what can i do?/What are my chances?(To:Chicago, Northwestern)

<p>Hello all, </p>

<p>I'm new to this site but I have heard great things from my friend Neverborn. It was neverborn that convinced me that I should shoot for the best schools possible. Thus, I'm going to need all of the help I can get. Currently, I attend Northern Illinois University and I am a sophomore psychology major. I intend to transfer this year to one of the following schools : </p>

<p>University of Chicago (1st choice, reach)
Northwestern University (2nd choice, reach)
Loyola University (3rd choice, lock)
University of Illinois at Chicago (4th choice, lock)</p>

<p>Here are my stats:</p>


<p>30 hours completed @ 3.7 GPA
currently taking 17 hours (although they are all gen ed classes)
I'm in the honors program.
I write for the Northern Star (University Newspaper).</p>


<p>GPA: 2.73ish...
ACT: 25</p>

<p>As you can see, the jump from highschool to college has be enormous. The main reason my highschool grades and ACT were extremely low is because of my home situation. I struggled to stay out of depression while dealing with my mother's major clinical depression and PTSD. If any of you have had similar circumstances, you may know how much it can take out of a person. I just don't know if any of the universities would sympathize with my situation.</p>

<p>Despite my poor highschool grades, there are a few points that might help me out. Just recently, I found out that one of my distant relatives is a professor at the University of Chicago. I haven't gotten in touch with her, but I suspect it might help me when I apply. Also, one of my current instructors is a University of Chicago alumni. I always attend class and have had many outside of class discussions with him. If I could get a good letter of recommendation from him, I believe it would help me as well.</p>

<p>So, now its your turn.</p>

<p>1) What are my chances at my reaches?
2) What can I do from now untill my application to increase my chances?</p>

<p>Thanks for your input guys.</p>

<p>UChicago is a bit esoteric about its decisions, but it might be easier to get into than NU. For both UChicago and Northwestern, you need to have an outstanding, unconventional essay, amazing recommendations from professors that know you well (hopefully one that touches on your home situation during HS), and good ECs. Your relative and the UChicago alumni prof will only be of help if they know you well and can communicate that to the adcoms.</p>