Help - I am not good at this. Trying to get chance assessments and suggestions.

<p>What should I do to get some responses? I am apparently doing something wrong. Can't get odds or observations, and I seem to sit in a bunch of gray areas. I could sure use some guidance. (I'll reciprocate for somebody else once I know what I'm doing.)</p>

<p>My post was:</p>

<p>High School: fairly rigorous public school in South:</p>

<p>Academic Rank: 18 out of 550
Schedule: All AP or IB classes in junior and upcoming senior year, some in sophomore.</p>

<p>SAT:
M: 790
R: 720
W: 740</p>

<p>AP exams
Five 5's (Calc AB, Calc BC, Psych, English comp, Environm Science)
One 4 (US Hist)
One 3 (economics)</p>

<p>Two mediocre IB exam scores. (Microecon 4, Psych 3). Had to take exams but they didn't count for school.</p>

<p>I'm not a great writer.</p>

<p>School Extracurriculars:
I was in two school plays
President and a founder of martial Arts Club</p>

<p>Outside school:
Volunteered at Nature Museum since 12
I tend to animals there and work little kid summer camps. Dig in dirt and take them out in streams, etc.</p>

<p>One professional theatre gig:
I got good reviews and play won "Best Play" for year in city.
Got paid for acting (which may be harder than getting in CalTech).</p>

<p>Some children's theatre classes and plays over the years.</p>

<p>Play guitar</p>

<p>I'm white male, speak pretty good Spanish</p>

<p>Thinking about:
Columbia, Northwestern, UVa (parents attended), UNC, maybe Yale, maybe CalTech, maybe Rice</p>

<p>Thinking engineering or physics for major. Maybe do some theatre.</p>

<p>What are my chances of getting in and what suggestions do you have?
Also, what am I doing wrong with the previous post that said all this?</p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>Many of us know that virtually all of us are unqualified to respond to "chances" threads. My view is that it's not unreasonable to seek admission to all the schools on your list. I would add a few safer bets, where it would be unreasonable for the school to reject you.</p>

<p>Speaking from what I've seen in the recently graduated senior class in my school, I believe that Yale and Columbia may be a bit of a reach. Not so sure about Northwestern. The other schools I think you have a good chance at. Looks like you have a strong resume and a strong transcript :)</p>

<p>Thanks pbr and smileygirl32.</p>

<p>I was sort of hoping that the forum is patrolled by folks who have some inside knowledge as some of the replies in threads I saw seemed to indicate. </p>

<p>Your point is a good one; some of the folks giving more detailed replies and suggestions may be blind leading blind.</p>

<p>My resume actually feels kind of thin. Its hard to get theatre gigs for 17 yr. olds outside of school, and I just have the one. Only club I led is one I started. Meanwhile, I am not much for running for things or joining stuff just to be in it. I am pretty invisible in school. My one and only community service gig has consisted of every other weekend cleaning cages and walking around with snakes and summers of taking little kids into the mud and the creek and the mud when not watching them draw or eat snacks.</p>

<p>Its going to be hard to convince some admissions person that I might win a Nobel prize.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, do bad IB exams hurt? I am not sure I can keep them off my transcript.</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>

<p>I would focus on what you can control. Keep trying to find theatre gigs. Make the club you founded a true force at school, and in your community. Let working with kids and snakes become a life mission.</p>

<p>I really don't think admissions people are trying to discern who may win a Nobel Prize someday. Instead, they are looking for interesting folks who will add to the college community. Focus on being interesting!</p>

<p>I would definitely suggest, like pbr said, focusing on the things you have going for you right now and expanding on what you can already do/have done. When you write your essays for college admissions officers, show them that you're very passionate about something- whatever that may be. My friend who is now in the ba/md accelerated program at BU had no experiences with research or lab work in his high school career, but he was an avid avid avid runner and track star- running was one if his biggest commitments in high school- and he was able to write about that in his essays. This is just one of the many examples that show that essays are definitely important, that it's not necessarily a perfect GPA or perfect test scores that garantee you admission. Make sure you write stellar essays!!!!</p>

<p>That was a lot... hope it helps!</p>

<p>You don't have nearly enough extra curriculars for top tier schools. That being said, you will be a legacy at UVA, so you should get in there. Good luck.</p>