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Please Help? :)

shyc50shyc50 12 replies9 discussions
Hi everyone!

Like many students out there, I am a keen individual who has big dreams to attend an elite college. My top choices include Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn and Harvard. But, as usual, it is a tough process.

I am currently a junior in high school and as much as i know that this is a much despised thread in the CC community, could you please give me some feedback on what you think my chances are at these universities? your time and efforts are much appreciated :)

ethnicity: asian (born and raised in canada)
nationality: canadian
school: one of the top private schools in the country (college preparatory)
intended major: something in the sciences (biotechnology, surgery etc.)

SAT: 2300
SAT II: french(750) math ii(750) biology (800)
AP: psychology(5) biology(5) chemistry(5) microeconomics(5) macroeconomics(5)
-- psychology, micro and macro were self studied
GPA: 95%
Rank: ~1/97

-- I took the hardest courses available to me (honours, AP, pre-AP whenever possible); my school does not offer AP courses until senior year

honours french 10, honours pre calculus 10, honours mandarin 10

honours french 11, honours pre calculus 11, challenge 10 (outdoor leadership and education program; must be appointed and selected by the staff)

honours precalculus 12 (pre ap), honours french 12 (pre ap), honours chemistry (pre ap), honours english 12 (pre ap), physics 11 (pre ap)

AP Calculus, AP Lang, AP French, AP World History, AP Physics


Badminton: (4 years)
- Junior varsity in freshman year (captain)
- Senior varsity sophomore and junior year
- 5 time ISA champion
- Provincial rankings for singles, girls doubles and mixed doubles (12th, 7th, 9th)
- 2 bronze, 1 silver provincial medals
- several other medals from regional tournaments

Piano: (11 years)
- started when i was around 5 years old
- graduated from the royal conservatory of music with a diploma in piano performance
- national canadian music competition, provincial finalist, 2008
- numerous regional and provincial medals
- pit orchestra pianist for school musical, 2012, 2013
- piano studio teaching assistant , 2013

Duke of Edinburgh: (3 years)
- completed bronze, silver and gold awards
- constitutes a skill, a sport, community service and 2 outdoor journeys per award level
- gold award is presented by a member of the royal family
- captain of the duke of edinburgh chapter at my school during junior year

Student Council: (2 years)
- freshman and sophomore year
- elected annual by the student body

YouThink Magazine writer (3 years)
- this is a provincial magazine that is written by youth for youth
- published articles every month on a wide variety of topics ranging from sustainability, education, bullying, global issues, and trends

Peer Tutoring: (2 years)
- i served as the tutor who mentors younger students during lunch hours to help them with their homework, studying or assignments

Accounting Intern: (2013)
- served as an accounting intern at the BC Children's Hospital Foundation for a year

ONEtoONE Non-Profit Organization, Founder (founded in 2012)
- founded this organization with a close friend after visiting both india and kenya on two service trips
- gathers youth from all over the province to help fundraise for a larger company who will donate one product to a third world country for every product sold in BC

>> SERVICE: (total = 350+ hours)

BC Children's Hospital Youth Ambassador: (4 years)
- fundraised over $15,000 to help build a new oncology unit at the hospital
- achieved elite ambassador recognition and gold level commitment
- three time recipient of a national service award from the house of parliament

India Service Trip, 2012
Kenya Service Trip, 2013
-- i know service trips are not very valued by admission committees (especially at elite colleges) but these were the reason why i decided to start my own non profit organization

Also volunteered at several other places including the Red Cross, my local aquarium, local food banks, an ecology association and my community centre

- piano achievements
- badminton achievements
- nature matters national essay competition, runner up
- amnesty international essay competition, top 10
- school citizenship prize, 2012
- Ellen K. Bryan Cup recipient at school, 2013
- two subject prizes
- three time recipient of a national service award from the house of parliament

- world traveller (visited over 30 different countries)
- Stanford EPGY, Bioscience and Biotechnology, 2011
- Stanford SSSEC Internship, 2012
- Red Cross receptionist, 2013 (80 hours)

7 replies
Post edited by shyc50 on
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Replies to: Please Help? :)

  • sosomenzasosomenza 109 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    International acceptance is so very hard to achieve. Reach for the stars but you're well advised to have a couple of safety schools.
    edited May 2013
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  • HappymadnessHappymadness 2 replies0 discussions
    I'd be surprised if you didn't get in lol.. that app is pretty exceptional
    edited May 2013
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  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter 11 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    sosomenza wrote:
    International acceptance is so very hard to achieve. Reach for the stars but you're well advised to have a couple of safety schools.
    At Penn--and some other top schools--citizens and permanent residents of Canada and Mexico are treated the same as US citizens and permanent residents in the admissions process, i.e., Penn is need-blind for those applicants (unlike other international applicants).
    edited May 2013
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  • shyc50shyc50 12 replies9 discussions
    @45Percenter: thanks for that! good to know. do you know which other elite schools do that?
    edited May 2013
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  • DarkFlameMasterDarkFlameMaster 1 replies0 discussions
    Oh my God. I would be surprised if you don't get in. I sort of figured out why I wasn't qualified.
    edited May 2013
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  • geekorathleticgeekorathletic 2 replies0 discussions New Member
    You do know that Canadians aren't treated on same level as U.S. citizens? I had the same misunderstanding when I applied since I am a Canadian, and an adcom had to clear it up for me (assuming he/she was telling me everything truthfully).

    Canadians get need-blind financial aid, but Canadians are still placed in a pool of their own. In other words, Canadians are not competing against other internationals for the limited slots, nor are they competing in the same pool as the U.S. citizens, but they are in a separate thing by themselves, and in that pool financial aid need is not taken into account.
    edited May 2013
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  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter 11 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    ^ Still, there are 46 Canadians in Penn's Class of 2016, a not insignificant number:

    Incoming Class Profile - Penn Admissions

    Of course, without knowing how many Canadians generally apply to Penn, and how many are accepted (as opposed to attend), we can't really know how selective Penn is for Canadians compared to Americans (taking into account that the relative selectivity for Americans can also vary by region). However, given that the need-blind admissions policy is explicitly extended to Canadians (and Mexicans) and NOT to other international applicants, I'd be surprised if the overall selectivity for Canadians is significantly different than it is for Americans.
    edited May 2013
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