Question:I came to US about 4 years ago from China. I was new to this country and my ability to read and write in English was very very low. I worked very hard in High School and got a 3.6 GPA in the first half year in my Freshman year and a 4 in the second half year. Then I moved to another city in Michigan and went to a different high school. I kept working hard and my GPA composite right now is a 3.86. I just finished my juinor year and I've already taken AP CALC and AP CHEM. However, I just can't score high enough on my ACT, I got a 22 on my first attempt and now is the third time I've taken it, I still got a 22... I have no trouble with math, I always score a 30 or above on the math part, however, I just can't score high on other parts of the test because of the English, I can't read very fast. I also wanted to go to U of M, but it seems like I have no chance of entering because they only take students with an ACT score thats 27 and above... I'm really frustrated, what should I do...
I went to U of M and trust me, there are plenty of students there who cannot speak English very well. Your English is excellent, comparatively.
My grade point was only 3.3 or so in high school (mostly due to lack of effort) and I only scored a 23 on the Reading portion of the ACT (27 overall). I got into U of M by stressing my positive abilities, such as speaking another language (which you do), being a wiz at mathematics (which you are), and pointing out honors and accomplishments I'd achieved.
The U of M faculty is very much interested in achieving a high level of diversity amongst their students. You should certainly emphasize your background and upbringing. Your perspective on life, culture and ideals from the other side of the world make you a strong candidate to enhance the political, sociological and environmental discussions around campus.
In closing, if you're still worried about not scoring high enough on the exam, try this: Drink a couple cups of coffee before the exam to get your mind flying and remember to stay *focused* at all times. No distractions - just as you do when you answer the mathematical questions. Practice this before the exam when you are reading. Study hard. Stay focused. You'll do just fine.
I would go to the school. Talk to the people. Your GPA is nearly as high as it can get, and being a transfer student, I'm almost 100% they will work with you. That doesn't seem right they won't take people below a 27, are you sure? U of M, Memphis takes anyone with a 21! Well, good luck, I'm sure you'll find a way into there, you seem very smart, I'm sure you are more than capable.
How bad do you want it? You may not like this suggestion at first...I didn't either...but here's what I did...and it worked!
Check w/ the admissions office... and ask about the admission standards used for considering transfer students...I'm sure it's changed since I attended many years ago.
Once you understand the guidelines...make plans to attend a local Community College...or MSU, WMU, NMU, etc. and then transfer when you can meet the criteria.
On a related note...getting in does you no good if you can't keep up w/ the reading. Look for extra-curricular reading development classes...or speed reading.
The University of Detroit Mercy offers reading enrichment programs all over Michigan. Check this out: