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Chance for selective schools? Will chance back!

newbieenewbiee Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in What Are My Chances?

Johns Hopkins
UC Berkeley

I'm a South Asian female (1st gen immigrant from India, if this matters) from Canada.
My school is very, very, VERY competitive. It's public, easily the largest in the city and it has the hardest courses/teachers BY FAR. I'm taking the most challenging course load available so I hope this will count for something.

ALSO, I went to a really small, really bad school in grade 9 (there wasn't even a single club, other than band which people were forced to take) so I switched in grade 10.
I skipped a grade in math, so this year I'm taking grade 12 math (Calc & Adv. Functions) at the advanced level while I'm in grade 11.
When I came to my new school, I enrolled in the advanced math class and this school is KNOWN for its math program. So I got an 80% in grade 11 math last year :(... it was hard and I was unfamiliar with a lot of the material so I had to catch up. Will this hurt me A LOT? It's my lowest mark.


GPA: Not sure of the conversion to 4-point scale, but the average of my grade 9 and 10 marks was 93%. If I had 95% in 9th and 91% in 10th, will they care about the individual averages? Also, the reason for the drop is my switch from a really easy school to a challenging one where I'm also enrolled in all of the advanced classes. This counts for something, right? D: SO WORRIED. I've taken the most challenging courses possible too.
SAT I: 2270 (avg of my practice tests lol)
SAT II: not yet written, but I'm going to write Bio M, Chem and French

IN GRADE 12 (next year), I'm thinking of taking a university math course since I'll be done high school math. Do you think this would be a good idea? Will it help me get in? But either way, I really like calculus. :P

AP COURSES: there are only 5 available at my school, you can only take them in gr 12 but I'm going Calc this year in gr 11
> Calc BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (maybe), English, French


Volunteer at local library in the children's section (gr 9, 50+ hours) --> organized events, held an art show, just kept the section neat, some tutoring/reading help, etc... general stuff
Volunteer tutor (9th-present) --> not sure how many hours I have, but I do it about twice a week and right now I'm actually looking into starting a group for this because it's been helpful for a lot of students
Teach language (reading, writing, speaking) at my local place of worship (9th-present)
Hospital volunteer (10th-present), about 90 hours and counting
I've led and participated in several events at my place of worship as well (9th-present)

Diversity Day Leader (9th)
Multicultural Night volunteer (10th), leader (11th)
Fashion Show volunteer (10th)
Band (9th, 10th) --> piano, trumpet, tenor sax (self-taught for all)
Volunteer in university research lab (started this year)
Certified Lifesaver (was thinking about getting my lifeguard certification, but now I have no time... maybe I'll do it this summer lol)
Public Speaking: Sikh Youth Symposium, 2nd place in regional competition (9th, 10th, probably this year too); later chosen to give a speech about a religious issue concerning youth
Participated in mentorship program for high school students w/ med school students (10th)... trying to see if I can start a club for this because more students are doing it this year, but the med students haven't replied yet >.>

Science Club (10th, 11th), regional competitions and stuff
International Issues Club, member (10th), leader (11th)... I'm trying to get the club to focus more on action rather than discussion with more community initiatives (in the past we've organized can drives, raised $$ for clean water in Africa, multicultural initiatives, etc. etc.)

Used book drive at local elementary school (11th)

Founder of Canadian Cancer Society's youth chapter at my school (11)... leadership stuff and volunteerism, raising funds + awareness for cancer prevention/treatment, etc...
Speaking of which, please watch this video! McGill Dances for Cancer Research Lipdub - YouTube Every hit means more funds towards fighting cancer!! Plus it's just cool!

Founder of a service club at school (11); it operates under the guidance of a UN-affiliated NPO. My friend and I know one of the directors, so this is how we got it started. More of a community outreach thing, and it's related to international aid.

Thinking of starting a volunteer-based tutoring group for elementary school students that joins them with opportunities to volunteer in the community and stay away from bad influences (needed downtown) (11)... depends on how much support I can gather

ALSO I'm a little concerned about my ECs... because of the whole moving schools thing and because my school in grade 9 didn't offer any ECs at all, I couldn't really have any leadership opportunities until grade 11, which is this year. So is that too late, or is that when most people start leading?? I'm really worried about this. Please help, I'd really appreciate it. AND also I don't really have any prestigious summer programs... is that really bad? I'm going to apply for some this year, but I couldn't before. Is this going to hurt me?

