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Chance Me for Ivies etc.

retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
edited February 12 in What Are My Chances?
Hi guys, I’m pretty new to College Confidential. The college admissions process is so complicated these days that no one really knows how to be guaranteed admission, which is nerve wracking. But without further ado, here are my stats and extracurriculars. Don’t be afraid of be brutally honest, because I applied to so many reach schools and idrk if I even have a large chance. I know my grades aren’t exactly AMAZING but I still want to hear some opinions. Please chance me for the following schools (applied to all RD):
Claremont McKenna
UPenn (I applied to their bio-dental program, but even just plain admission to Penn would be great)
Basically all of the UC’s but I wish to know about UCB and UCLA

I already got into a couple of safeties so no need to wonder about that.

Ethnicity: Asian- Chinese/Vietnamese
California resident
UW GPA: 3.7-3.8 ish
Career goals: Dentist or doctor (Greater chance of becoming a dentist because grades not special)
W GPA (cumulative including 1st semester of senior year): around 4.1
Senior year courses: Religions of the World (2nd semester), AP Calc AB, AP Language and Composition, AP Biology, Spanish III, AP Psych, Global Economic Justice (1st semester), Visual Arts II (1st semester)
Took one class at a community college over the summer: General Biology, got an A in the class
AP Tests: 5 on AP Lit
SAT Subject Tests: 670 on Bio E :( , 760 on Math II
SAT: 1500 superscore, 1480 highest score
Note: my freshman year I didn’t take school very seriously, so I ended up taking all regular classes that year and got like a 3.65 gpa that entire school year. Sophomore and junior year I upped my game and took 3 honors courses in sophomore year, and 2 honors courses and 1 AP my junior year. At my school, honors and AP are worth the same amount of credit.
I tried far harder in senior year with higher courses and like a 4.5 W GPA but a little late IMO.

- JV tennis team Sophomore year
- Member of various clubs such as Interact
- Take Piano lessons
- Used to take art lessons from a professional art teacher
- Work weekly at father’s dental office
- Psychology summer camp in Pennsylvania (I did this because I did lots of volunteering with Autistic children)
- Used to play basketball in a league
- Used to play recreational golf in a well known league that teaches life skills and golf skills to children. (I eventually volunteered here for a couple of months)

SO MUCH VOLUNTEERING. I have volunteered extensively in the following (sorry for the vague descriptions):
- nonprofit organization that tutors autistic children in art. I tutor a child weekly. I’ve volunteered here for well over 100 hours per year.
- dental volunteer trip to serve poor children in Guatemala for a week
- assist mother in dental clinic at center that rehabilitates homeless and substance abusers
- assist poor children in the local area with a variety of fun tasks such as piano tutoring and food making (since 7th-8th grade)
- oral hygiene instructor for preschoolers
- assistant at Buddhist center (have been going here since 6th grade)

- Presidents volunteer service award for 3 years straight. Most likely the highest service award I’ve gotten so far. It’s an award for students who have completed extensive service hours for qualifying organizations. Received this award for my volunteering with Autistic children. I got Gold every year, which is the highest Presidents volunteer service award.
- School award for 125+ hours of volunteering (expected to receive this for all years of highschool)
- Took a dental course in SoCal to obtain the following certifications: Dental radiation safety certificate, CPR certified, 8 hour dental infection control certificate, and California dental practice act certificate.
- NHS and CSF member since freshman year.

Recommendation letters:
AP Lit: unsure of what he wrote, but he seemed to like me. I believe I completely surpassed his expectations by getting a 5 on the AP Lit Test, which was only 5.2% nationwide and most of my classmates didn’t get this score. He’s also a really popular teacher at my school. I think his rec letter was probs good.

Pre Calc H: one of my favorite teachers who I’ve been a student of for two years. Excelled in her class and I think she rlly liked me. I’m quite sure that her rec letter was a 10/10

Counselor rec: not fully sure of how good her letter might have been, but she’s rlly nice and I meet up with her often. Hopefully she knows me well enough but I think she gave a pretty good letter.

Director of rehabilitation center: really nice guy who I’ve known for around 6 years because I began volunteering since 6th grade in the dental clinic. His rec letter wasn’t exactly the most personal but it gave colleges a full idea of the duties I had while volunteering.

