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Be My Magic 8 Ball

HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
edited February 2019 in What Are My Chances?
Last fall, I was pretty addicted to CC, A2C on Reddit, and just about everything - that was until I got knocked into the ground with a UChicago ED Rejection...I got a ton of help from CC members here and have changed the tone of my essays drastically to just be straightforward and genuine as possible for my regular decision applications.

To be fair, after having applied to 20 regular decision colleges, I'm just laid back now since everything is in the hands of God and the admissions officers. So, just for fun, I would like to see what you guys think my "chances" or general vibe you get from my "numbers". Thanks to everyone here.

- Demographics -
Race: Asian
Sex: Male
Location: US Midwest

- Circumstances -
Income: $0K
"Real Income": ~$15,000 from my brother who is currently supporting us in the US Army.
Family: I am a DACA student, my father recently got his Green Card, and my Brother is a DACA-turned-US Citizen serving in the military. My father is also divorced and we have no whereabouts of my mother. My father made around $48K before he was laid off in 2015 as he was an undocumented worker- he has now paid off his debt as well. His checking/saving has around $4K at the moment.

- Statistics -
ACT: 35 + 11 Writing
SAT: 1420 (Did not send, Did not study for, state-mandated)
SATII: 800 MATH2, 750 CHEM, 720 Bio (Did not send)
AP Tests: Spanish Lang 5, AP Lang 3 (Did not send...didn't expect to do this awful), APUSH 4, AP Human Geo 4, AP Chem 5
Class Rigor: More rigorous schedule possible in school. By graduation, I will have taken 12 AP Courses (**NOTE: School only allows Juniors and Seniors to take AP classes)
GPA UW: 3.7ish after 1st Semester, Weighted: 4.87/5.33 after 1st Semester (Dipped)

- Senior Year Schedule -
AP Spanish Literature and Culture
AP Economics (Macro + Micro)
AP Literature and Composition
AP Physics C (M + EM)
AP Calculus BC


- Awards/Recognition/Experiences/Extracurricular -
Youth Volunteer Award
Seal of Biliteracy (Spanish + English) + Can speak fluently in English, Korean, Spanish and currently self-teaching Chinese and Japanese
Published Medical Research Paper in the Cureus Journal for Medical Science as the First Author
Research at the Feinberg School of Medicine for axonal decay and its relation to Alzheimer's and superagers
Volunteering at a University Health-System hospital (Decorating rooms, concierge, escorting patients, directing visitors, flower delivery)
School Korean Culture Club Leader
Tutoring the Youth Group at my Church core subjects such as Algebra, Geometry, Biology, and Chemistry for free
Working at my Aunt's Cafe during the school year and a lot during the summer - in return she helps my father with some of the bills, food, and also gets me clothing for the school year and winter.
Honor Roll (is this just a school thing?)
Premio de Bronce (National Spanish Exam)

- Conclusion -
I'd say my essays aren't so Hemingway nor are they Camus. They're straightforward (except for some of the interesting prompts) and I don't try to weave in too many metaphors that can confuse AO - I've changed my tone to be completely genuine as possible. So I'd say around a 7/10?

Letters of Recommendations...I have asked my AP Lang (and this year, also my Lit teacher) for recommendations. She's also very genuine and she really works hard on trying to capture who we are as learners.
AP Chemistry teacher (who I am an assistant teacher as a Senior) we get along really well and I'm really thankful for the opportunities she's given me as essentially a TA. I'd say around a 9/10 for Recommendations

Before you look at my college list, however, you might say I should've applied to some safeties. Hear me out: I would love to attend UIC and UIUC (which I was accepted to), except my family literally cannot afford them. We can't apply for FAFSA and merit scholarships will barely cover half if even that for these colleges.

As for my EC compared to those who are winning National competitions, going to learn abroad, volunteering in Africa + Middle East, sports captains, it is lackluster. However, I've been trying to do a lot of things I can in the realm of economic conscience. My family can't afford sports equipment, we can't afford to visit colleges, hook me up with foreign private schools, go outside the country, and travel for Scioly and Math Team meets. So as a regular off-the-block high schooler, I've been doing research and doing a lot of community service in areas I'm interested in (like the hospital) and teaching.

- COLLEGE LIST -
Of course, the most important thing here haha.

**Extreme Reaches**
Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, UPenn, Cornell, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, MIT

**High Reaches**
Duke, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Rice, WashU, Emory

*Reaches**
Case Western, Carleton College, Bates, Bowdoin










edited February 2019
15 replies
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Replies to: Be My Magic 8 Ball

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    I can't chance you for these schools but hope one of them comes through, you have achieved so much academically and with your ECs (working at your aunt's cafe counts!) What is your plan for paying for travel to and from school (not all the schools on your list will cover travel in their fin aid packages)?

