How would this hook affect my admission?

<p>Ok, so to start off with, I'll give u a background on my academics. </p>

<p>I'm a junior, and I go to a charter school ranked in the top 20 in the nation for math and science. I have a 4.1 GPA (my school only shows weighted GPA's) and I am ranked in the top 10% of my class. I take the most challenging courses available (3 AP's, which is what our schools limit is). I have yet to take the SAT, but I got a 195 on my PSAT (I am currently taking an SAT prep class so hopefully this will go up). I've also taken the SAT Subject test in Biology M and got a 730. My list of EC's is not long at all, however, I have been dedicated to my work in them throughout high school. </p>

<p>So overall, I think my grades are decent, but my real question is regarding my hook. I want to know how (if at all) my hook (posted below) will affect my admission into a college and the amount of financial aid I receive, as my parents don't make a ton of money. </p>

<p>Hook: I was born in Kosovo in 1995, and after 4 years of living there, war broke out and a massive genocide took place. My family had to flee the country and eventually ended up here in the U.S. as refugees. </p>

<p>P.S. - The schools I am very interested in are Stern, Wharton, and Booth</p>

<p>Thank you in advance for answering my question. Maybe that hook isn't even a hook. I'm not really sure and this whole college planning process is a little tougher for me as my parents don't have experience dealing with it. Oh, and thats another thing, I'm a first generation college student!</p>

<p>At age 4 you wouldn't remember much from over there. You will want to sell stuff about your upbringing and values. If you want it to be a hook, then you need to make it a hook. Tell them why it is a hook. SO WHAT YOU WHERE BORN IN KOSOVO? How has this history effected you? You could have been tortured in concentration camps, it would not matter unless you articulate why that makes you a valuable addition to the college.</p>

<p>In short, yes. It sounds like a hook.</p>

<p>It's not a hook unless you are also a 300 lb lineman.</p>

<p>I don't think it's much of a hook if you were 4 when you left. It is somewhat of a hook that you are first generation college. One danger with this kind of thing is that it tempts you to write essays that aren't about you, but about your parents and their experiences.</p>

<p>There are thousands and thousands of refugees who come to this country every year. Child soldiers, sex slaves, political activists, me-too type... you name it, you have it. I can't imagine you have a hook there. Speaking as an immigrant, heck, you come here at four years of age, you're no difference than any born American! About schools, you need to research a little more: Booth (Chicago, right?) is a graduate school, Wharton is about as competitive as Harvard, NYU is hugely expensive (due to poor financial aid).</p>

<p>Thank you all for the replies. </p>

<p>I agree that living there for 4 years may not be much, but I think that the main thing is the obstacles I faced to get out of the country, and eventually make it over here. Personally, I believe this affected me just as much as my parents, so I don't think I would write an essay about them. </p>

<p>Anyhow, do you this this issue would be better to bring up as a topic in the essay and how it has affected me? </p>

<p>(By the way, I meant to put University of Chicago, not Booth! Sorry about that!)</p>

<p>I think it is much more an interesting story than an out-and-out hook.</p>

<p>I think the story is a good hook, but you should think about what subriboy said. Your parents are the ones that got the family out of Kosovo, and because of their history, your hook is that you are a first generation college application. That is huge. You scores are okay, but not super competitive for the schools you listed. Consider some small, private, liberal arts colleges (LACs) that give great financial aid as well. Don't just think of the big names, as those are likely reaches, but really look for some target schools that match all of your stats and that are known for good finanical aid. Since you're a junior you have a full semester to do more research for these types of schools. And yes, you should try to get your SAT's over 2000 if you can, and over 2200 if you want to be competitive for U. of Chicago, NYU and others. Your GPA and course rigor looks good ... not sure you've written about your EC's or leadership, but those are also very important at the kinds of schools you are talking.</p>