Chiara is Italian. And not the kind of Italian where the family has been here in the U.S. for five generations but still calls themselves “Italian” — I mean, she’s from Italy. She has an email address that ends with “.it” — that kind of Italian.
Apparently she’s had a rough go of it with some of our top American universities.
I am a girl from Italy and I have just graduated from high school.
Wanting to live in the United States, I have applied to many universities during the past fall. However, I have been rejected by most (probably because of the colleges I have chosen to apply to are so competitive).
The colleges I have applied to are Boston University, NYU, Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, UC Berkeley, UCLA. I have applied for Chemical Engineering for all of them except than UCLA (were I put Chemistry as a Major).
I would think that BU and UCLA would certainly let you in (especially BU), but all those others are really, really tough schools. You can be a hellacious student and still get the heave-ho from those guys.
I have taken the SAT I twice and got scores of 1950(660 Reading, 680 Math, 610 Writing) and of 2040 (640 Reading, 720 Math, 680 Writing). I have taken the Math 1, Math 2, and Chemistry SAT II and got a 700 score on all of them.
Those are fine scores. Well, well above the average here in the U.S., that’s for sure!
My grade avarage during high school has been of 8,2 out of 10 (it is actually a good avarage being that my Final Exam grade has been of 100 cum lode/100 – too bad I didnt know that when I applied to college!).
I’m not sure what that means, but I believe you that it’s good.
I have studied greek, latin, math, italian, english, physics, chemistry, biology, P.E., earth science, religion, history of art.
That would put you on an even footing with most American students, I think. Where you have Greek and Latin, though, our students have Spanish and French.
My TOEFL result was of 22/25.
This could definitely have worked against you. There are four different components to the TOEFL — listening, speaking, reading and writing — and each is scored out of 30, not 25.
It sounds like you only took one of the four parts of the tests, not all four of them, and that can certainly have been a black mark on your application. Furthermore, 22 is a score that’s right around average for any of the four elements. And it’s fine to be average, but being average won’t get you into Harvard or Princeton.
I haven’t taken part into a lot of extracurricular activities because of how many hours per day I had to spend studying. I did an English as a foreign language course, an Art course, a Math course, a Movie discussion group, 25 hours of community service during my first semester of senior year, and I have been an exchange student in California for a semester.
It sounds like you’ve done plenty to get into a good college here, and the exchange program will look especially good on your applications. I wouldn’t worry too much about the lack of activities. Foreign students get a pass on that a lot of the time; it’s easy to simply say that your culture is not like American culture in the way that we jam tons of extracurriculars down our students’ throats.
(If you’re detecting a bias against frenetic overscheduling and toward a more laid-back approach, you’re correct — but that’s another post for another day).
I have only been admitted by Boston University and UCLA.
Man, I should really read the whole email before I start to respond. 🙂 Anyway, congrats! Those are fine schools. I personally think BU’s cost outweighs the quality of its education — but that’s not because I think the education isn’t good. I think it’s great — but the cost is astronomical.
I have been waitlisted by NYU. i have been rejected by all the others.
Well, I know that’s not the best feeling in the world. I was rejected by Berkeley myself once. Hell, I was even rejected by Missouri, the school that eventually accepted me and gave me my master’s degree. It does feel lousy.
However, the fact of the matter is, you can only go to one of them, and all of your choices are quality schools. As long as you’ve been accepted to one of them, then you’re golden.
So my questions are: why was I rejected by so many institustions?
You answered half of it yourself — other than NYU, BU and UCLA, you chose some brutally competitive schools. And as I explained a month back to Jim’s daughter, who was rejected from college many times over, with schools of that caliber, your application has to be pretty much airtight. Any instances of being “just average” really hurt your chances.
The second part, I would guess, is the TOEFL business. The score you reported was average. It also sounds like you only took a small portion of the test, and that may have caused them to eliminate any consideration of the test at all, even the part you did take.
And that, really, is all it takes to get rejected from the elite schools here in the States.
I decided to attend UCLA in the end, do you think I have taken a good decision? Thank You!
Absolutely. It’s huge, it’s world-renowned, it’s constantly listed as one of the nation’s best public universities, and it’s in L.A., where you’ll get a uniquely American experience. (In L.A., you’ll get to experience a lot of stuff that even most Americans never do, frankly.)
And not for nothing, it’s also frequently mentioned among the best values in American colleges. Boston University never is. So yeah, I think it’s a great choice. I’m starting to feel a little jealous of you, actually.
Good luck, and cheer a little on my behalf when you play USC in football. I never liked that Lane Kiffin punk, and I hope you beat the living hell out of them. 🙂
— What about you guys? Any ideas about why Chiara got rejected? Am I right/wrong about the TOEFL? Let us know in the comments below.