Guster came to Chicago last year.

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I'm finishing up junior year right now and I would QUITE appreciate a chance very much so. Chicago is one of my top choices, but probably my first since getting into UPenn is pretty doubtful. </p>

<p>I go to a public school in CT. It's pretty good, ranked in the top 100 or something like that hah.</p>

<p>GPA: 3.9 UW, upward trend (school doesn't rank or weight GPAs)
SAT: 800 Math, 790 Writing, 760 CR
SATII: World History 800; Physics 720; taking Math 2 and Biology this Saturday woo!
APs: World History 5; Physics 4; just took US History, Lang/Comp, Psychology and Biology.
Senior Courseload: AP Calc, AP Chem, AP Physics C, AP Spanish, AP Lit, AP Gov/Pol, Creative Writing </p>

<p>My freshman year grades were pretty bad, so I'm hoping that good junior and senior year classes/grades will help. Sophomore year was okay.</p>

<p>ECs/Volunteering:
Founded a speech club
Internship at _______ Business Journal since 2009 (I also write in it sometimes, if that helps)
Copy Editor for School Newspaper
VP of Publicity for FBLA
Historian for DECA
Varsity Tennis (first singles)
Concertmaster for city youth orchestra, went to Europe on tour last year.
Violin Teacher for a couple of kids (haha, I pretty much just convinced my friends' siblings to let me teach them)
"Teach" at a city school for elementary school age kids
VP of Student Peace Alliance
Founded a Habitat for Humanity Club
Yearbook Section Editor
Leadership position for Model UN
Student Senate (since freshman year)
Volunteer at Nursing Home, Habitat for Humanity, Hospital, Summer Camp, as a tutor (over 1000 hours)
Job at library</p>

<p>Awards: Dupont Essay Honorable, Ayn Rand Essay Semifinalist, Essay competiton at local university, violin stuff, newspaper stuff, Nationals for FBLA and DECA, more club awards, school awards, Scholastic Gold Key, just a lot of little local things. </p>

<p>Summer/Break Stuff: volunteering, extensive traveling (China, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Netherlands), took English courses at local community college, TASP this summer, summer program at university sophomore year, music theory classes, internships</p>

<p>My teacher recs will be prob the best part cus my teachers know that I'm kinda weird and quirky which apparently Chicago loves. Also, writing is my strong point, so my essays should be fine.</p>

<p>I'm Asian, upper middle class. you know, all that stuff. </p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Um, cool it with the false modesty. It's not attractive, and it makes other people feel like doo-doo. There are some magic words on your resume. You are going to be a strong candidate anywhere you apply, and you know it (or, if you don't, you are somehow much dumber than you have any right to be). You will probably get rejected by some colleges, but only because lots of the ones you will be applying to reject tons of good candidates. </p>

<p>Your main challenges are: (1) Making your list of ECs seem believable, because right now it smells like a lot of bulls have been milling around it. I assume there's lots of substance there, but everything you have on it can't be real. (2) Finding a good safety. (3) Deciding whether to apply SCEA to Yale or Stanford, ED someplace (like Penn?), or EA to a bunch of the Usual EA Suspects plus Michigan (which is going EA next year, and is probably a great safety if you apply EA). (4) Not being a jerk.</p>

<p>Anyway, of course you should apply to Chicago, unless you have already gotten in someplace you prefer.</p>

<p>I'm sorry you feel like "doo-doo"; I do not mean to make you feel that way, and if you do simply by reading this, I am even sorrier. I don't understand what you mean about fake modesty. These schools have like a 10% admissions rate. I do not think that my chances are any better than most people and I do not pretend that I do not think that my chances are any better than most people. Also, it'll be tougher for me cus I'll be applying for very big scholarships because my father won't pay for my education if I'm going into English...apparently it's not very stable. If you could expand on that, I'd appreciate it very much haha.</p>

<ol>
<li>Wait but I don't understand why you think my ECs are bull. I'm actually pretty interested to hear why you think that because pretty much everything has to do with language, writing, speech, music and business which all go pretty well together. And the only reason I'm in business-y things is because they involve taking pictures (historian); and PR/Marketing. </li>
</ol>

<p>2 and 3. The only Ivy I'm considering is UPenn. Chicago is my next highest reach. I do like Michigan, good suggestion. McGill is my safety; they only look at numbers. Also, I like some of the schools in the South. What are the "Usual EA Suspects?" </p>

<ol>
<li>I agree with you. I do need to work on being nice. It's kinda weird cus my school voted me "Most Stereotypical East Coast Snob" as well as "Most Lovable" this year.</li>
</ol>

<p>"I'm sorry you feel like "doo-doo"; I do not mean to make you feel that way, and if you do simply by reading this, I am even sorrier. I don't understand what you mean about fake modesty." </p>

<p>omg please just focus on your apps and don't hang out here. You need an attitude adjustment, and spending time stressing out on these forums isn't going to help you. Enjoy your summer, as it's one of the last few peaceful times you'll have in the next year.</p>

<p>And "McGill is my safety"</p>

<p>oh wow... that school is the Harvard of Canada. It is a reach. For most anyone. If that's your safety, you might end up like my school president: no where to go in the fall.</p>

