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Chance me at top schools please!!

frgivenfrgiven 66 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi everyone,

I posted an initial chance me thread 364 days ago as a Junior, and now I'm posting another one, this time as a Senior!

I currently live in a very competitive school district in Northern Virginia.

Ethnicity: Asian (Chinese)
Gender: Male
Hooks: 1st Generation College Student (parents did not attend college and immigrated from China, however my older sister attended an ivy league for her undergrad and is currently an MBA candidate at a T10 school)

Unweighted GPA: 3.92
class rank: 11 out of ~430

SAT: 1570

AP's taken: AP Compsci (5), AP WH (5), AP Lang (5), AP Micro (5), AP Macro (5), AP Psych (5), AP Physics: M (4), AP Calc BC (4)

Grades: A's in all courses except AP Econ and AP Lang, which were B+s

SAT Math II: 790
SAT Physics: 710 (not good - definitely will raise this up in Nov)

Current senior year schedule
Multivariable Calculus
AP Chemistry
AP Biology
Computer Science Research
AP Literature
AP US and Comparative Government

Debate team - policy captain (3rd year).
- 3x top speaker awards, 1x third place speaker award, 3rd place regionals, went to states, quarterfinalist/2nd place prelims at a national tournament, 1st place at a local tournament, 3rd place at another local tournament
I went to NCFL Grand nationals last year!!!

Robotics team - sponsorship officer (3rd year), mechanical engineer

Competitive Programming Team member

Hackathon planning committee member - volunteered extensively over the year to plan the first hackathon in the county over 200 students attended). Continuing this year.

Science National Honor Society/Mu Alpha Theta/NHS/Computer Science Honor Society

Conducted a research project focused on building a sign-language translator using CNNs. I am starting a new project this year on an entirely different topic.

STEM Awards:
I won an award at an innovation challenge sponsored by my school and a local company. I also won an award in leadership at an engineering summer academy at the University of Michigan.

I was accepted into the VA Summer Residential Governor's School for Math, Science, and Technology but did not attend. Instead, I spent my summer at a large company (not-for-profit, supports several US government agencies) as a cyber intern conducting machine learning research.

I was also a LEGO EV3 robotics instructor for kids during the summer after 9th and 10th grade.

Notes: I attend a magnet school that specializes in STEM, where I am enrolled in a track that focuses on computer science.

I know my background sounds a lot like many Asian Males in STEM, but I would like to know if I have any chances at any of these schools (applying to their respective engineering schools as a computer science major):

Cornell University (ED?)
Northwestern University (ED?)
University of Chicago (ED?)
University of Pennsylvania (ED?) (secondary legacy status since my sister graduated from here)
Columbia University
UC Berkeley and UCLA (I know the financial aid is virtually nonexistent out of state, unless I get Regents)
Carnegie Mellon University
Rice University
University of Michigan
UT Austin
University of Virginia (in-state)
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
William and Mary

(I am not applying to all these schools lol, trying to narrow it down based off of feedback and will end up applying to 10-12 of these at most. Please let me know what my ED chances are if I apply to the schools labeled ED above ^ )

Thanks in advance! I know this was super long - sorry about that!
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Replies to: Chance me at top schools please!!

  • frgivenfrgiven 66 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7006 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This seems like a list solely based on prestige. Some of these schools are polar opposites of each other in terms of fit. Thing about what kind of environment you really want, well beyond ranking.

    You also need a true safety.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Will be very tough. I think you will be competing against a tough pool of similar candidates. Find something (or a couple of things) that make you unique and build around them. Write your essay about something you are passionate about.

    I personally would tell my son/daughter to build a better list with reaches, matches and safeties. Very few of those schools are matches even for a student with your great strengths. Look up statistics in terms of how many US high school graduates there are with similar stats. There's not a place for every kid in that pool.

    The things which pop out are sign language and machine learning. The rest is very common for kids in that pool.
    Since you are interested in STEM going outside that group would likely result in a similar education.
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