Why yes, I was raised in a barn... Chance a ranch girl for big city colleges?

<p>Yes, I do live on a ranch in the middle of Nebraska. Yes, we have electricity and the internet. :)</p>

<p>User Name: JustMae
Gender: F
Location: Nebraska
College Class Year: 2015
High School: Public
High School Type: A TINY K-12 school in a town of 300 people, Nebraska. Rarely sends grads to top schools.
Will apply for financial aid: Yes</p>

<p>Academics:</p>

<p>GPA - Unweighted: 4.00
GPA - Weighted: 0.00
Class Rank: 1
Class Size: 19</p>

<p>Scores:</p>

<p>ACT: 33 (Twice) (36 English, 33 Math, 34 Reading, 27 Science) (35 English, 30 Math, 34 Reading, 33 Science)</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:</p>

<p>Volleyball- JV (2007, 2008, 2009)
JV Basketball (2007-2008)
Band (marching and concert) (07-08, 08-09, 09-10)
One-Act (2007, 2008, 2009)
Speech (2008, 2009, 2010)
Letterman's club (08-09, 09-10)
Track (2008, 2009)
Yearbook Staff (2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010)</p>

<p>Leadership positions: </p>

<p>FCCLA State Officer (10-11)
FCCLA-Chapter Officer (09-10) Chapter President (10-11)
FCCLA-District President (10-11)</p>

<p>Letter Club-Secretary (09-10)
Journalism-Co-editor (2008-2009)
Quiz Bowl-Co-captain (2009) Captain for state-qualifying team (2010)
Volunteer/Service Work: AWANA preschool teacher- 1 1/2 hours/week, September-April; 2008-2009, 2009-2010</p>

<p>Vacation Bible School Helper, about 16 hours each; 2007, 2008, 2009</p>

<p>Various FCCLA service projects, 25 hours</p>

<p>Honors and Awards: Freshman Year:</p>

<p>FCCLA STAR (speech competition) District Gold, State Qualifier; Silver medal at State
Math Contest 3rd Place Algebra I
Scholastic Contest 3rd Place Vocabulary
Scholastic Contest 1st Place Vocabulary
State 4-H Horse Show, Runner-Up Hippology Team</p>

<p>Sophomore Year:
FCCLA STAR District Gold/Champs, State Gold/Champs, National Gold/Top 10
Academic All-State Journalism, One-Act</p>

<p>Junior Year:</p>

<p>Scholastic Contest 1st Place Health, 2nd place English
Conference Principal's Academic Team
Conference Superintendent's Academic Team
Academic All State in Journalism and One-Act</p>

<p>Lots of other various school awards I don't feel like listing. :)</p>

<p>Also, my high school doesn't offer AP/IB classes, but I take the most challenging available, including dual-credit courses through the local community college.</p>

<p>Schools list: RICE University! Buut also: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Chicago, Stanford, Yale (hey, might as well get chanced! :P).</p>

<p>I'm hoping to double major in Physics and English, and I'm a white girl. Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Wow, you have a really fantastic resume. Also a really great ACT score. I would say the only weaknesses are the fact that you don't have any AP/IB classes and you are from a small town in a sparsely populated state. I'm no admissions expert, but you probably have a good shot at most of the schools on your list because you are from Nebraska and the schools will probably want geographic diversity. This JUST MIGHT work against you because (and I'm only making an assumption here), Nebraska isn't as competitive compared to "uber" competitive and densely populated states like new jersey and california. However, you've shown that you are bright and committed, looking at your GPA and ACT scores and you go the extra mile for a lot of your activities so I think you have a great chance at the schools the schools you want to apply to.</p>

<p>^ Actually, the fact that you're from a small town in a sparsely populated state will help you in the admissions process since colleges want more diversity, and probably don't receive as many applications from Nebraska as from, say, CA :)</p>

