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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
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Chance Me

AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
edited June 24 in What Are My Chances?
First post. Let me know if I forgot anything.
Schools: Cornell ED, Caltech RD, USC, UChicago EA/ED 2, UMich EA and UIUC EA.

Asian male from the Midwest. I’ll not reveal my state for privacy (my friends, if they happen to browse CC, will recognize me).

Computer Science and Mathematics

High school – Top public school in my state
UWGPA: 3.97
WGPA: 4.46/4.8 – weight is only given to AP courses – not to dual enrollment or enriched/honors
ACT: 35
SAT 1: N/A
SAT Subject Tests: Math 2 (800) | Physics (800) | Chemistry (770)
Advanced Placement – 11 5s and 2 4s so far:
- Sophomore: Calc BC | Physics C Mech | Physics C E&M | HuG | CSA
- Junior: Chem | Bio | Lang | Lit | Micro | Macro | Psych | USH
- Senior year (planned): ES | CompG
Dual Enrollment at my state’s flagship:
- Junior: LinAlg and Diff’Eqs – final grade was an A.
- Senior (planned): Multivar Calc | Discrete Structures of CS | Data Structures and Algorithms | Graph Theory and Combo

MOOCs (Don’t know if these matter much): Multiple courses on Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Game Theory from Stanford, MIT, and IBM on Coursera and Edx.

Math Team Captain
- Top 10 within my state for both team and individual rounds
- My state’s All-State Math Team: Represented my state at ARML and was invited to do the same for CMIMC
- Purple Comet – 2nd place in state
- AMC 12B – 90 (Cutoff for 2019 was a 94.5 ☹)

Science Bowl Captain and Quiz Bowl

FRC Robotics Programming Lead - We win regionals and chairmans literally every year

Cybersecurity Club Captain
- CyberPatriot – 2nd in my state’s Platinum Division

Varsity Economics Team
- My state’s National Economics Challenge (Adam Smith Division) – 3rd place
- Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economics Challenge – 13th place lmao (My coach told me that we will go to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Econ Challenge next year).

- USACO – I made it to Silver but gave up afterwards
- USAPhO Semifinalist

Common Awards:
- AP National Scholar
- National Merit Commended
- College Book Award – Xerox Award for Innovation and Technology by the University of Rochester

- Public Library – event organization and materials tracking
- Lighting Crew lead and Theatre Crew
- Volunteered at the state fair
- STEM tutor at my high school

Physics research at my state’s flagship university. As of now, I don’t intend to publish.

- Summer internship at my district’s Media and Technology Services department.
- Data Science internship – I am working with Deep Reinforcement Learning in Mathematica, and I intend to present at the 2019 Wolfram Tech Conference.

Letters of Recs:
- Calc BC and Economics teacher – both are most likely very good. They both had me as a student and were also the math team and economics team coaches respectively.
- Counselor recommendation – I suspect that this one is amazing as well.
- I can get a LOR from my research or internship mentor if needed.
edited June 24
16 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Chance Me

  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 447 replies35 threads Member
    Make sure you have a safety. Good chances, but as an Asian male applying for CS there's the chance you won't get accepted to any.
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited July 2019
    My safety is my state's flagship. My high school is (I guess) a feeder school and I can get in just based on my association with them through dual enrollment.
    edited July 2019
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
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  • MWolfMWolf 2737 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Not much be add to @squ1rrel's post. Your stats are good enough to be considered, but for every spot there are at least 5 other students with the same stats (10 for Caltech). SO those are all reaches or far reaches for everybody, at least for CS majors, so what do you have for target colleges?

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  • daunt18daunt18 155 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Well as a HS senior myself I'm not qualified to give you advice, but you can check out the responses to my own thread, since I have a feeling they're going to be very similar to what you'll get.

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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure if UChicago belongs in the group with your other choices as far as CS goes.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 3036 replies5 threads Senior Member
    You're a pretty strong candidate, do you really want to ED Cornell? You'll have a good chance getting in ED there.

    "USACO – I made it to Silver but gave up afterwards"
    Do you have any details you can share on this? Giving up is not something you want to have come across in an app, esp to where you're applying.
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited July 2019
    @MWolf I only listed my reach schools as I am not too worried about my safeties/matches. I can assure you that they are well thought of and are nothing ridiculous.

