Long and odd case, chance me please!

<p>Hi everyone
I'm a junior (2011) and I've been looking at many CC topics in the past few months learning about colleges and universities besides the usual college search. I've never quite come across a thread that describes my situation so I decided to make one of my own. :S Here's the deal:</p>

<p>I came to America two years ago (from Iran, where I was in a competitive and challenging school) and started High school as a sophomore without knowing ANYTHING about the American educational system and I didn't even know in order to get into college you have to write essays and take the SAT and do so many other things. I never even had someone to at least help me or direct me. Absolutely everything was new to me but I handled it well because the only thing I did have was the ability to speak and write English fluently and understand it well also.</p>

<p>So I spent my sophomore year figuring out all those things and trying to catch up on what kids in my classes were assumed to know. I got help from one of my teachers and he told me some of the things that I really needed to know. When I started junior year, I thought I knew lots about colleges and the admission process and all that. Turns out I didn't know many of the important things like that lots of colleges require SAT Subject Tests and that extracurricular activities look nice on applications. I didn't know about them because these things don't exist in my country's college and high school system. (There's just one entrance exam and your whole life depends on that! D:<)</p>

<p>I'll start my senior year in about a month and I'm extremely worried and upset that I'm falling behind my peers only because I didn't know enough. I live in Maryland and would love to get into Johns Hopkins because I know I can handle it. But I'm afraid I don't quite meet even the minimum requirements even though I personally believe I'm qualified. I don't know if this helps or not but here is some info about me:</p>

<p>SAT: 2020 (math740 CR550 WR730) Essay score: 10
GPA: 4.0
Don't know my class rank, but I'm thinking top 15%
10th grade: all honors and standards
11th grade: AP World, AP Calc AB, GT physics, GT Art, English 11 Honors, GT Tech, Standard Spanish I
12th grade: AP Bio, AP Calc BC, AP studio art I, AP US history, English 12 Honors</p>

<p>I'm not allowed to work and I don't have any extra curricular activities which I know is terrible. BUT I have hobbies that I'm quite serious about and consider important.</p>

<p>Ask me for more info if needed and thanks a lot if you took the time to read that block of text lol Cookies to anyone who chances me :)</p>

<p>Three questions for you:</p>

<p>1) Is that GPA unweighted?
2) How many APs are offered at your school? Just give me an approximation.
3) Are you a US citizen/permanent resident?</p>

<p>1) So sorry but I'm not sure. I used GPA</a> Calculator and got 4.35 but that doesn't calculate GT courses. I got straight A's both Sophomore and Junior year.
2) My school offers 25 AP classes
3) I'm a permanent resident. :)</p>

<p>So your SAT score is relatively low for Johns Hopkins....
You only took 6/25 AP courses offered at your school....
and your extracurricular activity is virtually non-existent?</p>

<p>Most likely rejection. However, I definitely suggest you to apply early decision to Johns Hopkins. With college admissions as unpredictable as they are currently, you never know. Good luck.</p>

<p>That's true. I kind of knew I don't have a chance. Thank you. :)</p>

<p>What are my chances of getting into UMBC, or other good schools in MD?</p>

I believe if you write a great essay describing troubles you had regarding cultural differences, you may have a chance to Johns Hopkins. You'll need to demonstrate these clearly though, so the admissions can understand your deficit of extracurriculars. I suggest you look to take at least one SAT2, most likely Math1C or Math2C since those are easiest to study in my opinion. It is impossible to guarantee an acception or rejection, but I do agree with the above poster that you should give Johns Hopkins an Early Decision shot. Good lucks.</p>

<p>Most likely acceptance at UMBC.</p>

<p>@post #6: don't take the Math I test if you want to Johns Hopkins. Top schools consider it worthless, and think you should have taken the Math II instead.</p>

<p>If your unweighted is a 4.0 and your weighted is a 4.35 even without the extra weighting, that's pretty much on par for Hopkins, although it would depend on where exactly you go to school. (Can you give me a county, or at least how competitive your school is?) Your SAT score, though, is definitely low. If you can bring your critical reading score up, your chances would go up exponentially. Likewise, if you can write the essay described in post #6, you'll get a vast increase.</p>

<p>For a school like Johns Hopkins, you'll need to take either 2 or 3 SAT subject tests. Just pick whatever your best subjects were last year, or whatever you'd liked best. The one issue with this is that, if you were to apply ED, you might not have the time to do both, so you need to look into their deadlines and whether they'd accept a test taken shortly after the application was due.</p>

<p>As for other Maryland schools, you're definitely in to UMBC and UMD both, as well as St. Mary's if you want in (which, I'd like to note, is actually named after St. Mary's City and is a nonreligious, public LAC). No other decent MD schools are coming to mind, but if I've forgotten one just let me know...</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions.
@BISORI: I will definitely have to work very hard on my essay, I just have to organize my thoughts and present my situation well. Thanks for your help.</p>

<p>@rOadTo3b: I don't know if this makes sense or not, but first of all I wasn't in America for 9th grade, meaning that none of the classes I took for that year in Iran (which were all college level by the way, since I know most of the things I'm studying in AP classes now) count as anything special. And when I wanted to register for 10th grade the school didn't let me take any AP classes because they had no idea what I already knew and didn't know and they didn't know if I could handle it. So that's two years without any AP classes. Then I wanted to take all APs for 11th grade (except English) but I couldn't take an AP science (not offered to juniors) or an AP foreign language because in Iran I studied Persian and English, meaning that I didn't have any background in Spanish or French. Therefore I took all the AP classes I could and I'm doing the same thing for 12th grade. The thing is that I have to take World and US history, American government, and some sort of economy class to fulfill the 3.5 credits of social studies. I took American gov in 10th grade and fell behind a full year. So now, in 12th grade, I have to make up for that by taking 1.5 credits of social studies in one year. I'm sorry that I can't explain it any better... :S Thanks for reading.</p>

<p>@wulfran: I'm definitely taking MathII and perhaps physics or bio since I'm good at math and science. I'm in Baltimore County (Dulaney High School) and it's quite competitive. And yes my SAT score is quite low, and I can't do much about it now, since I have to use all the SAT test dates to take Subject tests. I don't know if I'll apply ED or not, I'm so confused! Thanks for your help!!</p>

<p>Consult with your guidance counselor on that matter and have him/her elaborate your unique situation in the counselor recommendation letter.</p>

<p>I think your story about coming to the United States and having to navigate high school and the process for applying to college would make a good essay as long as it is well written.</p>

<p>@rOadTo3b: Good idea. I should do that ASAP, thank you.</p>

<p>@Copterguy: I hope I can write a good essay. :)</p>