<p>You have a laundry list of ECs, which makes it hard to see where your passions are. I recommend not listing your 1 year of JV basketball and 1 year of track on college applications unless you plan on continuing it next year, since they seem random and your commitment to them was very brief. Are you still involved in your school newspaper? You listed being a co-editor as 2008-2009 but didn't indicate whether you're still involved or not. Other than that, ECs seem stellar.</p>

<p>Chances: Stanford and Yale are high reaches. University of Chicago is a low-mid reach.</p>

<p>When will you be taking your SAT subject tests?</p>

<p>Not to be an ******* or anything, but i really don't think you'll get into Stanford, U of Chicago, or Yale. </p>

<p>the fact that your class size is 19 shows that there is no competition/challenging academics at your school. Also, you have NO colleges classes, which can be a huge dilemma because they won't have a clue on whether you can actually handle a college curriculum. </p>

<p>My friend goes to a very small school with about the same class size as yours, and he has a 4.0 GPA, but he's a complete slacker. I'm not calling you one, but i'm just saying that most elite universities are going to consider you as one. </p>

<p>you'll DEFINITELY get accepting into Rice and Washington University!</p>

<p>Your resume shows that you're intellectually curious, ambitious and promising. </p>

<p>I think you have a good chance for any Ivy League. </p>

<p>As long as you have a good GPA(your GPA is perfect), enroll in the most challenging classes your community offers(you did just that) and have a great SAT/ATC score(as well you do) with strong curricular(in your case, outstanding) you should be fine.</p>

<p>I give you a %45 at Harvard, %60 at Yale and %99 at Washington.</p>

<p>Thanks for the chances, everybody! It helps me to get a better understanding of where I stand in the admissions process! :)</p>

<p>Also, I forgot some things and it won't let me edit... I got a 212 on the PSAT and will most likely at least be a National Merit Semifinalist since it's 6 points above the Nebraska cutoff from last year. Here are the courses I've taken thus far:</p>

<p>Freshman:
Algebra I 98
American History 99
Art I 99
Band 97
English 9 98
P.E. 95
Physical Science 99
Teen Living 99</p>

<p>Sophomore:
Band: 98
Biology: 99
English 10 99
Geometry 97
Health 100
Journalism 100
Spanish I 99
World History 99</p>

<p>Junior:
Algebra II 99
American Government 99
Band 98
Computers I 99
English 11 100
Physics 99
*Psychology 98
Spanish II 99
*Sociology 99</p>

<p>*College credit classes</p>

<p>Swimstar- Yeah, my extracurriculars are kind of all over the place... my school doesn't have a lot, so it's difficult to concentrate in one area! But I'm hoping my FCCLA involvement is pretty strong? And journalism/yearbook staff are the same thing for my school, and I've done it all three. Also, I don't think I'll take the SAT subject tests because the schools I'm looking at either require the ACT + Writing or the SAT + Subject tests... I will probably take the SAT within a few months, though. </p>

<p>IamNOTaLegend--Thanks for your honesty! :) I did take two college courses this year, though. I am also taking four more next year (European Civilizations, English Composition, English Literature, and College Algebra/Trig)</p>

<p>I think you have great chances at all of your college options due to the rarity of applicants from Nebraska.
I cannot give you solid percentages nor the usual safety/match/reach system as being from such a small school makes my knowledge near useless.</p>

<p>One thing. If I was you, I probably wouldn't list physics as a potential major for two reasons:
First, it doesn't appear that you have any ECs concerning physics, which by itself is not a serious issue. However, second, you have not (and I assume will not) have calculus by the time you graduate. Calculus will be a pre-requisite for college physics at all of your choices and if you can not handle calc as well as you have handle maths through algebra 2, then that would be the end of a physics career.</p>

<p>OP--You have no control over where you were born or what your high school is like or what it offers. Just make sure that you apply to a variety of schools and include both financial (those that might want to lure you with merit scholarships) and academic safeties.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice, originalthought! No science ECs or Calc as a course are offered. I guess I'd better apply to the English departments?</p>

<p>MD Mom-Thanks! If the schools listed don't give good enough financial aid/I can't get in, then the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is next. :)</p>

