What Are My Chances?

Demographics

  • US Citizen
  • Illinois Resident (near St. Louis)
  • Public High School
  • Female/White
  • Hearing Loss (disabled)

Intended Major(s)
Journalism or English/Creative Writing with minors in German and Piano Performance/Music (all is dependent on what’s offered)

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.86
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.033/4.33 (our ranking is strange)
  • Class Rank: Top 6% (most people are tied so I don’t know what it actually is)
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 33/1450

Coursework
(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))

English: Honors Rhetoric, Honors World Literature I, Honors Written Communication, Honors World Literature II, AP Literature and Composition, Creative Writing (online), Dual Credit Public Speaking

Math: Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra II, Honors Trigonometry

Science: Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry I, AP Physics I, Independent Research Study

Social Studies: Civics, Social Issues, International Relations, AP U.S. History, Sociology, Dual Credit Psychology, AP Macroeconomics (unless you count that as a math class)

Foreign Language: German I, German II, Honors German III, AP German IV

Required: 3 semesters of P.E., Personal Finance, Health

Arts: Fall Freshman Orchestra, Freshman Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Fall Concert Band, Honors Wind Ensemble, Art II, Fall Marching Band/Honors Wind Ensemble, EB Jazz Band

Awards

Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards
Claudette Sorel Piano Fellows Program
National Youth Leadership Training
Illinois Music Educator’s Association All-State Musician
Illinois State Scholar
Charles H. Lawson III Youth Award
P.E.O. STAR Scholarship Finalist

Writing Contests:
-1st Place in the Southwestern Illinois College Red Bud Campus Poetry Contest (2020)
-2nd Place in the St. Louis Holocaust Museum Student Art and Writing Contest (2019)
-2nd Place in the Southwestern Illinois College Red Bud Campus Poetry Contest (2021)
-3rd Place in the Lipstick and Rage Poetry Contest (2021)
-3rd Place and Honorable Mention in the Diversity Story Cultural Writing Contest (2021)
-Finalist in the Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest (2021)
-Finalist in the Young Writer’s Initiative Chapbook Contest (2021)

Writing Publications:
-Author of two poems in the anthology The Story Behind the Poem : Poetry, Volume 1
- Author of the poetry book Seasons of Love (2019).
-Published by the Ice Lolly Review (2021)
-Published twice by the Paper Crane Journal (2021)
-Published by the Maythorn Magazine (September 2021)
-Published by The Borderline (October 2021)
-Published by The Aster Lit (October 2021)
-Published in The Hearth (Fall 2021)
-Published in Issue 7 of the Paper Lanterns Journal (2021)
-Weekly Contributor to the O’Fallon Weekly newspaper
-Upcoming publication in the Opaline Magazine (Fall 2021)
-Upcoming publication in the Sunday Mornings at the River Press Spring Anthology (March 2022)

