Rate my chances? IMSA- Unique? Magnet School

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I'm a rising junior at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. It is a charter school in Aurora, a suburb of Chicago. Thus, the curriculum and course-loads are supposedly more challenging. This shall be my excuse for the following stats I will probably have. Also, this is a speculative profile, so forgive the pretentiousness. I just want to see if I even have the slightest chance at HYPSM and perhaps the top LACs.</p>

<p>GPA: Unweighted- 3.97; Weighted- N/A
SAT: 2350<
Subject Tests: Chemistry or Bio, Literature, Math IIC; all pending, but Math and the Science will probably be 800. Literature will, I hope, be in the mid to high 700s.</p>


<p>Varsity Scholastic Bowl (Varsity 3 Years; JV 1)
Varsity Tennis (V 3, although only 2 will appear on College Apps; JV 1)
Varsity Science Olympiad (2 Years)
Speech Team (2 Years)
Mu Alpha Theta Officer
Piano (8 Years)
Violin (7 Years)
-Would sending recordings in help? I was told by a friend that if you aren't of Juilliard caliber (slight exaggeration) your music won't really help you much, except to show your passions and interests. I believe I can play pretty well and if I really worked on a piece, my piano would be immaculate.</p>

<p>Research (2 Years)- possibility of being co-authored in a publication my professor says.
JETS (co-founded at school; 2 years)</p>


<p>USABO? The goal is, of course, to go all the way to the International Biology Olympiad, although realistically, I expect only Semis or Finals at best.</p>

<p>So my school is wierd; No AP/Honors Classes, hence the lack of a weighted GPA. Also, my school doesn't even calculate GPA, nor does it figure Class Rank for that matter. This boarding school also offers residential leadership opportunities, which I have capitalized on as a "Wing Guide." Basically, our responsibilities consist of planning events for our residential wings, being role models, etc. The research I'm doing is through a program within the school, but we do the same things any other high school student would do I'd assume. </p>

<p>My greatest concerns right now are my relatively low GPA, my ec's (and my performance within them), and perhaps the awards on my desolate resume. Tests I've always been pretty good at. Another issue I'm concerned with is if my Freshman year will count, since the school I attend only offers three years. I've been told it wont, although if it does, it would definitely boost my GPA and add slightly to my ec's. </p>

<p>I'd expect at least decent recommendations and I hope I can figure these essays out. Also, if you could give me some tips for the SAT essay portion... I've always struggled most with that.</p>

<p>Please give me any advice you can. I'm still trying to figure this college admissions thing out. Could someone with a similar case school-wise clear some of my questions up? Also, tell me if I'm being too much of a dreamer. It would hurt significantly, but I'd rather enjoy the rest of high school than cry every week thinking about those rejection letters. (Kidding... kind of) It's past 2 am on a summer's night and I'm fretting about college.</p>


<p>i got accepted into imsa after 8th grade. quite a shame i didn’t go–it’s a great school. your gpa isn’t low at all! and especially since you’re smart enough to go to imsa and they have that weird-ass grading policy, you should be fine anywhere. i’d definitely suggest northwestern and uchicago if you want to stay close to home, since you’ll probably have very good shots at those two. as long as all of your sat II’s are above 720, you should be set.</p>

<p>If you can achieve the profile you posted, you are definitely a candidate for the schools you mentioned – pulling above a 3.9 at IMSA is extremely difficult and very few students achieve it. That being said, with college admissions the way they are right now, there are absolutely <em>no</em> guarantees for top schools (with the possible exception of Northwestern, considering you’re from IMSA.) As for ECs, the best advice in my experience/opinion is that quality, not quantity matters. What distinguishes you from all the other bright kids out there also applying to excellent universities?</p>

<p>Finally, just remember that although college is important, with regards to future success, it is you as a person that is much more important than your undergraduate institution. There are plenty of rich state school grads and unemployed Harvard grads.</p>