Fuck you, CU Boulder! (From a high school senior)

CU Boulder, CU Boulder’s Norlin Scholars, CU’s PLC, and even the Byron White memorial scholarship, yes you too, and finally, Yale and the College Board, go fuck yourselves with sharp pointy objects!

First, a little background on myself
SAT: 1520
GPA: 4.34/3.82
AP’s:6 grades of five so far, four more tests this spring, and one post AP at CU Denver
Sports: Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Track 3200 and 1600, Triathlon (up to half-Iron) on my own, and cycling
Community Service: A youth search and rescue group, an EMT-B standard of care training, 20-120+ hours/month
Work Experience: Tutoring experience, and a two month stint at Banana Republic (okay, among my less impressive achievments)
Clubs: I’m no resume-padding clubbing bastard.

I felt pretty confident going into this year that I would do well on my whole college application deal.

CU Boulder: I got accepted. That’s not a bad start. But oh, you’re precious little honors programs!!! So, let’s get started.

Norlin Scholars ($2000/year scholarship): 30 applicants accepted. I have been made an alternate, selection depending upon Norlin’s goals of maintaining “a diverse representation of majors.” Well if I had known that, I would have said I was seeking a B.A. in Drama. I wonder if I should call the director back and make a deal, I’ll do a drama degree if he picks me for an open slot.

President’s Leadership Class ($2000/year scholarship+some special PLC classes for elective credit): 120 interviews, 60 selected. I’m again an alternate. They assure me in the letter it is a short list. I doubt it.

Byron White Memorial Scholarship (Justice B. White, you know the only CU grad you’ve ever heard of, supreme court justice; $5000/year): One of five interviews (probably the only five who applied). This time, I got a call back in person. I am an amazing, talented, promising, beautiful, thoughful person. I also didn’t get the scholarship. Sure, there was only one, but it still sucks.

Yale: Rejected. Nothing more to it. Oh, but I did spent $65 applying.

College Board: Charged me $17 to essentially re-fill out FAFSA and send it to Yale, plus another $6 for scores for tests which I already paid over $50 to take. Plus the $500+ I have spent/will spend on AP Exams.

More than angry, I’m sad. This whole process has been depressing. I am, unfortunately, not, a Unique and Delicate Snowflake™.

Perhaps I am taking this whole thing a little too personally. True, I could have and should have worked a bit harder in some situations in high school, but overall I was proud of what I had accomplished. I probably shouldn’t have cried when I heard back from Yale. Or PLC. Not Norlin. Certainly not Byron White. But really, I’m sick of being rejected again and again. If another person/letter/website compliments me on my outstanding achievements, telling me that I could almost doubtlessly benefited from what the program had to offer; yet, I simply wasn’t quite good enough, didn’t quite make, The Cut, I’m gonna lose it. I thought it would be easy. It was CU. I was sure I could sail into one end and out the other in two and a half years. I assumed they would get upon their knees and beg me to grace their humble campus with my inspiring presence. Why should I have to pay tuition to attend this simple little state school?

I was wrong. I hate this process, and I hate myself for failing at it.

You didn’t miss much by not getting into Yale. The campus is nice, but New Haven sucks. Except for the pizza.

The A-number-one most important thing I learned in college was how to fail and/or be rejected. I couldn’t be a super-achiever forever; the rest of the world catches up to 99.9 percent of us. It’s catching up to you, too. It’s a sucky thing to have to learn, but like I said, it’s very, very important.

I’m sorry about the scholarships, though. Extra money is always of the good.

You shoulda joined the Math Club, dude. Sorry about your woes.

All I can say to you is welcome to the adult world of constant stress from self-perceived failure, and neverending disappointment in the shape of your fellow man. It will stop hurting when the pain goes away though, so cheer up.

I found your post to be quite refreshing.

Spelling and capitalization are right on the mark. The grammar is such that it’s a pleasure to read. It made a number of good points and elaborated on each. (Too good for the Pit!)

All in all, this is pretty darned impressive from a high schooler.

Maybe CU would be more impressed if you forwarded this thread to them. :slight_smile:

But then, discretion is the better part of valor, and they haven’t actually let you in the door, yet. :wink:

Oh man. College Application Hell.

I applied to 6 schools. I thought, based on my numbers and the fact that my parents always told me I was a Unique and Individual (delicate ain’t borne out in the Football letter I got) Snowflake.

I got rejected by 5. Twice, from one (early, then regular). I’m not even currently attending the place where I got in.

And you know what? Of all the people who go to the schools that rejected me, I probably do something better than every student there. Something about me (maybe different in each case, but let me get to the point:)) is better than each student at each of those places.