Extracurriculars

Philosophy Club (August 2018-May 2021)
Served as president from August 2020-May 2021; club disbanded in May 2021
-Model United Nations (August 2018-May 2022)
Served as a lead delegate in the Economic and Social committee 2019-2020; served as the Security Council delegate from 2020-2022; received the Outstanding Lead Delegate award, multiple honorable mentions, and superior policy statement award
-Band Program (August 2018-May 2022)
Has played trumpet in the fall freshman concert band (Fall 2018), freshman orchestra (Spring 2019), fall concert band (Fall 2019, 2021), Symphonic Winds (Spring 2020), Wind Ensemble (Spring 2021), after-school jazz band (2018-2019), early-bird jazz band (Spring 2020), Madrigals Brass (2020), O’Fallon Marching Panthers (2020 season), McKendree University Honors Brass Ensemble (2021), and ILMEA Jazz Festival (2019, 2020); has played euphonium in the Wind Ensemble (Fall 2020) and ILMEA Concert Band Festival (2020); has played piano in Symphonic Winds (Spring 2020) and Wind Ensemble (Spring 2021, 2022); has played the french horn in fall concert band (Fall 2019), ILMEA District Orchestra Festival (2021), and ILMEA All-State Orchestra (2022)
-German Club (August 2018-May 2022)
-Speech and Acting Team (2020-2021 season)
Received the award for placing 5th at regionals in the poetry competition
-Camera Club (August 2021-May 2022)
-Shiloh United Methodist Church Praise Band Member (December 2019-Present)
Attends weekly rehearsals and performs piano and synthesizer pieces at Sunday service; has delivered 2 sermons to a congregation of 200
-Shiloh United Methodist Church Youth Group Member (September 2015-August 2022)
Performs community service and has attended 3 week-long mission trips to benefit communities in need
-Girl Scouts of America (August 2009-Lifetime Member; Troop #234, Troop #641)
-Scouts BSA (Troop #40G, Troop #520G)
Served as senior patrol leader of Troop #40G for 1 ½ years; has served as bugler and troop guide; Life Rank; Eagle rank expected February 2022
-Cards4Kindness Ambassador (December 2021-Present)
Creates physical/digital cards to give to healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and hospital patients
-Piano Teacher
Offers half-hour piano lessons to local students in order to further their piano technique, music theory, history, and classical and contemporary piano abilities.
-Staff Writer
Works with The Diversity Story online multimedia magazine to create new unbiased cultural content, such as photography, art, prose, poetry, recipes, and articles.
-Founder and Executive Director of The Compass
Developer of The Compass, an online educational resource and literary magazine to learn more about different cultures, languages, world religions, history, and other nations.

Essays/LORs/Other

My personal essay details my hearing loss and how I have synesthesia so I can hear in color. It also discusses me learning to play piano, trumpet, french horn, and euphonium despite my hearing loss.

Schools

Here are the schools I applied to. I just want to know where I have chances of being accepted to or if I should just resort to my state schools. I’d really like to go to a private school, but I want to know my chances.

  • University of Missouri-Columbia (accepted to honors college and currently a semi-finalist in the stamps scholarship program)
  • University of Iowa (accepted)
  • Northwestern University
  • Yale University
  • University of Chicago
  • Washington University
  • Kenyon College
  • Grinnell College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Colby College
  • Wellesley College
    -Fordham University

Have you looked at the Common Data Sets for the schools where you have not yet received an admissions decision? Sections C7 and C9-C11 may give you some perspective on how admissions factors are weighted by each school, and how you stack up to matriculated students at each school.

i’m pretty sure you’ll be accepted at least at Kenyon, Fordham and Grinnell

The crazy tip top schools are hard for everyone, and I don’t see the clear super elite award that is a typical signal. So Yale, and probably UC and NW seem pretty unlikely. Kenyon, Grinnell, and Fordham, as has been said, seem almost sure things.

You didn’t mention money, and for the need aware schools here, that may matter. I’d say that for Wash U, Bowdoin, Colby, and Wellesley, I’d very much expect you to get into some of those, but idiosyncratically you’ll probably get turned down by some of them too. But I think you’re a very good candidate, and if getting into one of those four would be “worth it” to go to a private school, I think you have a very good chance.

Congratulations on your achievements. I can’t chance you but have a few observations and questions.

NU, Yale, Chicago, WashU, Grinnell, Bowdoin, Wellesley, and Colby are reaches for all unhooked applicants simply because they have low acceptance rates. Grinnell’s acceptance rate was 10.5% last year, so not sure why others see that as a sure thing.

Fordham and Kenyon are probably matches.

The two schools where you have been accepted are arguably as good in your target majors as some of the reach schools on your list…my concern is you are dismissing them because they are public schools. Public schools are not necessarily better than private schools.

Most importantly, are the two schools where you have been accepted affordable?

Have you run the Net Price Calculators on rest of the schools and they all look to be affordable? If you haven’t done that, please do so.

I hadn’t seen Grinnell’s 10% last year, only the years of 20%+ previously (that’s a BIG drop). I apologize. I guess odds there depend on whether they stay at 10%.

I agree 100% on cost and value. I think the “in major” education you get at state flagships (and beyond) would be comparable. I think what you pay for (if one chooses to do so) at top privates is much of everything else — often better access to non-major courses, often smaller class sizes, other aspects of the experience. Whether any of those things is worth the significantly different possible price point is up to you and your family.