10 months ago
Admissions Advice

Do my chances are going to decrease?

Hi, I am an international student from Costa Rica

In my high school we receive 17 subjects our first 2 years of high school, and the last 2, we receive 19( because we change general sciences to chemistry, physics and bio), here are the subjects and the hours that I spend per week in each one

Math: 3.4 hours

Sciences (first 2 years) : 3.1

Chemistry(last 2 years):1.2

Physics( last 2 years):1.2

Bio(last 2 years): 1.2

Spanish: 3.1

Social Studies:2.4

Civic studies: 1.2

Reading & Writing (english course): 4.3

Listening & Speaking(english course): 4.3

English literature : 1.2

Computer Sciences: 1.2

French: 1.9

Informatic (technology course):1.2

Religion: 0.6

Arts: 1.2

P.E : 1.2



Business management:1.2

The problem here is this, I start highschool at 7 am and end it at 4:20 pm, as you can see I have a lot of academic stuff, and I cant change this( In Costa Rica you cant choose what subjects to take) so for you to know I am managing the workload of 8 ap classes, and I cant do a lot in my extracurriculars, my unweighet GPA (the only that we have) is 3.8 but I do want to apply to top colleges as UPenn and Babson college

Are my chances to get into these colleges decrease just for my lack of hours doing them (extracurriculars)

I spend almost 3 hours per each, ( I have 7)

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1 answer

10 months ago

I don't understand your question about the lack of hours because in the US our colleges and universities equivocate completion of a required core curriculum course like Math, STEM, English, History, Foreign Language with 1-year or course work. No one in high school adds up the hours they spend in a class per week or how much lab time or homework they spend to come up with whether the English class counts for 1 class, 1/2 class, or 2 classes.

To make this a simple as possible for you, you only have to worry about the core curriculum when applying to Top colleges. All the other classes like Art, Religion, PE, Workshop, Music are considered electives, and they can either ADD or DETRACT from your SPIKE or Special talent or passion which has to do with your personal interests, character, etc.

So the 5 core requirements almost all top schools look at are Math, STEM, English, History, Foreign Language. (STEM is Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)

IVY colleges and Elite universities all have similar standards for core requirements.

-4 years of math up to Calculus, preferably up to AP Calc.

-4 years of Science, Bio, Chem, Physics, Env. Science or similar, preferably 1 or 2 APs like AP Bio or AP Physics

-4 years of English, preferably honors English and the 2 AP English

-3-4 years of a foreign language other than English.

-3-4 years of history or social sciences like Psychology, European History, World History, etc.

Here are links for UPenn and Babson. I would not classify these as equivalent colleges. UPenn is Top Ivy league university with 4 separate and distinct colleges, Arts & Sciences, Wharton, Nursing, and Engineering. You can either single major or double major. You can also get a dual degree there. Admission rates are about 8%. Babson is a small business/entrepreneurship college currently unranked by USNews. I would not compare this to a research university nor a liberal arts college. Their acceptance rate is 27%.

Successful applicants at UPenn have 3.9 unweighted GPA and a 34-36 ACT score and 1470-1550 SAT and Babson admits have a 3.85 unweighted GPA but a 30-33 SAT and a 1340-1490 SAT, so it's like a full tier down in terms of test scores and difficulty of admission.



It seems like you are interested in business programs. So I highly recommend that you sign up on Poets and Quants which is a blog about undergraduate business schools and the "tea" on everything to do with business schools.

Here is their latest Top 25 ranking and Wharton UPenn is #1 Consider all of them. They are all excellent. BTW Babson is not on the list.


Good luck with your college admissions process.


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