<p>And, you EC list does smell like bulls are near. There are waaaay too many activities. There is no way anyone could have done ALL of that. Parts of it look good, but en mass, it just seems like you are lying. I don't see any deep, meaningful involvement. Just a bunch of college-grubbing. It seems like you took every little thing you've ever done and blown it up into a huge activity. Adcoms see through this. Be honest. I was honest, and it was enough for Chicago.</p>

<p>JHS is giving you good advice, and all you're doing is showing attitude. </p>

<p>No one likes chances threads because admissions are holistic. We seriously can't really help you other than telling you to have a good safety, write amazing essays, and just hope. We are not admissions counselors. Just because we were successful in the admissions game doesn't mean we know the secrets behind getting admitted. Seriously: spend a lot of time on your essays and think about how you come off on paper. That's really all you can do.</p>

<p>McGill has a 50% admissions rate. I don't mean safety as in I would be unhappy to go there. In fact, it's one of my top choices seeing as it was on the top 10 party schools by Playboy woo. And, as you said, it's the "Harvard of Canada." However, it's not a reach for me; it wasn't not a reach for you. It's not a reach for anyone with a GPA higher than a 3.8, with SAT scores over 650ish, and with a few good AP scores.</p>

<p>There's really not that many activities, I honestly do not understand, could you give me specific details please. And by saying that it's not meaningful is a little judgmental. I bet you're one of those kids who enjoy looking at yearbooks so you can judge everyone. That's something I learned from being on yearbook. Or maybe you're one of those people who have ridiculous judgements on people they do not even know, like the staff writers on the newspaper who to have very strong opinions, but don't know know how to conduct a proper fact check. I learned that from the newspaper. Would you like me to go on to violin? I will. You can be that kid who always plays the wrong measure, in the wrong key, or even the wrong piece for God's sake, yet still believes that he or she did not really make a mistake. Because all he or she did was offer information that he or she felt was valued. Business is too easy. The one who thinks "Oh, I am such a fantastic person! My morals are excellent, I am an honest individual, with upstanding character. I am also unable to get of my sanctimonious high horse." If you don't understand what I mean, I am calling you winningly naive. I am Paris Geller, you are Brad Langford.</p>

<p>And looking at your over 450 posts, I would say that you spend a tad more time than I do on this site. I do not need an attitude adjustment. I enjoy my sarcasm, I am Holden Caulfield, except without the dissonance thing. I take pride in my achievements. I am also scrupulously honest. My friends describe me as a "kind-hearted *****," and I rather like that description. </p>

<p>So, "Kitkatkatie" (CUTE name by the way) please do not tell someone he or she needs an attitude adjustment before you actually know them. </p>

<p>That's all.</p>

<p>Wallflowerboy: You are not making ME feel like doo-doo. I'm a parent, with kids who are either done or almost done with college. I was pretty hot stuff at 18, too; I don't tend to feel inadequate because of other peoples' accomplishments. But CC is full of kids who feel really, really anxious about their college applications, and it doesn't help to have some kid whose resume, frankly, could not be any better (at least so far), come here and announce that he doesn't have a chance at Penn, when of course he has a chance at Penn and anywhere else he applies.</p>

<p>McGill is a great safety by the way. World-class university, completely numbers-based admissions, as you say, and you will clear whatever its hurdle is by a mile. (kkk: McGill may be the Harvard of Canada, but it's more than three times larger than Harvard, and nowhere near as dominant. It admits a lot of kids.)</p>

<p>I'm not worried about your essays. That's what TASP is for.</p>

<p>Usual EA Suspects = Chicago, Georgetown, MIT, Boston College, Tulane</p>

<p>I'm not certain what you are looking for? Cities? Creative writing (add Hopkins, and maybe Brown)?</p>

<p>Thank you, JHS. And I was actually being sincere in the first part of post three, although it may have been a tad sarcastic :). I'm a female by the way, hahah. What I meant by not having a chance at Penn is not having a chance of getting extremely good aid. And I apologize if it came off pretentious which it probs did but...it's not like I know you personally.</p>

<p>You're obviously a strong candidate; to claim otherwise DOES reek of false modesty, but honestly, I'm used to seeing it on CC. Your reaction to others' negative comments could also have been much better.</p>

<p>^ Does Penn give merit aid? I didn't apply, so I never looked it up, but I thought no Ivies gave merit aid?</p>

<p>I agree with everyone else about your ECs. Some of them are very impressive, but they are buried in a bunch of random activities. Here's something that really helped me when I was communicating my extracurricular involvement to the University: Focus on tangible achievements. Your awards are a good start, but for example, as Historian for DECA, what did you personally do? Why should colleges care? What does this show about you? For example, don't simply put down "Intern at XYZ Nonprofit". Also write about what you did, like "I managed all advertising for the nonprofit for 2010, including an online marketing campaign. In total, I was in charge of allocating $120,000 in marketing funds."</p>

