from April to October. I have the number of weeks specified on my common app

In my freshman year I took Sculpture and Crafts 1 (semester) and Sculpture and Crafts 2 (semester) back to back

On your apps, note your “Summer” job as an EC- 40+ hrs. per wk

You have three very similar “chance me” threads, with the same great big gaping hole in the middle of them: finances.

Yes, I saw that you said “Disregard this please!” Yes, I saw on your other post that your situation is complicated and you ‘just’ want to have some choices.

However, you also say that you will be applying for financial aid, that you have applied for an application fee waiver, and that you are ‘willing’ to take out loans to cover the difference. Several posters have pointed out that you can only borrow $5.5k in year 1- which won’t go far. The UCs will not give you financial aid, so they are unlikely to be affordable, ditto UMi. NYU is famously stingy, and is unlikely to be affordable. You want a list of places that have some hope of being viable- both in terms of admissions and in terms of affordability. Otherwise it is a waste of everybody’s time & energy.

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