Don't need chance, really need help.

<p>Hello,</p>

<p>I am a Texas Junior who is looking to apply to colleges in a few months and am in dire need of assistance. I feel incompetent compared to many posters on this site and people I meet, and as I look into the schools I would like to attend I get very discouraged. I would like to hear my chances at some schools (the title lied) but more than anything I need some help, advice, tips, whatever. I need help on what tests to take, what things I need to do, ect. to get into the schools I would like to attend (listed below). I really don't even know where I'm going to apply yet. </p>

<p>Now, a little about myself. </p>

<p>Right now I have a 33 on my ACT (E:36,R:33,M:32,S:32). I'm hoping that with some studying on the science and math sections (especially pacing them) I can raise that composite to a 34 or maybe even a 35 with enough work. I don't want to talk about my SAT scores, I HATE that test and will only be submitting ACT scores. I am probably ranked about 19 (possibly better, probably not worse) out of 336 at a competitive public highschool (graduating class this year has students headed to Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Duke, ect.). I had a rough first semester this year, football and the added responsibility with my dad's deployment (no excuse, really) kept me distracted and I pulled a few B's. My GPA using my schools corrupt ranking system (kills high ranking athletes like myself, and give ridiculous rewards to certain easy classes that you must be selected for...) is probably going to be about a 102.5. I have no idea what it would be on a true 4 point scale, I have had mostly mid-high A's with a few B's (not consistent, at certain grading periods as mentioned above). </p>

<p>I have taken the following AP classes (and all classes have been honors level):</p>

<p>WHAP: 5
APUSH: expecting a 5 (brilliant teacher)
English Com: expecting a 4, possibly a 5</p>

<p>Next year I will take (because I want to, not just to load my course selection):
AP Calculus AB
AP English 4
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Human Geography
AP Macro Economics
AP Government
and possibly AP Physics</p>

<p>I am from a male from a white middle class family with a brother currently enrolled at Notre Dame. </p>

<p>I am captain of the Varsity football team, Senior Class President, member of SNHS, NHS, lettered in 2 sports (football, obviously, and powerlifting) and started and ran a semi-profitable small art business in my early years of highschool complete with a website (stopped last year, too stressful honestly). I work for the Boys & Girls Club as a youth director and plan on getting a volunteer job (as an animal rescuer) very soon. I have also been very involved with my church, especially in the first years of highschool. I am hoping my extra curricular statistics are up to par.</p>

<p>I would love to attend Columbia, which I am visiting next week (on a family vacation to the North East), but am afraid that my average class rank makes me a less than ideal candidate. I feel the same about Stanford. I will be applying to UT Austin for a safety school and am looking at Duke, Notre Dame, and USC right now as well. I am open to recommendations of other schools and research a new one about everyday. Right now, I plan on studying Pre-Med, but that could change very easily if something else peaked my interest. I plan on going to school on an ROTC scholarship and serving in the Marine Corp of the United States Navy.</p>

<p>I need to take 2 SAT subject tests for Columbia, right now I'm thinking US History and Literature. I scored a 5 on the WHAP test but I don't think I can recall enough information to score highly on a subject test. Which do you recommend?</p>

<p>What do you think? I'd really appreciate the help. If you need any other information about me to help quell my nerves and offer advice that will aid me, let me know. </p>

<p>Thanks guys, I really do appreciate all the help I get here.</p>

<p>PS. About to get into studying for the subject tests and ACT, any hints on that while you're at it?</p>

<p>My son took 13 AP courses in high school. I would SERIOUSLY reconsider taking AP Chem, AP Calculus AB and AP Physics in one year. My son took AP Calc AB and AP Chem together one year (sophomore year). He took AP Calc BC and AP Physics together one year (junior year). He waited to take AP Biology until senior year. You have selected some AP classes which are not only difficult, but consist of very heavy work loads. You also have a lot of activities in which you participate. I think this may be too much. My son is a nationally ranked tennis player. He took three AP's sophomore year and 5 during his junior and senior year. Also, you might want to consider enjoying your senior year. I know you are stressed about getting into college, but senior year is something you only get to experience once. I suggest you leave a little time to enjoy it....</p>