<p>Penn doesn't have merit aid, although I think it may have some "merit packaging" of its need-based aid. Michigan has some and so, surprisingly, does McGill. (My kid's bff chose McGill over Penn after she got just enough merit aid at McGill to make it an offer she couldn't refuse. It worked out great for her, too. She loved McGill, loved Montreal, and will be a fully funded PhD student next year . . . at Penn.) I suspect oneheadlight will be a decent candidate for merit at either university, but you really can't count on that -- I don't think they have enough to use it systematically the way some of the privates do.</p>

<p>I apologize for thinking the OP was a boy. I don't know why, but I really got a male vibe off the first post (and I get tired of writing "he or she"). Advancing age and out-of-touchness leads to stuff like that.</p>

<p>Another thing that makes it sound like false modesty is


However you have a 3.9 *UW*. How bad could they have been?? That comes across as ridiculously self-deprecating.</p>

<p>I also agree with those talking about your EC's. There are not enough hours in the last 3 years to have gone to class, study, eat, have some family and social life, the numerous hours varsity tennis takes up, have a job, and also to have done all the school activities and other outside activities. You may have done everything on there to some degree, I have no doubt. But get rid of the ones that were peripheral and get it down to something that really reflects where you spent your time and had real interest. For example, unless it really took up a lot of time, I would lose the violin lessons you gave.</p>

<p>Now let's focus on schools. If your family won't pay for you to have an English degree you need to either A) Go someplace that has large merit aid, or B) see if they will pay if you double major with the other one being something they consider practical. Maybe business. Because in case you don't realize it, since you come from a well-off family, schools won't care that they decided not to pay when it comes to FA awards. Their income will count, and you are right that makes schools like Penn unaffordable. But that is true for Chicago also, although they do have some merit awards. But they are very hard to get. There are a number of fine schools that have good merit aid (Tulane was mentioned and you would have a decent chance at a full tuition scholarship), and that would be where you should focus. Now if you go route A and decide on a double major so they will pay, just make sure the school you choose makes that easy to do. At some schools it is harder because you have to be admitted to different sections within the school, while others (again Tulane being one of a fair number of examples) make it very easy to double major without having to worry about that nonsense.</p>

<p>Decide on a strategy and depending on which you pick, people can be more helpful with suggestions.</p>

<p>to fallenchemist: for my school, it's pretty easy to have a 3.9 cus it's a quarter system, so you can get 2 B's and 2 A's and still have an A, which is automatically a 4.0. So you can have your transcript be half-filled with Bs and still have a 4.0. So in the majority of schools, my GPA would be like a 3.6-3.7.</p>

<p>And going into business would actually get me kicked out of the house probs. Well I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean. </p>

<p>My job is like 5 hours a week; that's also where I get homework done. Varsity tennis ends in early October, starts in the summer. Everything else sort of falls in place. </p>

<p>To overachiever: historian in DECA was actually pretty fun, I just took pictures. Which ones do you think are random? And I guess I'm just planning on getting loans, and then prostituting myself. I think Chicago would provide the best setting for that.</p>

<p>Ah, well that does explain a lot. Might have been nice if you had included all that up front, since you can see how it sounds to 95% of the people out here. Your school's system seems very unusual. Anyway, at least it all makes some sense now.</p>

<p>So if your parents don't like English, and they don't like business, what will they pay for? Just engineering or something like that? In any case, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT take out huge loans to go to a school like Chicago. I cannot even begin to tell you what a ginormous mistake that would be. There have been a ton of stories lately about kids having loans ranging from $85,000 (Tufts or Brandeis I forget which, an English major) to $275,000 (NYU Stern business school) and they are sucking wind big time. With your record you should be able to go to a perfectly good school for little to no money of your own. Do some research, on here and elsewhere. But I don't care if it is Harvard, you should never graduate with more than about $25,000 in loans tops, and with you wanting to be an English major that is even more of an imperitive. Don't fall for the prestige trap over common financial sense.</p>

<p>Pre-med, pharmacy, anything science related...apparantly that's the only thing stable enough. But what my father can't comprehend is that I'm not very good at anything science related, nor do I have any interest in it. Do I come off as bitter? Probably.</p>

<p>But yeah, I know, the GPA thing's really weird. It helps a lot because colleges only see your final grade. But on the other hand, they would know that a B is really pretty bad because that could be anything from 1 A, 3 B's; 2 B's 2 C's; 1 B; 3 C's. </p>

<p>Thanks for your suggestions.</p>

<p>No problem. You are obviously a great student, your SAT's are super excellent. After you have given this some thought, if you want to talk about it some more PM me. Maybe I can help you find a good match where you can explore the major you want and not have to take on debt, or at least not much. BTW, are you NMF? That opens up some possiblities if you are.</p>

<p>@OP: Can you elaborate more on the GPA thing? Does this mean that you go to school during the summer too (the normal "quarter" system includes a summer quarter)?</p>

<p>^ And yeah, NMF can get you some really fantastic merit aid. I was offered something like $87k for it. Not bad for a couple hours of testing. ;)</p>

<p>What the hell is with the title of this thread? Am I missing something? Furthermore, what was with the Catcher in the Rye reference?</p>

<p>It was the OP trying to mislead forums members into thinking this wasn't a chance thread, and actually a thread about an awesome band/Chicago music scene. :P</p>