The Uninteresting Chronicles of a High School Student

January 24, 2010

RSI Anticipation Index

Blog? Dead? Nah. Apologies for the intermission, I just have not found any spare time to post on this blog in the last few days. Well, for the RSI applicants now panicking about whether or not you’ll be accepted, here’s a quick formula for your RSI application acceptance index. I haphazardly drafted it one day on College Confidential but decided that it is of sufficient value to be revised into a serious formula to give a rough measure of how likely you will be accepted. A low index is not necessarily an indicator of failure: this is, after all, for fun, and should not be taken as an absolute measure of your likelihood of acceptance :).

(The commercial nature of WordPress.com and its failure to provide me with FTP access means I can’t post an applet that’ll do the calculations for you. But hey, if you applied to RSI, you probably would not mind a bunch of arithmetic calculations :P.)

Original post here.

THE FORMULA: (more…)

January 11, 2010

“The College Admissions Scam”: Legitimate Presentation or Sensationalist Rant?

(I really should have posted this yesterday (when the OP-ED in question was published), but eh. Deadlines are meant to be stretched, especially since more important stuff get in the way. Anyways, read it first, since I’ll be jumping around a little bit and it might help to know the context.) In any case, onto the post:

A recent OP-ED, titled “The College Admissions Scam” was published on the Boston Globe, a newspaper known for being the epitome of journalist integrity. The article in question attempts to address a highly controversial and important issue:  the integrity of college admissions. The writer, Neal Gabler, wrote a book about how Jews created the film industry, stars in a film whose title suggests that Hollywood was somehow responsible for the Holocaust, and apparently appears on the completely neutral and factual Fox news.

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January 10, 2010

How NOT to do your RSI application

UPDATE: I just noticed that I posted an early draft instead of the autosaved latest one… Sorry! Some of my incoherent rambling must have been hard on the reader’s eyes and mind. Should be fixed now.

I have noticed recently that a large portion of my blog hits came from Google searches like “rsi teacher recommendation”,  “rsi application 2010”, “mit rsi application”, “research science institute rsi acceptanc[sic]”, etc. Note that it is now January 10th. The application is due January 15th (not the postmarked date). The US Post Office typically takes 2-3 days to send Priority and First Class mail, so it means you have somewhere around 1-2 more days to actually do the application and get the recommendations if you haven’t already done so. That’s assuming that USPS actually gets your application to CEE on time. It’s not like USPS screws up on a regular basis or anything, right?

Just no. Procrastinating so much for an important application like this can be extremely bad for your chances, and when you send in the application at the same time as about over 9000 other applicants, chances are it’ll get lost in the frenzy, and you’re left to wonder why your self-addressed postcard hasn’t been returned yet. A lot of people applied early (some even started as early as August 2009).

Now, I’m assuming that we got past the programming fail in the application (mirror, .pdf) and finished the individually completed sections without much trouble. Let’s say your credentials look like this:

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January 5, 2010

Application Breakdown: RSI (Really Selective Institute)

RSI (Research Science Institute) is one of MIT’s three main residential summer programs and apparently one of the most competitive and prestigious in the nation according to Caltech. Hmm, not bad. Not only does the program only accept 80 students, only 50 or so are actually from the US with the 30 remaining slots allocated for foreign students and DoDEA members. College Confidential forumers (who are obviously infallible and omnipotent) claim that about 5% of RSI applicants are accepted annually (does that mean only 1000 people bothered to apply to it in ths US?). That does seem quite formidable for an optimistic estimate, considering that you’re more likely to get into Harvard with their 7% acceptance rate

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