Stanford - Will My Depressing Life Change Things In Admissions?

<p>Well, I'm a first timer on this forum... so I hope I don't get flamed or anything for asking a stupid question.</p>

<p>The only really good school I'm applying to is Stanford (Early Action) and I'm wondering if I have to apply to more colleges.</p>

<p>Current Colleges I Plan to Apply To

<p>I really do want to get into Stanford, but if I don't really have a chance, I may just apply to a couple more "fancy-ass" schools like Cal Tech and Harvey Mudd. So if you guys could take the time to evaluate whether or not Stanford is a "match?" or a "reach?" for me, I'd appreciate it.</p>

<p>Well, I'll run you my sad little story as fast as I can...
My sister, who is 7 years older than I am, is severely mentally and physically retarded (Cornelia deLange Syndrome). My mother and I have to take care of her 24/7 as she is self-abusive.
My father drowned when I was the age of 4. My mother will never remarry.
We survived off of Social Security benefits along with some help from my father's sister, who passed away September of this year.
My mother contracted a tumor and underwent surgery when I was entering middle school. I basically took care of myself because we could not afford a baby sitter.
We had no health insurance since my father died and our family suffers from numerous genetic ailments. I myself had three sets of upper front teeth that needed to be removed when I was six.
3/5 siblings in my father's side are now dead. All died before retirement.</p>

<p>Brief Statistics For Me...</p>

<p>10-12 Weighted GPA - 4.5 (Rank 8 of 600+)
9-12 Weighted GPA - 4.3 (Rank 16 of 600+)
Course Workload - Hands Down Most Difficult - All AP/Honors/Accelerated</p>

<p>All of the following tests were taken once only.
PSAT - Math -80 Verbal -75 Writing-74 - Semi-Finalist (Will take a long while to see if I made finalist)
SAT I - Verbal - 720
SAT I - Math - 790
SAT II - Math II C - 800
SAT II - Physics - 790
SAT II - Writing - 700</p>

<p>AP Scores
Physics B - 5
Biology - 5
Physics C - Mech - 5
Physics C - E/M - 5
Psychology - 5
Calculus BC - 5
European History - 4
US History - 4
English Language - 4</p>

<p>Senior Class Schedule
AP Chemistry
AP Statistics
AP Environmental Science
AP Government/Politics
AP Literature
Orchestra (Advanced)</p>

<p>Most Significant Extra Cirricular
Piano - 13 Years - Music Teacher Association of California - Certificate of Merit Level X (Highest Level)
-Competed in college competitions (3rd place Cal State Fullerton Piano Competition)
-Soloist for School Orchestra
-Annual Performances at Leisure World
-Play for banquets and charity events</p>

<p>Violin - 8 Years - Royal School Board of Music - Level VII (2nd Highest Level)
-Music Theory Level V - Highest Honor (Perfect Score)
-Concert Master for School Orchestra 4 Years In a Row
-Section Leader for numerous (prestigious) out of school orchestras (ex-La Primavera)</p>

<p>Most Significant Clubs(There are lots of other clubs/activities but I doubt the colleges care about just being "a member")
Future Scientists and Engineers of America - Public Relations
Film Club - Founder and Co-Director
South Orange County Car Club - Founder (Going through hell getting things legalized by the cops)
National Honor Society//California Scholarship Federation Member
School Senate - 12th Grade</p>

<p>Volunteer Service
Private Tutoring (mostly random neighbors)
South Coast Hospital (I did very little, minor things. No open heart surgery for me =/)
Leisure World - Music Performances
Safe Rides - (Driving drunk people home)</p>

<p>Current Jobs - Worked Since 16, Now Work Two jobs, even during the school year.
In-Home Supportive Services - 25 hours weekly
Best Buy - Appliances (yea, it's funny to me too) - ~20 hours weekly</p>

<p>Past Jobs
American Express Financial Advisors - Receptionist
Mann Movie Theaters - Various</p>

<p>There's probably more junk that I've done but I don't think you guys want to read all this crap. I gotta know from you guys if Stanford's looking for a guy like me. All the money I make from my jobs goes to my mother for my very very precious car. I got a Lexus IS300 (5-spd manual Sportdesign for you car fans) and my ~$12K yearly earnings go straight to my pride and joy. I never even wanted to apply to Stanford up until about 2 months ago when my neighbor+childhood buddy told me MIT gave full scholarships to anybody that could get in... but whose parents made less than $40K a year. I'm not sure if Stanford's going to be the same.</p>

<p>I think your life story is the only thing that would be actually impressive to admission officers. Do not count on it too much.</p>

<p>ur mean he's in</p>

<p>If this is real, you're in,however, i'm having doubts about what the possibility of a story like that is</p>

<p>cornelia delange syndrome is rare, only 1 out of 30,000 live births and i cannot find any evidence of an abusive nature.</p>

<p>I am saying that do not think that your life story is only the unique one. If you focus on it too much you may lose your control.</p>

<p>Your scores and grades are very high, and your music accomplishments sound phenomenal - make sure to send in an audition tape (pay attention to the deadlines, they are different from the rest of the application). </p>

<p>Financial aid at Stanford (as at MIT) is need based, and will be determined based on family income.</p>

<p>As for your life story - it makes your accomplishments all the more impressive. The part that I totally don't get is your Lexus though... Living on Social Security, with no health insurance and buying a Lexux???? I don't mean to sound judgmental, but it's just so odd... Stanford does ask you on the application what did you do with the money you earned.</p>

