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My chances of making it into university?

  1. Apr 15, 2014 #1

    Amr

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    So I'm not too sure of my chances of getting into the following universities:
    - Princeton
    - Caltech
    - MIT
    - Polytechnic Institute of New York
    - Harvard (I know its very unlikey)

    Now my last year of high school will be 2017, yes I am still in grade 9. Recently I've been doing the math & I believe I may graduate school with a 4.0 GPA (give or take). Also since I'm already studying for the SAT's, I believe I am capable of getting around a 2200 score. But the reason my grades wouldn't be so good is because of so many issues, that normal people wouldn't usually have as obstacles to get to where I want to be. I'm most likely not going to be involved in school activites too much.
    So I'm wondering what are my chances of getting in. Also is it true that if I want to get involved with sciences, going to a university in the U.S is very important? As I am currently living in Canada, and I'm most likely going to stay here all 4 years (I am a Canadian citizen). I don't know if it's worth going through the trouble of moving, taking the SAT's and I'm also currently not in the best financial situation. I don't even know if I can afford anything at this point as my parents don't have their savings any more.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2014 #2
    Shoot for above a 4.0, rock the SATs, and get involved with scientific research now. Learn some calculus and programming and try to get involved at a local university helping out with scientific research somehow. This will also help with recommendations. I don't see why you couldn't get into any of those schools if you do these things.



    EDIT: Anyone can learn to program... Check out this website http://thenewboston.org/tutorials.php

    Learn some relevant languages (Java, C, etc..) and get really good at them. Within a year you could be doing useful work at a local lab. If you don't want to program, maybe you could get involved with an experimental project.
     
  4. Apr 15, 2014 #3

    Physics_UG

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    There are far more highly qualified applicants than there are seats at these universities. It is a crap shoot even with perfect SAT scores and a GPA higher than a 4.0. I recommend you apply broadly and include some safeties too.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2014 #4

    jtbell

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    Best, Brightest and Rejected: Elite Colleges Turn Away Up to 95% (New York Times)

    Some acceptance rates for next year's incoming freshmen:

    Stanford - 5%
    Harvard and Yale - 6%
    MIT and Chicago - 8%

     
  6. Apr 15, 2014 #5
    Don't focus your attention to your GPA. It is important and I don't mean to really ignore it completely. What is important rather is your clear understanding of mathematics, may it be basic or advanced that will surely aid you in future purposes, especially physics. Issues happen but do not let them subvert your goals. Not being able to attend classes, and learning is not equivalent to each other. Even if you are not in school, there is such a companion called a book. Believe me when I say it is better to learn on your own rather than by the school for modern schools teach facts not the questions that is far more substantial (emphasis on this). If you believe you will be able to go to MIT, Princeton, Harvard, whatever, it can be done.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2014 #6

    Amr

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    okay so i understand what you guys are saying but i do study a lot, im already learning things like trigonometry, physics and so on, all on my own so im a little ahead. im also already studying for my sat's. i catch on VERY quickly on physics compared to people in my class, im usually the 2nd or 3rd of my classes. so to sum up, first do universities in the U.S matter enough to make a difference if i were to instead go to a uni in canada? Also what could i do about these financial issues? And does it seem likely that ill be able to pursue any sort of topic in sciences while having a comfortable enough life & salary?
     
  8. Apr 16, 2014 #7
    The problem with gaining admission to elite universities is that there are a *lot* of people with good grades and good test scores. The question is, why should you be admitted and not one of them? What sets you apart?

    It's a very subjective process, and activities are important for that reason. (I'm not saying join 50 different clubs. I'm saying join one thing and *excel* at it.)
     
  9. Apr 16, 2014 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    If you write like that, your chances are zero.

    There are 25,000 high schools in the US. Therefore, the number of people 3d in their class or higher is 75,000. MIT admitted 1419 students this year.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2014 #9

    StatGuy2000

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    To the OP:

    I'm from Canada as well (as are a number of posters here on PF). First of all, it really does not matter in which country you pursue your undergraduate degree (at least for those who come from a First World, developed country like Canada).

    Studying for a degree in Canada is really not that different from studying for a degree in the US. In fact, it's a better deal for you financially to stay in Canada for your undergraduate (bachelor's degree), as you would pay a much lower tuition and as a Canadian citizen you are eligible for financial aid. I would only go to a US school if you are guaranteed some form of scholarship to go there. And the likelihood of receiving an undergraduate scholarship to study at elite US schools is extremely low for non-US citizens (that's assuming you get admitted to begin with, which is not guaranteed for even the brightest of students, Canadian, American or otherwise).

    The situation is different if you're applying for grad school, but that's still a long way away for you, so it's not worth thinking about it at this time.
     
  11. Apr 16, 2014 #10

    micromass

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    No. And certainly not for undergrad. There are many excellent Canadian universities like Toronto.
    It is true that the US is currently the leader in the scientific world, but that doesn't really matter much for undergrad. Good universities can be found all over the world.
     
  12. Apr 16, 2014 #11

    Physics_UG

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    I am betting he can write better than that. Sometimes people do not write on anonymous internet forums with impeccable grammar. I wouldn't hold that against him.

    I agree though that nobody is a shoe-in at those schools you listed. I recommend you apply broadly and you apply to some safety schools. There are many safety schools that can provide an excellent education. Also, these schools look for well rounded applicants. For instance, have some hobbies and activities outside the classroom that you are successful at.
     
  13. Apr 16, 2014 #12

    micromass

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    I don't think Vanadium was talking about his grammar.
     
  14. Apr 16, 2014 #13

    Physics_UG

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    Well I would say that his grammar is poor in his posts as well.
     
  15. Apr 16, 2014 #14

    AlephZero

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    From the graduate-level job applications we see in industry, the opposite logic applies. If somebody writes in standard English like the OP's first post, that doesn't necessarily mean they can write like that - only that they know somebody else who can, or they paid somebody to rewrite their application for them.
     
  16. Apr 16, 2014 #15

    micromass

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    Sure. But I'm shouldn't really judge since my english isn't perfect either...
     
  17. Apr 16, 2014 #16

    Physics_UG

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    I just try to give people the benefit of the doubt in instances like this.
     
  18. Apr 16, 2014 #17

    Amr

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    Thank you. I can write much better than this. And I'm only in grade 9 I'm 14 years old and I've been learning English for about a year
     
  19. Apr 16, 2014 #18

    Physics_UG

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    You write quite well for someone that just started learning English, imo.
     
  20. Apr 16, 2014 #19

    Evo

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    Amr, it was your failure to use capitalization which is the same in French and English. It's good to get into a habit of using correct punctuation, it's also courteous to make your posts easy to read.
     
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