<p>Don't get discouraged by people on here (some people post just to brag, haha). Furthermore, you could even fall into the category of very good students on here. You're a good applicant, a few Bs won't kill you, your AP classes will be extensive and impressive as long as you maintain As with a few Bs. 19/336 is not an average class rank, it's top 6%.</p>

<p>A few quotes from Columbia:</p>

<p>"93% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their graduating class; 98% were in the top 20% of their class." (you're ahead of the game)</p>

<p>"The middle 50% of admitted students scored between a 31 and a 34 on the ACT." That means 25% of admitted students got 30 or below. 33 is above average, and 34 or 35 would be even better</p>

<p>You've got good course rigor and high grades, plus great activities. Plus, grades and rank look even better at such a good high school. So chill, haha. That said, when you go to Columbia, make sure you put your name on a list or something. They care a lot about "expressed interest", so they know a student is genuinely interested when they apply. Maybe a meeting with an admissions officer?</p>

<p>I think you'll get into Columbia, plus most/all your other interested schools, as long as you keep up how well you're doing.</p>

<p>jobrenn - a lot of kids like to use the free online Sparknotes for SAT II test prep.</p>

<p>Remember that when you get to the actual SAT II test, you can change your mind as to which test to take. If you opt to try 3 instead of 2, they will just bill your parents for the additional cost. </p>

<p>Go over to the SAT/ACT forum and then on the top click on SAT subject test prep. You might enjoy reading what the kids who just took the tests had to say.</p>

<p>Excuse me? I wasn't posting to brag. Trust me if I wanted to brag, there would have been a lot more written. What I was trying to say was that my son was an athlete and took those courses. He was EXHAUSTED throughout most of high school and he did not take 8 AP classes at one time. My only intent was to suggest that his schedule might be too time consuming with his athletic and extracurricular activities.</p>

<p>momfirst3: Totally not directed at you, wasn't even taking your post into consideration, I was addressing that he felt insecure because of some of the people who post on CC bragging about perfect SAT scores, etc. It was addressed at this:

[quote]
I feel incompetent compared to many posters on this site

[/quote]

and had no meaning except to comfort the OP.</p>

<p>Oh, got it. Totally sorry.... It's just that when I talk about my son, it always sounds like I am bragging but those really are his stats... I get a little oversensitive sometimes.... (a flaw of mine!). Again, I apologize....</p>

<p>Those APs may be hard to do while you're in football, but that's your decision to make, not ours.</p>

<p>The Math and Science portions of the ACT are the two easiest to study for, in my opinion. You won't have to do any math beyond basic Pre-Calc, nor will you have to do almost any actual Science. Time yourself taking some Science tests, and enter them with a sprinters mentality. Its just rapidly interpreting what you're seeing, so you could even approach it with the same sort of mentality you would approach a given play during a football game.</p>

<p>You're a Football Captain, a Class President, and will probably end up with a 34-36 ACT and in the top 10% of your class. This is what I'd say:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Apply to all of HYPS, not just Stanford, because if you liked Stanford there's a pretty good chance you'll like the others (especially Yale, from who I've seen get in I think they think highly of the non-soccer/swimming/tennis athletics). And since they're all on the Common App, it will only require some extra effort to apply to each one. You also may be interested in playing some Varsity sports at HYP, as even if you're not good enough to play football, they have some pretty extensive sports programs that are open to walk-ons. Same with Columbia. And you'll have an OK shot at getting into all of them, especially if you get your ACT up a couple points.</p></li>
<li><p>It looks like other than those schools, you're interested in nice schools with good sports. You may want to check out Vanderbilt, whose sports aren't great, but aren't too bad either, and has great academics.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Mostly, you shouldn't really worry too much about yourself. You've got a pretty decent application and even going to UT would be a nice option.</p>

<p>upping your class rank might help
But for now you need to focus on two things: Do an EC like animal rescuing that you are passionate about, put alot of time into it, and then put it in your essay about how it was an amazing experience and how it shaped you as a growing young adult
AND study for SAT 2's</p>

