So I've only spent a limited amount of time on this site, but a question has been nagging at me for a while. Do real teenage kids have any sort of shot at Yale? From the posts in this forum, I'm disinclined to think so. I've never started a global charity that's fighting malaria in seventeen countries, I've never proved Goldbach's conjecture, scored an 800 on every subject test available, won the Intel science fair, or published the great american novel. Of course I'm exaggerating a bit, but it seems like all the kids here are on that level. Is that representative of everyone who gets in to Yale? Or is CC just an unrepresentative sample that highlights the very (very very very) best of of the applicants? I'm just a normal guy. That said, I do very well in school, I'm involved in extracurricular activities, I have a 35 ACT, etc... But do regular people like me stand a chance?
I feel the same EXACT same way. Everyone who posts stuff like makes me feel hopeless, or makes me feel like I can't get into anything better than a community college. Makes me wonder how far can an "average" student can go, or if they can even get into an ivy.
I know two top notch students with great ECs, scores, grades, etc. that were rejected by Yale (their first choice school) in the past few years. Both went to their backup... Harvard.
Cameron, there are TONS of colleges (like, thousands) between the top Ivies and community college. If you don't have the stats, then you don't have 'em... but that does not mean that there aren't other great schools out there. You posted something about this on the parent's forum several days ago about this, then never came back to the thread (although there have been many follow up comments to your post).
If you are a senior, here is some advice. Pick ONE super reach school (Yale if you like) and apply. Make up a list of low reaches/matches/safeties, and apply to those as well so you have choices in the spring. Spend some solid time making up that list of other schools, and be realistic about your scores, grades, finances, etc. in the process. The Fiske Guide to Colleges is a really good starting place. Maybe you will strike gold and get into Yale, but there are TONS of other solid colleges out there that you can go to, be happy at, and get a good education from that will get you to grad school or a job. And believe it or not, most people who don't go to Yale or another top Ivy are still happy.
You forgot about curing cancer. I ignore posts from people who say they have those stats and then complain because they got a 750 in one SAT II. But I don't let it get me down. On the other hand they will probably keep the psych people busy with their problems.
It all depends on how you define "regular" and "normal." Ninety percent of high school students are not in the top of their class. Are those 90% the regular and normal kids? Or, are the regular and normal kids the ones in the top 10%?
Yes, students who are accepted to Yale, and its peer institutions, have ultra high test scores and a great transcript. What seems to make them different, or stand out, is an overriding passion for something else -- theater, dance, art, music, math, science, history, language, sports, service, whatever. And they have pursed that passion to a high degree throughout their years in high school. Is that regular? Is that normal? Yes, for them it is!
If that is not who you are, that's okay. As intparent pointed out, there are many wonderful colleges out there. Yale's Dean of Admissions, Jeffrey Brenzel, also teaches philosophy and he has written what I consider to be an absolute "must read" for every student applying to college: http://admissions.yale.edu/after-colleges-accept-you
"After years of experience, however, here is what I know, virtually to the point of certainty: almost nothing depends on exactly which strong college admits you. Everything depends on what you decide to do once you get to a strong college, and how well prepared you are to take advantage of the infinite opportunities you will find there."
Excuse the mistake I made in my first paragraph. Other than that, thank you for the info! Although I'm not a senior, I am a junior and I will be taking the ACT. (Planning on getting a good score) I think I have a reach school or two in mind.
I'm an example of an "average" kid who happens to be ranked 1 in his class and has a 2130 SAT. I'm an average smart kid who plays soccer and does a lot of community service and I'm planning on getting denied from Yale but I'm applying with high hopes and low expectations. That's what everyone's attitude should be like when applying to schools like Yale and the other Ivies. Nonetheless, I have some excellent matches/safeties where I know I'll be happy if my dream of Yale doesn't come true. Regardless of where I end up next year, I know it will be where I was destined to be. Just some casual advice from a kid in the same boat as you.
@APKidd hahah I know exactly what you're talking about. Aunt - "So where do you wanna go next year?" Me - "Well, I WANT to go to Yale but I need to get in first." Aunt - "Oh don't be silly..." and cue very long and boring conversation to baby boomer surrounding the modern realities of college admission. Classic.
@ealdi94: Don't put yourself down. You have a healthy attitude. You're applying to Yale and if they accept you (they might), that's great. Plus, you're making plans in case they don't, which every kid should do. I would recommend applying to 10 or 15 schools, and then see where the roulette wheel stops in April. Only by doing this will you give yourself the best chance at getting in to a school that pleases you, and getting the most money.
And remember that the worst of the schools to which you apply will have alumni who hold high office, own large companies, have flown into outer space, etc.
And we were given good advice when my kid was the one being told "oh you'll get in everywhere". DON'T ADMIT TO A FIRST CHOICE! Even better yet, don't have one. My daughter did pretty well with that advice. And she's at Yale, which was a last minute decision to apply to. But telling everyone, including yourself, about your dream school is only going to add more stress.
Yeah this is exactly what I'm doing - applying to around 13-15 schools which encompass a healthy mixture of reaches, matches, and safeties. Am I nervous? Absolutely. But I do know that I will end up in a great place, whether that is Yale or Amherst to UConn or Fairfield. Thank you both.
Those "superhumans" seem like regular people if you sit down and talk with them. They have just done extraordinary things.
Clueless, why do you want to go to Yale? I hate people asking me this question, but I do think it needs to be asked. What's the difference between Yale and Boston University? Why do all "real teenage kids" need to go to Yale?