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How does my academic resume look?

kellyalexiskellyalexis 1 replies1 discussions Forum Champion
Hello! I am a junior in high school, and I just took the ACT in April of this year. I received my score a couple days ago and I got a 30. I have no idea what college/university I want to attend, but with the exception of the top tier schools (Harvard, Yale), I would like to keep my options open and get a good enough score to get scholarship money. I live in Illinois but would like to attend an out of state school if possible. I plan to major in a science (probably Biology), and my dream is to become a doctor specializing in a specific field. A little more about me:

- Valedictorian of my class - class size is about 120.
- 4.2 Weighted GPA (my school only offers Honors English & AP math for weighted grades)
- 4.0 Unweighted GPA
- I have taken the toughest classes available in my high school (Physics, Honors English, Trigonometry, Calculus, etc.)
- 150+ volunteer hours (most at my local zoo - I was selected to participate in a program for HS students), but also volunteering for Red Cross, my senates, and NHS
- NHS, Class Senate (VP), All School Senate (hoping to get Pres. for my senior year), Red Cross Club (VP), Scholastic Bowl
- I have been in 2 musicals at my school.
- I got a 180ish on my PSAT, so not too great
- I have a job at my local library and I have worked there for one year this month. I work about 16hrs a week if that matters any.
- I am involved in my church's youth group

So I guess my question is, how does my academic resume look for potential colleges? Could I get into a selective school? Should I retake my ACT and hope for a 31+?

This whole college process is very overwhelming. Some advice would be very much appreciated!

Thank you!! :)

5 replies
Post edited by kellyalexis on
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Replies to: How does my academic resume look?

  • FotogenikFotogenik 56 replies2 discussions
    To start off, there is a forum called "College Chances" that's specific to this type of question.

    Now on to your chances.
    At this point, your weakest point by far is your ACT score, especially if you plan on applying to the Ivies. Harvard, Yale, etc. even reject students with a perfect score, and usually expect at least a 33.
    Although you didn't do well on your PSAT, you might want to see if the SAT is better than the ACT for you. Some people test well on the ACT (like me) and others test well on the SAT.

    Your extracurriculars are fairly good; just make sure you write a good and passionate essay about them. My only suggestion here is to maybe find an EC that corresponds with your interests for college. Whereas the service hours you put in are relatively impressive, you don't really have any ECs that correspond with your potential major. Look into interning or volunteering in that field!

    If you want scholarship money, I would recommend looking into smaller colleges that have prestigious departments rather than the big-name schools. They'll give out more merit! Also, you might look into the Rensselaer Medal (it's for STEM students) from RPI and see if your school has already decided a winner for that. (I recently got that, and it means if I go to RPI I'd get $15,000 scholarship a year for 4 years.)

    Hope this helps.
    edited May 2013
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  • billcshobillcsho 241 replies2 discussions Junior Member
    For top schools, you need 33+ to get a fair chance. Did you take SAT1 and SAT2? Since you are junior already, you should have at least a few schools in mind. Besides the reach (low chance) schools your mentioned, you should look for match and safety schools. What is your reason to go out of state? You know the cost is higher while there are some good in state schools for you. You may want to consider other mid-west states as there are at least several programs that would lower your oos tuition. ACT at 31 may get you some merit aid at some lower tier schools.
    edited May 2013
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  • kellyalexiskellyalexis 1 replies1 discussions Forum Champion
    Thank you both for your responses! I will most likely stay away from applying to the Ivy League schools, as I do not think I would get in at this point (or maybe never). I have schools in mind, but I haven't seriously looked at a college. The College of Charleston in South Carolina looks promising, and I believe that I could get in, but the price is still daunting. The reason why I want to go out of state for college is that I honestly do not care for Illinois much. I do not see myself living here after college for sure, and I would love to experience a new place after high school.

    I will study all summer and retake the ACT in Sept. I took the PLAN test at my school last year, and it gave me an ACT predictor score range of 30-34, so I definitely scored at the low end. I believe that if I studied and gave it my all, I could raise my score at least a couple points. Then, hopefully, I could look into more selective schools. Again, probably not the ivies, but still selective.

    And thank you for the recommendation about the internships. I hope to be able to job shadow/volunteer at a medical-related place, such as a doctor's office this summer. The zoo was a great thing for my future career at the time because I wanted to be a vet, but because I am now leaning more towards a human-related medical career, it doesn't fit.
    edited May 2013
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  • Nickm56Nickm56 10 replies3 discussions Forum Champion
    I hate illinois too haha! But my parents don't want me to leave. I was lucky enough to get to mizzou 3 1/2 hours away let alone North Carolina.
    edited May 2013
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  • TXClarkie2013TXClarkie2013 6 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    It looks like everything else is pretty good other than your test scores, but I'm sure you can get those up if you practice some more. And I would definitely take the SAT at least once.
    edited May 2013
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