Very pleased with my cycle so far. NYU acceptance pretty much made my holidays. However, I still haven't heard from HYS Columbia or Berkeley which were my top choices going in (though now I'm very excited about NYU). Hopefully January will bring me more good news.
Still reworking my Yale 250 and hoping to get that and Cornell Dean's Scholarship addtl essay out in the next week or two.
1/3/11 - In at Berkeley via status checker...so so happy
1/10/11 - Waitlisted at Chicago - I like a lot of what I've read about U of C and was looking foward to visiting so I'm dissapointed. Maybe my PS was too general - I will probably take the opportunity to submit the Why Chicago essay and try to get off the waitlist. Can't complain about my cycle so far though.
1/11/11 - There is no LSN status for this but held at Harvard...
1/21/11 - In at Penn...hoping the next couple of weeks bring me some good news from Columbia but most of all dreaming of Stanford...
2/4/11 - James Wilson Invite at Penn - excited!
#s slightly off - will change after cycle
2/5/11 - In at Columbia - it was a long wait for that envelope, very sweet
2/25/11 - WL at Michigan - I really liked everything I read about Michigan but probably wouldn't have ended up there over Berkeley, Columbia and NYU without significant $. Got to admit though - it still stings. Oh well, moving closer to decision day.
2/25/11 - Decision letter sent from Stanford - guess that means a ding. Wow - that was my #1 choice...hurts a lot more then the Michigan WL earlier today. Oh well I've got great options - wasn't meant to be.
3/5/11 - Got Dean's Scholarship offer at Duke and am very pleased. 1. I finally have something within the T14 to negotiate with and ask schools to match (though still waiting results of earlier invites for James Wilson at Penn and Cornell Dean's Scholarship App). 2. I cant real out Duke with that amount of $ even though I am definitely more of a city person...considering a visit to Durham.
3/8/11 - Got two letters one 84k from Vanderbilt, the other Dean's Scholarship (full tuition) from Cornell...wow for that much money I could consider living in Ithaca rather then the Bay Area or NYC for three years
3/9/11 - Withdrew from Vanderbilt today...84k was extremely generous and I'd rather be in Nashville then Ithaca on weather alone. But Cornell offered over 50k more so realistically I wont be at Vandy next year and knew I should give up the spot. Honestly even that was hard for me - closing off options is a little scary for some reason even when I feel clear I have better ones. Oh well - more withdrawls coming soon
3/11/2011 - James Wilson at Penn offer! 75k at Penn, 75k at Duke, 135k at Cornell - sending to my top choices...if any of NYU, Columbia or Berkeley get near 75k I think they will be the winner. Right now I hope thats Columbia but visiting all three soon!
4/18/2011 - Haven't updated this in a while - I recently visted Penn, NYU, Columbia and Northwestern. Very compelling schools each in their own way. Ultimately although I really enjoyed Philly and liked the atmosphere at Penn I couldn't see myself attending for the same price as Columbia and withdrew (they told me I might be made a Levy alternate - then that I wouldn't be). I loved NYU and really hoped for a decent amount of money from them but they rejected my appeal for more after I sent them my Columbia offer - so I withdrew (hardest part of the cycle for me minus my Stanford ding). Northwestern was great - very cool campus in a great location in downtown Chi and I really considered taking the 150, however with COL in downtown Chicago I still would not have had "walk away debt" and with my goals NU just didn't seem like the right choice. I was amazed I got 75 in need-based aid from Columbia (though I do really need it) and pretty much decided to go when I got that offer. However, leaving California again will be hard for me and I've always loved Berkeley - at the last minute Berkeley gave me a partial match (75k instead of 135) on my Cornell scholarship and said I am under consideration for need-based aid up to an additional 60k. I'll be in SF next weekend and then my for real FINAL decision will have to be made. I did finally get a rejection from Yale but am still (probably along with many many others) held at Harvard. Got an email for UChi today saying their might be wailist movement. I told them I had basically decided to go elsewhere and hadn't made a despoit, didn't want waste their time and hold a spot etc. they persisted and said there is still money available - I'll hear the offer, its an amazing school but its hard to consider new elements at this point. So in the end, strange that I am back to deciding between Columbia or Berkeley just where I thought I'd be from the start.
Well I decided - I'll be at Boalt next year. Everyone makes their decision differently but the advice I've gotten is basically... HYS is one thing but other then that many times the right answer is more subjective then a ranking would indicate. If you do well, you will have tremendous opportunties from any T14 school...if you don't you may struggle no matter where you went to school. I knew I didn't want to go anywhere without significant money and I'm glad I stuck to that (if only because it takes a little of the pressure off) even though I loved NYU and am very happy for my friends who are headed there. I was attracted to the history, prestige and rank of Columbia and the idea of being in NYC plus everyone I met in the incoming class seemed like bright and interesting people who I would have been happy to be classmates with for three years. But ultimately I thought I'd be happier and do better at Berkeley and that was very important to me. It was an agonizing decision but I do feel some sense of relief and am very excited for next year - if anyone has any questions about my cycle I am happy to answer them. Good luck to my fellow LSN class of 2014 people and to anyone applying in a future year reading this.