Harris College Essay

Sarah Fleming ’17 has won Honorable Mention in the Association for Women in MathematicsEssay Contest, writing about our new Assistant Professor Pamela Harris:

An Unconventional Path by Sarah Fleming ’17

For most of her life, Pam Harris had no plans to become a mathematician. Brought to the United States from Mexico at the age of eight, she had no prospects of attending university after graduating high school because of her immigration status. As she still wanted to continue her education, Pam began taking classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College, a community college near her home. She originally set out thinking she would become an art teacher because she had had several influential art teachers throughout her education. To complete her degree, though, she needed to take a math class, so she enrolled in college algebra. To her surprise, she enjoyed it so much that she decided to use her remaining elective credits to take trigonometry and three courses in calculus. She soon graduated from community college with associate degrees in art and science, and she longed for an opportunity to take more math courses.

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If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Harris-Stowe State University is 51%. For every 100 applicants, 51 are admitted.

This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in. But if you don't, you might be one of the unlucky minority that gets a rejection letter.

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

The average GPA at Harris-Stowe State University is 2.69.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 2.69, Harris-Stowe State University accepts students with below-average GPAs. You might have a mix of B's and C's in your high school record. It's best to avoid D's and F's, since application readers might question your commitment to studying and ability to succeed in college.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 2.69, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

Harris-Stowe State University recommends that you take the SAT or ACT. This means the test might be optional, but submitting a good SAT/ACT score will boost your application chances, especially since most other students will be submitting their scores.

Harris-Stowe State University SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 910 (Old: 835)

The average SAT score composite at Harris-Stowe State University is a 910 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 835. (According to our records, this school requires only Reading and Math, so this score is out of 1600.)

This score makes Harris-Stowe State University Lightly Competitive for SAT test scores.


Harris-Stowe State University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is , and the 75th percentile New SAT score is . In other words, a on the New SAT places you below average, while a will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math450
Reading23
Composite910

Harris-Stowe State University SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 0, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 0. In other words, a 0 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 0 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math415
Reading420
Composite83500

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Harris-Stowe State University has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

SectionR+WMathComposite
Test 17003001000
Test 23007001000
Test 3300300600
Superscore7007001400

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Harris-Stowe State University will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Harris-Stowe State University forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 910, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


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Harris-Stowe State University ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Harris-Stowe State University likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 16

The average ACT score at Harris-Stowe State University is 16. This score makes Harris-Stowe State University Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 14, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 18.

Even though Harris-Stowe State University likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 14 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 16 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Harris-Stowe State University, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 16.


Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.


SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Harris-Stowe State University considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that Harris-Stowe State University requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



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