They didn’t want me, and that’s part of the success (inasmuch as I am yet;)) I am today. Because I wasn’t doing mindless repetitive tasks at Hopkins or UVA or W&M. Actually, I was probably surfing the boards here:D I didn’t get into the high school of my choice or the college of my choice and I’m utterly grateful for that. I seriously doubt I’d be where I am now (and the view, it is so sweet) if I’d gone to the places I can look back in retrospect now and say wouldn’t have done me much good. This place has done more good for me in three years than most of my formative schooling has done, so far, in … 18? Damn, have I been in school that long?

Here’s a trade secret for you: College isn’t ultimately going to shape you. You are. So make the best of where you go and what you do, even if the best seems like anything but. I know it did for me. I can do with ease what I used to struggle through because of that.

So what’s all this?

Bummer you didn’t get what you wanted. I wonder what would if happened if you put a little effort into the whole process?


Holy cow.

Either college has gotten a lot more competitive in the 15 years since I’ve attended, or the average student today is several orders of magnitude smarter than I am/was.

I made a 28 on my ACT back in 1984. I had colleges actively recruiting me. (I used to amuse myself by correcting the spelling/grammar mistakes on those letters and sending them back.) If I’d had half the accomplishments listed in the OP, I would have had to cover myself in excrement to avoid being compulsively licked and fellated by college admissions personnel from across the nation.

As an aside, it’s been my experience that almost every college and university has several scholarships that don’t get claimed each year because students don’t know they’re available. Contact the financial aid officer at CU and ask for a list of all available scholarships, if you haven’t already done so. Not just the big, prestigious ones; every single one. My first year at a private university cost my parents a grand total of $980 (actual tuition was $4,000), because we applied for almost every $250 and $500 scholarship available, and I got a number of them.

I’m sorry. It’s a difficult process and doesn’t always seem fair, and it’s very hard to hear “no.” Sure, it’s a life lesson we all have to learn, but I think it’s a hard one to have to learn while you’re still in high school. I understand your discouragement.

It’s clear that you would be an asset to any college campus or honors program. I am sure every college who got an app from you feels the same way. You are suffering from the fact that an awfully lot of highly-qualified individuals are competing for the same spaces. It’s not a question of not being good enough; it’s a matter of there being only so many slots.

And no, it’s doesn’t seem fair. Colleges don’t just go by academic star quality, they also look at other things like a diversity in majors. They don’t want an honors program packed with pre-med folk or engineering majors. It doesn’t meet their goals. I think they are right to do this, but that doesn’t mean that students don’t get hurt.

I got a nice honors scholarship to the college I attended. However, I later learned that I was their fifth choice for it. They offered it to four other people who elected to go elsewhere, before offering it to me (who wanted to go to this college more than anywhere else).

One thing you might seriously consider, if you’re not happy about your options, is taking a year off. Work at Americorps or something like that. Then reapply. Reapply to the same places–you’ll be that much more of an impressive candidate because you’ve demonstrated such a strong interest that you applied again. Also reapply to some smaller places who have the time to really evaluate you as a person and not a series of numbers. That will be validating. Alternatively, you could go ahead and enroll somewhere but then reapply as a transfer to these schools.

That sucks … but – and I say this as someone who was rejected from both of her top choices – these things have a way of working out for the best. Really. After three years at that “simple little state school,” you’ll probably be amazed at how unthinkable life would be without some of the people you will have met by then, and if you think about Yale at all, it’ll only be to thank your lucky stars you didn’t go there.

Pity about the scholarships, but as Sauron said, there are probably others out there, so keep trying. Financial aid is like buying tickets for the lottery – the more times you apply, the more chances you have of getting lucky. (It’s also, in many cases, almost as random as the lottery, so don’t take the rejections personally – perhaps the most important thing I learned between college and grad school.)

Oh cut it out.

From the looks of it, you have pretty impressive grades. That in itself is something to proud of.

It seems like you want to go to CU and you got in. That’s something else you should be proud of.

Is Yale the only other school you applied to? Surely there are many other fine schools that would accept you.

Now, now - don’t forget Scott Carpenter (one of the original Mercury astronauts), John (Jack) Swigert of Apollo 13 fame, Glenn Miller, the band leader, Dave Grusin, academy award-winning composer, and…Me!..the list is endless :smiley:

You’d better get used to it, and fast. Brush the disappointment off and get on with it.

One last thing - if you crumple into a little ball of self-pity at every rejection, don’t major in drama or any other art. Then again, if you feel you need practice at being rejected, maybe you should.

Anyway, if you go, enjoy CU Boulder. I sure did.:cool:

This is excellent advice. You might want to do something specifically related to the major you want to pursue. I know people who have gotten into excellent medical schools on their second try after doing something like spending six months vaccinating children in Africa.

