C's, D's Freshman year. And for some reason i want to go to Princeton...

<p>First of all. Parents, I'm posting in this forum because, well, frankly I trust your opinions more than I do those of my peers since you're older and have most likely gone through the college application/acceptance experience on your own as well as possibly with your children. </p>

<p>My stats are as follows:</p>

<p>Courses (04-05)</p>

<p>Honors English
AP Spanish
AP biology
Honors Algebra 3
Into Psychology (@ local college)
Micro Economics- spring 05 (@ local college)
Social Psychology- spring 05 (@ college)</p>

<p>Current GPA: 4.80 (weighted) - btw those college courses do not get factored into my GPA, however the do count as AP credit on my HS transcript.
Cumulative: 3.66 (weighted)
Class Rank: 36/508
SAT: new SAT in March. hopefully around a 21-2200.
SAT II Math IC: will take in march or may. aiming for 700ish
SAT II Biology: will take in may. be in the 700's
SAT II Spanish: will take in may. 600-700's hopefully. </p>

<p>EC's: I wont go into detail since it's a lot of stuff. I've got leadership, involvement in peer education and youth advocacy against drugs and tobacco, community service, piano and some schools plays. </p>

<p>Other Info:</p>

<p>had a bad freshman year of high school. I had no honors or AP courses (or any college courses for that matter) and the second semester of that year i managed to get a D in algebra 2 (which I made up in summer school as an A), as well as C's in English and world history. </p>

<p>My sophomore year wasn't GREAT however it was a vast improvement over what happened freshman year. Here's my schedule and grades for both semesters:</p>

Honors Spanish-B/A
Honors English-A/A
US History- Fall semseter- A (@ college)
Political Science-spring-A (@ college)</p>

<p>I definitely have a noticeable upward trend. My class rank I sound to rise this coming semester if my GPA stays at a 4.80... </p>

<p>Currently i want to apply to..
-U of Chicago
-UC Berkeley
-UC Davis
-All other UC's and CSU's except Chico, riverside, merced irvine</p>

<p>Would it be a waste applying to Princeton or do I have a minuscule chance? (btw thanks for reading through all that crap!)</p>

<p>Everyone has a miniscule chance at Princeton. Do you have any strong reason why you want to go there? It is so different from all the other schools on your list that I'm thinking you might be blinded by prestige issues as opposed to thinking about where you thing you might fit best. UChicago/Reed are world's apart from P. You said "for some reason", but we haven't heard it.</p>

<p>I'm just so inspired by the people around me. Particularly, friends of mine who are seniors and applying to Princeton. I hear nothing but good things about that school. one of these people actually went there over the summer and totally loved it, I've been talking to her about her experiences and the colleges and all ... and the more I hear the more I love it. </p>

<p>Reasons I would want to go/apply there:
-Its worlds apart from where I live. I live in California and Princeton is in New Jersey. never again in my life I do see myself having the opportunity to live outside the state and experience things like walking through snow and what not lol (life's simple pleasers).
-i would meet people i would otherwise never get a chance to encounter. really smart, accomplishment individuals
- since Princeton is primary focused on undergrade i would access to wonderful faculty in whatever field i chose to study and get the pleasure of knowing im at one of the country's finest universities
-it presents an excellent challenge. i thrive when im challenged. part of the reason i did so poorly my freshman year was i lacked motivation, my classes were too easy, and i had too much free time.
- Why the hell not? This sounds really immature but it would be cool to apply to Princeton if I had the chance. Just to see what happens...</p>

<p>All your points are valid. But you should know that there are at least a dozen or more institutions on the east coast (with better snow to walk through! Princeton is a New Jersey suburb) that would meet every single one of your qualifications. This is not a put-down of Princeton - it is a fine school. However, since the chances for just about everyone are miniscule, why not research the 20 or so other east coast snowy schools focused on undergraduate education that would challenge you likely just as much and which have smart, accomplished students?</p>

