Aight so I’m applying to quite a few US universities this year, focusing on CS.
Nationality - Indian
High School - Small school in UAE
SAT 1: 1570 (800 in Math)
SAT 2: 800 (Math), 800 (Chem), 780 (Physics, but I’m retaking)
No GPA at my school - I study CBSE but always 90+ in every subject, had a li’l dip in my Junior year in Math (90/100) but scored 100 in CS. I also take Physics, Chem, English. I’ve no clue how percentage translates to GPA.
My projected scores are extremely high - 98.4% with 100 in Math & CS
Essays & Rec Letters:
Great Rec Letters as far as I know, only invited teachers who made their appreciation clear.
Essays - I write decently, so they won’t be trashy. I have an assigned editor too.
No Spike at all. Dabbled in all possible fields. CS competitions cancelled because of COVID. Otherwise -
Won 14 medals and 6 trophies at WSC (Regional). Regularly partook in Olympiads, won 3 medals (school & regional level).
Played Basketball for all 4 HS years, represented the school in my final 2.
Into Art & Craft, I’ve mentioned that I crochet & paint regularly. Won a couple inter-house contests in Fabric painting & Ikebana.
Took CS courses [WebDev Bootcamp & Python’s integration with Machine Learning] on Udemy, and have coded lots of functional programs in Python.
Secretary General of School’s MUN for 2 years, plus delegate all through.
Established a 5-membered group advocating for environmental conservation through in our school & community, had one recycling drive where we contributed 570 kg of paper, and 55 kg of plastic. Couldn’t organize another, because drumroll COVID.
Organized many events at school, both small-scale and large-scale. Was the Vice-President of two clubs. Parents didn’t allow me to run for elections ugh.
Regional & National level achievements in Hindi debates and extempore. Also won a couple awards at Hindi Poem & Story Writing competitions. Wrote & recited poems at various events (non-competitive) & acted and directed a Hindi Street Play. Organized & presented a showcase on UAE-India Bilateral Relations.
Report Writer (occasional) & Head of Media Team for one major event. Won second place at a national-level Research-Paper Writing Competition (Quite a huge event tbh).
Represented my school at a local UNESCO Project Net Forum.
So yeah, I’ve got quantity, not quality. Given the low acceptance rates for both CS and international students, I find myself at a disadvantage anyway. I submitted my REA application to Stanford yesterday, and yep, waiting for rejection. I gave up on MIT, because the application is too long, and I feel like it’s not worth the time investment.
The only thing that may give me an edge is that I’ve been subjected to some prejudice because of my androgyny, and I have mentioned it in my Common App Essay. I also won’t be requiring financial aid, though that’d be amazing.
I just want y’all to tell me which of these I have a chance at - Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, NYU (trying for Abu Dhabi Campus), CMU, and the UCs - UCLA, UCB, UCSD (maybe).
Also, please suggest some other universities that are achievable for me, and will also sit well in the eyes of my parents in terms of prestige.
Thanks in advance