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Will I still have a chance? Or is the dream over?

JoyfulPrinceJoyfulPrince 4 replies2 threads New Member
edited July 13 in What Are My Chances?
Hello everyone. With the 2019 - 2020 school year over, our second semester grades (our school is semester based) have been released to all students attending my school. Though with that being said, I was a bit shocked when I saw I have received a C+ for Honors Chemistry.

So to give some insight, I was originally a student who did not care about anything at all (Middle school. I would get D's and C's everyday). But after High school rolled along, I wanted to change myself, to be able to get into a good university. But as we all know, in order to get into top universities, you would need stellar grades, especially Ivies(I will touch this part with more detail in a bit), So I started studying more and more day by day.

In Freshman year, I managed to get no grade lower than a B-. I was pretty proud of this considering I was a C to D range average student back in middle school, but I was aware this alone wasn't enough. And so, I started going on an upward trend, in Freshman year I would have about 4 A's (out of 8 classes, the rest being B's) and now we hit Sophomore year First Semester with 6 A's (out of 8 classes, the rest being B's as well). I thought everything was going good, but when I got my grades back today, I was horrified to see a solid 63% on my semester finals, which as you guys can guess, dropped my Honors Chemistry average from a B to a C+. I was devastated, I've tried so hard to not receive a C+ throughout my high school career (I found Chemistry EXTREMELY Challenging, I don't believe I am a "Chemistry guy"), and the fact that I got a C+ in my Sophomore year, is absolutely killing me.

*While my teacher could not bump my grade up any higher, he was nice enough to recommend me to Honors Biology, despite me getting a C+ overall, usually you wouldn't be able to. (our school is a "physics first" school, which means all freshmen will be required to take physics).*

On the bright Side, I was absolutely killing it with other Subjects,

(These are my changes from Semester One to Semester Two of my Sophomore year:)

- My History Grade bumped up from an A- to an A (recommended to AP US History)
- My English Grade stayed consistently as an A throughout the year (recommended to Honors English)
- My World Language (Chinese) Grade stayed consistently as an A- throughout the year (recommended to the next Chinese level)
- My Honors Algebra 2 Grade DROPPED From an A - to a B (I absolutely bombed the exam, but got recommended to take AP Calc AB, allowed to skip pre-calculus because my math was good)
- My Honors Chemistry Grade DROPPED From a B- to a C+ (Like I mentioned before, yes. Still recommended to Honors Biology though)
- My AP Computer Science A Grade bumped up from a B to an A- (Recommended to take Honors Artificial Intelligence)
- My AP Studio Art 2D Grade bumped up from an A- to an A
- My Physical Education grade Bumped up from an A to an A+

Now with these in mind, will it still be possible to be able to get admission from the LEADING universities around the world? Some of the schools I have in mind are:

Princeton University
Cornell University
Northwestern University
Dartmouth College
Harvard University
Boston University
Carnegie Mellon University
New York University
Brown University

McGil University
University of Toronto

(I am Half Korean and Half Japanese)

KAIST University
Seoul National University
Yonsei University

Keio University
Kyoto University
University of Tokyo

As for extra-curricular activities, I don't see much of a problem. I believe my EC are strong so I don't think I will have to worry about that

As for SAT scores, I am going to be taking them this Winter, starting prep this summer, along with some prep for SAT Subject Tests (Most likely Physics or Math, as I'm striving to be a Computer Science Major).

So now the big question:

Is it over for me? Should I just completely give up on getting in a university? Or do I have a chance?

Please let me know, as I'm currently very anxious to know what everyone else thinks as I find this situation very alarming.

Thank you for reading through all of that. It is very much appreciated.
edited July 13
13 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: Will I still have a chance? Or is the dream over?

  • JoyfulPrinceJoyfulPrince 4 replies2 threads New Member
    Sorry, I forgot to mention I was a sophomore as well! With the year over, I will be a Junior next year.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3449 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Your grades probably aren't strong enough to get into the American colleges you listed. However, the good news is that it isn't T20 or bust. There are thousands of colleges out there that would still be happy to have you, where you can receive an excellent education, and write your own story afterwards.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7904 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Should I just completely give up on getting in a university

    Of course not.

    But, there are more than a handful of brand names, where you can get a really excellent college education and set yourself up for a successful adult life.
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 562 replies7 threads Member
    Should I just completely give up on getting in a university

    Of course not.

    But, there are more than a handful of brand names, where you can get a really excellent college education and set yourself up for a successful adult life.

    100% agree. You can apply to some T20 schools but those are not a sure thing for anyone - including students with perfect grades and test scores. I would HIGHLY recommend not centering your dreams and future happiness around attending one of those - and I'd say that to ANYONE here regardless of their grades and test scores. It's REALLY important that you find some schools that you would be happy to go that that are true matches and safeties for you.

    I'm curious how you came up with that list for your US schools. Those are some very different schools in terms of size, locations, environment, etc. Did you mainly pick them because of prestige? I would start with looking at what your interests are and what schools might match up to those. Then what type of school you think would be a good fit in terms of size and locations (city, rural, etc). Start reading up on environments and cultures at schools. And then most importantly, what you can afford. You might be surprised at what schools might be the perfect "fit" for you. There are many, many really good schools that are not considered "Top 20" or whatever. You'll still get a great education and experience!
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  • SouthoftheriverSouthoftheriver 38 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Completely agree with prior comments. Take time to find a good Safety or two (which can be difficult) and start a Target school list. Please look at fit, not prestige.