THANK YOU SO MUCH if you took the time to read this! :) I'm really anxious to hear what you guys have to say and I'm super duper worried... lol. Maybe I shouldn't be, since it's not good to get so hung up on such a selective school! D: Anyways, thanks. Please let me know if there's anything I can improve that will help. I know my grades are bad. :(
Post edited by newbiee on

Replies to: Chance for selective schools? Will chance back!

  • OSHUNLIDEOSHUNLIDE Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I think you have a really good chance (basically in) at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Northwestern, UMich, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and NYU.

    UChicago i think you have good chances at.

    HYPSM, columbia, and UPenn are up for grabs. But, your race might lower your chances.

    Of course, this is taking into account if you actually get that on the SAT. Also, yes, the colleges will look positively upon your course selection, and understand your school change. And, although your GPA is relatively low, the difficulty of the school will be taken into account. Also, your ECs are amazing.

    chance back :) http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/1234318-chance-scared-nervous-senior-top-colleges.html
  • Penguinito22Penguinito22 Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member
    Overall you're very strong. You seem to have a lot of ECs, so my best advice to you would be to focus on one or two you're really passionate about in your essays.

    Ivy league, Stanford, MIT, and U Chicago are all extremely competitive - you can definetly be competitive though

    I'd say JHU, Georgetown, Northwestern, and UC Berkley are all high matches.

    Stronger chances at UMich, UCLA, and NYU.

    Chance me back! Not sure how to post a link to my thread, but the name of my thread is "Chance an Alaskan for top schools"
  • chanceme12chanceme12 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    I think you have a good chane at them all. Penn might be tough but it depends on what you want to major in. Thanks for chancing me
  • Mrazr14Mrazr14 Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    I think you have a solid chance everywhere. As you know Columbia and and penn are always up in the air but I think you have a good chance
  • Shaq395Shaq395 Registered User Posts: 396 Member
    You have a great chance at all the non-ivies if your SAT scores hold up as your practice tests do! I also think you have almost as good a chance at anyone for the top ivies, because of your amazing ECs.
  • orangsandwich69orangsandwich69 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    you seem good, keep your grades up because the junior year can become a make or break for many people. Luckily the UCs do holistic review this year so at berkeley you have great chances!! ^_^ PLEASE CHANCE ME BACK
  • blambdajblambdaj - Posts: 110 Junior Member
    HYPSM: reach for everyone, but you certainly look competitive!
    UPenn: mid-reach/low reach
    Columbia: same as upenn
    Johns Hopkins: low reach/match for sure
    Georgetown: low reach/match
    Northwestern: match
    UMich: match
    UC Berkeley: low reach/match
    UCLA: low reach/match
    UChicago: low reach/match
    NYU: In!

    great resume! everything looks great! GOOD LUCK! :D
    thanks for chancing me btw!
  • AnonymousStudentAnonymousStudent Registered User Posts: 488 Member
    WAY TOO MANY ECs. You need to show focus for Ivies. Georgetown, UMich, etc... won't be too hard with good essays, you will likely be admitted. HOWEVER, for Northwestern, Penn, Columbia, Chicago, and HYPSM you're gonna need to do some serious focusing on one or two of your ECs b/c they're scattered right now. However I was at the same point you were at last year, and I think I got my act together pretty well with ECs, so it's definitely doable for you! GOOD LUCK! YOU'VE GOT A GREAT RESUME!
  • bobtheboybobtheboy Registered User Posts: 2,216 Senior Member
    Your school is known for math but you cannot normally take Calculus until 12th grade? That's a little strange. Your EC's don't show focus; normally a good EC is something that has been done since before high school and/or in which the applicant has won awards in, not necessarily something "offered" by the school.
  • newbieenewbiee Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    I don't know, maybe it's an Ontario thing... :/ But yeah, I think there are only 3-4 kids in the school who are doing it.
    So, my ECs aren't good? I do have focus, though. One is on international aid in general and the other is cancer research... :/ Guess it's not good enough? Thanks anyway :)

    If anyone else has any opinion, I'd appreciate all of the input I can get! :)
  • westfield95westfield95 Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Ivies/Stanford/MIT: reach, unfortunately, since you're indian, that doesn't exactly help either
    Johns Hopkins: low - mid reach
    Georgetown: low - mid reach
    Northwestern: low reach
    UMich: match
    UC Berkeley: low reach
    UCLA: match
    UChicago: low - mid reach
    NYU: match

    in all, your chances look pretty good, but that's contingent on the fact that your SAT score does actually stay as you've stated and that you continue to take challenging courses.

    good luck!
This discussion has been closed.