Trying to get into HYPS and MIT?

<p>I'm not really stuck on one college, more like fifteen. I am a girl just finishing my sophomore year in high school in New Jersey (getting into Princeton is probably close to impossible...). I'm trying really hard to get into a Top-Tier/Ivy League. I'd like to stay in the northeast or maybe California. I would really appreciate it if someone would take the time and read this and whatever you do don't spare my feelings, I'd like you to be brutally honest.</p>

Year:Finishing sophomore in high school
Focusing on Math Chemistry and Biology
Religion: Pagan</p>

<p><strong>I recently heard that if you're parents did not go to college your chances of getting in are better. I'm not sure how valid or true this is if anyone has any input. Neither of my parents went to college, but my grandfather went to MIT. He did not graduate though, because he got drafted.</strong></p>

-Principal's Honor Roll Every Semester-your grades need to be a 98 or higher weighted (my school uses block scheduling, four classes a day 1h 20min classes half the year and then we switch to the four other classes. total 8 per year)
-PreCalculus as a sophomore with the second highest grade at the moment-98 average unweighted
-All honors classes, focusing in math and the sciences
-I am in the top ten percent of my class
-Unweighted GPA (with 92's considered A minuses)- 3.96
-Unweighted GPA (with 92's considered B's)-3.8
-Junior year I will be taking Honors Calculus, along with other Honors classes, AP Chemistry and AP English. Senior year will be all honors classes plus AP Calculus and AP Physics
-I have a real problem with cheating at school, and unfortunately everyone at my school cheats, so my class rank isn't fabulous, but its decent (top ten percent)
-I do go to a private school, but it isn't a Peddie or Lawrenceville Prep or anything, just your average catholic high school.
-I am almost one hundred percent I am majoring in Mathematics or Electrical Engineering, and I heard thats good to go in for a girl because not as many girls go for that. </p>

-Varsity Letter as Freshman for Tennis
-Undefeated at Third Doubles (big tennis team) freshman year
-Undefeated at Second Singles sophomore year
-Player of the Year Award Sophomore Year
-Tennis Champion four years in a row at the Racquet Club
-Highly Ranked Nationally for Show Jumping (horseback riding)
-Applied for a professional license that will be implemented in this fall
-Won over 10,000 dollars in prize money, trained my own horse</p>

-Manager of a 6,000 sq ft clothing store
-Over 160 hours helping autistic children learn to ride horses
-Law Club
-Math League
-Spanish Club
-Put together many local fashion shows where all the proceeds go to research foundations or other charitable organizations
-Raised over 3,000 dollars in one weekend to fund the Masonic Children's Learning Center for Dyslexic kids. They were going to close down due to insufficient funds
-Currently working to change New Jersey's law to recognize dyslexia as a learning difference so teachers can be taught the orton-gillingham method of learning</p>

<p>I don't think I forgot anything, but please tell me what you think! I go back and forth thinking I'll have a chance getting into a top school and not thinking they'll even consider me. Sometimes I think I think too highly of myself or I'm going way over my head..I am just very confused with the whole matter. Thank you!!</p>

<p>It slightly helps that you're female. But what would help more are your grades and test scores.</p>

<p>Well I haven't taken the SAT/ACT's yet, but grade wise I'll give you this</p>

<p>Freshman Year:
Biology Honors-94
Algebra 1 Honors-95
English 1 Honors-95
Spanish 1 Honors-92
Algebra 2 Honors-91
World History Honors-95</p>

<p>Sophomore Year:
Drivers Ed-97
Spanish 2 Honors-91
Geometry Honors-95
Chemistry Honors-96
Advanced Biology Honors-98
Trigonometry Honors-99
PreCalculus Honors-98
English Honors-98</p>

<p>I do much much better when I'm challenged, my school has block scheduling so I ended up taking Chem, Bio, Trig, PreCalc, and English in the same semester, and my grades went way up. Also, the grades I get are usually drastically lower because I'm awful at taking finals and freak out so my grades always drop a point or two after them :(</p>

<p>You absolutely need to be top 10%, and really top few students, for a shot at a top college from a non top high school. Unless something is very wrong, there is no more cheating at your school than at others.</p>

<p>You have very interesting ECS and good GPA (3.96)</p>

<p>You have to score at least 2250 to be competetive in princeton</p>

<p>I just got an SAT tutor, so hopefully I'll be able to get at least a 2250.. </p>

<p>I am also a tad strange, but I don't know how that'll help me get in..</p>

<p>Don't believe what you hear about your parents not going to college increases your chances, thats crap.</p>

<p>Both of my parents didn't go to college and are from a third world country and I still got rejected from schools.</p>

<p>I think the whole system is just a crapshoot.. I had two people tell me that if you're parents didn't receive a degree you had a better chance, and one of them was a professional outside guidance counselor and the other was my dad's friend, who is the head of Princeton's admissions office..</p>

<p>Many top colleges told us on tours that being first generation is a huge PLUS to an application. It's the biggest one, in fact. You still have to have great ECs, SATs, essays, and all that, but it will definitely give you an edge, IMO.</p>

<p>Good luck. Princeton is an awesome school. :)</p>

<p>Thank you mrscollege, I'm hoping I have at least a slight chance.. lol :)</p>

<p>Your stats look really really good.</p>

<p>Being female and majoring in mathematics is also an excellent pro for your app. Be sure to take the SAT II for Math.</p>

<p>That first generation is the "biggest plus" to an application is simply untrue. Biggest plus? Recruited athlete. Next biggest? URM. After that? Wealthy legacy, famous, powerful Then? From Alaska, a Dakota or unusul country.</p>

<p>Biggest plus for being first generation to college comes when you're also from an inner city, are a URM and very low income. Zero benefit if you're upper middle class and suburban.</p>

<p>Why, oh why, is there so much harmful, misleading info here?</p>

<p>You're doing well and you'll end up with great options. One small tip: when talking about volunteering, focus on impact, not hours. Impact demonstrates leadership; hours demonstrate nothing. 160 hours sounds like court ordered restitution, whereas helping autistic children learn to ride horses sounds like you're sharing your passion and influencing lives.</p>

<p>You're doing great. Good luck.</p>

<p>Redroses, I am not trying to be misleading. I am simply relaying what was told to me by the admissions people while on tours at several top colleges. Whether or not it's true has been up for debate for a long time. Of course, URM, athlete, legacy, and all that are huge boosts for apps as well, but the question was about first gen. I've seen as many first-gen ringers as recruited athletes. It's definitely a not a bad thing to be.</p>