The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™
Get a Life
 
My Kid Got a 35 on the ACT
 

strangemeadow
Level 100

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1030

Congrats! Even if he doesn't get in to MIT he can get in anywhere. My daughter got a 32 and it opened a lot of doors for her, even with a average GPA.
Way to go!

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

strangemeadow
Level 100

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1030

Also, depending on what state you live in can help with admissions. If you're from a small unpopulated state your chances improve.
Or if you're Pacific Islander............

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Headhunter
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 15060

Jewbacca wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Cr Powerlinate wrote:
What is his subscore breakdown? This will tell you more about his potential to get into MIT, especially if Math was his (relatively) weaker section. Getting an aggregate 34 on the quantitative sections versus 36 aggregate on the qualitative appears weaker to MIT/Caltech admissions than the reverse. They also place particular focus on GPA, course selection and extracurricular activities.

Regardless, assuming his fitness and GPA is in check, he's on the right for USNA. Although I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest USMA instead.



English 36, Math 35, Reading 34, Science 36. They superscore and he got a 36 in Reading on the other time he took the test, so he'll have a 36 for them.

He needs a 'hook' to get in there, like volunteering a soup kitchen or similar.


One of MIT's big brags is (or was many moons ago when I went there) was being a National Merit Scholar because they like to say they have more NMS than anyone ---- I was one, and I am sure that is what made me stand out.

Also, they used to weigh the SAT more than the ACT. Regardless, they like to see good performance on all test to demonstrate it was not a fluke.

GPA is very important. Much more than course selection. It's (shock, at MIT) plugged into a formula, and you either make the cut to look at or don't. GPA is not nearly as important as ACT/SAT. It changes every year, but it's like 2(ACT) + 3(GPA on a 4.0 scale).

Extra curriculas can be really anything, but need to show an interest, not resume building. They just need to exist.

Eagle Scout is great. Couple it with outward bound, rock climbing, outside things like that.

Here is the real tip: it's 100% horny geek chicks who are on the admissions committee, so they look for things to get "hot" guys on campus, which is not known for studs. (Not kidding.)


4.2 on a 4.3 max, with Calc I and Calc II next year as a Junior. He can take the Calcs for free at the uni where my wife teaches.

He's very athletic and not geeky at all. Did Crew but had to stop to work on Eagle.

This is good stuff that you and everyone is telling me. TY EVERYONE!!

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

theuofh
Level 4

Join date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3465

strangemeadow wrote:
Congrats! Even if he doesn't get in to MIT he can get in anywhere. My daughter got a 32 and it opened a lot of doors for her, even with a average GPA.
Way to go!


I had a 32 and a stellar GPA and got a full ride academic scholarship to OSU. I think it was because of my pre-SAT scores though.

Congrats on a smart kid.

I also read a study on undergrad sexual behavior at MIT. What you would expect and a lot of male nerds, so the few alpha nerds will have their pick of lot.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Cr Powerlinate
Level 5

Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 281

Vanagandr wrote:
Jewbacca wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Cr Powerlinate wrote:
What is his subscore breakdown? This will tell you more about his potential to get into MIT, especially if Math was his (relatively) weaker section. Getting an aggregate 34 on the quantitative sections versus 36 aggregate on the qualitative appears weaker to MIT/Caltech admissions than the reverse. They also place particular focus on GPA, course selection and extracurricular activities.

Regardless, assuming his fitness and GPA is in check, he's on the right for USNA. Although I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest USMA instead.



English 36, Math 35, Reading 34, Science 36. They superscore and he got a 36 in Reading on the other time he took the test, so he'll have a 36 for them.

He needs a 'hook' to get in there, like volunteering a soup kitchen or similar.


One of MIT's big brags is (or was many moons ago when I went there) was being a National Merit Scholar because they like to say they have more NMS than anyone ---- I was one, and I am sure that is what made me stand out.

Also, they used to weigh the SAT more than the ACT. Regardless, they like to see good performance on all test to demonstrate it was not a fluke.

GPA is very important. Much more than course selection. It's (shock, at MIT) plugged into a formula, and you either make the cut to look at or don't. GPA is not nearly as important as ACT/SAT. It changes every year, but it's like 2(ACT) + 3(GPA on a 4.0 scale).

Extra curriculas can be really anything, but need to show an interest, not resume building. They just need to exist.