    You do also need a plan b should none of these schools come through......have you applied to your local community college?
    edited February 2019
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  • eb23282eb23282 646 replies18 threads Member
    http://www.ask8ball.net/ .... have fun :-) But seriously, good luck. You'll be successful no matter which college you attend, and it doesn't need to be one of those listed above.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    Thanks a ton folks. As for daily transportation and etc, I do plan to work during college as well also paid internships depending on my immigration status then. Otherwise it looks like I'll be catching rides from people or buying a cheap bike :P
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Good luck and keep us updated....one step at a time.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2658 replies55 threads Senior Member
    I think you will get in at Carleton, Bates, and Bowdoin. I would not be surprised to see you get into a couple of your reach schools. Affordability will be the challenge as some of these may not meet your full FA needs.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    Thanks. All the schools have said they can meet my demonstrated needs which is hopeful.

    The thing with Bowdoin, Bates, and Carleton is that they ate LA schools and I'm hoping to do STEM then pursue medicine which I think CWRU will be perfect for.
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  • merc81merc81 10804 replies173 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    Do you have an interest in fields such as biology and mathematics? These can be considered to be among the academic strengths of a liberal arts college such as Carleton.
    edited February 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    All of the schools on your list will give you good preparation for med school, so rest easy on that. Sure, some on your list might have more, or sexier, research opportunities, or be closer to a medical center for shadowing and patient facing experience, but you can get that at any of these schools. And all the schools on your list have fine pre-health advising departments to help you navigate course selection and ECs.

    These schools will meet all your need which I expect will be calculated as zero by all. We don't yet know what type of choices you may have with regard to admission, but some schools fin aid packages will cover books and transport, some won't....those types of considerations will likely be important as decisions start coming in.

    When you applied to Northwestern, did you make it clear you are involved in research there? Did any of the profs/scientists you work with write you a rec or contact admissions on your behalf? If not, you might consider asking your boss/mentor to do that.
    edited February 2019
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    @Mwfan1921
    When I applied to Northwestern, I made sure to include the check that said I was applying for HPME (which I did). For HPME, my research mentor did write a recommendation letter but seeing I haven't gotten an interview request, looks like I didn't get in (as expected kind of). Is it still viable that my research mentor who researches at Northwestern contact the admissions? My english, chem, and counselor all submitted a rec letter through the Common App but if my mentor wanted to, how would that work? Thanks
    edited February 2019
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    biology, of course! Mathematics...not so much. I'm really interested in the life sciences + ecology/environmental.

    I'm hoping later on I'll have to decide between becoming a Researcher or a Physician...(or both if that's an option in the future)!
    edited February 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    I don't know if HPME interviews are complete, but as you know that program is uber competitive.

    I do think that your entire admissions file will be visible to all admissions officers, so it's great that you already have a recommendation from your research mentor, an NU insider. Who knows how much that will help, but it certainly won't hurt!

    I commented above about applying to your local CC, but that would be less than ideal now that I know you are thinking about med school (but still not a ridiculous idea either). I am optimistic and hopeful that you will get at least one acceptance!
    edited February 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    One more thing OP......have you submitted the CSS Profile for the schools that require it? Even though DACA students don't fill out FAFSA, many of the schools on your list do require DACA students to complete the Profile when applying for fin aid.
    edited February 2019
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    @Mwfan1921 Yep. I have filled out CSS (and IDOC) and the supplemental documents for colleges that don't use CSS and use their own thing.

    I'm really hoping I get into at least one of my higher reach schools...I would really like to go to Northwestern...but Penn would be the BEST for med school.

    For Northwestern, how do you suggest my mentor submit a "recommendation"? I've used up all my Common Application rec spots. Essentially: My mentor wrote one for the HPME application (separate) but not for my common app regular undergrad applications.

    However, I did notify HPME that if I am not accepted to HPME I will definitely still be interested in attending Northwestern.
    edited February 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2962 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Great on the CSS and IDOC documents.

    Regarding regular NU admissions, as long as you also did the common app (in addition to the HPME app) they know you want to attend!

    NU and HPME do have separate app processes, so I am not sure whether NU admissions would receive your research mentor's recommendation that you submitted with the HPME app. I suggest you reach out to your regional AO and ask if they have this letter, or if you can still submit it now. IMO this rec would be another positive factor in your app.
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  • HKimPOSSIBLEHKimPOSSIBLE 415 replies27 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    Ah okay. Thank you very much. Also, just a question; are my extracurriculars "competitive"? I know some people who have gotten into really great schools (my high and extreme reaches) who simply do sports and school-related clubs only (no, they weren't recruited for sports!).

    I'd hate to give the idea that I do my extracurriculars for colleges (not the case), but in the college season, it just seems like another card that you can pull out and wave in front of people.
    edited February 2019
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