Do I have a Chance Here?

<p>I am a black male from Las Vegas, Nevada. I go to a competitive private high school. I am a junior currently.</p>

<p>GPA: 3.12 uw 3.80 w (GPA will be higher after end of junior year due to good second semester, weighted should be over a 4.0 by then)
SAT: 650 math 650 verbal 520 writing(8 essay, 50 grammer ) (I'll retake it for a higher math and writing score)</p>

<p>School doesn't rank.</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:
Theatre/Drama, casted in many plays, got leads in a couple.
Varsity Football(4years, might be captain senior year)
Varsity Track(4 years, most likely captain next year)
Piano done for 13 years, play in concerts year round.
Web Design Club(Secretary)
Against Alcohol and Drugs Club
Job at local pool during summer 40 hours a week.</p>

<p>Do I have chances here at Bucknell, or at Lafayette, Muhlenberg, Lehigh, Boston University, Boston College, or possibly Haverford.</p>

<p>I'd say your in at Boston U, Bucknell depending on what major and I doubt it at BC. Those are the only ones I can vouch for. BC has gotten extremely competitive these past couple of years, and this year people were waitlisted with 1400's. It will probably help you thou in every school that you are a minority.</p>

<p>To get into Haverford with those scores, you'd better be one fascinating guy -- and as someone who lives nearby, I can tell you that Quakers in the western Phila. suburbs (a.k.a. the Main Line, a.k.a. home of Tracy Lord in "The Philadelphia Story") can be fascinated with the most obscure, cerebral, vaguely peacenik endeavors and oddball priorities. Seriously. Also, Haverford has cross-registration with Swarthmore and maybe Bryn Mawr, and their level of selectivity is about on par with those two. There's kind of an L.L. Bean ambiance to the place....a modestly wealthy, introvertedly progressive feeling to the student body. Interesting place, though; it couldn't hurt to try. I think they have swans living on the big pond near the entrance.</p>

<p>I visited Muhlenberg with my D recently (she was looking at the Theatre program), and I get a gut sense, based on your scores and activities and the tone of your writing, that you could get in AND that you might like it there -- but beware that Allentown the city is seriously dismal. (You know the Billy Joel song, "Allentown"? Well, it still fits. Although the country's oldest operating drive-in theater is within a short drive, and Delaware Water Gap would be a fun day trip; there's a world class jazz club there, among other things.) But about Muhlenberg proper: The campus feels extroverted -- I could sense serious parties on weekends but not much weekday slacking. The students seem generally bright but not brilliant-bright like at Haverford. The theatre department seems lavishly funded -- I snuck behind the main stage and was impressed with how thoroughly and elegantly equipped the place was. Gorgeous tech booth, perfect size auditorium (not enormous, but big enough). All kinds of fly space and ropes and everything in the wings. nice acoustics. (We weren't thrilled by their kind of damp level of passion, however -- but if you're not following a lifelong calling in theatre, then that shouldn't be an issue. And you might not agree anyway; a lot of people out there think their Theatre program is terrific.) </p>

<p>Bucknell -- my son is there so I know the place well. I don't think you'd get in based on your scores alone. They MIGHT admit you, but you'd need to stand out from the mid-600s crowd distinctly to get their attention. HOWEVER....you might have two things going for you, based on what you've said. First, you're black, and Bucknell seriously needs more diversity and they know it, and if you also fit the Bucknell personality -- down to earth, authentic, scholarly, naturally nice and baffled by mean-spirited people -- then that would be a great combo from their point of view. Second, you're an athlete -- so are you a really good athlete? The reason Bucknell finally won an NCAA game recently was that they only last year started offering athletic scholarships (did you notice how the history-making team was mostly freshmen and sophomores?). The sports world at Bucknell is probably on the high of a lifetime right now, and so I imagine this is the best time ever to see if they're looking for more gifted atheletes to recruit. Are you a gifted athelete? If you are, then your decent scores, plus your balance of other interests, plus your ethnic advantage, could do it for you. I would encourage you to go for it.</p>

<p>One thing about Bucknell, though, is that you should check whether there is racial friction on campus between the small black student population and whatever even smaller white racist element might exist there. I think there was friction a couple of years ago, or maybe it was just one incident that had everyone rightfully upset (I think there was a drunk frat party factor), but you might want to check the climate for yourself.</p>

<p>Also, I notice you're looking at very different types of campuses. Muhlenberg is a nice campus in a dismal town. Bucknell is an idyllic campus uphill from a small, quaint town that's right out of a pre-telephone-era Christmas card -- not an exciting place, but a lovely postcard of a spot -- there is one good professor-owned movie theater, a couple of good restaurants, an excellent indoor flea market, a gorgeous crossing over the Susquehanna River, and a few other small treasures, all within walking distance. (And there's the annual Little League World Series a few miles up Route 15.) They have terrible radio and TV reception (and the radio is all Christian stations and ads for guns), but the dorms have cable. Haverford is in an excellent location culturally (unless you really want countryside), but like I said Haverford is probably unlikely for you.</p>