    @ProfessorPlum168 I am interested in math as well and UChicago's highly rated math program should be able to make up for its lack of reputation in the CS industry.

    @theloniusmonk By "giving up", I meant that I made the poor choice of focusing on making USAPhO (studying for the F=Ma) instead of advancing further in USACO. Although I did become a USAPhO semifinalist, I was unable to win anything (Honorable Mention or medals) because I was not prepared enough for the national exam (I was fairly confident that I was NOT gonna make it) and my knowledge of physics did not extend beyond AP Physics C. Furthermore, The topics you need to know to reach the Silver Division of USACO are basic CS principles that can be learned in an intro-level programming class, but the study of algorithms and data structures becomes crucial in the Gold + Platinum levels. By devoting my time to F=Ma, I robbed myself of the opportunity to learn about the advanced topics I would have needed to move up further in USACO. In hindsight, my biggest error last year was participating in multiple Olympiads and getting past their first level instead of choosing one and sticking with it till the end.
    edited July 2019
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  • MWolfMWolf 2737 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @AJ9101 If you have your targets and safeties set up, and you're OK with the effort of applying to 6 reaches, it's a good reach list. Based on your other choices, though, Caltech seems to be the odd one out. It usually pops up alongside MIT, GTech, CMU, etc.
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited July 2019
    Personally, I don't think I have a chance at any of the universities that you mentioned and my application for Caltech is more like a shot in the dark anyways...
    edited July 2019
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  • tchit87tchit87 153 replies21 threads Junior Member
    I honestly believe you should ED to the M&T Program at UPenn or apply EA or ED at another top school. For your stats and ec's, which stand out totally amongst the crowd, you can get into those top schools. Application officers will see just an amazing dedication to science, engineering, etc. and success in other areas like Econ (I wish I won that) rather than someone one-dimensional, so seriously consider someplace other than Cornell unless you love it (lots say that classes are extremely tough and very socially reclusive). Also, don't mention a specific major in Comp Sci unless you write essays about it. To admissions officers, you could be interested in robotics or any other engineering (comp sci is used in every field).
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited July 2019
    @tchit87 Thank you for the kind words. I am not that interested in management/business so I don't know if M&T programs will suit me very well. However, I can consider a minor in Economics/Applied Economics if it won't be too much work and I can integrate it easily into my schedule.

    Also, I apologize but I don't completely understand what you mean by "don't mention a specific major in Comp Sci unless you write essays about it." As of now, I am really interested in the intersection between Machine Learning and Robotics/Computer Vision but that is subject to change based on my future experiences.
    edited July 2019
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9982 replies386 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    tchit87: Also, don't mention a specific major in Comp Sci unless you write essays about it. To admissions officers, you could be interested in robotics or any other engineering (comp sci is used in every field).

    @tchit87, I don't think high school seniors who are applying in the same cycle should tell other students where to apply, especially when you're planning to apply to the same school you're advising them to drop from their list. OP has their ED schools. They aren't asking for a new list. And what makes you think OP needs to write essays about CS to apply for the major? Adcoms know most students change majors.
    edited July 2019
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  • tchit87tchit87 153 replies21 threads Junior Member
    @austinmshauri Sorry, but I merely offered a suggestion. He said he didn't think he had a chance at those schools in another reply..... and I thought he could (shoot me). I also did not say he needs to write essays on CS at all, in fact, I said the opposite. I just know that for Asian Males its extremely hard to get into a school under a CS major because its a crowded field, which is why I suggested not applying under a "CS major" but instead "Undecided" ..... I guess you have more experience than me and think that won't make a difference to an adcom.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 6936 replies171 threads Senior Member
    It’s an open forum. If you are polite and genuine. You can say whatever you’d like. If you’re not either. The mods and experienced posters will catch you. That being said probably better to leave the chance me analysis to those of us who can compare across multifaceted inputs and past cycles. Even then. It’s not very insightful on a specific file.
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  • AJ9101AJ9101 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited July 2019
    I feel like I have to apologize for whatever just happened. I don't intend for my post to be a source of discord and would be more than ready for it to get shut down to prevent any further conflicts.
    edited July 2019
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