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The Swarm of the Super-Applicants

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Jeremy Sklaroff
Edgemont High School, Scarsdale, New York
GPA: Doesn’t have one because some of his classes aren’t graded.
SAT: 2200 (760 reading, 700 math, 740 writing)
AP scores: Computer science A (4), biology (5)

Academic honors: One of twelve students a year selected for Edgemont’s alternative school within a school (no tests or written evaluations). Ranked nationally in the National Forensic League at the mid-level—Special Distinction. Cornell Book Award for academic achievement (2006), given to one junior per participating school.

Extracurricular activities: Member, jazz band and wind ensemble for four years. Interned at New York Civil Liberties Union and Autonomedia.

Applying to: Columbia (early), Tufts, Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, NYU, Wesleyan, and University of Chicago.

His chances: “As part of the alternative school, he is already distinguished from his peers. His SAT scores are high except for math. His main activity is debate, and his rank is distinguished, but he is not at the top level. I think he has a chance of getting into Columbia, but it will probably depend on the other debate applicants he is competing with and the type of debate he wants to pursue.”


Matthew Pincus
Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, New Jersey
GPA: 3.93
SAT: 2270 (750 reading, 720 math, 800 writing)
AP scores: Calculus B/C (5), European history (5), Latin lit (5)

Academic honors: One of 22 students nationwide to achieve a perfect score on the National Latin Exam three years in a row. One of 385 students nationwide to win four gold medals for the written portion of the exam. Winner of his school’s Gaudeamus Latin Award (2006), given to one student a year for “the most exuberance in the study of Latin.”

Extracurricular activities: Serves as student body president. Undertaking an independent study of Attic Greek—not for credit. Co-president of jazz-rock ensemble (plays guitar). Member, varsity debate team. Worked as a tutor after school and during the summers.

Sports: Cross-country and track (grades 9 to 12). Co-captain of varsity cross-country team. Named the team’s Most Valuable Male Runner (2006).

Applying to: Williams (early), Georgetown, Wesleyan, Swarthmore, Middlebury, and Amherst.

His chances: “What looks outstanding is his excellence in Latin, and I like the fact that he is doing an independent study of Greek. This shows he is a self-starter and autodidactic. Plus he is a leader at school. Even more impressive, he manages this workload and the responsibilities of student-government president with employment. I think he has a good chance of getting into Williams.”

Princeton rejected four out of every five valedictorians who applied last year.


Allie Ossa
The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates
GPA: 4.57
SAT: 2140 (700 reading, 690 math, 750 writing)
AP score: U.S. history (5)

Academic honors: Won a trip to Italy from New York’s Italian Heritage and Culture Month Committee for her essay on Amerigo Vespucci. Honorable mention from American Association of Teachers of Italian for score on nationwide Italian exam. One of about 50 tri-state students selected for the American Chemical Society’s Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry. School Leadership Award for her work with the dance team. National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar for scoring in top 3 percent of Hispanic students nationwide on the PSAT. Contender for valedictorian. Expects to be the first in her family to attend college.

Sports: Third-degree black belt in karate. One of 40 members of the USA Junior National Team for karate. Captain of the school dance team.

Applying to: Yale (early), MIT, Columbia, Harvard, Caltech, and Northeastern.

Her chances: “Academically, she is outstanding as a contender for valedictorian. Given her background, her scholastic achievements and commitment to karate look all the more impressive. I think her college list is problematic because it is not balanced; there is only one safety school: Northeastern. But I think she may have a shot at getting into Yale early depending on what she wants to pursue academically.”


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