<p>Whatever you do, remember that if you really want to go to college, you MUST have a safety school that you love. My son was a National Merit winner, and still he was rejected everywhere but his safety school -- which was Bucknell, which he did love on his first visit. My daugther is at this moment receiving one rejection letter after another, plus one waiting list -- because she was stuck on wanting nothing less than an excellent theatre program, so she applied with great effort and very impressive theatre credentials, but she did it without a safety net. And now she is looking for a job.</p>

<p>You have good credentials, but it's your whole picture that will get you admitted. Go for the stretch schools, but make sure you have at least one sure thing that you feel good about.</p>

<p>I will add that another thing you have going for you at Bucknell (can't really speak to the others as I am from Texas, but I would imagine it would also apply) is that you bring geographic diversity as well. I'm sure that helped my son, being that only eight Texans matriculated this year. Their western regional director is very personable.</p>

<p>And Bucknell graduates 100% of its athletes--they are actually in classes with the other students! You might investigate all of the Patriot League schools if you are interested in continuing athletics, or being at a school that has athletic teams.</p>

<p>Well I am planning to major in biology. My athletic status is probably not on par with D1 caliber athletes but I would play D2 or D3. I am not really looking to continue athletics in college unless I really have to, to get a scholarship. Do you guys have any good suggestions on safety colleges around this area for me? Particularly with a good biology program. Thanks again guys for all the input it really eases my mind right now after being clueless on my chances.</p>

<p>Yes you do have a great chance. I got accepted into bucknell with a 3.9 gpa, a 1240 on sats, 710 on writing (now defunct) sat2s and a 630 in both us history and math 1c. I dont feel like listing all the other stuff i put with it, but your extracurriculars look sound. As long as you present a complete package to the admissions board you should be fine. btw, i was accepted at wesleyan and waitlisted at harvard. Numbers arent everything. Interviews make alot of difference. My family wasnt able to afford an sat prep course for me and i made sure i said that in my interview. </p>

<p>Basically, apply where u think you can cut it. If your #'s look a little short and you apply neway, it will exibit your confidence and determination/work ethic.</p>

<p>Avenged5fold---check your pms</p>

<p>Avenged5fold (great name, by the way) - I just reread your original post, and I think I must have been in a cynical mood when I posted my earlier response because of what my daughter was going through at the time. Now that she's been accepted and the intensely worried mood has left the house, I think I was too negative in my first response. For one thing, I think you might have a chance at Haverford, because you have an interesting and varied extracurricular life that shows solid commitment to a range of meaningful pursuits, and because you seem like a genuinely decent human being -- something that Haverford deeply cares about. I think they would find you an interesting person. It would still be a stretch for you, but you have every right to consider yourself a viable candidate. One thing I've noticed about every single Haverford grad I've met out in the work world of the western Phila. suburbs is that they were all particularly inventive types while in college -- writing plays, codifying juggling techniques, that sort of thing. I think they look especially for creative and unique thinkers.</p>

<p>And second, I believe you would have a VERY good shot at Bucknell -- regardless of your ethnicity or whether or not you want to continue athletics. Your scores are fine -- they are not in Bucknell's upper register, but they're definitely in the right ballpark -- and your extracurriculars are wonderful. Also, Bucknell has a similar eye as Haverford for "really decent human beings" (Bucknell seems to attract more conservatives and Haverford attracts liberals, but there is a core of decent humanity that's similar in both places), so I think Bucknell would find you interesting in the same way that Haverford would. And Bucknell is not as elitely selective as Haverford, which puts Bucknell within more realistic reach.</p>

<p>Also, although I've never looked at Bucknell's bio dept. for my kids, I've always been impressed by it whenever we walk through the bio building or when I've talked with bio majors there. I had an incidental hallway conversation recently with the director of the department, and I thought he was a wonderful person. My son tells me he is the only previous President of the college to return after his presidency to being a professor -- and his presence when I met him was warm, intelligent and engaging, with no hint of presidential loftiness. (They recently built a big pavilion there and named it after him -- the only Bucknell building, says my son, named for someone who did not finance its construction. Clearly he is well loved.)</p>

<p>I understand the bio dept. is a special strength at Muhlenberg as well. Maybe this matters only to me, but I recently did a Google search for my high school bio teacher -- he was a PhD and the best teacher I've ever had anywhere; he quietly inspired me to become a straight-A student and to major in bio in college -- and I found out he's now a lecturer at Muhlenberg.</p>

<p>Just wanted to share these more positive thoughts with you. I'll think about other good bio schools in the area and will post again if I have any input to offer about that.</p>