As a soon-to-be senior, I am preparing my college list and respective applications for those colleges. At the top of my list are two high reach schools, Brown and Stanford. I intend to apply to one of them early, but I need some help deciding which one. This isn't a "chance me" thread, but here are some details anyways:
SAT: 2180 (awaiting scores and taking ACT)
GPA: 4.0 UW with 10 AP's, a class at Stanford, and a class at a community college by graduation
I really shine in my extra curricular activities. I have won numerous national photography awards, been published internationally in magazines such as National Geographic, started a successful photo business, shots tons of ads, photographed for modeling agencies and launched careers with the likes of Prada, started my school newspaper, founded a nonprofit that has raised tens of thousands of dollars by the selling of a photo book, volunteered a ton, etc.
I have visited both schools and am in love with each. Thanks to some very supportive parents, money isn't an issue.
Stanford is in my hometown and is gorgeous. Plus many friends of mine and members of my family go/have gone, so it's nice and familiar. Also I'm a legacy, so EA might help me a bit.
I intend to be a humanities major, and while Stanford's program in that area has certainly become stronger, you don't find too many people who apply to Stanford for humanities. I'm having a difficult time communicating it, but what I'm trying to say is that the programs that are better for me are at Brown. Also, if I were to be rejected, I wouldn't be able to demonstrate as much interest for Brown because I will have missed out on ED there, which could potentially put me in the waitlist pile.
Everyone--including Brown students, faculty, alumni, etc.--tells me that I am, in their words, "so Brown." And I agree--the learning and social atmosphere are pretty perfect for me. I love Stanford equally, but I feel as if I am "more" Brown if that makes any sense at all. Applying ED to Brown could demonstrate my interest and give me that extra edge.
I absolutely adore Brown, but I'm sort of afraid to essentially seal my fate for the next four years if by some miracle I happen to be accepted. Also, while I am enamored with Providence and the surrounding area, Stanford is in my hometown and I enjoy its familiarity. Moreover, I'm worried that if I am rejected and apply to Stanford RD, this will sort of nullify my legacy status in a way (as usually legacies seem to apply early action to demonstrate interest).
In short, Brown = programs that suit me better/more people like me, Stanford = location/legacy. Ultimately I would be super happy at either school, but I'm just thinking strategy here.