Essays (probably the strongest aspect of my application)
I believe my common app essay was the best out of all, and was really personal. Centered around my asian identity and a cultural struggle and it felt like a powerful piece. I talked about the conflicting, paradoxical nature of American identity and Asian identity. Delved deep into what truly made me ME.
My supplementals were pretty good IMO, maybe not STELLAR but some were pretty creative and had humor. I literally did a meme reference for one of stanford’s short response questions.
My UC essays were good in my opinion, and I spent lots of time trying to “perfect” them. They weren’t necessarily “powerful” like my common app essay but I tried pretty hard for them.

Thank you so much guys for reading this. Really appreciate it.

Replies to: Chance Me for Ivies etc.

  • BishoptoasterBishoptoaster Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    You seem like an amazing person, and if you portrayed this characteristic in your essays, I'm sure that you will have an amazing shot at being admitted. Although your stats are on the lower end, I've seen many individuals get accepted with lower-end test scores, so I dont think you should worry about these things. (standardized tests have started to be worth less and less over the years imo). Good luck!
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thank you so much! I really hope I get into one of my reaches. Growing up, I’ve felt pretty inferior to some of my peers, who have excelled in academics. My parents also believe in the philosophy that getting stellar grades will be the reason of one’s acceptance to a top school. That’s why I want to prove them wrong!
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,322 Senior Member
    Based on your volunteer work, I think that you should receive serious consideration from Brown.
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I hope so much omg. Getting into brown would be a dream!
  • HamurtleHamurtle Registered User Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    What is your UC weighted 10-11 grade GPA?
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Hi, I believe my weighted UC GPA is like a 3.96, which may or may not be accurate (I used the UC grade calculator on Rogerhub, but I may have done an error). It appears that the UC’s don’t accept a couple of honors courses offered at my highschool as honors credit.
  • HamurtleHamurtle Registered User Posts: 2,059 Senior Member
    3.96 UC GPA is low for the top tier of UCs (Cal, UCLA).

    Low reach for UCSD, high match for Davis, Irvine, and Santa Barbara. Match for Santa Cruz, Riverside, and Merced.

    You have a compelling story to tell and it’s possible that you might get into at least USC. Ivies, Stanford, and Pomona are tough-I can see a Pomona acceptance, but the others are reaches. Although your essay might catch the eye of an admissions officer.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,328 Senior Member
    I would say:

    Reach: Stanford, UPenn, Brown, Cornell (some schools)
    Low reach: CMC, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Cornell (some schools)
    High match: UCSD
    Match: UCSB, Irvine, Davis
    Low match: UCSC, Riverside
    Safe: Merced

    Is there a common thread among these schools that draws you to them? They have different locations, curricular styles (Brown is open...), vibes, settings, weather, etc.

    If you will give us your preferences, we can help you find additional private high matches and matches. I think you're good in terms of publics -- the UCs are excellent, and it doesn't make sense to apply OOS unless you need scholarships.
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Oooh ok thanks! UC’s are more academic based than private’s right? I occasionally hear of people with rlly mediocre grades getting into UCLA and UCB but maybe that’s because their EC’s and essays are great. In your opinion, are good essays possibly enough to bridge the gap for my reaches (both public and private) even if my grades aren’t exceptional?
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thanks for your opinion and offer! I don’t see myself to applying to anymore schools now but I was just rlly intrigued by what the schools I applied to have to offer. Personally, I’m geared more towards private schools because smaller class sizes are likely better for me, plus all of the reach schools I applied to have fantastic academics, resources, nice location, etc. Stanford is basically a dream for me but I doubt I will get in unless I can make the admissions team cry with emotion at my essay HAHA but it would be nice getting into any of the private schools I mentioned.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 26,771 Forum Champion
    Some UC statistical data and they do tend to be very GPA focused. I agree with @prezbucky ‘s assessment.

    Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 (capped weighted):

    UCB: 12.6%
    UCLA: 11.7%
    UCSD: 38.7%
    UCSB: 53.6%
    UCD: 56.5%
    UCI: 52.1%
    UCSC: 75.7%
    UCR: 90.1%
    UCM: 96.1%

    2018 UC capped weighted GPA averages:
    UCB: 4.23
    UCLA: 4.23
    UCSD: 4.16
    UCSB: 4.13
    UCI: 4.13
    UCD: 4.11
    UCSC: 3.96
    UCR: 3.81
    UCM: 3.71
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thanks so much for this! :)
  • Red2798Red2798 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Based in your information, you would be a competitor for brown or for Cornell. Stanford would also be good. Depending on how you related this info in your essays and any other supporting documentation you may have sent with your application, you stand a decent chance.
  • retrokumquatretrokumquat Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I really hope so! Fingers crossed!
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