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Look beyond the numbers please?

ceruleiaceruleia Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited November 2012 in Yale University
I was looking at everyone else's my chances threads, and was feeling left out, because I fell a good hundred points or more behind on SATs and felt like I was generally less outstanding in the grade department, but I am still sincerely hoping to go to yale because it is my dream school. I thought about other me's who are running around this site getting intimidated by people with near perfect scores, especially people like me who thought they had perfectly wonderful grades before ivy averages started getting them down, so I wanted to post my scores and grades and extracurriculars, and see what people thought. I don't need the likelihood of my acceptance, that kind of statistic is unrealistic at best, but if you were an admissions officer, do you think you'd accept me?

I'm a senior in high school and I just applied to yale SCEA (and just learned that acronym today)

GPA unweighted- 3.79
GPA weighted- 4.49
Class Rank- top 7% (in a class of about 450)
(something that I feel is important that no one mentions in these threads- my GPA has risen consistently each year, I wonder how much of a plus admissions sees in that. I think there's a lot of merit to constant improvement.)

class schedules throughout the years:
English, World History, Biology, and Spanish 2- all honors
Algebra II advanced honors
Orchestra, Art I, and PE
English, US history I, and Spanish 3- honors
Precalculus and Physics advanced Honors
Orchestra, and PE
Creative Writing, US History II, and chamber orchestra- Honors
Chemistry- advanced honors
Calculus BC and Spanish language- AP
Computer Graphics and PE
Poetry- honors
Linear Algebra'Calculus III- advanced honors
Art history and Studio art- both AP
Production Journalism (the design staff for the school newspaper), CAD, Orchestra, and PE

AP Scores-
BC Calc- 5
Spanish- 5

SAT scores
take one-
Reading: 780
Math: 700
Writing: 680
take two-
Reading: 800
Math: 700
Writing: 690

I got national merit commended (My PSAT was a 206)

US History- 730
Math II- 700
Spanish- 690
World History- 650
Chemistry- 590


Spectrum: I’ve been an active member of spectrum (my school's GSA) since the beginning of my freshman year. During 2011 and 2012 Spectrum organized two forums for the school, which involved topics such as bullying, homosexuality and religion, the relationships between sexism and homophobia, and transgender issues. I lead discussion groups at both forums.
Stage Crew: I have been an active member of the stage crew for four years, working backstage for every school musical, and as head painter for West Side Story (2012). I have stage managed two plays for the Parnassian drama society at our school. I will be working with another student as co-stage managers for the musical this spring. I also help run tech for the assemblies, pep rallies, and other miscellaneous performances at the school throughout the year. I have done paid work running tech for local performances and events.
Improv Club: I am a founding member of The Russian Embassy, my school’s improv comedy club, which was formed during my junior year.
Other School Clubs: Shakespeare Festival club (10th-12th grade), quizbowl Team (10th-12th grade), West Point Bridge Design Club (10th grade).
Work Experience: I worked for about eleven months in my freshman and sophomore years as a waitress at a japanese restaurant.
Girl Scouts: I have been in girl scouts for the past twelve years.
Kung Fu: I’ve been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since the beginning of my freshman year.
Violin: I’ve been playing the violin for eleven years. I’ve been in orchestra all four years of high school, and began studying viola during my sophomore year.
Chinese Immersion: I participated in a four week language immersion program for Mandarin Chinese during the summer of 2010. I’d like to continue studying Chinese in college, in addition to working towards becoming fluent in Spanish.
SMFA Precollege: I participated in a five week precollege program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, during the summer of my junior year.

Extra tidbits

I'm an avid poet, artist, and chef. I'm working towards writing a cook book. I have a vegetable and herb garden in my back yard. I love creating vegetarian recipes, and using food as a way to connect to me. My last birthday was spent with friends teaching them how to make tamales.
I love music, fiddling with instruments even if I'm not very good at playing them. I know a little saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, guitar, cello, and bass. I write music a lot- mostly as a remnant of my middle school years when I wanted to grow up to be a composer or write Broadway musicals. (I did in fact write a musical when i was in seventh grade- it was absolutely horrible). I still hope to write and direct a play someday.
I have applied to young arts for poetry and creative writing and am waiting anxiously to hear back. To spend a week in Miami learning from masters would be a dream come true.
I want to travel so much. I love learning languages. I hope to walk the camino de santiago de compostela someday, and be inspired by the journey. I think I'd also like to volunteer in the peace corps someday, teaching english in a foreign country.