    Because you are considering a Computer Science major, I would be thinking more about your B in math. Look into tutoring or Khan Academy to make sure you are on super solid ground before starting calculus. It could also help prepare you for your Math 2 subject test.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2606 replies14 threads Senior Member
    You are, for some reason, of the notion that there are only 20 colleges in the USA.

    There are about 2,000 non-profit colleges and universities in the USA.

    At least 1,000 of them will provide an excellent undergraduate education which will set you up for the vast majority of jobs which require an undergraduate degree.

    Of those, about 800 accept more than 50% of their applicants, and about 500 accept more than 75% of their applicants.

    A GPA in the 3.50 range will allow you to be competitive for at least 800 of the 1,000 I mentioned above. A GPA above 3.8 will make you competitive for more than 900 of these colleges.

    The colleges on your list are so popular that they can choose among the students with the highest GPAs, so they will rarely consider a student with a GPA below 3.8.

    However, as i wrote, there are, literally, hundreds of colleges out there where you can succeed and thrive. It is also almost certain that you will thrive a lot more at one of these colleges than you would at any of the colleges on your list.
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  • Matty1600Matty1600 5 replies0 threads New Member
    I think you're stressing a bit too much. You're still a sophomore entering junior year. As far as I know, many of the top colleges put a lot more emphasis on junior and senior year grades (e.g. Stanford does not even look at freshman marks), and you're grades are not even bad.

    With that said, you are an Asian international applicant competing in one of, if not, the most competitive applicant pool for admissions. You would have to provide more info on your EC's for people to give you a better "Chance me". You might think you have good EC's but, as I mentioned before, the international Asian applicant pool is insanely talented and competitive.

    Just My 2 cents, hope it helps!

    P.S. you're not even halfway through high school — take it easy man — do EC's you enjoy and try to keep your grades up; no need to stress about college this early!

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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3873 replies52 threads Senior Member
    Spend some time this summer critically looking at your study skills. There is clearly something that you're missing. Is it note taking? Pre-reading? Understanding concepts? Not preparing enough for exams? Proofreading? Whatever it is, you need to sort this out before starting Junior year.

    The good news is that there is plenty of time for you to become a better student. Most college admissions counselors like to see an upward trend. So buckle down, figure out your weaknesses, and create an action plan for yourself. Take one day at a time.
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  • forestcryptidforestcryptid 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Your stats don't look good enough for the US schools you listed, though I can't speak for the others. But, dude, giving up on getting into a university??? There's more than ten schools in the US. There's hundreds of US colleges who would be happy to have you
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  • flamingogirlflamingogirl 44 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Don't stress you still have plenty of time. Continue that upward trend and you will be fine. Colleges want to see progress (and sometimes perfection). Spend this summer working on things besides grades that will make your application stand out.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43234 replies471 threads Senior Member
    There's a disconnect between your grades and the colleges you'd be applying for - SKY, Keio, Kyoto wouldn't take students with actual B, C, or D grades, in the way those grades are used in the US. Did you convert your grades yourself?

    Second, there are 3,700 colleges in the US. The top 10% can be found in a book called Princeton review's best colleges. Get that book and find 20-25 colleges you like and hadn't heard of before.
    BTW "leading" usually means "in graduate school/research output". It's not relevant to a US undergrad education.

    Are you a US citizen?
    Do you have a college budget?
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6547 replies1 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2
    I agree with a lot of the comments above. You need to do as well as you can next year. A year from now we will be much more able to make educated guesses regarding where you might get accepted.

    In terms of your college list, Carnegie Mellon and Toronto are both exceptional for computer science. Carnegie Mellon is however exceptionally competitive for admissions to computer science specifically because it is so strong in this area. Toronto is one of the most academically demanding schools in the world, and is probably the worst "grade deflator" in Canada. Toronto is well know for being relatively easy to get into but very difficult to graduate from.

    Otherwise I am not sure that there is a strong correlation between schools on your list and schools that are strong for computer science. I think that you should be doing some research to find schools that specifically have a good program in your likely major. These are not always the schools with the highest overall ranking.

    In terms of the two Canadian schools on your list, McGill and Toronto are both known for grade deflation, and are relatively hard to get into at least by Canadian standards (admissions is much more predictable for Canadian schools, and the top Canadian schools are generally easier to get into compared to the top US schools). There are a lot of other very good universities in Canada. Your junior year grades are going to matter more than your sophomore year grades, and your freshman year grades will not matter at all for Canadian universities unless you flunk too many classes. I think that you are likely to find other Canadian universities which are a better fit and less expensive for an international student. If you google "macleans university rankings computer science" you will get a good list (be aware that a couple of the 20 schools on the list teach in French, one is bilingual, the rest teach in English).

    There are a LOT of other universities in the US with very strong computer science programs.

    I would not skip precalculus. As a potential computer science major, you want to have a very solid basis in mathematics. It is okay to take calculus either as a senior in high school or as a freshman in university. It is not okay to have only a shaky partial understanding of the concepts and techniques in math.

    Definitely make sure that you know what your budget is. Run the NPCs on a few schools and show the results to your parents.

    Take your in-state public schools seriously. A lot of public universities in the US have very good computer science programs.
    edited June 2
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10848 replies588 threads Super Moderator
    Colleges like upward trends. There are hundreds of universities that would love to accept you, especially if you can pay. So nothing is over for you. But I suggest you make a new list, for US colleges at least. Keep working hard. Good luck.
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