Hey all, now before you all ridicule me for being a moron I'd appreciate it if you'd hear me out. First, off I should say everyone should have a balanced list of reaches, matches, and safety schools, and excellent students are frequently declined admission to schools they are qualified for. As top schools get more an more competitive it's certainly easy to see why managing expectations is often the kind thing to do for applicants with high hopes. Nevertheless, I feel like college confidential is too extreme in its stance on how competitive schools actually are. I think a lot of the reactions might be stemming from protecting students, but some seems like it comes from a sense of pride about the difficulty of college confidential member's schools that they attended/attend/were accepted to. While I only have my own experience, I've watched 4 or 5 admissions cycles at my own school and closely looked at the results. While my school is an anomaly, and I will talk about this later, we consistently outperform even the wildest of college confidential expectations. I've been a long time lurker, looking on college confidential probably too much for my own good, and I'm very interested in these questions. I've always wanted to post this, so here goes.
I go to a small, competitive private school in a Mid-Atlantic State that sends a disproportionate of students to top colleges. Each graduating class is around the size of 80-90, and while some deviate smaller or larger, it's generally around this size. My current class is made up of 85 students many of whom are extraordinarily talented and intelligent, undoubtedly significantly more than I am. Based on my experience watching my class, and other previous classes apply to college, and seeing the results of my friends in and out of school, I've noticed a large disconnect between college confidential "chance me" thread responses and my real life experiences. While I get that people are only trying to be helpful, I sometimes worry that they are too pessimistic, and thus scare away bright students from applying where they might actually be accepted. My school is full of wealthy, mostly white, privileged kids, and 99%+ of students go to college, so I get we're weird, but there's so much success that I felt sharing might be beneficial to show CC that sometimes things aren't quite as hard as they seem. You have no way to believe me, I get that, and I won't share where I go to school, for obvious reasons, but I'd like to give you some results of our 85 student class for the early application round. None had crazy extracurriculars outside of what a normal but focused student would have.
Yale SCEA: 3 students.
-URM, recruited athlete, 3.85~ GPA, 1400-1450 SAT, Top Classes.
-Legacy (no large donor status), 3.75 GPA, 1400-1450 SAT, Top Classes.
-Unhooked, 3.9 GPA, 1500~ SAT, Top Classes.
Dartmouth ED 1 student.
-Unhooked, 3.9 GPA, 1500~ SAT, Top Classes.
Brown ED 3 students.
-URM, 3.6 GPA, 1400 SAT, Top Classes.
-Multiple Legacy, 3.6 GPA, 1300-1400 SAT, mostly top classes. (Personally, I believe his legacy to be special in some way)
-Legacy, 3.75 GPA , 1400~ SAT, mostly top classes.
UPenn 1 student.
-Legacy, 3.85 GPA, 1450 SAT, Top Classes.
Columbia 1 student
-URM, 3.9 GPA, 1500 SAT, Top classes.
NON-IVY generally considered top 25:
Northwestern 1 student.
-Legacy, 3.95 GPA, 1500 SAT, Top Classes.
Tufts 1 student.
-Unhooked, 3.8 GPA, 1500 SAT, Top Classes.
UChicago 1 student.
-Unhooked, 3.9 GPA, 1500+ SAT, Top Classes.
WUSTL 2 students.
-Unhooked, 3.8 GPA, 1450 SAT, Top Classes.
-Legacy, 3.8 GPA, 1540 SAT, mostly top classes.
I get our school is weird, I really do, but it's not like these results are even rare for our school. Not only this, but this occurs every year, and this is only early. I'm not saying this to try and brag, it's honestly pointless on the internet. In fact, I don't think that we're that special, I think this happens at other schools too. What I'm trying to get at is that if so many from my school can do it, I think others can too. Personally knowing everyone in my class, I can say we're not a weird breed of geniuses, we're just normal kids who happen to be bright. I see too much negativity on these forums, and I'd just like to offer some inspiration to people looking to apply to tough schools. Yes it's hard, and yes, people get better odds early, and you very well might not get in with these stats to these schools, but it's still possible.
To close I'd just like to try and make sure people don't start a war in the comments. Believe the stats or not, I can't prove it outside of real life, so if you don't believe them, I get it. Second, numbers aren't the only thing in applications. I know that's what I put up, but it's impossible to quantify subjective things, you're not made or broken by your stats. Third, as I said before, everyone should balance their schools, and make sure financials work, I believe everyone should have a shot at college, and in no way am I saying any of these schools are easy to get into. Finally, what school you get into doesn't make you as a student. I put up a lot of classically defined top schools, but at the end of the day a name is just that: a name. Don't get bogged down in prestige.
Thanks for reading, I know I write too much, fail to get to the point, and have poor style, but I hope I helped someone out their, or just made someone's day better. Thanks all!