Chances for Cornell and Carnegie Mellon?

<p>Hey CC, can you spare me some time for a chance thread?</p>

<p>Cornell: Applying to College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as Env Sci major, possibly CAS (Math) as alternate.
I was choosing between Bio Sciences and Env Sci as a major, decided on ES since my bio sat and course grades are mediocre at best, even if my chem is better. Also, not taking either of the APs, so the choice was pretty clear. The only thing is that I don't really have many outside experiences with ES outside from the class, so I might end up talking about ag/life sciences as a whole in my supplement.</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon: Applying to Mellon College of Science as Math major, no alternate schools. My counselor recommended that I rank Tepper Business 2nd and Humanities/Social Sciences 3rd "to maximize my chances" but I don't really have an interest in either of those colleges.</p>

<p>3.7 UW GPA (no weighted, no class rank)
2300 SAT R (740 CR, 760 M, 800 W)
SATIIs: Math II 720, Chem 740, USH 720, Bio 660
AP Euro H: 5 (school doesn't offer any AP classes, so self-study)
Self-studying to take Calc AB, Psych, Env Science this May (don't know if that makes a difference this late in the game)
National Merit Semi-Finalist
National Achievement Semi-FInalist</p>

<p>Extracurrics: Been in 5-6 clubs/peer tutoring orgs for 4 years, but no leadership positions...
Active in church groups for 6 years if that makes a difference.
25 volunteer hours teaching soph year, 40 at clinic junior year, in process of doing 150 senior year teaching special needs kindergarteners</p>

<p>Hook(s):
African American Male
1st Generation College student in America</p>

<p>Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon: Match
Cornell: Low Reach
SAT I is stellar for your ethnicity group. SAT II Bio should not hurt you too much because you did decently on chem and Carnegie Mellon and Cornell only need two math/science SAT II subject tests. You seem to be very strong despite the limited courses provided at your school. The only thing that might hurt you are your ECs.</p>

<p>Quick edit:
I posted mainly about my strengths, but a few things I'm apprehensive about are:</p>

<p>-As thecollege1 said, ECs are pretty mediocre, nothing spectacular, wrote about the service in the Common App essay.
-GPA-wise, although I had a 3.7 over 3 years, the GPAs by year are 3.68, 3.84, and 3.58.
Junior year was pretty rough (mainly due to a C in physics), but I'm hoping my first 2 years will in part make up for it. First trimester senior GPA was 3.9, so hopefully that will show that I'm not on a downward trend.
-Finally, the counselor rec. My school forced everyone to waive their right to see them, so even though the other 2 teachers' are presumably good, I don't know my counselor well at all and he tends to favor athletes more. Will it hurt me if it's really generic or insincere?</p>