Eagle Scout is great. Couple it with outward bound, rock climbing, outside things like that.

Here is the real tip: it's 100% horny geek chicks who are on the admissions committee, so they look for things to get "hot" guys on campus, which is not known for studs. (Not kidding.)


You seem extremely knowledgable so I hate to question your facts but i'm pretty sure GPA is pretty much the number one priority for every single college.


GPA is generally the primary consideration but it varies depending on the school. I had a sub-3.5 and got into a top 5/10 school but was rejected from multiple schools in the top 20 that weighted GPA more highly. The college forums (which become obnoxious reading quite rapidly) have exhaustive profiles on each school.

National Merit doesn't matter as much anymore these days, as the application pool has improved a great deal. Further, state universities offer better deals for NMS these days, which has seen a corresponding shift in the number of NMS who decide not to attend Ivy Leauge or other top institutions. (Full tuition at a large number.)

Course selection may not have impacted application success in the 80s or 90s but they now pay particular attention, especially MIT and Caltech, if a student has taken higher level maths such as linear algebra, differential equations, analysis etc.

As for the comment about needing to plan from conception for a top university, I managed to get into a top 5 university both in the UK and the US without helicopter parenting or a 15 page resume. It is entirely possible - especially with hard work, realistic expectations and a positive attitude.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Pigeon
Level

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 320

Jewbacca wrote:

Here is the real tip: it's 100% horny geek chicks who are on the admissions committee, so they look for things to get "hot" guys on campus, which is not known for studs. (Not kidding.)


There's probably some truth to this. My high school's GPA system is too goofy to explain here, but mine would correlate to around a 4.01/4. Besides that and a high SAT score, I didn't have anything on my resume except for football, powerlifting, and being on the math and robotics team, which were not time-consuming. Knew some kids there that must've had a coach whispering in Admissions' ear because they had a rough time in basic freshman classes.

That being said, the female population was sorely lacking in looks compared to most other schools. I walk around the Arizona State campus here and wonder if I made the right choice. LOL

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Dr.Matt581
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1290

Pigeon wrote:
Jewbacca wrote:

Here is the real tip: it's 100% horny geek chicks who are on the admissions committee, so they look for things to get "hot" guys on campus, which is not known for studs. (Not kidding.)


There's probably some truth to this. My high school's GPA system is too goofy to explain here, but mine would correlate to around a 4.01/4. Besides that and a high SAT score, I didn't have anything on my resume except for football, powerlifting, and being on the math and robotics team, which were not time-consuming. Knew some kids there that must've had a coach whispering in Admissions' ear because they had a rough time in basic freshman classes.

That being said, the female population was sorely lacking in looks compared to most other schools. I walk around the Arizona State campus here and wonder if I made the right choice. LOL


I got my PhD from Carnegie Mellon, another top school, and now teach at Pitt, which is practically right across the street and the general physical attractiveness and sheer number of women at Pitt is a complete 180 from what CMU is like. Top schools just do not seem to attract too many beautiful women for some reason.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Pigeon
Level

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 320

I'm sure the girls say the same about the men of these fine institutions! Fortunately, Boston University was in long walking distance from campus.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

strangemeadow
Level 100

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1030

We also hired a "college admissions advisor" as our daughter went to 3 different high schools, 2 were abroad (moves/work), has average grades, is caucasian, and we don't qualify for financial aid. She isn't athletically inclined, just a regular girl. This makes it tough to get into some schools. The saving grace was she is an excellent writer (essays were about high schools and moving/explaining) and at the time we were in a small unpopulated state.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Jewbacca
Level

Join date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3288

Vanagandr wrote:
You seem extremely knowledgable so I hate to question your facts but i'm pretty sure GPA is pretty much the number one priority for every single college.


Nope.* GPA varies greatly from school-to-school and course-track-to-course track. As a result, the standardized test is the king.

* The exception are certain state schools and areas where affirmative action is deemed illegal discrimination. The schools get around discriminating against Asians, Jewish people, and Whites (who, as a group, have higher standardized test scores) by weighting GPA higher or doing things like auto-admiting the top 10% of all public schoools --- theory being the minorities tend to group themselves together and compete against each other for class rank.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

UtahLama
Level 10

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 6774

Headhunter wrote:
Not a Pol/World Issue but I'll put it here anyway.

