Archive for April, 2014

A Tale of X Colleges

Well, X is more or less a Roman numeral, right? For the remainder of this post, I’ll just anonymize their names as College 1, 2, etc. in rough order of preference.


If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you probably know that the college admissions process was not as simple as “apply to college 1 and be done with it since you had a 100% chance”. I knew for a fact that it was not a 100% chance. The only trouble was that my resume was impressive enough to warrant applying to college 1, yet had fairly obvious flaws that forced me to apply to college 10. Nevertheless, I apply to college 1 anyway early. I was going to apply to college 4 as well but I didn’t finish before the early deadline oops. The early thing was supposed to facilitate the college 1/4 combo, although from what I hear there were people who got into college 1 and outright rejected from college 4. Overqualification much?

The deferral from college 1 wasn’t TOO surprising although it did elicit a rather irate response by various people, including the person who got rejected from college 4. I subsequently dropped colleges 7 and 8 for having annoying essays. (Incidentally, I had written an essay for college 8, but then when I checked some other box on the Common App, it gave me another essay to write. At this point, there were about 3 days remaining so I decided to just drop it. I also applied to the public school “chain” which I’ll call college 6, 6.1, 6.2, …, 6.5 for ease of identification even though certainly I would not put college 6.5 over college 7 or 8 (College 6 is more or less well-placed, however.) It was essentially all one big combined app for that school, so no matter.

Oh, and I guess I don’t apply to college 13 because who would ever want to go to college 13, right?

So ultimately I applied to: college 1 (defer), colleges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-6.5, 9, 10, 11, 12. 10 apps!

The first good news comes in around February, where college 9 decides to accept me with a scholarship thing, on condition of interview. This is interesting since apparently nobody in a particular linear algebra class (our highest math level, which means that they all skipped 1+ grade in math) got such a scholarship, although other people not in linear algebra got the offer. So I take off two days to go to the college, which was a pretty decent facility, I must comment. The guest wifi was pretty terrible though.

Then the acceptances and rejections came rolling in. First was college 1. Reject. Whoops. More irateness. [Though I note that the guy who got rejected by college 4 may in fact go to college 5 due to a full ride scholarship there, NOT college 1 (which is notorious for not being a college that gives scholarships since they’re so top-caliber). Maybe their decision regarding me was a factor for him, I don’t know.] I get some pity acceptances from college 12 and 6.5 (which remember is pretty much college 12-level), and college 4 waitlists me. Well that’s better than a rejection I suppose. The next batch came, and I start going up the 6-ladder: first an acceptance to 6.4, then 6.3, then 6.2 (which an unusual number of people are going to apparently – like people who I consider GOOD at our school o_o). I also get an acceptance from college 10.

More rejections: college 2 and 3 pretty much at the same time. College 5 accepts me, although they’re really expensive. Time to hope for a scholarship. College 6.1 accepts, and whoa college 6 accepts, even though they’re a college that traditionally does not accept my type of profile since they pretty much only look at the area where I was quite weak at. I guess I’ll count my blessings.

Financial stuff! I was basically banking (aha pun right?) my chance at college 5 based on whether they give me a full ride (apparently only two were given this year, unlike in previous years where there were maybe 3 or 4). Being a public school, college 6 of course was relatively affordable, and college 9 (the early interview college) was very costly as well without the scholarship. At this point, I go check college 11, and it turns out I forgot to give them some form or another and they canceled my application. Enjoy my $70, I guess.

So I thought I did pretty decently at the interview but maybe they realized that I thought that they were around college 9 so they gave me only some scholarship, more or less a “quarter ride”. (To be fair, even if it were a half ride it would more or less be on par with college 6’s cost (public schools op) so why bother.) College 5 ends up giving their scholarship to 1) a guy who’s fairly crucial to their startup and 2) a Saudi Arabian IMO gold medalist. I guess I can’t compete with that, though it does make my college decision a lot easier.

So here we are. College 6 it is.


(To be fair, college 6 is pretty good; my college list is a bit top heavy.)