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Old 06-26-2014, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Want Tips/Help with Scholarships and other Pre-college topics

Hello, I am going to be a sophomore in high school next year and have several questions about my next few years.

First off, what is your career? And what school did you go to? Next, what steps need to be taken before college? Do you have any tips on getting more scholarships/when to get scholarships?

I am wondering because I am wanting to get my undergraduate and then go to medical school, and later become a pediatric cardio thoracic surgeon. I am fully confident in being able to complete the classes, but have no idea what the next few years have in store for me. (I am currently an honors student, and last year I took the act and got a 29 as my composite score.) Any help is greatly appreciated.

..this was typed on my phone, sorry for any mistakes..
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Take AP courses where available. Acceptance by schools is very competitive nowadays. GPA is one thing, but to distinguish yourself from the other hundred 4.0 GPA students applying for 75 openings, you need to get involved with "outside school" activities. Doing volunteer work for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, United Way and any other local/regional charity groups is a huge plus. They are looking for well-rounded students, not just GPA's. Good Luck
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would talk to a school counselor. They would be able to help you with everything you have asked here.

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Originally Posted by jlutgen15 View Post
Hello, I am going to be a sophomore in high school next year and have several questions about my next few years.

First off, what is your career? And what school did you go to? Next, what steps need to be taken before college? Do you have any tips on getting more scholarships/when to get scholarships?

I am wondering because I am wanting to get my undergraduate and then go to medical school, and later become a pediatric cardio thoracic surgeon. I am fully confident in being able to complete the classes, but have no idea what the next few years have in store for me. (I am currently an honors student, and last year I took the act and got a 29 as my composite score.) Any help is greatly appreciated.

..this was typed on my phone, sorry for any mistakes..
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would talk to a school counselor. They would be able to help you with everything you have asked here.
Don't take that counselors word as fact though. I was told my 31 on my ACT was good enough as a junior so I never took it again.

Fast forward 5 years when I'm applying for the last two years of my PharmD. degree......yeah.....that 31 bit me in the ass and cost me big. 1 more point, one more *#$(^(# point......and I would have had an automatic admission into the final two years.

Instead I had to try to beat out 600 other applicants. I'm now a nurse...making 1/3 the pay...learn from my mistakes.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Take AP courses where available. Acceptance by schools is very competitive nowadays. GPA is one thing, but to distinguish yourself from the other hundred 4.0 GPA students applying for 75 openings, you need to get involved with "outside school" activities. Doing volunteer work for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, United Way and any other local/regional charity groups is a huge plus. They are looking for well-rounded students, not just GPA's. Good Luck
obadger hit the nail on the head on how to separate yourself from the crowd. Be involved in extra-curricular and outside school activities. If you are planning to go to med school, see about volunteering at local hospitals or other medical facilities.

As for scholarships, aside from the college/university, apply to local scholarships that are offered by your town/city. I went to Northwestern State University in Louisiana and got almost got a full ride but I ended up getting an additional $5000 in various scholarships around my hometown. That even excludes scholarship money that I received from my high school.

I am currently a doctoral student/research assistant at Baylor College of Medicine.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Challenging classes, even in you senior year.

Sports, Drama, Jazz, Debate Team, anything extracurricualr. I was Senior Class president, easiest resume builder ever, I was well liked (no not popular) and only had to hand out my name on strips of duct tape to "campaign", so that could be an easy option for you.

Boys state, or whatever they call it where you are, essentially go and run a pretend state goverment for four days.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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To the top...anything else? I have been looking into possibly doing it through the military. Has anyone done this?
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm beginning college at St. John's University as a graphic design major in the fall on a full academic scholarship. My best advice is to:
-Take the SAT and ACT multiple times.
-Take AP classes (Specifically AP Composition and a foreign language class such as AP spanish)
-Do something completely outside of school. In my opinion, these programs look better than regular school clubs and sports because it shows you went out of your way to pursue them. Try to look for unique opportunities that most people don't have.
-Try and get experience in your major, perhaps volunteer at a hospital if you're interested in medicine.
-Write a killer essay that separates you from everybody else, have it edited by as many teachers as possible
-Apply to lots of schools, don't limit your options. If you're concerned about the money you can't afford to be extremely picky. Apply to local schools, apply to state schools, apply to far away schools, apply to big schools, apply to small schools. The more applications you send out, the more chances at scholarships you get. I applied to 11 schools, received zero scholarship from 4, partial from 5, and full rides to 2.
-Apply via the early action applications

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i go to Bates College as a politics major, paying full freight. Rising Sophomore.

you aren't going to get a scholarship if you are anything like me, which is a middle class white kid, unless you attend a school that is below your academic standard (in that case you will recieve scholarship $. I was offered 15K a year off to attend Gettysburg College but it was a notch below Bates and Colgate University, the other schools i got into which both offered me no money because they were right on my academic level.) You may have to sacrifice academic prestige if money is an issue.

In regards to your ACT score, you need to take it again, although you are only a sophomore so you have plenty of time. I got a 2180 on the SATs which converts to about 32 on the ACTs, and I didnt get in to any of my top choices (Wesleyan, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Amherst, Williams, Middlebury) . If you can get your ACT just above my score (i.e like a 33 or 34) you will be nearly guaranteed to get into almost any school in the country outside the ivies, the little ivies (i.e amherst, williams, middlebury, etc.) and the top non ivy private universities (northwestern, UChicago, WashU, etc.) All of those schools are never locks no matter how high your test scores or grades.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Honestly? Figure out what colleges you're interested in. If you're interested in medical school, find the undergraduate schools that have high med school acceptance rates/track record for getting kids prepared for med school.
Generally speaking, small private liberal arts colleges perform well in these instances. For example in Indiana, many kids that want to get into med school go to schools like Wabash, DePauw, Hanover, etc.
Once you've identified your undergrad college, talk with the admission folks for those schools and figure out what they're looking for in applying students. Some places have summer programs that you an participate in to help buff up your application and give them a chance to see you're interested in their school and what they have to offer.
You can try to go to a community college for philosophy, but you're going to have trouble reaching that goal of getting into med school. Professional schools want "known quantity" applicants that come from programs that they know prepare students for what their school will throw at them.
Again, I can't stress identifying the right undergrad colleges enough. Forget the price tags, and find out what criteria the school uses for awarding college and departmental scholarships. Tailor your high school career and activities to suit the colleges you'll be applying to. Most will want some involvement outside of school: community service/volunteering, sports, music, etc.
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