Low GPA? Ivies?

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>I am a South Asian senior in New Jersey. I am extremely concerned right now, as I am applying to several top-tier schools with a sub-par CV. I </p>

<p>I have applied to, or am going to apply to, the following schools:</p>

<p>University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences
California Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
HYPS (RD)
UC Berkeley (RD)
Columbia (RD)
Rutgers New Brunswick (RD)
NYU (RD)</p>

<p>I got deferred from Penn ED.</p>

<p>UW GPA: 3.70
W: 4.46</p>

<p>Freshman Year Courses with Grades:
Biology Honors: B
Chemistry Honors: B
Precalculus Honors: B
Language Arts Honors 1: A
French 2: A
World History: A</p>

<p>Sophomore Year Courses with Grades:
AP Biology: B
Physics Honors:B
Language Arts Honors 2: A
Multivariable Calculus Honors: A
US History Honors: A
French 3: A</p>

<p>Junior Year Courses with Grades:
AP Physics C: A
AP Language and Composition: A
AP US Government: A
AP French: A
AP Statistics: A
Journalism: A</p>

<p>Senior Year Midyear Report:
AP Chemistry: A
Princeton University FRE 108 (Advanced French): A
AP Literature:B
Photography: A</p>

<p>As you can see, I have a major upward trend. However, my grades for freshman and sophomore year sucked.</p>

<p>Standardized tests:
SAT Biology M: 790
SAT Physics: 770
SAT French: 800
SAT Math Level 2: 800
SAT Math Level 1: 770 (7th grade)
SAT: 2330</p>

<p>AP Biology: 5
AP US Government: 5
AP Language: 5
AP French: 4
AP Calculus BC: 5
AP Physics C Mechanics: 5
AP Physics C EM: 5
AP Statistics: 5</p>

<p>National AP Scholar junior year</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:
Science Olympiad: Several gold medals at states and regionals
Science Bowl: 2nd place at states junior year
National Ocean Science Bowl: 3rd place at states sophomore year, 2nd place at states junior year
USABO semifinalist junior year
USAPho semifinalist junior year
Tiered in Mandelbrot sophomore and junior year
Placed 7th in our division in PUMaC junior year
Took Princeton course in French
Wrote several articles for school newspaper
Secretary of Math Club junior and senior year
Treasurer of Science Club senior year
Competitive Chess Player: Rating is around 1440
Had lab internship at Drexel University over the summer
Taught Chess at local library
National AP Scholar</p>

<p>bumpity bump</p>

<p>To be honest, your extracurriculars and grades are fabulous. All colleges, whether public in-state or lucrative Ivy Leagues, can be unpredictible in their decisions, and can very well turn down even an applicant with the excellent range of extracurriculars that you demonstrated. </p>

<p>With such a nice academic/EC profile, I would suggest applying to a couple of moderately competitive schools and perhaps a few sure-fire public universities as back-up. Schools like Rutgers may actually turn wonderful students down in suspicion that thy are not genuinely serious about attending. And the highly selective schools never color in the lines, so it's always best to be wary. </p>

<p>Assuming application costs are no object, keep the Ivies and all the others on your list, add on some moderately selectives like Tulane, Swarthmore, or Fordham (those are just the ones I can immediately think of), and sprinkle on some submit-and-go applications to rolling admissions/less-selective safety schools.</p>

<p>And my goodness, with an 800 SATII in Math II, there's no reason for any school not to admit you right away. Yowza!</p>

<p>Also: freshman and sophomore year rarely work against you unless you absolutely failed your classes and needed intensive summer school. I got a 70 in geometry in freshman year. No big deal. The world keeps turning - a little slip-up in your adjustment years won't compromise college admissions. Don't stress over it!</p>

<p>To be honest, your stats are amazing. Seeing your rigorous course options junior year and that your got deferred from Penn ED, I assume you go to a very competitive school. Your ethnicity is definitely hurting you, and probably your rank too. Your ECs are slightly narrow, but you do exceed in the academic ECs. Admission to NYU and Rutgers is certain, but the others will probably seem like luck of the draw.</p>