<p>I am actually, I'm way open to suggestions because I want diversity in the colleges I'm applying to. also, my college list isnt set it stone lol, the schools i mentioned are only a rough idea so far. i'm still researching them, i am positive though im applying to UCB and Chicago.</p>

<p>However, I did ask this question about my chances at Princeton specifically, so it would be nice if I could get a straight answer to it. I realize my chances are REAL slim if not zero at all, but I would just like to know some opinions. So just in case I don end up applying I know I'm not wasting my money.</p>

<p>You do not give us key information, such as your race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc.</p>

<p>Offhand, I would say that, without some strongly attractive "extra", your odds are basically zero. Your class rank will blow you out of the water. I also think that you view Princeton as the only chance you will have in your life to live outside the state of California would probably blow you out of the water, too.</p>

<p>those reasons were just some i came up with off the top of my head. oh well. Is the class rank really that bad? </p>

<p>oh and btw: if it's important still.. white female, on the lower socioeconomic end (under 30,000).</p>

<p>BTW, how do my chances look at Berkeley and UCLA as well? I'm instate</p>

<p>Since the UCs don't consider freshman grades, they won't matter at all. Given strong SATs, with your other characteristics, your chances at the UCs should be very good. With comprehensive review,however, there are no guarantees at any specific one of the mid or high-level UCs.</p>



<p>No. It's not bad at all. Being at the top 5% of your high school class is very strong. </p>

<p>But, you asked about Princeton, which is one of the five most difficult colleges in the country to get into, with an acceptance rate of only about 10%.</p>

<p>If you were the valedictorian and had 1550 SATs (old style), your odds of getting into Princeton would still only fair. For reasons involving very high "yield", Princeton is just ridiculously hard to get into -- not like normal colleges and universities.</p>

<p>BTW, low socio-economic, especially first generation college, can have a significant positive impact on the way your application is viewed.</p>

<p>I can't believe Idad posted and didn't mention it! ;) Look at Swarthmore - I say Swat in particular because of your interest in U of Chicago and Reed, also it is Eastern, it has snow and it looks like a college (although native Penn stone, not College Gothic or New England). They won't ignore your frosh grades like ?Princeton does, but they will listen to your story of low socio-econ, etc. While you are at it, Smith, Amherst, and some Southern schools (they tend to not be as well endowed as the NE schools and are not,?cannot, be as generous with need-based aid) are possibilities from admittance and expense.</p>

<p>Frankly you may face financial challenges because of your freshman year, even if you blow away junior year and SATs, mainly because your overall GPA may hold you back from receiving merit aid at the less than top 10 LACs and Universities, and you will find the cost of private unis to just be too high. If you were the child of a friend of mine, my advice would be to look at college as a financial investment. Your goal should not be to go to the very best college that you can get into, but rather to to get the best education you can for the least amount of indebtedness possible.</p>

<p>This means evaluating each school on finances, beating the bushes for scholarships. Will any of the courses you are taking now transfer, or do you need them all for high school graduation? I'm not saying give up on your dreams, I'm saying temper those dreams with a hard dose of reality, and do some serious thinking about what you want, what kind of learning environment is best for you (right now your list is all over the place on size and location, junior year is the time to start narrowing that down).
If you decide on a large uni, the UCs may be hard to beat both financially and education wise, but that doesn't mean just because you need a lot of aid you shouldn't consider other alternatives.</p>

<p>Good luck, you've accomplished a lot already.</p>

<p>1) Princeton doesn't consider freshman-year grades, so unless that changes, that will help you. Of course, your freshman-year grades have impacted your rank and GPA, but the upward trend is a big plus.</p>

<p>2) You don't yet have SAT scores. If you do well, that could help immensely, at any school. </p>

<p>3)You say your ECs are good, and those are important at top schools. As Interesteddad said, background may help too. Also that you are taking college courses.</p>

<p>4) Don't be discouraged but do your best and see how things go. Princeton is a great place, yes, but be sure to check into all of the other wonderful schools out there, too. Everyone should have options. You never know what will happen with college admissions!</p>

