EA chances at Columbia, Cornell, and Vanderbilt?

<p>I applied for bio engineering and veterinary medicine. I am Asian but did not specify my ethnicity, despite the last name giveaway. For junior year I transferred out of a really ghetto high school (where I was ranked within the top 2%) to one of the most competitive schools in CA with nationally ranked academics. Advanced courses were never offered at my 1st school, and I had a hard time adjusting to the new environment so my weighted GPA for sophomore and junior year is low. Will admission officials take this into account from my college essay? I really hope my lack of AP's sophomore year won't hinder me. I love those classes; these year I'm taking 5 AP's, despite being unable to get all A's.</p>

<p>Sophomore (took 0 period class at 6:30 AM each day):</p>

<p>Dance: A/B+
English: A/A
Trigonometry: A/A
Chem: A/A
Sociology: A/A
World History: A/A
Spanish: A/A</p>

<p>Junior (transferred):</p>

<p>English Honors: A/A
Pre-Calculus: A/A
AP Biology: B/A
AP Physics B: B/B
Spanish: A/A
USH: A/A</p>

<p>Senior course load:</p>

<p>AP Stats: A
AP English: A
AP Calc BC: B+
AP Chem: A
AP Econ: B+
Spanish: A</p>

<p>So my crappy grand total GPA for soph and jun years:
~3.8 UW
~4.1 W</p>

<p>SAT: 2240
ACT: 30
Rank at new school: still top 20% definitely</p>

<p>EC's:</p>

<p>Science/space center intern: explained exhibits to visitors, trained others and managed telescopes, enviroscience and planetarium show development projects (over 400 hours of commitment total)</p>

<p>Teams: Environmental and Astronomy</p>

<p>Biotech lab research associate at 5 prime therapeutics company (a very professional and enriching experience)</p>

<p>Afterschool tutor sophomore year</p>

<p>~50 hours of community service outside of work</p>

<p>2 summer enrichment classes at UC Berkeley ATDP </p>

<p>played badminton 2 years</p>

<p>Piano player for 12 years, quite experienced and played at school talent shows
Drama club 2 years
Mathletes club secretary
Assistant stage manager for school play</p>

<p>For the essay I mentioned a bit about emotional struggle. My older sister has microcephaly and epilepsy and I've taken care of her my whole life. My 1st school was oppressive. Also, my parents divorced my sophomore year. Mostly I wrote about how passionate I was about my EC's, how much I learned the importance of higher education, and how my mother made sacrifices for my education. Is that cliche?</p>

<p>Your standardized test scores don't stand out in your ethnicity group, but your ECs will help a bit. I don't think your essay is cliche at all; if you can weave all the elements of your struggle together, I think the message behind your story would be able to capture the admission officers' attention. Personal thoughts:
Columbia: Reach (Unlikely)
Cornell: Match
Vanderbilt: Match</p>

<p>Does your school officially rank?</p>

<p>Thanks. I love Columbia so much; it is home to a massive observatory and I've fallen in love with the campus. I would have applied early decision as it was my first choice. :( </p>

<p>No, my new school does not officially rank. </p>

<p>Thank you for the feedback!</p>

<p>I'm mostly concerned about my cumulative GPA. If I had AP's sophomore year it would be much higher. Unfortunately, my first HS didn't offer any. :( Will they understand?</p>

<p>Columbia and Cornell are reaches imo. GPA is too low for those schools</p>

<p>Chance back please?</p>

<p>I know my GPA is low.. there was no way I could bring it up b/c of having no access to AP's sophomore year. I was hoping the other factors would boost my chances.</p>

<p>They will understand. I think Columbia is a reach but the other two are matches. Do NOT send that ACT score :). Your extracurriculars are certainly top-school worthy.</p>

<p>Oh, Columbia. Q_Q I was hoping they would take notice of my senior year GPA; I've been showing an upward trend since my transfer. :(</p>

<p>Thanks though!</p>

<p>Your GPA honestly isn't too big of a deal... I know a friend who got into Cornell with similar grades, but he had a 34 ACT.</p>