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I am not showing off, I need some serious help

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Anyone who will reply in this thread, just know that you really saved one soul and helped that soul A LOT.

So basically I am from a curriculum which does not offer me any AP courses (rather more hard topics in syllabus) and I did not do enough in my 11 and 12, grades were 4.00 out of 5.00. I will tell why. Please read this post. (I did well though in 9 and 10, got 5.00 in all subjects back then. I did well enough to be in the top 0.1% in the whole country in public exams.)

I AM AFRAID. That's basically what I am.

So, I took what was best option and most challenging for me- Olympiads. I have participated in several International Competition (International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, Asian Pacific Math Olympiad, Iranian Geometry Olympiad, The Interschool Debate). But the main fact is I only participated there and somehow did not get any medal.

Apart from that, I am National Champion/Runner Up in many olympiads like several times in my country's Astrophysics Olympiad, Inter School and College Programming Contest. And while talking about regional- I am regional champion in Physics, Math, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Programming related Olympiads.

So you can get that I have a diverse interest, which is maybe common among students like me. For this diverse interests, I have created or led several communities and organizations. I most probably have created and managed more than a dozen clubs and don't want to make my post so big. If I say shortly, One of my club got Best Math Club award nationally. And from one of my club I arranged an International Cubing Competition of World Cube Association. And there are literally more than 30 successful high participating national competitions which I organized. From one of my organization, I arranged 150+ class sessions, took more than 70 classes on problem solving, published nation's first regular Math Magazine, promoted events to more than 70,000 people and so on. Why so much? Cause I loved it in its way. To me, problem solving through math, physics, programming were exciting and enjoyable, but maybe not more than the seconds I spent in my organizations. My school did not have that much club except Drama Club and I performed as the lead male character and directed several plays and programs there- did the best attainable thing.

What skills I used? My leadership, designing, marketing/branding, technical and other skills. You are probably getting a picture of a person who is a jack of all trade and master of none. Maybe it was, but I was popular as a master. I mean as a teacher. I taught all these things in my several organizations. Taught things about math, physics, astronomy, programming, robotics, cubing, chess and related problem solving. Yeah, I literally many more than all of things which I listed above.

If you want to see more about my organizations, events, achievements- I would love to give you my personal website link but CollegeVine doesn't like sharing personal information that much. I led a charity organization to raise funds for extreme medical condition and helped 4 people with 40,000 unit of my currency. I created organization to help students for free in academic studies with fun to learn notes, animated videos, exams, progress reports in mothertongue. I also have startups on Robotics and Book Shop.

I know some of these will make better than some. But it will still remain worse than many, right?

So now I am confused as my grades are not that much, I am international, I am not still focused, I am not legacy, I don't have international medals which others might have, I don't have enough grades (you can guess that I have to give that up managing these things because I really loved managing these things), I am from a very low income family so I also will need a full financial aid, and also I am applying in regular decision.


I am even afraid to apply in some so called "not so bad" or "okay, good" colleges.

I have stuffs like theatre, music instrument, arts too (Cause I loved them really and did the best performances in my high school in those area).

You will probably get that liberal arts college will be good for me. Or I don't know, maybe I am wrong. I just need to know- what I should do? I have started applying for colleges like Reed, Carleton, Colby, Denison (I loved this, dunno why), Bates, Tulane, Macalester, Colgate, Colorado, Rhodes and some so far to dream college like Upenn, Yale, Williams.

Am I going in right direction? I mean targeting the right colleges? What college else should I choose? Which colleges will be a best fit for a guy like me? Which college should I not choose? And how is my chances? (Considering that I need to get full free ride too and job opportunities and other scaling factors).

Anyone who will reply in this thread, just know that you really saved one soul and helped that soul A LOT.

Thank you all in advance. And also, maybe you got a picture of me in your mind, right? So on which thing I should prioritize in my essays on which university while showing me? I can never put all of these in my resume. So will I create different resume for different universities? The universities I mentioned above, can you guys give me an idea what they might like? Or will I just send same resume everywhere? My major is still undecided and I will apply like that. STEM and Business -both attracts me in their own way, along with visual and performance arts.