I also want to caution against the whiff of sour grapes I detect in this thread. CU Boulder is a fine school but depending on exactly what you want to do in life, getting a degree from a top-tier school like Harvard or Yale can be a big advantage. Unfortunatley, it’s not just about the education you get, it’s also about the people you meet. For a variety of reasons, someone with a degree from Yale is more likely to end up in a high-profile career than someone with a degree from CSU Boulder. Heck, the last three U.S. presidents have held degrees from Yale. These contacts count. Remember the FOB (Friend of Bill) phenomenon in the Clinton White House?

Absolutely correct. Yale accepts about 1 in 6 applications. Ninety-five percent of of Yale’s incoming freshmen ranked in the top ten percent of their high school classes. There’s enormous competition. Top tier schools are so stressful in part because 90% of incoming students are used to being in the top 10% of the class. At the end of the first year, 90% of them are extremely disappointed.

The point here is that if you want to go to a top tier school, you have to hedge your bets and apply to several, regardless of how good your grades and test scores are. If you only applied to two, you’re just, well, stupid. :wink:

Oh, and by the way, don’t whine about the expense of so many applications. If you spend $1000 to ensure you get into a school you really want to go to, it’s money very well spent. After all, you’re going to spend $100,000+ getting an education. You might as well get the best value for money you can.

I worked in admissions at Carleton College when I was a student.

To be honest, I saw lots and lots of applications with better grades and better SAT scores.

Looking back. I think the reason I got in was primarily my personal statement.

For some odd reason I wrote a short story. It was for a question about someone of some note that I’d want to meet. I met HP Lovecraft. :confused:

Looking back on it I’ve got no clue why they let me in. Except I fix in exactly with the student base.

Heck, right now I’m going through getting rejected from every graduate program I applied to. It looks like I’ll spend another year as a lab tech get some more work experience, take some graduate level courses and go back and reapply.

If you don’t get into some place, you always have the oppertunity to take a step back, spend a year doing something that will enhance your chances of getting in and reapplying again.
One thing that really helps are what your letters of recommendation say about you. I had the admissions comitte CALL one of my teachers while I was in class and they talked to him about me for 15 min. He never mentioned my name but it was easy to tell.

I was a nervous wreck for 2 weeks.

Bah. Colleges recruit tons of people. I was recruited by Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, among a thousand other colleges, but I was rejected by University of Chicago and couldn’t even get a full scholarship for the college I plan to attend, despite gaining acceptance to the rather selective honors college. Recruiting’s cheap.

And I’ve known a number of people who’ve wanted to go Ivy League. The one who actually got into Princeton has relatively low test scores, considering, but he is president of at least 3 clubs, co-valedictorian, straight A-student, all-state runner, etc. …the All-American guy, if you will. Another classmate of mine with higher test scores, but fewer activities, was rejected from MIT and Harvard. They’re equally intelligent, so it’s all just a resume game.

I wouldn’t feel too bad, threemae…at least, not about rejection. Feel free to get royally ticked at the money. If I were to total up all the money my parents have spent on school-related stuff this year, I think I would faint, only to wake up feeling really guilty, even though they more than offered.

The best way to deal with this is to make the rest of your life your revenge. Beat out all those scholarship and Ivy League dweebs in the game of life, the only one that really counts.

That’s what I’ve been working on, and doing quite well. I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who got into schools or received scholarships I was denied who turn out to be directionless or clueless or losers.

I know whereof I speak: (holds up CU diploma).

Given what you’ve accomplished, I have no doubt you could tear through CU in two and a half. I can’t say that the four years I spent there were much of a challenge for me, despite taking a graduate level class. I’m maybe a bit above average, but I’m no Marlyn Vos Savant. (A National Merit Scholar with one of the highest scores in the nation the year I took the ACT, yes. M. Vos Savant, no.)

Here’s the big dose of reality though: No matter how worthy you are, THEY DO NOT CARE. I was turned down for MIT (expected), Rice (that sucked - I’m still better than that school) and I elected not to go to Reed. (Their CS department was less than pathetic.) Guess where I ended up? Yup, CU.

In a sick way, this is a good lesson for real life. There will be, someday, a job that you really, really want. This will be at a time where it’s really, truly and deeply important to you for have a good job, distance though that time seems now. You will be more than qualified for it. More than smart enough. It’ll be the exact right thing, you’d kick ass at it. And you’ll be rejected for that too - despite being better than all the other candidates.

There is no logic here. There is no concept of fairness or worthyness. I wish I could say it was just as random as them pulling numbers out of a hat, but it’s not even that fair. The college admissions process is stupid and wrong - look no further than yourself for proof of that.