That is all.


I know I give you a lot of shit in PWI (most of it deserved, lol) but congrats to your kid, that is one hell of an achievement.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

SkyzykS
Level 2

Join date: Apr 2004
Posts: 9208

Headhunter wrote:
JK29 wrote:
That's awesome, where is He/She applying? Career goals?


Headhunter wrote:
Not a Pol/World Issue but I'll put it here anyway.

That is all.



He wants to go to M.I.T., with the United States Naval Academy as a backup.

I like the second one because its free. :)


The president/CEO of the company I work for went to both, so that is an option too.

He's doing pretty well for himself.

edit: Also, Congrats! If I'm not mistaken, this is the second one, right?

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

challer1
Level 4

Join date: Dec 2007
Posts: 708

Jewbacca wrote:
Vanagandr wrote:
You seem extremely knowledgable so I hate to question your facts but i'm pretty sure GPA is pretty much the number one priority for every single college.


Nope.* GPA varies greatly from school-to-school and course-track-to-course track. As a result, the standardized test is the king


This, based on personal experience. My sister and I went to the same high school so it makes comparisons easy.

She was the Valedictorian and took the hardest possible course load, wrote great essays, did lots of activities (volunteer work, newspaper, yearbook, school plays, sports). She had the perfect college "resume", except her SAT score was in the ~70th percentile.

I was not the Valedictorian, wrote horrible essays, did nothing besides play school sports. I took an easier course load, skipping a lot of honors & AP classes, didn't take Calculus, etc. I had nothing that would make my college application stand out aside from my SAT score, which was in the 99th percentile.

I got full scholarship offers, she didn't. She did get some partial tuition scholarships at very expensive small liberal arts schools.

GPA, activities, essays, it doesn't mean much if you can't get a great test score. If I have kids I'm definitely going to be pushing them to take an SAT prep class before I try to get them to take some sort of 'resume builder'.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Headhunter
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 15060

SkyzykS wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
JK29 wrote:
That's awesome, where is He/She applying? Career goals?


Headhunter wrote:
Not a Pol/World Issue but I'll put it here anyway.

That is all.



He wants to go to M.I.T., with the United States Naval Academy as a backup.

I like the second one because its free. :)


The president/CEO of the company I work for went to both, so that is an option too.

He's doing pretty well for himself.

edit: Also, Congrats! If I'm not mistaken, this is the second one, right?


Yeah, the first born is a junior at Navy. He's got a 3.9 and is somewhere in the top 100 academic. He's planning to be a jet jockey on an aircraft carrier.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Headhunter
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 15060

challer1 wrote:
Jewbacca wrote:
Vanagandr wrote:
You seem extremely knowledgable so I hate to question your facts but i'm pretty sure GPA is pretty much the number one priority for every single college.


Nope.* GPA varies greatly from school-to-school and course-track-to-course track. As a result, the standardized test is the king


This, based on personal experience. My sister and I went to the same high school so it makes comparisons easy.

She was the Valedictorian and took the hardest possible course load, wrote great essays, did lots of activities (volunteer work, newspaper, yearbook, school plays, sports). She had the perfect college "resume", except her SAT score was in the ~70th percentile.

I was not the Valedictorian, wrote horrible essays, did nothing besides play school sports. I took an easier course load, skipping a lot of honors & AP classes, didn't take Calculus, etc. I had nothing that would make my college application stand out aside from my SAT score, which was in the 99th percentile.

I got full scholarship offers, she didn't. She did get some partial tuition scholarships at very expensive small liberal arts schools.

GPA, activities, essays, it doesn't mean much if you can't get a great test score. If I have kids I'm definitely going to be pushing them to take an SAT prep class before I try to get them to take some sort of 'resume builder'.


There's a website called parchment.com and if you type in your scores and GPA, they predict your chances based on 800,000 admissions/applicants. He was 99% likely to get into Air Force Academy, 95% for West Point, and 82% for Naval Academy. And as I said to him: "Son, all of those are FREE. Free, mind you." (MIT was 27% likely). But I still think MIT is his top choice.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Pigeon
Level

Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 320

Might as well spend the $60 or so to apply to MIT. If he gets in and decides on the USNA, he can always tell people that he turned down MIT.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

optheta
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3592

Vanagandr wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Cr Powerlinate wrote:
What is his subscore breakdown? This will tell you more about his potential to get into MIT, especially if Math was his (relatively) weaker section. Getting an aggregate 34 on the quantitative sections versus 36 aggregate on the qualitative appears weaker to MIT/Caltech admissions than the reverse. They also place particular focus on GPA, course selection and extracurricular activities.

