If only, one would help another brother out..

<p>Hello, </p>

<p>My name is Abraham and I am a junior in a private, Jewish high school in L.A. I am very interested in the programs, diversity, and beautiful campus UCLA has to offer. I am a 1st generation American/ Persian, so my English is not that great but I am getting better quite rapidly. But, I have recently been stressing over the fact of applying to UCLA or not (For Fall of 2013). The reason for that is because my high school does not emphasize on the strength of their academics and clubs etc. I have been in the highest level classes we can be in since the 10th grade.[Our school actually has the UC school requirements, but we have to go to school during the summer too, if we want to get the a-g courses.] In fact, I am taking calculus right now. But, the problem is that our school does not offer any AP classes. And since we start school at 7:30 AM and end on average at 9:30 PM, 6 days a week (excluding Friday's due to religious observance) it is very hard for me to reach higher levels of secular studies. I am currently self-studying for the AP English Language and psychology exam. And I know I will do well because when I have a goal, I achieve it. But what worries me is: I don't know if I am heading on the right track. We have no school counselor to help for this stuff! Also, my parents are very busy since we have a family of 8, so they do not really have time for this, so I have to take care of myself and my 4 younger siblings. I have also tried to make school clubs/groups; however, my school does not allow it. I even got a petition from many kids in my school that they wanted one of these groups, but no matter how many times i tried my school turned me down. Still, I have gone out of way to help my community and temple (volunteering), fundraising, setting up, tutoring, recycling, etc. Also, I took a practice ACT test and got something like a 28-29, but I am sure I can bump it up to over 30. Also, I forgot to mention I am planning on also self-studying AP Biology, Chemistry, and probably Calculus in my senior year (We are going to end at average 10:15 a night, so it will be pretty hard, but manageable). And if it helps I understand 3 languages, almost 4.</p>

<p>So I was wondering can you please help me. </p>

<pre><code> What can I do to improve my application?

   What should I be doing in my summer/ free time etc. (I mean, when I am not in summer school or studying)?

    What should I do about the Clubs, and AP's?


<p>Please tell me of anything you think that can help me; I am forever grateful!</p>

<p>Thanks, Abraham.</p>

<p>Definitely get over a 30 on ACT or 2000 on SAT to stay competitive. Don't forget SAT2 also. Because your high school does not offer any AP classes you will be at a disadvantage. I recommend taking classes at a community college over the summer if possible. Join as many clubs that interest you and try to become an officer. Volunteering definitely helps too.</p>

<p>I disagree that you will be hurt by lack of APs. If you are getting almost a 4.0, you will be competitive regardless of APs. Colleges evaluate you in the context of your situation, and you have done extraordinarily given your circumstances. In fact, you could possibly write a very compelling essay discussing your fears of falling behind more advanced schools, talking about what you did to overcome it (self studying, summer school, helping with family, etc.) and then explaining how college will give you so many opportunities to reach your potential. </p>

<p>I don't know your gpa, but of it is high I would suggest applying to some of the Claremot Colleges and some other privates because their admissions tend to be more holistic and you definitely need a holistic evaluation. Get that ACT score up and I'm sure you will end up somewhere great!</p>