Good grades/scores, pathetic ECs. Looking for advice?

<p>Hi, I'm currently finishing up my junior year of high school. I have pretty solid stats for the schools to which I'm applying, but my ECs are so poor. I was wondering if I could get some advice on what I should highlight on my apps and what I should cut out. Also, chances for these schools would be nice. I'd like to go out of state but don't know if I'll get into these places. </p>


<p>White Male, Jewish (if that matters)
Public high school in CA
middle class - upper middle class range</p>

<p>GPA: 3.89 UW (most likely, but not final because final junior grades aren't in yet)
ACT: 33 Composite
SAT: 730 CR 780 M 700 W = 2210 T
I think these are pretty much equal...but which score should I submit?
SAT Subjects: still need to take</p>

9th grade: Human Geo - 4
10th grade: World History - 5, Chemistry - 4
11th grade: English Lang, Bio, US History (awaiting scores)
12th grade schedule: AP English Lit, AP Stat, AP Physics, AP Psych, AP Spanish Lang</p>

<p>ECs: my weak point. It looks like I was part of a lot, but my commitment to all but lacrosse was minimal. I don't know what I should actually put on my app because I don't want to look like I just fudged a lot to make myself look better. </p>

<p>Roller Hockey Club (we really don't do anything)
Surf Team (joined this so I could take Chinese my sophomore year; it counted as a phys ed credit. Plus I wanted to learn how to surf)
Film Club (didn't really participate...)
Science Fair Club (didn't have time or interest with lacrosse)
Lacrosse grades 9-12: grade 11 team captain, team has gone to and done well at states for three consecutive years; big commitment
Peer Mentor to incoming freshmen during 11th grade
Chemistry tutor (about 6 hours a week) during 10th and 11th grades</p>

<p>On a side note, I've been playing piano since I was 2. It haven't done anything with it, really, but it's an activity that I really enjoy. Should I mention this at all?</p>

<p>Essays and Recs: All but one English teacher has liked my writing, and I got pretty close to my science teachers, so I'll probably have decent, if not good, recs. I haven't really started thinking about these yet, though.</p>


<p>UC Davis
UC San Diego
UC Berkeley
Swarthmore College
UT at Austin

<p>I'm willing to listen to any other suggestions you guys might have in mind.</p>

<p>Major: pretty undecided, but I'm looking for something that'll lead me into either law or health. </p>

<p>Thanks for chancing.</p>

<p>I think you have a good chance at UCD and UCSB, and a moderate one at UCB (I'm not in-state, so I'm not sure how competitive the UC schools are in-state - but this is the gist I got). I don't know enough abut UCLA to judge.</p>

<p>I think that UT at Austin is a match, and Georgetown and Swarthmore are reaches (Swarthmore is probably the highest reach you have here). Definitely highlight lacrosse in your app, and your dedication to your sport (hey, you did manage to balance it with academics!). I would also make sure to highlight piano, and the fact that you really enjoy it. I wrote a similar essay about guitar - something else that I really enjoy, but that I haven't done much with - and how it was the one activity I hae that is truly "mine" and no one else's, because it's really personal.</p>

<p>As for the other ECs - it's not dishonest to MENTION them on the Common App schools (don't know how the apps work for UC schools/UT-Austin), as long as you don't exaggerate your participation. It's good that you are honest with yourself, but I don't think your ECs are terrible. Out of the others, it sonds like you were most invested in chemistry tutoring and student mentoring (no negative comment, so I'm assuming here). Fine - these are similar and show a commitment to helping people succeed. You also didn't write anything necessarily bad about the Surf Club, so even if you aren't fantastic, you could write about trying something completely new.</p>

<p>Just a few thoughts. Good luck!</p>

<p>I think Jewish does matter or something.</p>

<p>But as for the EC dilemma, perhaps start a club? Found/President of a club sounds good to adcoms. Plus you've long mastered the piano, start lessons or if you really wanna go above and beyond, organize a piano teaching course for underpriv. kids? W/ some friends? I'm sure you can get in contact with some Older Brothers & Sisters type thing and have them help you out with it. Or organize a concert whose revenues go to poor people.</p>

<p>Not too late for a summer internship as well, I'm sure you know at least SOME professionals in law/health (now that I reread this, this sounds racist, but I am NOT RACIST, trust me bro just helping you out) who if you ask, can provide some sort of internship for over the summer.</p>

<p>Thank you both for the responses. @reesezpiecez103, I was definitely thinking of making my essay something about piano. Especially if one of the prompts has something to do with my background. It's been with me longer than anything else has. I just wasn't sure if it'd be an overused topic, or if, since I didn't really go anywhere with it, I should even mention it. I kind of half-tried with the tutoring and mentoring. I didn't put a terrible amount of time into them. I'll make sure to highlight lacrosse, though, as this was definitely something that I really cared about. </p>

<p>@HONORLIONS, I wouldn't have accused you of being racist :p Thanks for the idea of interning. I'll have to ask at the law firm my dad works at this summer. I hadn't even thought about this. I would try to set up piano lessons, but the way I play is so improper, since my mom (who is self-taught) taught me, and I can't read music very well. But thanks a lot for the help.</p>

<p>Also, on a side note, I forgot to mention that I'm a legacy at UT Austin. Also one more question, which SAT Subject Tests should I take? I'd feel most confident on the science ones, as those are my best subjects, but I don't want it to seem imbalanced. Also, I speak Hebrew at home, so I'm pretty confident that I could do well on the Modern Hebrew test. But would that not really be impressive, since it's my first language? Thanks.</p>

<p>If you took AP Bio and AP U.S., then I would recommend taking those two subject tests. And you might as well take the Hebrew one - you've got nothing to lose!</p>

<p>Okay, thanks. I want to take both Bio and Chem and then send whichever I do better on, so I guess the third will be either Hebrew or US History. Also, I've been thinking about UVA, but I don't know if I'd even stand a chance there. Any thoughts?</p>