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09/04/2019

My chances at these schools? USC, UCLA, UCB, NYU, Columbia. Not your typical Asian.?

QUESTION
My chances at these schools? USC, UCLA, UCB, NYU, Columbia. Not your typical Asian.?
Ethnicity/Gender: Asian Male (most generic combo in southern california)

Aiming For:

* – USC (legacy through my sister who is a current freshman)
* – UCLA (legacy through my mom, class of 87)
– UC Irvine / UC San Diego
* – UC Berkeley? (maybe)
* – NYU

Reach Schools:

* – Columbia
– Northwestern
– Cornell
– Boston College
– Brown

Fallbacks:

– UC Riverside / UC Santa Barbara
* – Pepperdine University
– Boston University

* top choices

I’m currently a junior in the tech program at an extremely competitive IB/Tech School. it’s a magnet school, as we were required to test in during the summer of freshman year. I live 2 cities away from the school, which requires me to make a 40 mile round trip (everyday!) just to get to school. That should show how much dedication it takes to go to this school, as well as to show the high standard of education that the school provides. It’s a public school, but pretty much everyone understands that the curriculum and emphasis on academics is on par with prestigious private schools. For example, in Honors Biology freshman year (9th grade), we used their “honors” level bio book which was actually meant for actual college courses.

Why I’m telling you this is because attending this school has drastically dragged my GPA down. What I’m wondering is how much of a factor GPA plays into my acceptance into college and whether or not colleges will factor in the difficulty of the school I attend.

Academic GPA (9-12): 3.2500(W)/2.8125
Academic (10-12) GPA: 3.0526(W)/2.7368
Total GPA (9-12): 3.3056(W)/2.9167

Freshman – 4 Honors; Sophomore – 2 Honors, 1 AP; Junior – 1 AP

I still have this last semester of junior year to bring my GPA up more.

PSAT: 219 – qualified for NMSQT
SAT I: CR – 800, M – 750, W – 750: total 2300
SAT II: taking US History, Math, and English this summer
Completed AP’s: AP Euro – 4, Physics B – 3
Currently taking: APUSH, AP Psych, Lang & Lit, and a few more
Next Year AP’s: AP Stats, AP Environmental Science

I’m fairly confident about the SAT 2’s and AP’s i’m taking this year.

Senior Workload: AP Stats, AP Environmental Science, Econ/Gov, World Lit/Brit Lit (Tech), Spanish 3. Also probably taking Screenwriting & Lit as well as Bible as Lit.

As you can see I’m literally tripling my literature classes senior year.
Hopefully this makes a difference(?) as I’m applying to colleges where humanities are emphasized; also I’m an Asian-American, not the typical path for a Chinese dude.

Extra-Curriculars:

OC Acadec: Placed 2nd Overall in the Varsity Division in the 2010 OC Academic Decathlon, team placed 1st in div 2, 5th overall (including division 1). It was our first year too. Team captain of my division next year as well.

Overall: 2nd Overall Individual + $400 scholarship
Team: School won 1st in Division II, 5th overall. (1 spot away from going to state -_-)
Specific Categories: Math – 1st, Super Quiz – 2nd, Art – 3rd, Essay – 4th, Speech – 4th, Economics – 4th, Music – 5th

Served as club president in a social awareness club I started, P.A.R.T.Y. Club (Peace. Agreement. Relationships. Teamwork. Youth.) 2008-2009

CAPAC Word Mania Hacienda Heights 2007
(Overall – 1st Place, School – 1st Place, Team – 3rd Place)

Southern California Chess League Long Beach 3- Day Tournament 2007
– 1st Place in my grade (unrated)

Golden State Open (Tae Kwon Do) 2006
– 1st Place in my division for Poomse (Form)

other EC’s:

6 years of Tae Kwon Do training (currently a Junior Black Belt 3rd Degree)

3 years in the Sound-sations Choirs in middle school- Served as both the Social Chair and on the Yearbook Committee in Choir

– our choir was actually very prestigious won many awards, i.e. Superiors at Heritage Festivals, First Place at Music in the Parks Festival, slated to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York (did not perform due to the massive east coast snowstorms during 2007- remember that? We were packed and ready to go at the airport… crushed dreams…), performed live during the annual Easter Sunrise Service at the Hollywood Bowl, etc. just to name a few.

3 years of singing (Tenor) in the SCVA (Southern California Vocal Association) Honor Choir.

4 years of Chess training

3 years of league basketball at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

3 years in Environmental Club

2 years in Best Buddies

Summer Teen Volunteer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Interning at a local newspaper or magazine this summer. (OC Register if I get accepted)

Teacher Rec – will get it from my English teacher, who I had freshman year as well so it’s a bonus for me as I‘ve known her for 3 years and have always done well in her class.

Sorry this was so long, but if you guys could chance me for each school (especially the ones with asterisks) I would greatly appreciate it.

Also:
– Am I aiming too high with the Ivies?
– Are there any other schools I should be considering?
– does legacy make a difference

ANSWER
You chances look decent, but again, you can’t accurately predict whether or not you’ll get in :/ You look very solid, but even then, it’s a lottery, man. I don’t think that because your family members were alumni will help very much. Being a first generation college student would look better IMO. Is your GPA out of a 4.0 scale? It’s only around a 3.XX? If this compares with a lot of students that of are your intelligence, then it’s fine, if not, that’s a veryyy average GPA… Not impressive unless your school is very hard. I understand your school is very tough, but if all the smart kids take the IB program and you settled for AP, than the Ivy League schools are kind of a stretch. UCLA looks good, you can probably get in there. NYU is a definite yes, I would say. Hopefully your test scores make up for the GPA… I think you got a solid list. Don’t worry about it too much, you look a lot better than many kids I’ve seen, extracurricular wise.