<p>Haha, thanks guys. It's just that my parents really want me to go to a top 20 school. I know that that in itself isn't a very good reason, but I can't help it. :-/ What I'm concerned about is my inconsistency. Most of my extracurriculars are science-based, and yet I haven't done so well in my science courses at school. Would that be a problem? Should I choose French as an intended major?</p>

<p>Choose a major that you have a genuine interest in. If all of your ec's are science related and you have been enjoying what you do, then stick with that. It will be better for you in the long run. Also your stats are great. Remember that you were deferred and not rejected, so that means you were still a competitive applicant. Good luck! Chance me back?</p>

<p>For the purposes of coming across as a "stable" or self-assured applicant, I would suggest keeping the whole science theme in the frontlines of your application. Your interests, based upon the bulk of your profile, seem to lean toward the sciences. If you can subtly interweave your love for French into your supplements, you at least have that stable "grounding" of science that will stick into the admissions counselor's mind.</p>

<p>This reminds me of my own quandary. My extracurriculars are all about writing and performance, but the entirety of my schedule is biology and technology (and my intended major is writing). So long as you plant "seeds" of your interest in French, without losing direction in your app, this can only work in your favor.</p>

<p>But from a strictly economic, non-college app perspective, majoring in French (or any other foreign language, save for Arabic or Middle Eastern studies) might just be the equivalent of doom. Unless you plan on becoming a French professor, I cannot think of any real-world application of such a major. Perhaps I'm just not well-versed in the French "field," but those are my two cents...</p>

<p>@sharonm</p>

<p>LOL, I completely understand what you're trying to say. Majoring in a language right now is a dangerous proposition. Thanks for your posts, btw!</p>

<p>I'm just a little concerned that my French resume might be stronger than my science one. Also, I took the Math test in 8th grade. Is that a problem?</p>

<p>Your stats remind me of mine, so I'm going to be a liiiitle pessimistic haha
1. Are you a male or female? If you're a female, I would say that your chances into MIT are pretty high mainly because it's kind of easy to get in as a girl, but if you're a male, I would say that your chances are pretty low.
2. Otherwise - the other colleges (other than HYPS) should be pretty decent matches or low reaches for you because of your amazing ECs. Don't worry about them being narrow; as my guidance counselor always says, colleges are looking for a well-rounded class, not a well-rounded student. They don't want jack-of-all-trades-master-of-nones
3. I wouldn't worry about your stronger French resume. I think admissions know that it's easier to have a better language resume than a science/math one, and it's clear that you have a passion for math/science-y stuff based on your ECs.
4. The upward trend definitely helps you in this case - I've heard that upward trends are very underrated.
5. Standardized tests and APs look great.</p>

<p>Overall, very impressive! Of course (and you know this already) the top schools are generally crapshoots, but I think that you'll definitely get in to at least one! Best of luck!</p>

<p>Chance me back? :]
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1261927-chance-desperate-junior.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1261927-chance-desperate-junior.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Thanks for the input, guys!
How much does the Pton course help?</p>

<p>I think Penn gave you a good indication how much it helps....</p>

<p>Is my college list feasible?</p>

<p>Yes, as you should have no problem getting into Rutgers, NYU, Michigan and Berkeley. If you like and can afford these schools, you're fine. The reaches are not out of the question, but you can't count on getting into one.</p>

<p>I see, okay. Thanks! Bump.</p>

<p>Bumpity bumperoo</p>

<p>Talk about odd luck...
my GPA is a pretty near match as yours, and I'm also trying to get into anything decent. Your AP scores beat mine though... and so do your extracurriculars. I would likely say that you have a high chance of getting into anything, except the top ones (Harvard, Princeton, Yale). It's more about luck at this point out- if the UW was a tad bit higher, you would be pretty much set.
I have you beat in chess though- 1510 rating, haha!
Please do chance me back if you can, would really appreciate it: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1266589-chance-me-anything-good-will-chance-back.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1266589-chance-me-anything-good-will-chance-back.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Thanks! You were chanced back.</p>

<p>Bump bump bump.</p>