I’m going to list out my information, but there is one major thing that might make my chances worse for me than most other students. I’ll get into that right after I list everything, though.
Texas Resident, parents have houses in Cali.
High School Type: Public, 4-year
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
- Unweighted HS GPA: 3.8, 3.5 & 3.0 (went to college program for hs students)
- Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 5.031
- College GPA (for transfers): 3.5 and 3.0
- Class Rank: - -
- ACT/SAT Scores: 760 Math, 750 Reading [New scores not out yet]
I have enrolled in AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP Biology, and will take AP Government, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics, AP Chinese, possibly AP Music History
I got a 3 on the AP Test for Human Geography, a 4 for AP Biology, and a 5 for AP World History
Music Awards: All-Region, All-State
Writing Awards: Honorable Mention, Won 2
(I have others, I think, but I honestly am not really worried about them, due to my situation.)
Volunteer Leader, 100+ hrs
Club Leader, 9-10 grade
Committee Head for Club, 12 grade
Teacher Assistant in Daycare
Possibly more writing competitions
Possibly more musical competitions
I have yet to write any essays, but I think I need advice on how I should explain my situation.
Cost Constraints / Budget
I don’t think there would be a price restraint, but my parents will refuse to pay for college if I don’t get into a school ranked 150+.
Unfortunately, I can’t list my colleges with safety, likely, match, or reach. This is why I need advice on what I should expect. At this moment, I expect to be rejected from each college I am going to apply to, but I need realistic advice on what I should expect, possibly where I could apply, etc.
I currently plan to apply to several colleges, including:
Texas A & M
Texas A & M - Commerce
Texas Christian University
UC Santa Cruz
University of Houston
University of San Fransisco
UT Austin (I expect rejection)
Rice (I expect rejection)
Louisiana State University
St. Edward’s University
I put this at the bottom because other online forums have suggested that colleges look at academic dishonesty after wondering if I would be a good fit in the first place. I kind of wanted to emulate that situation.
In my junior year of high school, I went to a college program for high school students. I got relatively similar grades to what I had in high school, A’s and B’s. But, on my Calculus final, I committed an act of Academic Dishonesty, which resulted in failure of the course and dismissal from the program.
I want to say something that might provide a reason for why I did that, but there honestly is no good reason. I cheated on the test and hoped to get away with it, because I didn’t want to put in the extra effort to get a passing grade. I pathetically hoped my college professor, who has, himself, been through several experiences of finals and exams, wouldn’t notice that I used an online calculator to solve a problem. It was wrong of me to do so, and I deserve the punishment.
Unfortunately, he did file a report for Academic Integrity Violations. I don’t know what that means, really, or what it might affect, but I know that I cheated and was caught.
On essays, I do not plan to deny this at all. I was even advised to start my essay with something to address the situation. I plan to do this and also know that my chances of getting into any top ranking university are extremely low. I have also almost completely let go of any dreams of getting into top 50 universities, though UT Austin and Rice are there.
I am wondering if, with my list of colleges I hope to apply to, I have still set my expectations too high. I don’t want to overestimate myself, I am a somewhat lackluster student who consistently got A’s and B’s. Should I apply to lower ranking universities only, around the 130-150 rankings, or is it alright to apply to higher ranking colleges?
Additionally, how can I address the situation in my college essays? I want to have realistic expectations that aren’t absurdly low or too high. I guess even with my situation, I still want to attend the best university that I can qualify for, but I also don’t want to waste my parent’s money for a hopeless admission either. Also, I would hope to focus my writing energy for colleges I have a chance to get into.
I also am prepared to be rejected by all colleges I apply to and attend community college for the first few years of my “college” life. I hope to then transfer to a decent college, but I am wondering what I can do before this path.