Regardless, assuming his fitness and GPA is in check, he's on the right for USNA. Although I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest USMA instead.



English 36, Math 35, Reading 34, Science 36. They superscore and he got a 36 in Reading on the other time he took the test, so he'll have a 36 for them.

He needs a 'hook' to get in there, like volunteering a soup kitchen or similar.


I assume your kid is a junior? Tell him to get started on that hook now, because to be honest it's pretty late already. Getting into Ivy Leagues/Prestigious Universities practically begins at conception.


More like heritage.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Gettnitdone
Level

Join date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3451

Jewbacca wrote:
Vanagandr wrote:
You seem extremely knowledgable so I hate to question your facts but i'm pretty sure GPA is pretty much the number one priority for every single college.


Nope.* GPA varies greatly from school-to-school and course-track-to-course track. As a result, the standardized test is the king.

* The exception are certain state schools and areas where affirmative action is deemed illegal discrimination. The schools get around discriminating against Asians, Jewish people, and Whites (who, as a group, have higher standardized test scores) by weighting GPA higher or doing things like auto-admiting the top 10% of all public schoools --- theory being the minorities tend to group themselves together and compete against each other for class rank.


Doesn't this statement contradict your previous post where you say "GPA is very important"?

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

swhole milk
Level

Join date: Apr 2012
Posts: 201

i disagree with the gpa sentiment. I got a 1500 on the SAT and my best friend got a 1560 (out of 1600)... my high-school gpa was terrible, i ranked around the middle of my class, and my friend was probably around the quarter mark...

let's just say the offers didn't come pouring in for either of us

admissions counsels are obviously dominated by honor-roll socialists, what with their valuing of work-ethic over excellence

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

FightinIrish26
Level

Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17129

Congrats to him and you, HH. I hope he does well in whatever field he chooses.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

The3Commandments
Level

Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1238

Don't pay for undergrad, IMO. I scored in the 99% on the ACT and went to the best public university in my state for free. Then, I ended up going to professional school at Yale after doing very well in undergrad.

It's not a pleasant thing to think about, but I know a lot of people who came into my undergrad with even more impressive resumes that ended up washing out. This happens a lot in elite undergrads as well. For them, that huge investment is essentially a waste considering how much money we're talking about. Undergrad is a poor investment, IMO.

So, I would suggest you have your kid go to the cheapest good school possible, then focus on getting into an elite graduate school. Today, undergrad is sort of the "testing ground" because so many good jobs demand some form of graduate education.

This holds *unless* your kid wants to go straight into something like finance/ibanking, in which case the signaling power of the undergrad is helpful.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Jewbacca
Level

Join date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3288

Gettnitdone wrote:

Doesn't this statement contradict your previous post where you say "GPA is very important"?


No. GPA is very important. But standardized tests are very, very important.

To restate:

You might get in to an elite school with amazing test scores and a good-but-not-great GPA.

You will almost certainly not get into an elite school with good-but-not-great test scores and an amazing GPA.

Both GPA and test scores are FAR more important that extracuriculars, unless you happen to be an Olympic-level athelete of some kind or a sports star (in a sport the school cares about --- say, hockey, at most Ivy Leagues) in the making.

If you are a future first-round-draft NHL hockey player, get a 600 on the SAT and have a 2.7 GPA, you can get into any Ivy League School.

Similarly, if your mommy or daddy give millions of dollars, and promise to give more, and know the right people, you can get it.

Generally speakng, the best extra-curiculars are sports/outside related, if you are not a candidate to get on a sports team.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Da Man reloaded
Level

Join date: Nov 2010
Posts: 258

Headhunter wrote:
Not a Pol/World Issue but I'll put it here anyway.

That is all.


Nice. I got the same score. My dickhead brother-in-law got a 36. I was ranked 15th in my high school with a 3.97. I walked into a public U with scholarships. I am not rich by any stretch, but I make a darn good living as an engineer.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report