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Chances at UPenn; What I Should Do To Increase the Odds?

derivativesloverderivativeslover 26 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hey All,

I'm a rising Senior at a vocational school in Southeastern Massachusetts. Being a vocational school, I must spend half of my time pursuing a vocation; due to this, class-offerings at my school are more limited than the typical public school. Nonetheless, my school is a Level-One school (based on federally-mandated MCAS testing) and has a somewhat-elite acceptance rate (around 30%). Anyways, I took the SAT once and scored a 1350, yikes I know. I'll be taking the SAT again, and I plan on scoring 1400-1440. My unweighted GPA is a 3.83, and I'm ranked 10/345. I founded both the debate and finance team; I'm a member of the Math Club, will be a member of DECA and a I participated in SkillsUSA. I'm also going to participate in student government. Lastly, I ran track Freshman Year. I've always taken all-honors classes; my Junior Year is took AP Micro and Macro, and I received 5s on both exams. Next year, I'll be taking AP Stats and AP Government and Politics. Oh, I'm also a member of the NHS.

I think I can get recommendations from my Superintendent and possible even my U.S. Congressman. I've been awarded some small awards, like Academic Excellence in Math, even though I'm not that great, at all. Unfortunately, I've only taken two sciences and I've never taken a foreign language. The only reason for two sciences is because three wasn't offered, and the reason for no foreign language is because my schedule did not allot time for foreign languages; I was forced to choose between an AP Class or a language.

What do you guys think? What is weak about my application? What can I do to get into UPenn or any relatively-elite school, in general? Is there anything I mentioned that I should focus on in my application? What's the best way to get above study for the SAT, other than Kahn Academy and YouTube?
6 replies
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Replies to: Chances at UPenn; What I Should Do To Increase the Odds?

  • CenterCenter 2204 replies66 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    So why dont you move to a traditional high school for your Senior year? Vocational schools are by choice.
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  • BrianBoilerBrianBoiler 710 replies15 postsRegistered User Member
    Ok, I'm going to be honest and answer the question you asked.

    1> Score 1550+ on the SAT. I think that is the only way you can overcome a sweak strength of academic rigor. The people you will be competing against will have taken AP CALC AB and BC, AP Phys, AP Lang and AP Lit plus a few other AP classes. I understand your vocational school may not offer it, but like @Center says, going to a vocational school is a choice. I'd be interested to know why you chose a vocational school if you weren't set on entering a vocation?
    2> Even with that score, you are really going to need bullet proof essays that show you will add to Penn. In addition your letters of recommendation cannot be generic and should also tell Penn why you are perfect for Penn.

    Don't get your hopes up. I think you would need to tell a spectacular story. If that story is exceptional, you could even try out the new test optional policy at UChicago out.
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  • derivativesloverderivativeslover 26 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all for the advice. I wound up increasing my SAT score to a 1380, and I am taking AP Statistics this year. I am not taking AP Government formally, although I am studying for the exam. Additionally, my GPA improved to a 3.91, and my rank is now 8/335. I did receive a letter of recommendation from my superintendent, as well. Nevertheless, I was unsurprisingly rejected from Penn's ED program. Thus far in the admissions process, I have been accepted at UMass Amherst and the Commonwealth Honors College, Bentley, and Santa Clara University. I was rejected from Bowdoin and, very unsurprisingly, Penn.

    In the coming weeks, I will be hearing back from BU, BC, USC, NYU, Baruch, and Georgetown. Gaining acceptance at any of the aforementioned universities that I have yet to hear back from will be very difficult, I am sure. Nevertheless, I am certain that I will continue to work hard moving forward, and I think I have as good a shot as anyone to transfer into an Ivy.

    Be great, fellas.
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  • collegeready33collegeready33 299 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    What school within Penn do you want to apply to?
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  • derivativesloverderivativeslover 26 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I applied to Wharton.
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  • derivativesloverderivativeslover 26 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hey all,

    I was accepted at Boston College. I am still awaiting decisions from six other universities, hence I have not committed to BC.
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