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What are my chances to get into University of Michigan?

eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
Hello. I am currently a Junior at West Bloomfield High School. From what I've seen, my school is in the top 5% of high schools in the state and one of the largest feeders to UofM.

-GPA: 3.78 W (my school only reports weighted GPA. Honors are not weighted.). 3.73 UW.
-2 AP's, 11 Honors. (Senior year: 4 AP's and 3 electives.)
-First generation college student (By some schools standards... This is a really confusing title. Neither of my parents went to college, but my grandpa did. He is the only person in my family who has attended.)
- In state
Applying to: LSA

My SAT is a big problem. I got a 1060 (540 M + 520 CR/W). I did not choose to send this to them, thank god. I have a lot of trouble with timing on standardized tests. I am a really slow test taker. I am going to try the ACT in September.

My EC's are really weak due to personal circumstances. I am going to omit a lot of details, but lets just say I have faced a lot in my home life. I grew up around alcoholics, blood all over my house, drug users, etc. I was always expected to stay home because my parents were busy working or drinking with their friends. I have nothing I can put down for an EC, but I can tell you how I learned to be independent, how I saw education as my way out of the cycle, the abuse I have faced from my family, and all the realizations I have come to as a result. I get the impression that adcoms like stories of strength perseverance. I could absolutely give them that. The aforementioned details have made a huge impact on me as a person.

My grades could have been better, but my hyperthyroidism (graves disease) kept rearing its ugly head during my freshman and sophomore years. I'm not trying to make excuses, but putting full concentration into your school work with a resting heart rate of 130+ isn't easy.

I could easily get a teacher to vouch for me in a rec letter.

Here's my main question... What if my ACT score is only marginally better? Would I still have a chance?

Replies to: What are my chances to get into University of Michigan?

  • kjake2000kjake2000 Registered User Posts: 898 Member
    I think you will have powerful essays but without a strong SAT/ACT score I don't see a reason why Michigan will accept you. Really study for those. You are the kind of person everyone wants to see succeed so study hard for those, get up to a 32+ or a 1400+. This will put you in a much better position.

    Also know that any score is attainable with enough work. If you are willing to put in the work you will get that score.
  • eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    @kjake2000 Thank you for your response. When should I apply? August-November or November to January? I would think that RD would make more sense since they will have seen more of the other applicants by then. I ask this so I know if I have a second shot at the ACT.

    I could get my GPA to a 3.83 by the end of the semester. Hopefully this will give me a little wiggle room so that a 30+ will put me in the running.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,695 Senior Member
    If you do get an ACT score close to 30, you would have a decent chance. Your current SAT score is really far off from admission range. Do practice for ACT in the summer. You should probably try SAT again too as there is one in August. You are a bit behind schedule for applying EA without a score in range.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    yeah you'll need to improve one of the standardized test. If your guidance counselor can vouch for your home situation and a doctor for the Graves disease, you would have those in your application. If Graves impacted your learning, you could apply as an LD applicant again with a doctor and the school verifying it. Once you get in, you can get services - untimed tests e.g at UM.
  • eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    @theloniusmonk Thank you for your reply. My counselor retired, thank goodness. She wasn't at all good. My new one isn't great at giving me direction of really any kind, but she has known me since 6th grade and completely knows my situation. Getting her to vouch for me shouldn't be an issue.

    I have medical records that attest to the Graves. Would that suffice? If worse comes to worse, I guess I would ask my endo to mention it.

    I doubt she would approve my Graves as an LD. My old endo was absolutely terrible at treating me. He actually used treatments that were proven not to work and I went out of remission about 3 times with him. My grades were also lower (usually a 3.6.). Because of this, I began seeing a woman who put me on a more steady treatment at the beginning of my sophomore year. I wasn't totally stable until near the end my Sophomore year.

    This has been my school year in remission since 8th grade. I have had a 4.28 all year and in 8th grade I always had a 3.8-4.0. So if I am stable, I have no issues. This is why I think they would deny me.
  • kjake2000kjake2000 Registered User Posts: 898 Member
    Yeah, I would advise applying RD instead. this will give you more time, and I feel Umich is more likely to accept someone as interesting as you after they lock down all their high stat students EA.

    Additionally, the extra time would be nice for you.
  • eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    My graves has nothing to do with how fast I am on taking tests. When I was hyperthyroid, I took tests at the same speed I do today.
  • MaryGJMaryGJ Registered User Posts: 796 Member
    edited May 20
    eyeofthestorm....I like you. You sound like a bright, sensitive young person who has overcome a lot of adversity and has a terrific outlook. A lovely writer, too.

    Realistically, however, your scores (gpa and SAT/ACT) will likely eliminate you from consideration.

    Your lack of ECs is a big problem, too. This is why: Think of your EC's as a note from home that says...this person is a good citizen. They are involved, they care. People generally regard him/her as someone with good character, someone who can be counted on, and someone they respect. Your EC's are your report card on citizenship and how you behave inside a voluntary collaborative effort.

    While it's true that admissions loves stories of strength and perseverance, they also like students who have the physical and emotional stability to finish their degrees. Schools like UMich take pride in high graduation rates.

    One down side to your story of tremendous physical and family challenge...is that it makes you look like someone with very unstable health and very little emotional/family support.