I love this community a lot. Don't make me sad by ignoring this post please :disappointed:

You don't have to be some expert to say words to me. Just let me know your point of view after seeing this. Take love and thanks in advance. Best of luck for you guess if you are applying now too!


4 answers

answered on

First of all: Looong text. I am sorry, but I will not write that much.

No matter how good you are, IVY's are always hard to get in.

Either you have a connection to alumni, or it will stay that way.

IVY's are not universities of the best education. They are among them.

Mainly, they are prestigious. Therefore a lot of students apply to them.

Therefore, getting accepted is always hard.

As long as your grades are not severely under their target group, this is my opinion:

Your choices are reasonable.

Apply to as many colleges as you are willing to pay the application fees and to write essays.

Just be okay with getting rejected. There is no reason to be afraid.

I will not give you any suggestions for schools because it is a personal choice of preference what schools one wants to attend.

You can make use of CollegeVine's approximated chances if you are unsure.

Okkkk! Thank you sooo much!
"There is no reason to be afraid." @Maxim I am going to design that and hang it somewhere. And it's going to be my personal mantra this application season. Thank you.
Haha, do so! Glad that I could help.
answered on

Not bad. But there is no guarantee. I have seen "more impressive" applicants that have gotten rejected, but I would say that the biggest factor that is severely underrated is LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS. These are a hit or miss. If you can get an amazing letter of recommendation, Ivy Leagues will become way easier.

answered on

I don't think I'm qualified to answer all your questions but you seem like a very strong college candidate within the United States. Elite colleges are looking for someone who will most likely graduate from their college to go out into this world to make a difference. Being well rounded helps, but showing strength in a particular subject or intended major shows the most passion and dedication. Having national or international rankings in anything looks really impressive (which you mentioned you have in olympiads). If you can dedicate yourself to having strong essays, getting the best possible grades, and doing what your currently doing, you have absolutely nothing to stress over so don't worry about it too much.

Thanks for replying man! Anyway, I don't have the best possible grades in 11. In 9, 10 I had 5 out of 5 in every subject but in 11, I had a overall 4.00 out of 5.00. So, if I take SAT 2 and get 2400, will they be able to reduce the danger caused by the grades?
answered on

First of all, don't be afraid of applying to top schools. The worst that can happen is that you get rejected and that's that, but you never know if you'll get in until you try. As long as you can pay for the application (or get a fee waiver which might apply to you), I would apply.

In terms of EC's, you seem to have plenty of achievements. Choose which ones you want to put in your application by where you have the highest achievements, and which ones fit best into the major you want to go into/the picture you want to paint of yourself to the AO. Though you can't find a focus in all your activities, you have enough to pick and choose to create a spike (one strong point).

To choose colleges, I can't tell you where you should apply specifically, but do your research and know what you want from a college in terms of things like financial aid, offered majors, location, community, etc. I think that colleges that are really good for double majors/interdisciplinary studies would be a good fit for you since your interests seem to be widespread. Also, look at places that are a good fit for any major (well-rounded schools) because you have interests in STEM, business, and the arts, and those are all really different and you should aim for places where you can succeed no matter what you end up deciding you want to do. I can't really give you chances for colleges either but I would look at the chancing calculator here and the stats of the school in terms of things like admissions rate, average SAT/ACT test scores, and average GPA.

When you're putting together your application, just be yourself (because if you don't fit into a college you shouldn't try to make yourself fit, it's just not a good fit), though you can bring out certain parts of your activities and interests if they fit more with a certain college. For example, if a college specializes in STEM, include more of that. Looking at the college's mission statement and researching the college can help you figure out what kinds of students a college is looking for, as well as attending their online panels/visits.

Sorry this is so long but I hope I answered all your questions!

Thank you @sny a lot!