<p>Don't you bring up all your challenges- it'll sound like whining. Make absolutely sure that your guidance counselor does, though.</p>


<p>Stanford: Reach
UCLA: Match
UCSD: Safety
USC: Match</p>

<p>Celebrian, why would someone waste their time coming up with a list of like 50 activities in addition to a story like that? I personally don't know anybody who would go that much trouble for reason.</p>

<p>To nngmm, to answer your question about the car, most of my crap had been garage sale stuff and hand-me-downs. Once I started to earn $600+ dollars a month, I kinda went nuts on the spending (I bought a HDTV too). My mom agreed that the car was a wise choice if I was to stay in California. It will last me throughout high school, getting me to/from school and to/from work, and all through college and graduate school. We tried to buy the most reliable automobile we could find. Before the IS300, I had a hand-me-down from one of my cousins... a 98 Volvo S70 that broke down twice in the 6 months I had it. The power steering went out, the engine would stall, and the chassis felt unstable at speeds over 60mph. We spent $1000 on repairs in those six months alone.</p>

<p>With the combined income of my two jobs, Social Security, and a few aides by the government, I guess I was just sick and tired of depending on people to give me something. I got my computer from my eldest cousin who worked for an Asian Computer company. I was tired of hand-me down clothes and a hand-me down car. I finally had the cash to buy somethings that were brand new and I guess I abused it a little.</p>

<p>To celebrian25, yes, she is self abusive. Beginning in the year when I was born, she began to bite her fingers until they bled, and recently, she has begun to scratch her skin viciously. She wears hand splints but still requires constant attention. As to the validy of my claims, we are listed in the Cornelia deLange directory. My sister's name is Lidy Huang. We are also published in a chinese book whose title roughly translated means "The Angel In My Family."</p>

<p>your grades are impressive on their own and you have excellent statistics. Even without your story I would have said that you have a pretty good chance.</p>

<p>If your story is true, and your counselor makes note of it, I'm almost certain that you'll get in.</p>

<p>Okay I apologize, would you be living at home or at the school? I ask because all your schools are in california</p>

<p>Thanks for the input guys. Do you think I'll still get in Stanford if I don't apply "Early Action"? Personally I don't think I'll get in non-EA, but I was thinking about retaking my SAT Is (I retook my SAT II - Writing this month).</p>

<p>Celebrian, I'll definetely be living on campus if I get into Stanford. There's a small chance I'll live at home if I go to the other schools listed. I live in Orange County.</p>

my son spent a lot of time (to the detriment of his grades) helping care for elderly and disabled grandparents. I gave his GC a pretty detailed description of it - this information will go into her rec. My son will mention caring for his grandparents as an activity - statement of fact. </p>

<p>I definately think that you should apply to Stanford. Also, Harvey Mudd or any other 'fancy ass' college that strikes your fancy. You have your safeties - you'll be going somewhere good. Write your essays and go for a couple of long shots. I think you are rather a remarkable person; maybe an adcom will, too. Best of luck to you, and blessings to your sister Lidy. She has helped make you who you are. Perhaps one day she will find joy as well.</p>

There is no reason for you to retake SAT - you scores are great, and 50 more points will make absolutely no difference. You will have a great chance at Stanford EA if you can write good essays. Make sure that colleges are aware of your situation at home, because it is quite remarkable what you have accomplished under the sircumstances.
Another great school you may want to consider in CA is Pomona. Good luck.</p>

If you do include the story in your app, nobody's going to buy into it considering the high credentials you have, unless you provide like credible evidence and stuff of all those tragic events happening. Otherwise, the admissions officers are going to think that you're adding all that to get them to sympathize with you and admit you. 3 sets of upper front teeth? C'mon that's like a shark or something. You already have a good chance of getting into Stanford. Don't add what seems to be false stories and risk screwing yourself over unless you can prove it's true.</p>

<p>obiHang your story is very sad. definintally put it on your application, but throw in some specific adversitys you had due to the difficulty.</p>

<p>By the way what project are you doing in fsea, im a member too. also do u go to mission viejo high</p>

<p>To kamehameha87,
Haha, I guess if my story is that unbelievable, when they find out every bit is true, I'm definetely "in." Yes, I had three sets of upper front teeth. I had two extra "rabbit teeth." When I was seven, it took awhile for the lousy doctors to notice all my sinus infection and when they did an x-ray, they saw a 2nd set of adult teeth lodged very high, by my nasal cavities. I underwent surgery to get them removed. I'll have the dental records to prove it, but simply by looking at my current front adult teeth, it can be seen that I have a heavily receeding gumline, which was a side effect of the operation. One "perk," and this is also completely true, is that somehow with those two extra front teeth, my upper set of wisdom teeth never formed, only the bottom ones.</p>

<p>Socalnick, my chapter of FSEA WAS going to do bridge building, which I thought would be great, but the club took a vote and we're doing boring ol' bottle rockets... for the hundreth time. I go to Aliso Niguel High, and the best project we had was in my sophomore year (I'm a senior now) in which we build "underwater ROVs" which were basically submarines that we used (along with a magnetic coil) to pick up random junk from the bottom of the school swimming pool. Ironically, only 2 ROVs made it to "competition status"...</p>