<p>At Princeton, fewer than 8% of those attending have family incomes below $40k (Pell Grant recipients). They don't accept too many to begin with, and even fewer attend. Of course, they "claim" to be needblind.</p>

<p>Fine schools in the northeast, better snow, challenging academics, and excellent students with much larger percentages of low-income students include Smith (26%), Mt. Holyoke (21%), and Amherst (16%). These three schools actively seek low-income students. Bowdoin also claims to be seeking them, though the data don't currently bear that out (it could be that they are, and just aren't very good at it.)</p>

<p>Here is the common data set for Princeton which will give you a snapshot of the first year class of 2007</p>

<p><a href="http://registrar1.princeton.edu/data/common/cds2003.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://registrar1.princeton.edu/data/common/cds2003.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>If the 8% Mini speaks about is from the freshman class that is approx 93 students.</p>

<p>But the bigger picture is as follows:</p>

<p>out of 1166 students in the class of 07:</p>

<p>649 (55.66%) Applied for Financial aid</p>

<p>584 (50%) were determined to have financial need (that need could be any where fro $100 to the whole ball of wax) but Princeton met 100% of their need.</p>

<p>Point to consider - while your academic needs (tuition, room , board and books) will be taken care of by FA and you will probably get some work study to take care of the day to day essentials, you must take into consideration, how will you feel if there are some social events that you may not be able to afford to attend (there is life outside of the classroom).</p>

<p>From reading what you have written it is my hope that you are not taking the sheep or band stand mentality of looking at colleges because there are a number of great schools that you can get a great education</p>

<p>Sybbie -- agree with everything in your post. But the biggest picture of all is in the Admissions Office, not the Aid office. Few folks in the the low-income category are accepted, and even fewer choose to attend.</p>


<p>You are right as the admissions in and of it self is going to be the biggest hurdle she will have to clear especially with over 13,000 applications for those coveted 1166 spots</p>

<p>Admissions Office has a new Dean of Admission, as of last year. Would hate to be discouraging when Princeton is seeking diversity in many areas, meaning this student may possibly have a tip factor, especially if she does well on SAT/SAT IIs. </p>

<p>Of course there are lots of great suggestions above for other possibilities, and admission at all of the top schools will be tough. Aid may make it worth it to try, though. Good luck, OP!</p>

I can't believe Idad posted and didn't mention it!


<p>Ha. You've got me pegged!</p>

<p>I just didn't see anything in the original question to indicate that Swarthmore would be a particularly relevant recommendation.</p>

<p>As a general rule, I also don't like trying to "sell" kids on big reaches. </p>

<p>The subsequent explanation of "Why Princeton?" did seem to suggest that the student should probably consider more liberal arts colleges such as Reed. Which ones? I have no idea.</p>

<p>what a word mini. :(
I know there is discussion about its use, and I certainly am not the PC police, but anything that sounds like the N word makes me squirm.</p>

<p>While it is great that Princeton and a few other schools are trying to increase diveristy in many areas, the fact still remains that the IVYs are a crapshoot for EVERYONE. I would think that we would be doing any one a great disservice by setting some one up and saying yeah, your on the right track and a shoe-in to get the big envelope when the reality is that she like anyone else who is thinking about applying has a roughly a 10% chance as getting in. </p>

<p>For the moment this student is dealing from a purely hypothetical standpoint since she has not taken any exams and probably does not have first quarter grades for junior year. We are dealing with some really big IFs.</p>

<p>If any of us knew a fool proof 100% guaranteed way that one could get into the inner circle , boy oh boy.</p>

<p>I believe that the more realistic that everyone is about the process, the better off they will be. I think it should be looked at as the equivalent of puchasing a lottery ticket - I bought one so I am in the game, i am not hanging my hopes on winning but if by some off chance that I do, it will be great. I think that the prevailing senitment is that no one should place all of their eggs in one basket. Have a plan B, possibly a plan C.</p>