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What are my chances?

Lightsaber43Lightsaber43 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am currently a high school sophomore in a small community. We have around 20,000 people in and around town with one hs with around 1200 students.

- Asian American female
- born in China and was in an orphanage, then adopted by Caucasian parents and brought to a super white town in US
- Identify as lesbian
- diagnosed with severe unilateral hearing loss

Grades/ Test Scores:
-Current 4.0 unweighted gpa
-took psat without studying(I am now studying for Junior year ) 1290

- Play viola & violin
-FBLA (currently treasure)
- Been in leadership since 7th grade (Freshman Class President & currently an ASB Officer)
- volunteer at local library and have led projects with them for five years (since 6th gr.)
- Soccer (On JV both years, but got brought up to play in districts)
- Tennis (JV Freshman year, most likely varsity this year)

Things I've done:
- National History Day (Second at state and went to Nationals Freshman year for a documentary........)
- Historical Society (Second place for local comp.)
- Lettered in community service Freshman year with United Way, and am on track to double letter this year
- FBLA (went to state for Intro to Financial Math and took 9th at state in Intro to business Presentation) (Going to state this year in Digital Video Production, Political Science, and Intro to Business Presentation)
-Testified and advocated at our state capitol for bills promoting and helping with the construction of a new hs and extra education funding for unfunded schools like ours
- Going to state this year for Chamber ensemble
- Business Department Excellence Award
- Like video production, and have made various videos promoting programs in our small community for different organizations (Lions Club, Benefit Talent Show, Library)

I am slightly worried, as our small community does not offer many rigorous courses or opportunities. Our hs is geared toward those who want to go to community college or trade school. The AP classes offered are discouraged by counselors to take, and due to budget cuts there even thinking of cutting word language III and IV programs and many of the AP courses they do offer. I'd liked to study political science in college, and eventually become a lawyer or political analyst.

What are my chances of getting into my dream schools? And what should I be doing for the next 2.5 years of hs to better my chances?

Dream Colleges:
- Stanford
- Yale

Replies to: What are my chances?

  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    You sound like you're doing great so far. There's nothing about your record to date that would disqualify you for any of these reach schools. However, you will be an unhooked, female applicant - that is a steep path into the most elite schools. So no matter what you do from here on in, you are more likely to be rejected than accepted, at any of these schools (with the *possible* exception of UCLA and USC, if your record is super-strong two years from now). That doesn't mean it isn't worth a try. But at this stage of the game, building your list from the top down is going to make the whole process more painful than necessary.

    You have nothing to lose by taking your focus off of Stanford et. al. for a while and putting your energy into finding match and safety schools that you love and would be happy to attend. You will most assuredly not forget to apply to the reach schools when the time comes, but you can then do so without feeling as if your life will be ruined if you don't attend a single-digit-admit-rate college.

    As to the number of AP classes, you will be assessed relative to what's available to you at your school, so don't stress about what *isn't* available except with regard to areas of particular interest, where you might want to take the initiative to pursue a summer class/program or some other alternative to supplement what your school offers.

    Have you discussed college budget and your overall financial situation with your parents? Do you know if you'd be eligible for need-based financial aid at $70K+/year schools like the schools you list, or if your family would be able to full-pay if not? There are no merit scholarships at any of these colleges except for USC's National Merit awards if you qualify. UCLA, if you're not a CA resident, would cost around $65K/year with no OOS financial aid or merit available.

    For your academic and extracurricular interests, there are *many* wonderful places to go to college. Figure out what category of schools is financially realistic (i.e. best need-based aid vs. best merit and/or most affordable sticker price... or maybe money is not a constraint for your family, but make sure you know the parameters from the beginning). Figure out what kind of setting you'd like best, what amount of diversity is important to you, what kind of extracurricular life you'd like to have, how far from home, and so on. People here will happily help you find matches and safeties that you can get excited about and avoid putting all of your emotional eggs in the "lottery school" basket. Sure, you might still end up at one of the schools on this "dream school" list, but now is not the time to decide that these are the only options that could possibly make you happy and get you where you want to go in life.
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