<p>If you are interested in physics, I would encourage you to put it as your projected major. You will be able to take whatever level of math you need once you get to college. Colleges understand that different high schools offer different courses and your guidance counselor can explain a lot about the curriculum offered in your recommendation.</p>

<p>Also, when you are writing your applications, there is often the opportunity to write about why your potential major interests you. Don't limit yourself. If you want to find something outside of Nebraska, you might look at the posts at the top of the financial aid page to get some ideas about what schools offer good merit aid. Also, did your school offer the PSAT because if you scored high on that, it will offer opportunities as well.</p>

<p>On this Web site, you will find LOTS of people who are on the East Coast and don't have much experience in the middle of the country where things are quite different.</p>

<p>WOW excellent (wayy above average) chances for all!!</p>

<p>Congrats for scoring so high compared to other people in your state and given your up bringing! Most high scores tend to be from high achieve states and cities such as Boston, NYC, Chicago, LA, and affluent suburbs. But given your geographic location, thats crazy.</p>

<p>You have clearly applied yourself during ur high school years and it will definitely pay off. </p>

<p>Match for all schools (50%+ chance)</p>

<p>I would have to agree with Legend, VERY little chance at Ivy. I don't think Precognition has a clue how tough it is to get into Ivy's. I'd put your chances at Harvard and Yale at 1%-2%. My daughter had a 4.0 UW, took the toughest course load imaginable, had a much larger senior class, was valedictorian, scored a 35 on the ACT in one sitting, had many more EC's than you, had great essays, and got rejected by Duke and Yale. Rice and Wash U are reaches, but at least somewhat possible. Contrary to popular opinion, elite schools have no quota per state. Being from Nebraska is no advantage, and is actually a disadvantage. Teachers/counselors at a school as small as yours have no idea how to write rec's to get kids into Ivy's, because they do it so seldom. I don't want to be a wet blanket, but 99% of kids have NO idea how hard it is to get into Harvard, Yale, etc. Go ahead and try, but realize it is a VERY VERY long shot. Just a tip-look at Auburn or University of Alabama. If you are a NMF, you will get full tuition and room and board at those schools. At Rice or Wash U, you will be an average student, and will likely pay huge money to go there. (unless your family is very poor) Again, I'm only trying to give you a realistic picture. You are an excellent student, and should apply to a reach or two. I just want you know how hard it is to get into Ivy's.</p>

<p>Thanks for all your opinions! I appreciate honesty. :) I'm just trying to figure out if my teensy tiny school in the middle of Nebraska is a good thing or a bad thing in the admissions game...</p>

<p>I think you have a chance of getting in, but even if you do get in it will be VERY hard once you get there. Having taken no APs/honors (even if your school doesn't offer them) and not even taking pre-calc before college will make things QUITE hard once you get there. While you can try for the Ivies and you will no doubt get into a good-to-great school, even if it's not an Ivy, you will have a very hard time doing well at one being so far behind for the start. I think Mustang2000 made a very nice suggestion. Since you are definitely a driven peron, if you catch up at UAlabama or school like that you will no-doubt stand out at that school, take full advantages of its resources and most likely get into a great grad school or med school or whatever other school you want to go to (assuming you want to go past college seeing your ambition).</p>

<p>It's an advantage. Seriously, dont let anyone tell you otherwise. While i agree with Mustang that precognition probably hasn't a clue what he/she is talking about (60% at yale...?), MUSTANG MOM is, i guess trying to help you, but the bitter resentment of her daughter's rejections are tainting her post. Mustang, you cannot compare your daughter to the OP, the likely reason your daughter got rejected even with her 'stellar' stats is because there were many other applicants just like her, if not more qualified. The difference between the OP and your daughter is that your daughter was not brought up on a ranch in Nebraska. What was your daughter's hook? Ivy leagues want diversity, things they dont see often, that's exactly what the OP brings to the admissions table. People here are saying that youre at a disadvantage becuase you dont have a very rigorous schedule, and while that is probably true (Algebra 2 your junior year is pretty behind most other ivy applicants), they arent realizing that the reason you dont have a rigorous curriculum is because you CANT have the rigorous curriculum theyre talking about. </p>

