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high-achieving girl: i need some input

mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
edited June 2007 in What Are My Chances?
Before I post this.. I know I'm an asian girl with stats and ECs that are not completely out of the ordinary. I worked hard throughout high school and also enjoyed myself. I can't do more than my maximum.. and I'm happy with what I've done. Soooooo, please no comments about how predictable my resume is.. I can't do anything about it! Other criticism, however, I will gladly listen to.

I am currently a junior at a high-ranking high school
GPA: 4.00 UW/4.83 W
AP Euro Sophomore year (only AP given for sophomores)
AP Chem/AP US History/AP English Junior year
Taken the most rigorous courseload offered at school.
Senior Courseload:

Sophomore year
AP Test Euro: 5
Junior year
AP Chem - predicting a 5
AP US History - 5
AP Calc - 5
AP English - 5
Senior year
AP Bio
AP Stats
AP Econ
AP Gov
AP Eng Lang

SATs scores
SAT: 800 CR, 750 M, 800 W 12 Essay (2350 total)
SAT US History: 780
SAT Chem: 790
Taking SAT Math IIC and Lit this weekend.. expecting high 700s or 800


JV Tennis Team (9-11)
Varsity Tennis Team (12)
Local tennis summer camp (9-10)
Track or golf (12) (I need another PE credit in senior year.. and I didn't want to take the class with underclassmen so instead I'm taking two after-school sports! I'm playing tennis and either track or golf..)

I play piano and take weekly lessons (since age 5 to now)
SYMF Contest (12; I'm competing for the first time!)
Passed CM Level 9; I will go for level 10 next year
I'm a music therapy volunteer at a hospice center (10-12)
Calphil concert volunteer (10-12)
Music Appreciation Club (10-12)
Organized a music concert to raise money to translate the school newsletter into Korean (11)

School newspaper (10-12): first a reporter, then an editor, then hopefully editor-in-chief
Intern at local newspaper (10-12): wrote various stories, helped with office tasks
Literary Arts Magazine (10-12): first a member, then secretary, then hopefully an editor
Perfect SAT scores and essay, good AP scores

School Clubs
Cultural Awareness Club (10-12): first a member, then VP, then VP again
Amnesty International Club (10-12)

Taught English to Korean students (9)
Tutored Algebra to a failing student (9)
Helped parents at their restaurant (10-11)
Tutored Chemistry (11)
Tutored general math during winter break (11)

Ideas for summer before senior year (mostly continuation of things I've already done.. I'm doing those for sure.. and also a few new things)
I applied to a chill bookshop/cafe *new*
Will intern at the local newspaper *old*
Volunteer as a tutor for summer school english class *new*
Music therapy volunteer *old*
Calphil volunteer *old*
Try out an internship at a small hospital *new: biggest innovation.. I realized this year that I'm not interested in journalism as a career. I've always enjoyed science/math as much as the humanities.. and I want to try out medicine*
Fun things: learn to knit and dance *new*
Practice for piano competition *old*

Essays: I'm a good writer.. the hardest part will be coming up with a good topic.

Major: undecided
Minor: undecided

What I'm looking for in a college:
Neither tiny nor huge
Has a good balance of liberal arts and math/science.. not polarized
Safe environment

Family Income: Below 200,000 I think
But I definitely am looking for financial aid and scholarships.

COLLEGES (Reaches/Matches/Safeties)? Please tell me other colleges that I should look into. And whether I'm a good match for any of these.
maybe Brown, Cornell, Columbia
Duke and maybe other LACs
maybe MIT
some UCs

Please help me with...
1) I'm looking to try new things this summer... I explained myself in my post that I have many options... some are things I've been doing for a long time but some are completely new. I am going to be a senior but I'm still transitioning and figuring things out. If I were to go for a hospital internship, would I look like I'm not commited? I would like some input on that and on my other summer plans.
2) my overal resume, what are my strengths and weaknesses
3) my college list... based on what I am looking for and on my resume, which colleges can I get into? What are other colleges I should look into?
Post edited by mimienthused on

Replies to: high-achieving girl: i need some input

  • sesses Registered User Posts: 2,027 Senior Member
    Your scores are great. But I know a girl with similar stats to yours, who had a lot of involvement in clubs and the arts, who was straight up rejected from Harvard and UPenn. She's going to Tufts. As an asian, you're not necessarily going to be super competitive in that pool. Being a girl makes it a bit better.

