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Summer Enrichment Programs High School Students

Gwendolyn Said:

Can I get into Stony Brook University?

We Answered:

Your freshman grades were very poor. Look into other colleges.

Carol Said:

Columbia or Northwestern: With which one would i havea higher chance of getting into with early descion?

We Answered:

Columbia University, an Ivy League premier school, is highly selective and it's difficult to get accepted. Northwestern University is a "good" university, but is not one of the best. Keep this in mind for early decision, which can improve you chances at acceptance by 16%!

Matthew Said:

Harvard admission, my standings and plannings?

We Answered:

As usual, I think Eri offers a helpful idea in suggesting that you try to gain some exposure to academic research, and if that advice fits well with your interests and plans, I would second it.

More broadly, you seem like a very intense man with a clear sense of what you want and a strong determination to achieve it, which is all the more inspiring in light of what sound like very difficult personal experiences. Your achievements to date are quite impressive, and I suspect you will do admirably in pursuing your very ambitious plans for the future. If anything, I wonder whether your plans for the future are too expansive and will place a greater level of stress and commitment than you can handle. The programs and activities in which you plan to participate are excellent, but don't be afraid to acknowledge that you may not be able to do it all. Prioritization is an important skill that you will have to learn and apply sooner or later.

You have a very clear sense of what you hope to achieve, and to the extent you find yourself unable to "do it all," I would focus on the skills and activities that relate most directly to your goal of astrophysics study. Get some research experience, keep your grades up, and spend plenty of time on math and physics.

You've asked here specifically about Harvard. As many people will tell you, admission to highly selective universities like Harvard is rigorous to say the least, and it's simply not predictable in most cases. Your achievements probably will make you a very competitive applicant, but it's hard to really stand out in a pool of thousands of other incredible high school students. As someone who has worked in admissions, it's impossible to convey thoroughly enough how difficult it is to choose only a few amongst so many other equally qualified candidates.

The trick is to find a way to make your application "stand out," which is only vaguely helpful, because no one who doesn't know you well can really advise you on how to do this. You have the makings of a real "overcoming adversity" life story, if you'll permit me to say so, and I certainly could see you drafting a "reaching for the stars (literally)" personal statement, as just one avenue to consider.

Because of the arbitrariness of admissions, don't feel tied to Harvard or any one school in particular. There are many exceptional schools in your field and more generally. Indeed, many might say that MIT, Stanford, and CalTech are as good or better than Harvard in your particular field. So, be willing to look and think broadly, and be confident that your determination and achievement will carry you far no matter what path you choose.

Best of luck!

Antonio Said:

What are my chances of getting into Columbia University?

We Answered:

I don't have any direct connection with Columbia, but just judging by a couple friends that applied in 2007 (1 accepted, 1 not - both great applications) it is a school that not only requires great things for an application (which you have), but a bit of luck - i hope this doesn't offend anyone that may answer later - because there are so many really great applications coming to the school and many of them are bound to get rejected because no school can be positive to accept the best 500 out of 3000 applications (for example) because there so many unique qualities to all of them.

Let me just ease your mind a bit by saying that you've done almost as nice of a job as possible as of now to put yourself into contention of acceptance from not just Columbia but other great schools.

Forgot to mention above...your SAT - or ACT - score will be crucial (I didn't see it mentioned so i assume you didn't take it yet) getting a high score on that is really critical.

Hope that helped.

Dolores Said:

Can I get into Stony Brook University?

We Answered:

I'd say that if you keep up your grades and do fairly well on your SAT's and take AP classes your chances of getting in are pretty high.

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