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Please help: The "name" of the high school

FieldCrest3FieldCrest3 10 replies8 threads New Member
edited September 2017 in College Admissions
I go to a public high school in NJ that is not held in the highest regards and is pretty much unknown. Typically, we have one student get accepted into an Ivy (usually Cornell or Brown), while a couple others have gotten into Johns Hopkins or Duke, among others. I am planning on ED-ing to UPenn. However, another high-achieving student in my class is also following that path.

Considering the name of the high school, would our chances both be lowered since we are not coming from a prestigious institution? To what degree does the name of the high school affect the college admissions process? And, hypothetically speaking, let's say we are both qualified to get admitted, are they only wanting to admit one potential student?

I must note that no one from my school has ever been accepted into UPenn.

Sorry for the barrage of questions! This has been worrying me recently. Thank you!
edited September 2017
5 replies
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Replies to: Please help: The "name" of the high school

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83438 replies741 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    Lots of high schools do not have any students admitted to any super-selective colleges or universities, so your high school is hardly the worst one around.
    edited September 2017
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  • aoeuidhtnsaoeuidhtns 419 replies3 threads Member
    I can help answer some of these as a penn grad from a public hs:

    Considering the name of the high school, would our chances both be lowered since we are not coming from a prestigious institution? To what degree does the name of the high school affect the college admissions process?

    >>> Elite private schools do have an advantage because they basically act as a filter. For instance, if you're good enough to get accepted into Andover in the first place, that means you're probably going to also do well on your SATs and also have a host of exceptional extracurriculars on your resume. Their counselors have a great relationship with Ivies and students get plenty of resources to help them put together great applications--this is what you get for putting down $250k for a private high school. If you went to a public school, then you'll have to do that extra lap of legwork to put together a stellar application. In my own experience, a lot of students from regular public schools simply don't apply to the elite colleges, even if they have a competitive resume, which might have to do with with unfamiliarity with the amazing financial aid packages that Ivy+ schools can put together.

    And, hypothetically speaking, let's say we are both qualified to get admitted, are they only wanting to admit one potential student?
    >>> No you can both get in. I wouldn't worry at all about that. You're competing with everyone your region/demographic pool, not students from the same school.

    I must note that no one from my school has ever been accepted into UPenn.
    >>> This doesn't matter.
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  • FieldCrest3FieldCrest3 10 replies8 threads New Member
    @aoeuidhtns Thank you so much! This was very insightful. One last question: would applying a few weeks before the deadline increase chances, or does UPenn only start looking at applications on Nov. 1st?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40835 replies7585 threads Super Moderator
    does UPenn only start looking at applications on Nov. 1st?
    AO's may start getting packets in order, but anything more than a quick glance will not occur until after 11/1 for ED. So for colleges without rolling admissions, applying earlier than 11/1 does not increase chances. The advantage for you is that it is one thing off your to-do list.
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  • aoeuidhtnsaoeuidhtns 419 replies3 threads Member
    @FieldCrest3 No the timing of your application does not matter at Penn. They will only start reading applications after the application deadline has passed, so feel free to continue working on it.
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