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09/04/2019

What are my chances of getting into a top 20 university?

QUESTION
What are my chances of getting into a top 20 university?
Thank you in advance for reading this lengthy question.

Personal info:
-Grade:11(age 17)
-female
-multi-ethnic (German/Chinese)< raised speaking mandarin -i have no financial problems, can afford any university - raised by single mother ACADEMICS - top 1-5% ranking - By the time i finish high school i would have taken 14 AP classes: > Human Geography- score: 4
> World History- score:5
> European History- score:5
> Art History- score:5
> Psychology- taking currently, have A in class
> U.S. history- taking currently, have A in class
> English reading &comp- taking currently, have A in class
> Calculus BC- taking currently, have A in class
> Environmental Science- taking currently, have A in class
> Physics B- will take senior year
> English lit.- will take senior year
> Statistics- will take senior year
> Biology- will take senior year
> Government/Economics- will take senior year
– GPA
> weighted: 5.62 ( will be around a 6.5 when i graduate)
>unweighted: 3.95 (1 B in Spanish 4)
– SAT
> i have not taken it yet, but i am predicting a 1950-2200
> planning on taking 4 SAT II’s

LEADERSHIP/ EXTRACURRICULAR
– Amnesty International
> President: 2011-2012 (probably senior year too)
> Treasurer: 2010-2011
> Secretary: 2009-2010
– Key Club
> Vice-President: 2011-2012
> Historian: 2010-2011
> 9th grade rep: 2009-2010
>most likely president senior year
Asian Culture Club
> secretary: 2010-2011
> VP: 2011-2012
– member of a lot of clubs( Interact, O’ Ambassadors, Mu Alpha Theta- frequent competitor, National honor society, Social Science honor society)
– My best friend and i created a charity in freshman year. we have raised a total of $3000 currently for local and international(Guatemala) food banks/homeless shelters
– I have danced since i was 6 for my Chinese school. our dancing raises money for the non-profit school: about $2500 a year
– i have played tennis off and on since 4th grade, however, privately. i am not on the school team
– i have interned since freshman year during the summer at a property management company
– i volunteer at Children’s Hospital every mon and fri since freshman year (cardiology dept, education dept, child care, hospital library)
– This summer, I’m hoping to go to rural China and teach English/help the poor.
– currently have 2000 community service hours
– i am predicting excellent recommendation letters

What should i improve on to have a better chance at the top 20 schools?

I want to major in Business — What schools should i be looking at?

i am really worried about the college essay. I am a bad writer and i don’t want that to overshadow my strengths

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your time!!! I really appreciate it!

ANSWER
Since you want to major in business, you’re going to have to expand the scope of your schools beyond “top 20 universities.”

Why? Because most top 20 universities don’t offer undergraduate business degrees. For example, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale do not have undergraduate business programs–the only Ivies that have undergraduate business program are UPenn (Wharton) and Cornell. After that, other really good undergraduate business programs include NYU (Stern), MIT (Sloan), UC Berkeley (Haas), UMich (Ross), UVA (McIntire), Notre Dame (Mendoza), UT Austin (McCombs), and UNC Chapel HIll (Flagler).

If you’re really interested in business, take AP Micro and AP Macro your senior year. Also, take AP Government instead of AP Bio–you’re not going to need to know osmosis when calculating the future value of an annuity.

On a side note, it’s great that you’re taking so many challenging courses, but your course load seems superfluous; only take advanced courses in subjects that genuinely interest you–don’t just take tons of courses to boost your resume/application. This is also true with respect to your extracurricular activities. Why? Because college admission committees might view these excessive courses and activities as a lack of direction in life.There’s nothing wrong with being a bright, well-rounded individual, but colleges look for individuals demonstrating evidence of goals and passion. In essence, what colleges–especially selective ones–really desire are students who passionately pursue their interests. Ultimately, these students will benefit the most from a college education–because they have defined goals and activities that support their interests. Again, this is from the perspective of a college admission committee.

Finally, be genuine in your college essay(s). Don’t proclaim your achievements–colleges already see your list of activities, awards, etc. Also, don’t write about how you (or your loved ones) overcame a hardship–colleges read too many generic essays that revolve around overcoming hardships (life’s hard and full of challenges; everybody knows that–so no need to write about it). The best advice I can give you regarding the essay is to write about the mundane, the ordinary experiences in life that reveal who you are through vivid action and detail.

Whew! That’s a lot of information. Best of luck!