Unhooked Singaporean for Stanford - is it even possible? Will chance back!

<p>Hi everyone,</p>

<p>What do you guys think of my chances at getting into Stanford as an unhooked international applicant? I'm a Singaporean chinese male hoping to major in Computer Science. My main worry is that I tend to approach things with the attitude of a dilettante - as such, I've mostly ended up being a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none" kind of person. This seems to be the exact opposite of what I've seen in international Stanford admits, all who seem to be extremely brilliant at one (or/and more) particular thing(s).</p>

<p>Anyway, here are my stats:</p>

<p>IB Results:
[<em>]Math HL: 7
[</em>]Physics HL: 7
[<em>]Computer Science HL: 7
[</em>]Business & Management SL: 7
[<em>]English A1 SL: 6
[</em>]Chinese B SL: 7
[li]TOK + EE: 1 (meh.)[/li][/ul]
Total: 42/45</p>

<p>Course Load: Definitely not the most demanding combination offered at my school. I suppose in terms of workload, my combination doles out a reasonable amount of work without being too lax.
Class Rank: Unranked as far as I can tell.</p>

<p>SAT I: 2360 (CR 790 / Math 780 / Writing 790) - Math is meh.
SAT II: 800 Math II, 800 Physics</p>

<p>Other Stuff:
Do not require financial aid. (On a scholarship)
Parents have not gone to college before.
For the Singaporeans - Do not require deferment for National Service. (ORD in Dec this year!)</p>

1. Vice president of the Computer Club in my school.
2. Represented my school in national IT competitions: (Listed 2007-2008 stuff)
[<em>]National Olympiad of Informatics: Bronze Medal
[li]Network & Security Investigation Challenge (National-level IT competition): Runners-up (Team)[/li][li]Algo</em>Mania (Another national-level programming competition): Third place (Team)[/li][<em>]National Software Competition (Programming): Merit/4th (Team)
[li]HPC Quest (National-level programming competition involving computer clusters): Merit (Team)[/li][li]My team was ranked overall 3rd in the country after aggregation of the competition results by the organizer. (against ~2500 participants, although I'd wager effectively, my team was pit against against only 20+ teams or so.)[/li][/ul]
3. Work experience:
[li]Set up an e-commerce system for a small organization[/li][</em>]Designed and implemented a simple PHP/AJAX tag-based image search system for a client
[li]Administrator for a web and mail server at a relative's company.[/li][/ul]
4. Was a "non-commisioned officer" at a national youth organisation similar to the Scouts Movement.
5. Contributed code to several open-source emulation projects such as Dolphin and ArcEmu.</p>

<p>Do you guys think I would have a shot at Stanford at all, given the competitiveness of the international admits? My main beef with my profile is the string of runner-ups and merits; nothing seems to really stand-out.</p>

<p>Currently I'm considering between going for SCEA or just abandoning the idea of Stanford altogether and going for Carnegie-Mellon ED.</p>

<p>Would appreciate any and all advice from you guys!</p>

<p>Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>You seem to have a pretty similar profile to me (although I did some other things besides computing and informatics) - though the international pool might have become tougher since I applied in the 2007/2008 cycle.</p>

<p>Your IB and SAT scores more than enough so you do not need to worry about that. Think about what you are going to write for your essays (both Common App and Stanford-specific) now - especially how you are going to weave a compelling story into your essay so that the admissions officers reading your file will be impressed. </p>

<p>You have a fair chance at Stanford if your essays and teacher recommendations are compelling (and you will most probably get into CMU SCS/ECE) so I wouldn't use the ED option on CMU if I were you.</p>

<p>If you want to take a look at my profile - here you go: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/409766-international-chances-penn-ed-stanford-columbia-cornell-nyu.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/409766-international-chances-penn-ed-stanford-columbia-cornell-nyu.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>You can PM me if you want to know about anything else.</p>

<p>Hi krazedout. I think I might know who you are haha. And I agree with frankchn that you shouldn't go with CMU ED. You'd probably get in without the crutch of ED. But I've heard that Stanford SCEA is actually harder than RD (since Stanford likes to reject rather than defer the vast majority of EA applicants), so maybe you should apply RD to both (and other schools too, I'd imagine?) and see how it all pans out.</p>

<p>I agree with kthanksbye. Apply RD to CMU. Given your stats, if you write a good essay, you habe a good chance of getting in RD. </p>

<p>I don't think it matters whether you apply SCEA or RD to Stanford. </p>

<p>I assume you are also applying to Cal, Cornell, MIT and Princeton.</p>

<p>Hi, speaking from anecdotal experience here. </p>

<p>the admits to stanford from my school this year, had profiles like the following:</p>

<p>one girl, she's not exactly megawatt-stellar in terms of extracurriculars but her writing demonstrates a very special and intellectual quality, and this is demonstrated in her academic work as well. in terms of intellectual standard, she's obviously many notches above her peers (and this goes beyond a exam-marks sort of comparison). </p>

<p>another, is heavily involved in extracurricular activities and community service, and has represented the country at several major conferences or hosted national-wide, newspaper-worthy community projects. his essays, on the other hand, were not outstanding (in my opinion).</p>

<p>another is also heavily involved in student council and community endeavours, and is generally very well regarded by her peers and teachers, not so much for concrete achievements and awards but that they perceive her as possessing very strong leadership qualities in her work. </p>

<p>what is the lesson of all these? it's that there's really little trend (in my opinion) amongst those who get into stanford, other than the fact that they are especially distinguished in one aspect or another, and these need not be very self-evident aspects such as Olympiad medals or competition achievements. </p>

<p>i think you do stand a reasonable chance of getting into stanford, that is, reasonable meaning your efforts thus far are on track and will not disadvantage you.</p>

<p>i would agree with frankchn that you should now spend much effort on the application writing itself - it's about the only thing you can really make a significant difference too now. you need to show through you can be distinguished from the other applicants, be it in one way or another.</p>

<p>Wow, thanks for all the great input! :)</p>

<p>I've always thought the Stanford Engr/Math undergrad departments were like mini-MITs in terms of international admissions; (I'm generalizing again here) MIT seems to be on the lookout for internationals with IPho etc. and I had assumed Stanford would expect similar but perhaps slightly lower standards from its international admits.</p>

<p>In any case, it seems like I'm overthinking on the trends of admitted internationals. I'm actually feeling quite psyched up about trying for Stanford after reading your responses (Although I'm still expecting a high chance of a reject than an offer.) and I'll probably go for Stanford's SCEA just to get the nerves out of my system asap.</p>

<p>@frank - Wow, looking at your stats, it seems like we've probably met/competed against eash other before. Will be dropping you a PM. ;)</p>

<p>@kthanksbye - haha yes, you found me.</p>

<p>@Alexandre - Well, I was actually only eyeing CMU and Cornell as my "realistically-have-a-chance-of-getting-admitted" colleages. Caltech is nice but I don't really like the idea of such a tiny student body; HYPM is probably too competitive for my level. As it stands, Stanford is currently my only super-high-reach college choice.</p>

I've always thought the Stanford Engr/Math undergrad departments were like mini-MITs in terms of international admissions; (I'm generalizing again here) MIT seems to be on the lookout for internationals with IPho etc. and I had assumed Stanford would expect similar but perhaps slightly lower standards from its international admits.


<p>Well, since you are applying to the entire university at Stanford instead of individual schools, you just have to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool in whatever way you want. I know of 2 (possibly more) humanities students who are now taking Computer Science in Stanford.</p>

<p>I think it's 50-50 for you. Like what someone said above, don't do CMU ED - you'll end up regretting not applying to a more selective school.</p>