<p>My advice is to see whether or not there is a local community college around where you live, and take summer and fall courses there, do well in those classes an it could be a significant help to your app. Also, apply to as many colleges you can for financial aid, i just cant see many colleges turning you down.</p>

<p>I honestly think that coming from a small town in Nebraska can only help you, and I'm not really sure why people are saying otherwise. Of course there are lots of valedictorians with great ACT scores and ECs who get rejected every year, but how many of them are from small towns in Nebraska? Not a lot. Colleges do look for geographic diversity. It's not a hook like being a URM (under-represented minority), but it often is a nice tip factor. </p>

<p>Yes, obviously, it's always better if you can take APs, but colleges absolutely will not hold that against you, because it's simply not your fault! One concern might be that it's really hard to judge the rigor of your classes - with no APs/college classes, it's hard to know what all those As really mean. However, having a good ACT score, as you do, really helps back up your excellent grades and rank.
In order to further back up your grades, have you considered taking any SAT IIs? If you have more strong test scores, that can only help your application. </p>

<p>Ivy league is always difficult, regardless of how many hooks/tips/whatever you have, but I would say you have a shot. Apply, and see what happens. I think you have a great shot at schools like Rice, WUSTL, etc.</p>

<p>@btangbang I realized that OP doesn't have the option to take APs but not taking them still puts OP at a disadvantage once she gets to college. I have no doubt that she will get into a great school but I think it will be hard for her to catch up to the kids who have taken a ton of APs.</p>

<p>JustMae
If you will consider some off topic advice----</p>

<p>The issue is not merely getting in, it is also flourishing once you are there. Back in the dark ages, I graduated from a small HS in an agricultural town in a Rocky Mtn state. A bigger HS than yours, but not noticably. When I went off to a nationally ranked liberal arts college, I got my clock cleaned for the first year. I had taken all the math my HS had, but in freshman calculus I felt like a middle schooler. I was also experiencing pretty serious culture/wealth/priviledge shock. But I adapted and grew, and it helped my self esteem when I realized that those kids could no more change a tire or jump a dead battery than fly. I ultimately got my Ph.D. from a well known east coast school. </p>

<p>My point? Absolutely throw a dart at the Ivy dartboard. But I think a better fit is the LACs ranked 10-40th on the USNWR list: Grinnell, Mac, Pomona, Davidson etc.. I also think some of the CTCL colleges would be great springboards: Whitman, Kalamazoo, Earlham, Rhodes.</p>

<p>About that freshman math class? I got the first C of my career. But the interesting thing was, that when I was a senior, the professor could still address me by my first name as we met on campus--and I had been a completely unremarkable student 3 years prior. The intimacy and community are why I think the LACs are a top choice to springboard rural HS graduates who have all the potential in the world, but are undeniably less well-prepared than students from higher resourced backgrounds.</p>

<p>Guys c mon, this girl is raised in a RURAL community and she is applying herself by taking college courses.... in A RURAL setting. Now from what will be reasonably inferred, she is at an academic disadvantage because she doesnt have the resources of those nice suburban powerhouse High schools.</p>

<p>Colleges will realize just how rare someone like her is. True, her test scores, rigor, EC could all be better. Many of us poster probably have better scores, EC, awards, and rigor. But for the scare oppertunity that were presented to her, she capitalized on all of them. That takes initiative. A strategically chosen essay should go a long way explaining why she pushes herself to learn so hard.</p>

<p>On the topic of APs: Many high caliber private schools have moved away from the AP curriculum. This has not affected the admit rates to the top tiered colleges. If APs are not offered, i doubt the applicants chances are affected. As long as the applicant exploits the hardest course load, its all good.</p>

<p>With such a high GPA but no AP's to demonstrate the rigor of the curriculum, colleges place more emphasis on the SAT/ACT scores. At any rate, in my opinion the OP will be pleasantly surprised next April.</p>