Early Decision at CMC

I am a junior right now. I am very interested in Claremont Mckenna because it is a strong school in International Relations, the major I want to take in college. I took the SAT, but I did terrible on it, and decided to select colleges that are test optional. Because of the Covid-19 situation, Claremont Mckenna has become test optional for 2021 students. I took the SAT Subject Japanese test and got a 760 btw. My grades were not good my freshman and sophomore year of high school, both 87-89 average (only 2 honors classes) because I had no interest in learning, school, my future, or college AT ALL. However, beginning with my junior year, I became more interested in classes and high school itself, and began to think that if I don’t do well in school, I cannot do anything in life. My junior year (this year) I have a 96, two 91s, and a 89 (3 honors classes on normal). I am planning on taking 3 AP classes my senior year on top of honors classes. For extra-curriculars, cross country and track and field has been a huge part of my life, and I am VERY interested in running at CMC. I will probably become a captain in both xc and track this fall. Aside from that, I was a co founder of a Japanese club in my high school, another topic that I am very interested in as I am bilingual. I also go to a Japanese Language School where I am a student council member, and am also a member of the Japanese society in my city. I also did volunteering for numerous events for both Japanese organizations. Aside from that, I have also done internships over the summer every year so far. I know that CMC is a amazing school, and I probably won’t get in even ED, I am still wondering if I have a slight shot. Do you guys think that my upward trend in grades and ECs have a good look for the admission officers?

Thanks and stay safe!

An upward trend helps, but when you don’t have test scores as a strength, there’s that much more burden on your grades to show that you’re qualified. I think CMC would be a pretty big reach for you as an unhooked applicant, but if they want you as an athlete, then that’s a hook and might (along with the significant advantage of applying ED) tilt things in the right direction. Your first step should probably be to fill out the recruiting questionnaires for XC and track: https://www.cmsathletics.org/prospective_athletes/index

If Japan is a particular focus for you, Temple University may be worth a look, as they have a campus in Tokyo and and Asia-focused International Affairs program.