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Chance for Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Rice, Dartmouth

MarquisdeFauxMarquisdeFaux Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Will either apply UPenn or Columbia ED. Which one would be better?

Asian male

GPA: 4.0
5.67 weighted (6.0 scale)
SAT 1560 with score choice 21 essay
SAT Subjects: US History 790, Literature 780

Rank: 4th out of 550, top 1%, large decent but not super great public school in Texas

Intended major: Political science

Founder and President of School Chapter of Junior State of America (JSA), a national student political organization
Model UN Vice President
National Honor Society Secretary
Chinese Club Historian, Treasurer
Orchestra - 3 years, historian, made region full orchestra
District UIL champion for Current Events and Social Studies, team head
Science Fair:

-2nd Place at Science and Engineering Fair of Houston freshman year
- 3rd Place at Science and Engineering Fair of Houston sophomore year
- 1st Place at Science and Engineering Fair of Houston junior year
- 2nd Place at Texas State Science Fair Junior year
- Young Air Scientist Award recognition from Air Alliance Houston
- Recognized by the Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) and Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA)

- National Merit Scholar

Volunteering: National Honor Society 60+ hours

Summer internship at a new online political discussion website startup (Gell.com), 10 hours a week

Classes are all very hard/AP, high As in all of them except for AP Calculus which is an 89

Senior schedule:
AP Research
AP Chinese 4
AP Psychology
AP Statistics
AP English IV
AP Government/AP Econ (half a semester each)
Debate advanced

However STEM AP scores are not all that great (I heard they don't matter that much for admissions though)
AP Human Geo - 5
AP Word History - 5
AP US History - 5
AP English - 5
AP Chemistry - 3
AP Physics - 3
AP Calculus - 3

Replies to: Chance for Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Rice, Dartmouth

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,999 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    You definitely have a good chance. Penn and Columbia might be both ivies but they are very very different schools in terms of academic philosophy, campus culture, setting and social life. You should look into what type of environment you prefer more. You would have practically the same opportunities and quality at both.
  • doorrealthedoorrealthe Registered User Posts: 567 Member
    You have decent chances. Your stats are amazing and your ECs are good, but not mind-blowing. Write a great "Why Penn" essay and I could see you getting into CAS at Penn in the early decision round.
  • MarquisdeFauxMarquisdeFaux Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Also, there has been nobody accepted from my school to Columbia before, and only 1 person has been accepted to UPenn (last year). Does that matter at all?
  • doorrealthedoorrealthe Registered User Posts: 567 Member
    It matters a little bit, but not too much. If someone got accepted to Penn last year than you can as well
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    I think @Penn95 has it in a nut shell:

    Think about which environment, academic vibe and social vibe you prefer. Here are some factors that might help:

    - Location (NYC vs. Philadelphia)
    - Weather (probably similar...?)
    - Campus layout/size/convenience/beauty

    Social vibe:
    - Greek/party scene
    - Things to do in the city -- food, fun, sports, culture, etc.
    - Clubs of interest
    - Overall vibe -- laid back, uptight, happy, morose, etc.?

    - Majors and courses offered
    - Curricular style (Columbia's Core; Penn's initiative to make classes in virtually all disciplines available to everyone, yet still maintain distribution requirements to ensure breadth of learning)
    - Ease of declaring a major, qualifying, and changing majors.
    - Available research and internship opportunities -- for undergrads.
    - Class sizes, available time with profs, etc.
    - Overall academic vibe, something that is not always easy to verify, as it may be different among different majors. But sometimes there is a collaborative vibe, a competitive vibe and a more pre-professional or intellectual culture.

    Obviously, cost is another variable.

    These things can help you decide which you prefer.
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