Transferring to Dartmouth as a Junior

<p>At the risk of making this really long here I go. In high school my grades were only like a b+ until junior year when i started getting As. Unfortunately when sats rolled around I was still affected by not learning as much as i should have and got like a 1150. My sat IIs in mo bio, physics, and math iic were like 600. I went to merrimack and I'm currently a sophomore with like a 3.9 biochem major with only getting one a- in my math and science classes. I've been doing research with professors since freshman year and I worked in a biotech lab over the summer. The thing is that I'm a really intellectually inquisitive student and I am bored on this campus because I'm at the top of all my classes and i'm sick of getting 100s in everything, especially this year even though i have organic, inorganic, physics, calc 2, and senior level research in biology. I really want to transfer so that I can be with kids who love to learn as much as i do and in classes where I need to really strain myself. I visited my best friend and Dartmouth and really fell in love with it but they only take like 7%. I've talked to a professor in chemistry there and also talked to the two top kids in my major who graduated last year at the recommendation of that professor. What do you guys think? I know my high school grades (with a final average of like maybe a 92) are holding me back but that was more due to me being bored and not trying than anything else in the beginning. I just love learning so much and I want to be able to do it all the time and I feel that Merrimack is really stifling that because I can't be around kids who share a similar view. Is it reasonable to expect that I'd be able to get in or is there anything i could do to untaint my record. I could take the sats but i sort of feel like the time i'd take to study for it wouldn't really be worth it since i'd go in as a junior. Thank you guys very much for reading this and any suggestions I would really appreciate. I'm definitely very close with the science professors I have now so they could write me letters I just want to stand out as much as possible and I'm not sure how to do that.
Thank you so much!
Stephen</p>

<p>so what do you guys think?</p>

<p>I transferred to Dartmouth and you will love it, its a great place to transfer into. I would say college grades totally compensate for your HS grades, and I knew a guy in a very similar situation who transferred as a junior (strong college, weak HS). (BTW- Dartmouth loves people like you, most transfers do extrordinarily well and most of my transfer friends with strong college grades, weaker HS are now at top 5 grad schools like Harvard law). The biggest thing holding you back is your SAT. I would honestly get a verbal vocab workbook and study to boost verbal up, which you will. If it were a 1300 I would say leave it is, its just an 1150 is so rare that it could be your achillies heel. You have till the spring so I would recommend getting that done. While studying you will also learn enough to take the Math 1 SAT11 and maybe you should take a science one as well since now you will surely score much higher. </p>

<p>If you pull this off (and get 1300+, hopefully closer to 1400+), continue with the 3.9, AND write a great essay showing how you have changed (what you wrote above), I would say Dartmouth is yours for the asking.</p>

<p>Side note- the reason you need to take your SAT again is twofold:
1) Its just way too low for Dartmouth, and they reject plenty of people with SATs much much higher. the place has an average SAT close to 1450, they would have to admit two 1600s to balance you out.
2) Merrimack isnt a strong enough school where a 3.9 will prove you can handle Dartmouth. It will compensate for HS grades, but they will honestly want to know you are smart enough. If you can get a 1400 you show that, yes, you HAVE changed and you have done amazing things to prove it. If you do nothing its an easy excuse for an adcom to reject you. Same for the satIIs.</p>

<p>Also, as a safety if you don't get into Dartmouth (or boost the SAT), I highly recommend UNC-Chapel Hill. Transfers out of state get in-state status so its much easier to get in (you should). It very similar to Dartmouth, although much bigger.</p>

<p>I actually was thinking about taking the acts instead. It seems like they test you on what you know instead of whether you can sift through a question they are asking like the acts. What sort of score should I pull off on those and in that case would I still need to submit sat scores?</p>

<p>Upon closer inspection lets say i call pull like a 30 on the acts. I'd probably want to take sat IIs again...since you send all college board tests in one thing they'd see my sat scores along with sat IIs. Since i would have scored way better in acts and brought up my sat IIs would they hold it against me that my sat score was still so bad?</p>