I have no happy message for you. No cheery “things aren’t so bad” platitude. You just got fucked, and it was unjustified to boot. And I refuse to minimize that. Lots of people like to make light of bad situations, perhaps to avoid themselves feeling sad or getting enraged about the unfairness that is an integral part of life. I don’t engage in such, however. I decided a long time ago that was too much bullshit for me to bear.

Bad things happen to good people who don’t deserve them. Good things happen to bad people who don’t deserve them. Good things don’t happen to good people who do deserve them. The world is cold and indifferent to your fate. If you desire success and reward, you will get it only by tearing them, painfully and at length, from the capricious hands of fate.

But don’t let it stop you. There is nothing sweeter than the taste of success, torn bloody from the greedy maw of ignorance, lazyness and stupidity.

Um, CU is not the EASY ticket you might think it to be…They have at least three schools in their program, one of which my step-brother attended and another my mom was a professor of English Lit. My step-brother had EXCELLENT grades but ended up paying full tuition as did my brother to ASU even though he was borderline Olympic swimmer material.

Sorry but CU aka University of Colorado is not a school for wimps. It used to be a serious party school but over the years has changed it’s tune and become a top of the line school to get a degree. A lot of that has to do with UCCS (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the Denver campus with the University Hospital.) You can also thank Colorado State University which has a very intensive veterinary and other agricultural programs for pushing the need for the Colorado university system to stand out. CU, CSU and other state run colleges/universities are becoming more and more schools to attend.

SO, with that said. Don’t be putting down CU for your lack of scholarships or whatever you think you “deserve” as there are many of other bright and intelligent people that don’t get “free rides” to their schooling. CU is NOT a simple little school. Hell I have friends that graduated from CU proper with jobs that most people would be highly envious of. One of my friends worked in New York as a computer engineer with Smith and Barney or some other type of firm (it’s not registering in my brain at the moment) for a good $150,000+ year. Not bad for a “simple little state school” education that HIS parents paid for.

He now works back here in Colorado and lives a wonderful life with his wife and three kids in the suburbs of Denver.

Get over the idea of getting a free ride. People like you complaining about such bogus things make me sick given I know many people like my best friend that didn’t even have the chance to attend even a community college because of economic issues. There are plenty of very smart people that can’t even get in to college for economic or by learning disability issues like I have.

Grow up, yes, you are apparently still in high school but not everyone gets a free ride…and to poopoo something like CU really bugs me. My brother is doing very well with his non-free edication despite the fact he was very involved in his high school, his grades were excellent and he always has been moving forward in his life.

BAH, you whine and it bothers me. Stop your whining and make your life what you want rather than thinking about things the way you are.

If only…we all do that. You wanna blame any future failures because of other people…you have another thing coming. You can look at those obsticales (sp) as road blocks or you can look at them as furthering your life. It’s up to you.

On one hand: I suck, can’t get into a shitty school (so I perceive) with a free ride.

Other hand: I can look to this as a way to prove my actual worth.

It’s up to you. If CU is a lowly school that you can’t get into with a free ride, you have expectations of the world you need to rethink. You also need to realize that many people, here on this board and outside of here have made their lives what they wanted despite the hurdles they encountered. A lot of people have worked two jobs while taking a full course load despite their excellent work in high school.

Get over it and as harsh as this is, the world isn’t fair. You can work your ass off in this life and still have nothing to show for it. I see it all the time and most people are humbled by it. They know that they have to change things rather than complain.

Hell I complain a lot, I know this but most important I know that I make life what it is and it’s time for you to learn the same.

CU and it’s system is a good education. I am sad to hear you think so small about it. I know first hand with regards to my brother how good an education you can get there as well as though my mother who taught in that system. So blech to you. CU has come out of the party school image and has produced a lot of positive and some of the most thinking and educated people I have known.


CROREX WROTE: “Looking back. I think the reason I got in was primarily my personal statement.”

There is a lot of truth in that. The “elite” universities and competitive scholarships get plenty of applications from over-achieving, resume-padding, seven-sigma-type applicants. The essay or personal statement is the way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pool.

Put yourself in the place of the poor admissions officer who has to read thousands of applications about “how working in a homeless shelter changed my life” or “how I want to get a degree in X so I can change the world” or “how I overcame the burdens of being white, black, gay, hispanic, color blind, etc.”

I managed to get accepted (and get a one-third scholarship) into an “elite” graduate program dispite the fact that my GMAT scores were below the school’s average, and I came from a third-tier undergrad program (U of Michigan). However, on my second day of orientation, the Dean of Admissions approached me and said, “Are you X” “Yes.” “We really enjoyed reading your personal statement.” The topic: my cheap, penny-pinching, coupon-clipping father and how he views higher education. For the next two years, most of the faculty knew me as the “guy with the cheap father.”

The most recent versio of “The Onion” has a great parody of the college admission’s process.