DEMOGRAPHICS: White, female, New England, middle class family, highly ranked competitive public school
INTENDED MAJOR(S): Computational Biology (many schools don't have this so I might end up doing a double major in Computer Science and Bioinformatics/Biomedical Engineering)
ACT/SAT/SAT II: this is a weak point for me, I haven't been able to take any tests yet due to COVID cancellations. I am expecting around 1530-1550 on the SAT and 34-35 on the ACT based on practice tests.
UW/W GPA: 5.9/6.0 GPA, I'm pretty sure this comes out to a 4.0 UW on a regular scale... my school is just weird haha
RANK: school does not rank but I will be graduating summa cum laude??
COURSEWORK: I took the most rigorous courses our school has - honors all the way!
You are only allowed to start taking a maximum of 2 AP classes junior year, which I did:
AP Computer Science A (scored a 5), AP US History (scored a 4)
I am now taking 5 AP classes as a senior:
AP Lit, AP Economics, AP Spanish, AP Physics C, AP Calc AB
EXTRACURRICULARS: ** warning- this is LONG! are these strong ECs or are they just ok-ish? which one is the most unique/interesting? GIMME FEEDBACK PLS **
Independent research - computational science
- I've self studied machine learning and done projects on the applications of AI in toxicology and dysmorphology, planning on submitting a research supplement to most schools with more detailed info!
- I've gotten some mediocre awards at the regional/state science fairs, and I know that for a research EC this isn't too impressive since I'm not an ISEF finalist or anything...
- BUT I did do this all on my own, no research mentor or anything! I will most likely get a supplemental LOR from my chem teacher who helped me with the science fair forms to back me up (more on this in the LOR section)
Founded my own hackathon, never done before at my school!!!!! it was sponsored by repl.it which is a pretty big partnership!
Intern at my school's help desk/IT department
- I do tech support & laptop repairs for students, staff
- Was a student ambassador at town-wide EdTech nights
- hosted a couple of large community outreach events with other interns (STEM talks, challenges)
Student Leader/Teacher of a Girls Who Code club for elementary schoolers
Engineering chair/Officer in the planning committee for a big regional math & science tournament
Core team competitor in Science Olympiad ~ top 10 team in state
- section leader in school's Honors Orchestra
- selected for some competitive orchestras through regional music festival competitions
- created my own string trio with my friends, we do music therapy at local nursing homes
- been playing for a long time now, but no competitions unfortunately
- might submit a music supplement to show my skill?
DanceSport, competed in some regional competitions with decent results but I'm definitely not an expert so this isn't a big focus on my application
Spanish Co-Chair of World Language National Honor Society
Member of Tri-M Music Honor Society and National Honor Society (most likely will not include on application)
AWARDS/HONORS/DISTINCTIONS: ** unfortunately I am lacking substantial awards but whatever it's better than nothing, right? **
Honorable Mention at Regional Science Fair (10th grade)
Third Place at Regional Science Fair (11th grade)
Honorable Mention at State Science Fair (11th grade)
...and then some violin competitions and a couple of honor societies as you can see above.
THIS IS MY TIME TO SHINE (hopefully)!! I've already started working on my essays, and I have some pretty creative ideas that show off my unique childhood/background, my geeky personality and my ~intellectual vitality~ ofc. I'm going to keep refining my drafts and pick the best one out of all my ideas!
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: ** I am confused! Please help me narrow it down! **
Counselor rec: She basically has no idea who I am since I didn't interact much with the guidance department or talk to my counselor. I regret this, but it's too late to fix the relationship now. I sent her my resume and filled out a bunch of questionnaires that will help a little, so my rec will probably be average. Probably 6/10 or a 7/10
Comp sci teacher: I've had her for 3 years, she's notoriously strict and kind of temperamental, but luckily I'm one of her favorites! Plus I'm a girl in CS which is FUN. Probably a 9/10.
English teacher: I aced this class! She loved meeeeee and she's saved a lot of my writing assignments to use as exemplary material for future classes. Also probably a 9/10.
Biology teacher: I had originally asked her for a recommendation but now I don't know if I'm going to actually need it. I'm afraid having too many recommendations will be overkill... "thicker the file, thicker the student." However, biology is a special interest of mine and a (sort of) potential major. This was my favorite class; I got really good grades and participated a lot. She also helped me study for some science olympiad events so we get along pretty well. Should I still use her letter of recommendation, or tell her now not to write one for me since she hasn't started writing them yet?
Chemistry teacher: I had him sophomore year, and even though I wasn't the best at chemistry, I was definitely one of his favorite students in class just because of my extroverted personality. I work with him after school all the time for science olympiad, which is great. He also helped me with my science fair forms and has a decent understanding of all the research I've done on my own outside of school the past couple of years, so he could write about that. He would probably give me a glowing recommendation (10/10!!!), but I also know he's not the best writer which slightly worries me. Should I still ask him for a supplemental recommendation?
COLLEGE LIST: **do you think these are accurate categories for schools based on my resume? any other schools that would be a good fit for a student like me?**
Ultra reach - Brown, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, Carnegie Mellon
Semi reach - Northeastern, Georgia Tech, Case Western Reserve, Brandeis, Boston University
Match - University of Toronto, University of Washington, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Worchester Polytechnic Institute
Safety - UMass Amherst, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
If you read through this whole thing, YOU ARE A SAINT. THANK YOU. I would really appreciate any kind of feedback. I'm kind of clueless tbh, and I need all the help I can get. Be brutally honest please!
THANKS AGAIN FOLKS!!!!