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Chance me for CMU, Northwestern, URochester, Cornell, UPenn, Northeastern, RPI, NYU, UWashington

underscoreoneunderscoreone Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
Ethnicity: Asian
Gender: Male

Current senior at a very prestigious public high school
Major: Computer Science (minor probably in Applied Math or Stats)

Background (to explain a lot of the stuff below):
In sophomore year, I was hit by a lot of anxiety because students were bothering me in my chemistry class around the start of the 2nd semester. As a result, I got subpar grades (low 90s, high 80s) for most of my classes, along with a 70 in chem (I had a 55 at the 2nd marking period and needed to work furiously to pull it back up).

In junior year, I managed to overcome my anxiety and ace all of my classes. I got a 96 overall avg the first semester, and 95 avg the second. This brought my GPA up 2 points. I did not sign up for any AP courses junior year, however, since during soph year when we were selecting our courses I was scared I wouldn't be able to handle the pressures of APs. (Pretty big mistake, I know.)

Anyway, continuing with the stats:

GPA: 90.52 unweighted (low, for reasons above) (our school doesn't offer weighted)

Coursework:
- I switched from Precalc to Honors Precalc during 2nd semester junior year, due to my good performance 1st semester.

- I did not take any APs prior to senior year, as explained above.
- For senior year, my school limited me to 3 AP courses due to my low GPA.
- This semester, I am taking AP US Govt and AP Physics C.
- I also signed up for AP Calc AB this year, since my math avg was below the 94 cutoff for BC (I got 99 and 95 in math junior year, but an 85 in soph year 2nd semester).
- However, I managed to replace it with Multivariable Calculus after talking with the multi teacher and explaining that I had self-studied all the regular calc material, although BC is usually a co-req for multi.
- I also managed to get into Systems-Level Programming even though I hadn't taken AP Comp Sci (which is normally a pre-req for that) by showing him I knew the AP CS material. Systems is supposed to be harder than AP CS.

- I have not taken any AP tests. I asked the math dept head for a waiver to take the Calc BC test last year, although I wasn't taking the course, but he said no.
- Maybe it doesn't matter because college decisions will be out by then, but I am expecting to get a 5 when I take the following tests next June for college credit:
- Calc BC
- Comp Sci
- US History

- Other noteworthy classes:
- 1 semester of writer's workshop, aka creative writing (junior year). I chose this in place of the English class they place you by default, and I really liked this class.
- Web design (senior year)
- Swimming (junior & senior year)
- Math Team (all 4 years)

SAT Tests:
- New SAT 1540, CR/W 740, Math 800, Essay 15 (I've heard the essay isn't too important for some schools, including CMU)
- Math II 800
- Physics probably around 780-800

- Planning to take SAT USH, which I will likely get a high 700s score on
- Also planning to take SAT Chem to show colleges that I've rebounded from that poor grade in soph year

Extracurriculars/Hobbies/Passions:
- Member of NYU Math Circle since Fall 2015
- Member of Columbia University Science Honors Program (CUSHP) for high school students, since Fall 2015
- Member of Red Cross since this March: volunteered 40 hours within 3 months from Mar-Jun

- Attended 10-day writing camp at Skidmore this summer
- Attended 1-week actuarial science camp at LVC this summer, to decide if the actuarial profession was a good fit for me

- Currently developing an Android app (still very work-in-progress, I doubt I can finish it in time for EA application)
- Contributes to a widely-used software project run by Microsoft. Was contacted by a Microsoft employee who offered a mentorship with one of the software developers behind the project.

- Likes to tutor other people
- This summer, I tutored my younger cousins for a few weeks for the SHSAT test in New York City
- Recently joined the Writing Center at my school, where I will have face-to-face sessions with other people and critique their essays
- Planning to join afterschool tutoring for comp sci
- Swims/goes to the gym on weekends
- Likes to read

Other Achievements:
- Scored high on AMC 12 and qualified for AIME; scored 6 on AIME
- Self-studied all calculus material over 6 months by watching through the entire Khan Academy video library on calc

Recs:
Junior physics teacher, junior ush teacher, (out-of-school) CUSHP student teacher

College Visits (for demonstrated interest):
- Northwestern, summer 2016
- RPI, summer 2016
- I go to an NYU program (see above)
- URochester, April 2017
- CMU: July 2017 info session/guided tour, Sept 2017 (a week ago) on-campus interview
- I was pretty nervous during the interview (it was my first one).

Replies to: Chance me for CMU, Northwestern, URochester, Cornell, UPenn, Northeastern, RPI, NYU, UWashington

  • underscoreoneunderscoreone Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    edited September 13
    More on CMU-- I talked with the interviewer and he told me if I was into mobile app development, then Information Systems (IS) was also an option. I think I would definitely feel like I'm missing out on all of the theoretical stuff the CS coursework has to offer if I take IS (again, I love math), but the School of CS isn't all that easy to get into of course. If I could get into SCS I would do it in a heartbeat, so I want to know:

    - What are my chances of getting into SCS?
    - What are my chances of getting into IS?
    - Will applying ED/EA to CMU help my chances of getting into the university in general? Will it help my chances of getting into SCS?
    - I'm worried because if I apply ED/EA, they might just look at my senior coursework and say "oh, he's just signing up for a bunch of stuff he doesn't know in order to impress us. he hasn't taken ap calc/cs so there's no way he'll do well in these classes"
    - Whereas if I apply RD, they can see my first semester senior grades, and I can actually prove to them that I can survive in multi/systems/physics c.
    - Also, if I did ED/EA I wouldn't have time to finish studying for SAT Chem, nor publish my app, nor show that I'm actually committed to the Writing Center/afterschool CS tutoring/Red Cross/other things I signed up for recently.
  • kjake2000kjake2000 Registered User Posts: 898 Member
    I don't think I can comment on your chances for CMU, but know that if you apply ED, you can only apply for one major. So if you applied ED, it would be SCS or IS or nothing.
  • richardye1richardye1 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I think CMU, UPenn is a reach, even with ed. Northwestern, URochester, Cornell, Northeastern, RPI, NYU, UWashington are high matches.
  • underscoreoneunderscoreone Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    @richardye1 You really think it's feasible to get into Cornell/Northwestern? :O
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    You'll get into RPI, NYU, Northeastern, UWash, Rochester pretty easily I think. Now the other four is where it obviously gets dicey. Your chances in getting into any of them will be better with ED, so if you have a clear top choice and you're comfortable with not having FA options to compare, apply ED to your top choice. My guess is that CMU is your first choice so apply there but... if you get deferred and you have to apply RD to Cornell, UPenn, Northwestern, the admission rates are low for an Asian male, like 5-10% low. Among the safeties/matches, RPI has the best comp sci program, so if you're ok with RPI as a fallback, apply to CMU ED and take your chances.
  • underscoreoneunderscoreone Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    @theloniusmonk I'd prefer to get into a better school than RPI, if possible. I know someone who had lower grades than me and got into there. I am willing to apply ED to Cornell too-- basically any prestigious school with a good CS program. You're right that CMU is my first choice, but I'm not sure I should ED there, since I'm not seeing a lot of people ED and get in.

    What is Cornell's admission rate for an Asian male if you ED? Do you think it would be a waste if I applied ED there?
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    I don't think colleges publish rates by ethnicity or race, they do by gender, and my guess is that Cornell may not look at Asian an ORM like other universities. It wouldn't be a waste to apply but the rule is very simple, unless it's a clear first choice, don't apply ED.
  • richardye1richardye1 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    @underscoreone Yeah i thought it was northwestern in general. Northwestern journalism is a reach
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