    You've definitely got a shot. But I'd apply to 2 or 3 of the schools on your list. And then pack the rest of it with LACs. Or 'second tier' universities.

    Duke is probably pretty good. 40/50% chance I'd say.

    Look at Tufts, NYU, UMich, UVA, Colby, Colgate, Middlebury, Amherst, etc.

    ALSO: Below 200,000 is not going to get you financial aid at an Ivy. If your family owns a house with 3 bedrooms, it will push you right out of that bubble. And the Ivies don't give merit aid. If you need the money, but aren't eligible for finaid then start looking at places with good merit aid (WashU, Bryn Mawr, the Claremont colleges) or applying for private scholarships.
  • meow360meow360 Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    Because your stats are impressive, apply to all of those schools. You cannot predict how many will accept you because admission is seemingly arbitrary at times. Make sure that you include a couple safeties in there that you are willing to attend just in case things don't work out.
  • mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Thanks meow and ses, I found your replies very helpful

    so what can I do over this summer to help myself for the app process?

    should I have more safeties or can I just apply to Ivies, UCs, and LACs?
  • mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Oh, and my family owns two houses+we have a sizeable income... but financial aid will definitely be a huge deal for college.. hopefully I'll get SOMEthing
  • Student615Student615 Registered User Posts: 1,885 Senior Member
    Based on what you've said (i.e. unless there are extreme circumstances that you haven't mentioned here), I can't imagine that you'll get need-based financial aid, period. Merit-based is an entirely different story, however, and you'd be a great candidate at many schools (I'd also recommend looking at the Claremont Colleges...www.claremont.edu. Pomona, which you might find the most interesting, doesn't offer merit aid, but you would have a VERY good shot at a half-tuition Scripps scholarship).

    In making your list of schools, keep your varied interests in mind. Your strengths are definitely diverse, and it seems that your interests are, as well. You're very strong in math/science, but because you express so much interest in the humanities, I really don't see MIT as a logical choice (and because most of your ECs are humanities oriented, it might not make sense to admissions officers, either)...it just seems limiting. Similarly, some schools (including some, if not all of the UCs) will confine you to "The School of Arts & Letters" or "The School of Engineering" or whatever else, and transferring can be very difficult. So if you're undecided and have polar interests, be very careful about applying to schools where you'll be automatically shut out from certain fields (ultimately, this is why I chose Claremont over schools like Berkeley that forced me to choose between engineering/humanities at the time of application).

    Good luck, and congrats on your achievements thus far!
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Harvard: Reach
    Yale: Reach
    Stanford: Slight Reach/ Reach
    Brown: Slight Reach
    Cornell: High Match
    Columbia: Slight Reach
    Dartmouth: Slight Reach
    Duke: High Match/ Slight Reach
    MIT: Reach

    some UCs: Safe Match

    You have a great list and great options. you'll have a lot of success. My guess is you might get into Stanford, Harvard, or Yale and you'll get into 50% or more of the Duke Dartmouth Brown Columbia category.
  • APOLAPOL Registered User Posts: 1,781 Senior Member
    First---pat yourself on the back---you have worked really hard, and it shows.
    Are you attending a public hs or private in california?
  • chocolatelover03chocolatelover03 Registered User Posts: 1,386 Senior Member
    You might want to also consider Bates, Bowdoin, and Wellesley.
  • kcpdmpkcpdmp Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    Based on UC acceptances for my daughter and her friends,
    I think you would be accepted to every UC where you apply and will probably get Regent's scholarships at most of them. These vary in value, some cover all fees (tuition) for 4 years and others do not.

