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URM Chances

lionofjudah89lionofjudah89 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
I am a rising senior and an URM (African American male - 2nd generation Ethiopian American) and am not quite sure what this status means for me. I think I have a shot of Yale but dont know what being a black male has to do with it. Without going in too much detail, here are some facts.

School - Suburban Md., best school system in the state, one of the best in the country, lots of high level courses available (which I have been taking). Pretty darn competetive.

GPA - ~3.8 UW/ 4.3W
GTs and APs - have taken 5 APs so far, have 1 result - American Gov. - 4
SAT - 2170 combined
SAT IIs - N/A will take: Math 2C, World Hist. and ??? (suggestions)
ACTs - Fall '06

Classes taken:
English 9,10,11 GT
US Histor GT
Am. Gov AP
World Hist. AP
Alg. II GT
Precalc GT
Calc AB AP
Bio GT
Chem GT
Physics GT

Next year my schedule is:
Art II
Aiding
English AP
Comp Gov AP
Stats AP
Bio AP
Mentorship GT

I am not taking another language (Spanish - I got up to 3) because I am already fluent in Amharic. nd my essays will be very good and unique. My reason for pursuing Public Health stems from me visiting Ethiopia and witnessing the poverty and suffering. It allows me to make a huge difference. Also, my campaign for the Board Position will be a good topic - it was a big risk.

Recs. - Will be great:
Principal - loves me
Math teacher - will have known me as a student (Precalc Gt & Stat AP) and is my SGA Advisor - great things
Mentor - is a MS/MD very accomplished in her field, founder of certain genes and functions, respects my intellect and drive equally

A lot of extra Curriculurs - SGA Class President, SGA at school, county and state levels, NHS, County NAACP, Black Student Achievement Program, Newspaper Editor, Internships, Ran track (1 year - not very good lol), Math Tutor, Best Buddies, Mock Trial, [email protected] HIV/AIDS mini-course etc etc. holding leadership positions in most if not all

I think I have two things going for me that are special:
1st. I am the Student Member on my board of education which, to this point, is my biggest accomplishment. I was voted by 27,000+ eligible voters (6-11th grade) across the county. I am currently serving on the Board and its been an awesome experience) [I will include my flier and DVD of the speeches in my app)

2nd. I am conducting research at Johns Hopkins Hospital in genetics. Worked in lab setting and am set to get a great reccomendation from my mentor (who is well regarded in her field). It was a great experience and I think I can sell it. I went in 5 hours a week in her lab which was about 45 minutes away. Next year I will be getting a mentor at Bloomberg (Hopkins) School of Public Health, which is what I really want to do.

Also I have been in contact with a prof at Yale School of Public Health and have helped with their initiative with the Clinton Foundation to create health infrastructure in Ethiopia. I created a reference English to Amharic dictionary for the postdocs, MDs etc going to the country. (Amharic is the official language). A possible leg up??

Sooooo....What do you think my chances are. If I get in, I am sure some bitter people who didn't will immediately point out my race. I accept that there may be truth to that but I just want to know what the deal is. And if I do get into Penn because of it, you certainly won't hear me complaining.

And, by the way, I am a legacy student, hooray! My dad got his Masters at the School of Design.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help in answering this nagging question - I'm applying to Yale too.
Post edited by lionofjudah89 on

Replies to: URM Chances

  • lionofjudah89lionofjudah89 Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    Oh and I am a legacy - my father got a masters degree from PennDesign. Hopefully I will BEAST that extra on campus interview.

    (Bump)
  • tm2000tm2000 Registered User Posts: 371 Member
    Yes, you definitely have a shot. The two things that make you special are pretty special. Sell that in the essays and all. As far as legacy, it could help, but not that much. Legacy status has become less meaningful over the years. Of course you'll let them know in the app and mention it in an interview or with a regional admissions rep, but don't make a speech about it-you'll look stupidly pretentious; and besides you have a lot of other cool things to talk about and should be proud of those. And I think you'd have a good shot regardless of your race. Your test score could be higher, but it's still good and I really don't think it's any thing to worry about, especially considering your ECs. Don't know your SAT 2 scores yet... and I guess the only other SAT2s you could take are US Hist or Literature (you shouldn't have postponed the tests till after summer- take them fresh with your AP testing). Nice job with all that public health stuff btw! Do you plan on providing health care as a physician or through management? Regardless, you may want to consider Wharton- they have a "major" that caters directly to your interests!

    http://undergrad.wharton.upenn.edu/curriculum/concentrations/health.cfm

    (btw, there's a spelling error at the top of the browser. Hehe, not even Wharton is perfect.)
    Of course, admissions chances decrease significantly for the Wharton school. But, I don't know. With your experience and serious substantiated aspirations (as well as URM status I suppose), you may want to give it a shot. I mean really, if you push this public health care initiative, your only other competition would be a student who has had your kind of experience but higher test scores; there can't be that many of them! It depends how much you want Penn or the specific major/Wharton- and if you even care about the management side of things (like you mentioned helping the Yale prof create health care infrastructure). But, remember, if you do Wharton, it's all or nothing- they don't consider you for the general College. So even if you apply ED and get waitlisted- they'll still consider you only for Wharton in the RD round.

    Good luck!
  • davida1davida1 . Posts: 312 Member
    I would apply early if you really like Penn. You definitely have a shot. Penn is great for pre-med (if that is what you want to do eventually).
  • snooker1snooker1 Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    I had similar stats to yours and got in ED for the SAS class of 2010...i wouldn't (didnt) apply to wharton cuz i wasnt sure if i wanted so much emphasis on business in my undergrad...you can still take courses at wharton irrespective of the school you're enrolled in (and these are noted on your transcript), withouth having to do the entire business curriculum..or you can always sign up for a dual degree at the end of the first year if you find that business really is your thing...only go to wharton if you're SURE you want to spend the next 4 years in an intensive business program, honestly you don't want to be stuck there if your interests lie more in other areas such as public health or pre-med...
    i think u have an excellent shot at pre-med/SAS at penn...especially if u apply early decision....good luck
  • me.mvme.mv Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    Penn: almost for sure.
    Wharton: eh...i'd say sizable chance, but u never know, so many applicants just as strong, so i'd apply early to increase my chances.
This discussion has been closed.