Meanwhile, what really changed the landscape was that the University of Michigan replaced its rolling admissions program with an early action program. Michigan rolling admissions used to be a meaningful threat to HYPS, because Michigan would accept people starting in late November/early December, and would offer significant merit scholarships to HYPS-quality applicants. And in terms of academic resources and reputation Michigan was really the only rolling admission public that was a true peer to HYPS. Michigan was thus a popular place for Yale SCEA applicants to apply, and many of them were not from Michigan. I believe the in-state restriction was adopted as an anti-Michigan measure, and in all likelihood Michigan's abandonment of rolling admissions is why the restriction was no longer necessary.
I think this is a pretty large overestimation of Michigan's popularity to HYPS caliber students. Even with merit aid, Michigan cannot compete with HYPS and their generous financial aid policies so I doubt those 4 privates modified their admissions strategy to combat merit aid from Michigan. Heck, I know that students who get full rides to Chicago and Duke still choose Harvard about 50% of the time. U of M is seen as a backup to virtually all the USNWR top 20 private schools and loses the cross admit battle to all of them.
I would venture to guess that the reason HYPS placed an in-state restriction is to give their applicants the courtesy of being able to compete for scholarship money at their state public in the likely scenario that they don't get admitted to their first choice. At the same time, they didn't want hypothetical candidates that picked them as their first choice to cast a wide net and dilute the predictability of the admissions process.
She is of hispanic descent; not sure whether that is considered a "disadvantaged ethnic minority" as I have never considered myself as disadvantaged.
See the Definition sticky thread on the Hispanic Students forum (under College Admissions, Specialty Topics) for how Hispanic is defined for college admissions purposes (note: the definition for scholarship and other programs may differ). URMs (underrepresented minorities) may or may not be disadvantaged. Not being disadvantaged does not preclude one from being URM, but it can affect how much of an impact it will have on admissions. Please read the 2 threads linked to in post #2 here for how candidates are viewed within the Hispanic cohort:
I don't usually respond to chance threads, but since you are a parent, I'll respectfully respond. Disclaimer: I am not an adcom, but I have had experience with medical related admissions.
Her application would probably get a reasonably serious look.
Slam dunk - no. Instant rejection - no. How are you going to package her?
1. Impressive: GPA 4.0 and National AP by 11th grade look great. SAT pretty good. All rest is in ballpark. Chem SAT2: not great.
2. ECs seem like the standard types done by probably most reasonably competitive applicants. Sports captains, best-of awards, all pretty typical. The EC that stood out for me was her research/job at NHMFL. If she really made a contribution, then I'd explore that more. However, I know that often lab jobs to students are often lip-service rather than real contribution, but if this is real, then it maybe focus some attention on it. Additionally, her ECs are all over the map (as are most energtic, busy, teens), which makes it difficult to skim over the list to find themes and passions. Prune them to show depth in a way that shows what she is really interested in.
3. The Hispanic card has a pretty good chance of turning this to her favor.
The Culinary Arts intrigued me.
Also intriguing is taking Latin instead of Spanish. Is she fluent in Spanish already?
UPDATE: Having achieved National Merit Semi-Finalist status, D has qualified for a$68,000 scholarship at the University of Cental Florida + $12,000 in Bright Futures Scholarship (Florida resident). As we have purchased a pre-paid college account, she basically can pocket that money and look to use that money for an advanced degree. As a result, I don't think she will be applying to the Ivies for undergrad. She is holding out hope for the Jefferson Schoalrship at UVA or a full ride at Vandy or Duke, but short of that it looks like UCF is the ticket. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you everyone for the great insights and direction. This is by far the best site for college information.
At Yale, and the rest of the ivies, a portion of every student's financial aid package is from a term-time job and summer employment. Both of those add up to about $5,000-$6,000 per year, depending on a family's circumstances. So, even when a student is on full-scholarship they still need to come up with $5k to $6k per year.
So, financially, your daughter is way better off taking the scholarships offered from UCF than going to the ivies. Congratulations to your D!