    The admission board knows how tough UMich is. Kids with better grades than yours, with perfect health, and tons of family support and enthusiasm....struggle at UMich. It's a very challenging school. You want to be careful not to play your "story of perseverance" card so hard that you make yourself seem like you don't have the necessary support and stability. I agree that it's an interesting compassionate hook...and you should use it....but I would approach it from the position of recovery. These are the people who helped me...this is who is part of my life now who I can count on...this is how I know my health is stable now....etc.

    I have a couple of different recommendations.

    1. You could apply to UMich. If you want to do this, you MUST improve your ACT to 30. You MUST break 3.8 gpa. Your essay can be a compelling survivor story, but it should resolve with an impression of a period of stability and a place of health and focus. You need to do some volunteer work or participate in a collaborative activity.

    2. You could figure out what major you want to do, figure out what classes you need for your major that transfer to UMich, and rock a 4.0 gpa at community college the first year, and get involved in some group/volunteer projects. This would give you more time to improve your ACT/SAT and longer documentation that your health is stable. You could apply as a transfer student...and your extra year of sorting things out at a sensible pace will look extremely responsible and compelling.....particularly if it includes building a strong, healthy support system.

    Very best wishes. Good luck!

  • eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Hi @MaryGJ . Thank you for your kind words!

    After looking at a few websites, my GPA seemed to be near UofM's average. My SAT was horrible though. On an unrelated note, I am even a little scared as to how that score will look to Michigan State. I hope they'll accept me.

    Yeah I knew the EC thing would be an issue. There just wasn't any options open to me these past few years. My area doesn't have a public transportation system, my mom won't let me drive or ride a bike, she wouldn't pick me up, my school is far away, my family lives very far away, and I don't have any friends at school who would drive me. (I even tried looking at things closer to me, but the only option was a job. My mom wouldn't let me do that.) Even if I had friends who would drive me home, I doubt my mom would let them. She always tells me how she doesn't want people my age in the apartment.

    I don't seek emotional support from my family because I know that they will back-stab me. I can always count on that happening, so I don't really want their support. I don't quite understand the negative to this, but I'm not UofM's adcom. My main sources of support these past few years have been some of my teachers and my internet friends. I hope with the help of my new Endocrinologist, we can clear up the concern about my health because there is no reason to be concerned anymore. (Here's what happened: I have HYPERthyroidism, but my previous endo. was giving me thyroid replacement hormones and a very small amount of hormone-blocker. This makes absolutely no sense to do this to a person who already is making too much hormone on their own. I got sick a lot with this doctor because of the excess hormones. I am now only taking the hormone blocker.)

    I would really have to put my thinking cap on to find a way to approach this as a position of recovery. I totally believe that it could be done, but I may need some help. I will worry about this in the summer.

    They might have to recalculate my GPA. I think by the end of this semester, I will have a 3.85. I'm too tired to figure out what that would be UW, its really late. For the essay, I could focus on this year as the stable year I guess. I have no clue on how to make the volunteer work/collaborative activity work. I have done some miscellaneous community service during school hours, but I doubt that it would total more than 20 hours.

    #2 Is not an option for me. I have been dedicated to Biology since I was 13, so I know that will be my major, but I just cannot live with my family for any longer than I have to. I will never have a relationship with my family, so putting off uni for another year would not make that any better. I don't even tell them how I feel, what I think, or what I want to do today. I keep conversations with them short and minimal and that takes a lot of stress off me. Looking past some of the verbal abuse I've faced, I just walk in beat to a different drum than they do, but they are too stuck in their own ways to realize that. I am ostracized by them as a result of this though.
  • Eeeee127Eeeee127 Registered User Posts: 880 Member
    Are you able to retake the ACT/SAT with testing accomodations?
  • eyeofthestorm1eyeofthestorm1 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    edited May 21
    Nope. All I can do is retaie it and hope for the best.
  • MaryGJMaryGJ Registered User Posts: 796 Member
    edited May 22
    The ACT might go better for you than the SAT because of the Science section.

    Get an ACT prep book and do all the practice questions over the summer. Take practice tests online. Read test taking tips....they make an incredible difference.

    My kiddo did an ACT prep class, and her score improved by 3 points. Knowing the little tricks of the tests...really does help.

    Here's a tip. In the reading sections where you know you will be answering questions at the end, read the questions first....that way you know what you're looking for. It will improve your speed.

    What area of biology are you interested in?
  • VLGianVLGian Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    standardized testing tells colleges how prepared you'll be to take their courses. If they're low it indicates that you might struggle with their coursework.

    your GPA is fairly good, you should try to be a more well-rounded student by participating in more sports and clubs if possible. your saving grace may very well be your essay (talk about your interests, life and briefly address your health. I would avoid complaining and begging for admissions ie "my parents were constantly abusive that's why my gpa isn't a 4.0 umich is my number 1 please let me in)
  • guitar321guitar321 Registered User Posts: 416 Member
    Study your ass off for the ACT - take a practice test every weekend using Princeton Review books. It'll get your score up SO much.
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 2,766 Senior Member
    edited May 24
    In-state from a feeder school, with a 30 should get you admitted. Apply EA. Take the June and September tests if necessary. Try to get an accommodation too - that will give you lots of extra time.

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