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Parrappa's avatar

What kind of schools could I get into?

Asked by Parrappa (2428points) November 30th, 2009

It’s been on my mind for a while so I thought I’d just come out with it and ask. I’m in 10th grade and I do fairly well in high school. I have about a 3.6 GPA weighted, 3.4 unweighted. I’m working on moving it up to a 3.7 or a 3.8. I haven’t taken SAT’s yet, but assuming I get a fairly average score, could I get into a good school? I want to study one of these: Physics, teaching physics at the high school level, astronomy, astrophysics. So accounting for these things, could I get into a good school? Like say Washington State University (just an example) or something like that?

Any general direction, help, or support here would be nice to ease my mind. My future is practically all I think about.

P.S. : My extra curricular activities include environmental action club, and S.T.A.R. which is where I go to a local elementary school and tutor the kids who need it.

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9 Answers

pterodactylover808's avatar

College essays count! so do your extra-curriculars and charity type work. it all depends on what the school is looking for. A 3.6 is a good GPA so don’t worry! I know a kid who had a 3.6 and got into Yale for facepainting, another friend had a 3.5 and got into standford for shotput. making yourself unique is KEY

absalom's avatar

As @pterodactylover808, GPA only acts as a cut-off for a lot of schools. Your GPA is not bad as it is, and it would be great to improve it. But once you make the GPA cuts you will need to distinguish yourself from the competition with essays and the more interesting/personal aspects of your high school career (e.g. extracurricular stuff, volunteer work, a job). If you are not an active student right now, you still have plenty of time to be more involved.

Edit: You have good extracurriculars, then. More is usually better, of course, but right now I’m almost positive that if you continue in this vein you will easily get into WSU.

emma193's avatar

I would gently suggest focusing on doing well today, and the future will take care of itself. However, physics is a pretty rare major so I think many schools are excited to see anyone apply for physics – particularly teaching. Furthermore, look in a few college guidebooks and look at the average statistics of admitted students – I think you will find that you fall very safely within the pool of accepted students at most schools. No need to worry and enjoy yourself :)

RedPowerLady's avatar

Sounds like you are doing great. If you continue to have above a 3.5, you have good writing skills, have an average or above SAT score, and continue extra curriculars you shouldn’t have any problems getting into state Universities. Also focus on sucking up to your teachers and volunteer supervisors so you can get a good letter of recommendation. In fact I got into a state University with less than that :) Just remember to keep it up because towards the end it can get tedious.

Put some fun scheduled into your schedule or else you may later see the need for it and it’ll take away from your academics.

Now to get into an Ivy League school you would need higher credentials but I don’t think that is what you mean by “good”.

madsmom1030's avatar

I agree with what emma193 said. my brother is a medical physicists. Ole Miss, univ of mississippi practically paid him to do his physics BS there- they waived out-of-state tuition and he got scholarship money on top of that. His GPA was about where your goal is and he did really good on the math part of the SAT no so well on the english (this was before the format changed). Sounds like you have a plan and a goal- wouldn’t stress much on top of that. Continue to do well in school but don’t forget to balance that with extracurriculars- colleges like well rounded people. I would say you sound like you would get into WSU. Don’t forget to have some fun- my senior yr in hs I was able to take a fun art elective so think about something like that also. That definitely helped me balance my academics- I wish you all the best!

Haleth's avatar

Do you plan on going to school past college? In some subjects, you need more than just a bachelor’s degree to do well, and in that case your advanced degree becomes a lot more important than your undergraduate degree. Most of the information you hear about the college search while you’re in high school is just about getting into the most prestigious school at all costs, but there are a lot of other considerations, like graduation rates, job placement, and tuition. It sounds like your grades will get you into a lot of really good schools, and your extracurricular are solid. If you’re worried about the SAT, you will probably have chances to take the PSAT during the tenth grade. Part of the college application process is showing that you have a unique perspective or a passion about something. Colleges are taking things like disadvantaged backgrounds or leadership roles into account more and more. I agree with @madsmom1030 that you should lay off some of the tough classes and take a cool elective. It can actually work in your favor, because if you feel strongly about one of your extracurriculars, you might be able to reinforce that by taking a related elective.

madsmom1030's avatar

Haleth makes a good point. my brother had to get a masters degree before he could really find a good job in physics and studied medical physics. for me i knew that lawschool was part of my plan so I went to a state school for undergrad and was able to keep my student loans down to a reasonable amount instead of being near the max limit. that is another thing to kind of have in the back of your mind.

Supacase's avatar

@pterodactylover808 You can get into Yale for face painting?!!

YARNLADY's avatar

With enough money, or a good marketing firm, you can get into any school. I suggest you identify the schools that provide the best education in the field you are interested in pursuing, and research their requirements. Ask your counselor for assistance.

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