    I agree with checking out the Claremonts. If you like Scripps, apply by the Nov 1st deadline and you have a good chance of getting a 1/2 tuition JES scholarship.
  • mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Thank you everyone. This information is invaluable to me right now!

    I had no idea that I would have trouble getting need-based aid. If I started to apply for scholarships I see on Fastweb over the summer, would it help me significantly in paying for college? Or do ppl do these scholarships to write them on college apps? And can you mention scholarships you've received on your college apps?

    regarding what Student615 said.. I do agree that MIT would be limiting.. because I'm not only a math/science person.
    What are some schools that are strong in both the humanities and math/science that I can consider?

    Thanks to slipper for the predictions.. they seemed very "half-glass-full" and made me sort of happy. THanks, apol, I will.

    And all the colleges you have mentioned, I am planning on looking into.. thanks

    Also, not that this is a huge deal, but I forgot things on my resume and I can't edit it right now.. so I'll just add it on here..
    Columbia and Stanford journalism camps over the summer (they helped me become an editor the following year) (10-11)
    Cancer Institute (11-12) - doctors/professors/researchers came in and talked about different sorts of cancers.
  • Central PerkyCentral Perky Registered User Posts: 918 Member
    No chances from me, but I wanted to say that you have great stats.
  • pebblespebbles Registered User Posts: 2,617 Senior Member
    Neither tiny nor huge
    Has a good balance of liberal arts and math/science.. not polarized
    Safe environment

    maybe Brown, [strike]Cornell[/strike] - very large school, Columbia
    Duke and maybe other LACs
    maybe [strike]MIT[/strike] - polarized (though, I do have to say that it's a lot LESS polarized than most people think- music = very strong - I have some music major friends, and I'm pursuing a writing minor/concentration there),
    some UCs - this might be a great choice for financial reasons, though they would fall into the "big" schools category generally.

    In addition: have you thought about Rice? There is 0 chance of you getting any money whatsoever so if financial aid is important to you you should definitely look into merit scholarships. Rice gives out very nice merit scholarships, plus, its tuition is (at least last time I checked) cheaper than that of other schools in the same tier.

    Also, it's a very nice balanced school. More so than many of the schools on your list (Yale, Dartmouth, some LACs quite humanities focused). I dunno, that's everything constructive I had to say I think. You should look for scholarships. Outside scholarships for us middle-class kids most of the time just leads to reduced grant aid (net help: zero), which is dumb and kind of a waste of time, whereas in your case they will go directly to pay for your tuition.
  • mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    thanks Central

    and pebbles.. i think i am a middle-class kid. i wouldn't consider my family upper class.. never have. but regardless of that, what is reduced grant aid?

    also.. I didn't mention this but I'd prefer to either stay in CA to please my parents (they say they'll miss me too much) or go to the east coast to experience places like boston or new york or just the experience of living on another coast. I'd be reluctant to go to Rice since it's in Texas.. (i'm pretty sure it is at least)
  • mimienthusedmimienthused Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member

    1. out of the Ivies, where is a good place for someone who is interested in the humanities but ultimately wants to go into medicine?

    2. Would it hurt my very trend-ish resume if I suddenly began an internship at a hospital the summer before senior year?
  • kcpdmpkcpdmp Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    I just went to an awards ceremony at my daughter's high school and some students applied for and received multiple scholarships. Most were in the $500-$1000 range, which really doesn't put a dent into private school tuition.
    Most involve writing some sort of essay and also showing volunteer work and/or school involvement.

    Have you filled out a FASFA? If not, look for one of the FASFA estimators (I think college board may have one). I think you will be amazed at how much your EFC (expected family contribution) will be if your parent's income is around or below $200,000 per year. Most privates also use either their own fin aid profile or the CSS Profile on the college board web site.
This discussion has been closed.