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Am I pretty much screwed?

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A little bit of background: I'm an African-American with parents that have a pretty good income, I go to Rufus King IB School which is the best public school in Wisconsin (214th in the US), and I'm a junior.

In September 2006, my dad was called up to go to Iraq for 2 and a half years. Although it isn't really a valid excuse and shouldn't have had so much effect on me, this pretty much marked the point where I became very unmotivated, lazy, and pessimistic. I sometimes skipped school completely and once got a truancy notice. I got a 2.239 accum over those two years. The mark period that my dad returned (March of 2008) I got a 3.0, which still wasn't my best.

Fast-forward to Junior year, I'm a full IB canidate and I got a 3.625 my first mark period, and I still wasn't working up to my full potential. I'm assuming I can go at this pace and possibly a little better. I take Math Studies 1, Spanish 1, English 1, Biology 1, Geography and Global History and for awhile I've wanted to teach (Geography, History, or Psychology). I don't have as many extra-cirriculars as I would like (Jazz Band, Marching Band, Spanish Honors Society, Swim, Baseball/Track).

My top choices for colleges are:

1. UW-Madison

2. Twin Cities

3. Miami University (Oxford)

4. IU-Bloomington/Michigan State/Ohio State

All of these schools are renowned for their education programs. UW-Madison and Twin Cities have in-state benefits for me (Minnesota and Wisconsin give eachother in-state benefits), and I love the Miami campus.

I know I can graduate with an IB Diploma, 3.5+ GPA, at least one Varsity sport on record, and high SAT/ACT scores (I've always been a very good test-taker and the PSATs were very easy). But the big question is: do my Freshman and Sophomore years basically disqualify me from my top choice schools? Should I aim much lower? What can I do to help my cause in getting into some of these schools?

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If a university thinks that you shouldn't be admitted, based on your record 2 years before graduation, I think they're being stupid. Some students are bound to slack off in their first 2 years of HS. If you have a decent SAT score (by which I mean >1900), decent ECs, a glowing teacher's reference and a high predicted grade (>35), I can't see why they shouldn't admit you.

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th onlything that those two years will effect are your cumulative GPA. if you do wellin everything else you shoudl be ok. i think that oyu have enough ECs. imnot familiar with these school so i can't tell you about the averagestudent that gets in, but you seem likeyou are doijg all right now that you got back on track.

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-.- prejudice regarding people's nationality won't do you much good here.

there's affirmative action in the U.S., plus at Madison they're desperate for black students from King. although it's not necessarily how I want to be judged I'll take the second chance at this point.

sorry IBstuck, brainfart lol

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A little bit of background: I'm an African-American with parents that have a pretty good income, I go to Rufus King IB School which is the best public school in Wisconsin (214th in the US), and I'm a junior.

In September 2006, my dad was called up to go to Iraq for 2 and a half years. Although it isn't really a valid excuse and shouldn't have had so much effect on me, this pretty much marked the point where I became very unmotivated, lazy, and pessimistic. I sometimes skipped school completely and once got a truancy notice. I got a 2.239 accum over those two years. The mark period that my dad returned (March of 2008) I got a 3.0, which still wasn't my best.

Fast-forward to Junior year, I'm a full IB canidate and I got a 3.625 my first mark period, and I still wasn't working up to my full potential. I'm assuming I can go at this pace and possibly a little better. I take Math Studies 1, Spanish 1, English 1, Biology 1, Geography and Global History and for awhile I've wanted to teach (Geography, History, or Psychology). I don't have as many extra-cirriculars as I would like (Jazz Band, Marching Band, Spanish Honors Society, Swim, Baseball/Track).

My top choices for colleges are:

1. UW-Madison

2. Twin Cities

3. Miami University (Oxford)

4. IU-Bloomington/Michigan State/Ohio State

All of these schools are renowned for their education programs. UW-Madison and Twin Cities have in-state benefits for me (Minnesota and Wisconsin give eachother in-state benefits), and I love the Miami campus.

I know I can graduate with an IB Diploma, 3.5+ GPA, at least one Varsity sport on record, and high SAT/ACT scores (I've always been a very good test-taker and the PSATs were very easy). But the big question is: do my Freshman and Sophomore years basically disqualify me from my top choice schools? Should I aim much lower? What can I do to help my cause in getting into some of these schools?

I'm really sorry to tell you this, but you need 3 HL and 3 SL courses to get an IB diploma (not to mention your EE, CAS hours, and ToK stuff). Other than that though, you seem to be doing pretty good. I'm not sure about the specifics on your top-choice colleges, but you seem to be in good shape. Don't get your hopes down just because of your poor effort your first two years. One thing colleges look for (supposedly) is improvement over the 4 years you're in high-school, which is basically what you did, no?

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I'm a junior, IB2 I'll be taking:

Math Studies SL

Spanish SL

English HL

Biology HL

Economics SL

Americas HL

sorry for the confusion, I was under the impression that bio/english/history were considered SL in IB1 and HL in IB2 >_>

Edited by king2010

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it will hinder you a bit, but doing IB will help, and you need to do really well during your jjunior and senior years;. that will help to bring up your GPA. do you have lots of ECs/ leadership positions. you should have community service from CAS. did you do AP with IB?

anything else?

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my school doesn't have AP so no. thanks for the help, it's comforting to know that I can still take control of my future. ;)

also, does anyone that has tried to get into UW-Madison or has gotten into UW-Madison have any input?

EDIT: I just realized, I have an aunt, a grandfather, and at least three other relatives that I remember that graduated from UW-Madison. will this help any?

Edited by king2010

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having relatives that went to a school means that you are a legacy and depending on the school yes it will have a small impact (how else did buch go to yale?!?!) but your grades and such will still matter.

a legacy isn't a buig deal at the uni that i go to because we are a smaller state school in missouri (and the the family member that i had that went here dropped out after less than a semster here coz she "hated to the food")

don't rely on being a legacy to get you into a school is my advice, but many school will ask if you are.

(it is a hugh help if you are conisdering greek life though.)

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3.75 the second mark period now, I'm feeling better about my chances. =]

try and get your GPA as high as you possibly can. summer courses help if your state offers them. although GPA isn't the most improtanat thing it will give you a lot of help.

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When you start applying to those colleges make good use of the additional comments section.

These all sound like state schools so I am thinking that they might have a different application that the ones I have used (University of California app and Common app), but most application should have an additional section part.

This part of the application is a great place to explain why your freshman and sophomore year grades are lacking. Go over the struggles you faced and how you learned to overcome them and become successful in your junior and hopefully your senior year of high school. I heard that colleges really love that stuff.

Also, if you have a teacher that will have known you all four years of high school once you are applying to college, have them write a recommendation for you and suggest for them to write about how you have grown from those first years to now.

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Our President Obama is a great example of the opportunities in this country. If you do not know so much about his life, I suggest you to research about it and see how he led himself up the ladder, and starting like an average students with grades that were not that outstanding. But life gave him another chance and just like you he got back on track. Let these last two years become an experience for you, and the the past can even help you for your college essays. You can prove to them how you started, the contitions that made you start this way, but the way that you also adjusted yourself in the last two years.

Don't worry; it is better that you already experienced a moment like that. Now you can prove to colleges that you were able to change. Now boost up your GPA and get involved in activities or sports NOW.

:rofl:

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