So... I've put that all out there. Which feels a little better.
Is anyone else out there a little below average in terms of numbers but hoping to get in on personality and essays and stuff (softs vs. hards). Does anyone know if yale specifically values one more than the other? or does it depend?
Post edited by ceruleia on

Replies to: Look beyond the numbers please?

  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Does anyone know if yale specifically values one more than the other? or does it depend?

    Read what Y says:

    What Yale Looks For | Yale College Admissions
  • Kdog044Kdog044 Registered User Posts: 1,452 Senior Member
    The biggest negative I see is your senior year course load. Yale values rigor of secondary school record and it looks like you wanted to take it easy your senior year. Here is the list of very important factors to Yale:

    Rigor of secondary school record
    Class rank
    Academic GPA
    Standardized test scores
    Application Essay

    Extracurricular activities
    Character/personal qualities

    How many of those do YOU feel you meet?
  • ceruleiaceruleia Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Does engaging creatively necessarily indicate taking it easy?
    other than required courses to graduate (CAD ans PE) I'm taking an honors english course, a college level math course, and AP history course, AP studio art, and Production journalism, which is as close to a real world job as a class can get in high school. As well as orchestra, which I have participated in every year of high school, and shouldn't be expected to drop for the sake of picking up an extra science class or something.

    Why should honors poetry be less challenging than honors world literature? Why is AP art less challenging than AP History?

    (i feel that this is a general opinion, I'm not really harping on you specifically for it... just that outlook, and my annoyance at it's prevalence)

    I suppose the admissions office might see it that way... but In all honesty I feel like I've learned so much in the few months I've been at school this year, and I wouldn't have compromised what I wanted to learn and experience in order to get into any college. even yale.
  • CIEE83CIEE83 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    Look, you sound like a terrific kid, and you'll be an asset to whatever school you go to. The problem is that for Yale, your numerical qualifications, while not impossible, are on the lower end of the range. Take a look at some of the results threads from previous years. There are a lot of amazing people who apply to Yale, many of whom don't get in. If you are competing against an equally terrific kid who has better grades and test scores, you're not going to get the spot in the class. And in any case, getting into Yale is a bit like winning the lottery for most.

    You've submitted your application, so you'll find out what Yale thinks in a few weeks. Meantime, I suggest you continue to fill out applications to a range of colleges (in terms of selectivity) that you would be genuinely happy to go to. No matter what you may think, there is not only one school where you can be happy; nor is there only one school that can get you where you want to go in life. If you can possibly help it, I suggest not attaching yourself to any one school until you have its acceptance in hand. Good luck!
  • josesukjosesuk Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    Yeah, I think I would have to agree with the previous posters. Y looks at the numbers definitely.
  • DolphinBoyDolphinBoy Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    The biggest negative I see is your senior year course load. Yale values rigor of secondary school record and it looks like you wanted to take it easy your senior year.

    This does have some truth to it, but in my own (probably unqualified) opinion, those senior classes look very diverse and "worldly". Where I come from, nobody takes AP art, poetry, or CAD. These look like a very rounded mix of classes to me. However, it probably wouldn't have hurt to drop one of the art classes for maybe AP Physics.

    EC-wise, you have the breadth, but I'm getting the vibe that you have the depth in only a handful of these activities. Frankly, I think you have a really great list of ECs (much healthier looking than mine!). What I see as missing are leadership positions/recognition. Just something to think about.

    Also: any hooks?

    As far as scores go, yeah you already know that they are a little low. But they are far from hopeless! On the dartboard of admissions, everyone's application has a chance of being hit.

    If I were an admissions officer, you would AT LEAST be a deferral. But take my opinions with a grain of salt––I'm in the same position as you!

    P.S. I'm rooting for both of us! Hope we make it!
This discussion has been closed.