<p>Also, make certain you apply to to UT Plan II, Science Honors, or another Honors program at UT. You need to really love your safety just in case that's where you wind up going and these programs make a huge school like UT seem much more personal and intimate. I would also encourage you to make certain you cast a wide net and apply to numerous schools; admission to some of the schools you've mentioned is a crapshoot at best and you want to have choices come 4/1. Finally, you mentioned you were capt. of your football team. Is there any chance you might be an athletic recruit? This could be your biggest advantage in the admissions game.</p>

<p>I'm from Tx and yay us for living in tx! I love how we can apply to a top tier school like UT for our safety. Are you going to the Honors Colloquium, btw?</p>

<p>Wow, I am away from my computer for a day and come back to this, thanks guys.</p>

<p>I do feel a bit better. I realize that the class load I am taking is going to be difficult, very difficult, and am ready to work as hard as I need to to succeed. </p>

<p>I play linebacker (and a little fullback) for a town in central Texas. I have received college letters from a few schools but no big ones and definitely no Division 1 schools. Honestly, I had a very average season last year and expect (and am working for) much better this year. I doubt, however, that I will ever get looked at by D1 schools. </p>

<p>I do need to look into some more schools (as jc40 stated), and am trying to rush together a list of schools to visit in the North East on a family vacation we leave for in a few days. </p>

<p>Magnesium, I apologize for my ignorance, but I have no idea what Honors Colloquium is. </p>

<p>Great advice guys, you have no idea how much it helps. I am used to hanging out with my football friends, most of whom plan on attending local community colleges, and often feel extremely out of touch with those bound to high level schools. Please KEEP IT COMING.</p>

<p>I'm with other posters on this board: "AP Calculus AB, AP English 4, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Human Geography, AP Macro Economics, AP Government, and possibly AP Physics" is an INCREDIBLE amount of work to take on, especially if you are going to play football senior year. I'm all for taking the classes you love, and challenging yourself along the way, but I would imagine that changing some of your AP courses to Honors courses won't be bad for your admissions, especially if you can be confident that you will make A's in an Honors/AP mix as opposed to a mix of A's and B's in an all-AP lineup.</p>

<p>I've already taken Honors Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. At my school, higher lever students take the Honors courses (either Honors or Regular required) and then take the AP course (not required). My only English options are AP or Regular (not happening). I might rethink some of those classes, as it will be difficult to complete the work when getting home around 8pm every night after football practice. </p>

<p>This thread is giving me some new things to think about and some new ideas, would love some more advice. Thanks to all posters.</p>

<p>Wow..... You don't get home until 8:00?? I would definitely rethink some of those classes. I think you should keep AP English if your only other choice is regular. If it were me, I would take AP Chem and AP Calc. Those go well together. I would not take AP Physics. That would just be too much. I would also take AP Gov. because my son said that is a really easy AP class. That's four AP classes with tons of ECs. If you want to take one more, you would be okay, but you would be exhausted! Speaking from experience here with my son. He had practice every night for 2 1/2 hours ALL YEAR and would not get to bed until 1:00/2:00 in the morning..... He was really, really tired. Just consider this fair warning. Good luck.</p>

<p>Yeah, football is a rough time of year as far as sleep goes. My counselor is awesome and if I end up having too much trouble with those courses she will let me drop them pretty late.</p>

<p>Any more advice?</p>

<p>PS. I visited Columbia today and absolutely loved it, made me really excited and really nervous about getting in.</p>

<p>Quite frankly, I think you are crazy to be taking 7-8 AP's if you are going to be playing football. I assume that you don't get home until around 8:00-9:00 on weekdays after practice/lifting/film. Add on all that HW that will you have and you're probably going to be going to bed at 1:00-2:00 every night. My prediction is that this will really hurt your performance on the field and in the classroom. I took 3 AP’s this year in addition to being on varsity football and it absolutely killed my first semester GPA (it was hard to deal with coming home mentally and physically exhausted every night for 3 months). Is taking 7-9 classes at your school normal? Do you really feel like you need to take 3 AP science courses? And after the season ends, are you going to be motivated to keep up your grades?</p>

<p>Kudos to you if you end up taking all these classes and keep up your grades and performance on the field. You’re should have a great shot at any school that you apply to.</p>