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Do I have a chance at an Ivy? (average grades, great ec's)


Replies to: Do I have a chance at an Ivy? (average grades, great ec's)

  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    Being Indian-American, you will not be providing diversity at any of your reach schools, nor at most of your target schools (don't know about UConn). If anything, you are considered an over-represented minority at those schools. Being from Maine helps a bit maybe.

    Take a look at the Common Data Set for each of the schools you are considering to get a more exact sense of your chances of admission.

    And I second the suggestion that you take a look at the liberal arts colleges. I know few Indian parents have heard of them (because they don't have graduate programs and, for the most part, don't offer engineering), but the good ones provide an outstanding undergraduate education. Colby, Bates and Bowdoin are LACs in your own back yard-worth a visit if you haven't already. And if you look at those LACs in the midwest, you will be an under-represented minority: Carleton, Grinnell, Oberlin, Macalester, Kenyon, etc...
  • avenleaavenlea Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    thanks for all the opinions - i'm not too big on LACs because i would like to go to a big school with diversity, so i'm sticking to big ten. does anyone else have any thoughts?
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 21,735 Senior Member
    I agree that your ivy chances are slim-to-none, and that at most schools you would be an ORM, not an URM. (I have a pretty god idea of who gets in where in southern Maine.)

    You list as it stands looks okay, but I would also look at LACs, many of which are very diverse.
  • DunninLADunninLA Registered User Posts: 4,271 Senior Member
    Longhaul wrote:
    Most Ivy kids score 750 or more in each section and the same on the SAT II.
    that is not accurate. It's best to contextualize such things by looking at the 25%/75% published in each school's Common Data Set, and easily accessed in one website here: https://www.collegedata.com/cs/search/college/college_search_tmpl.jhtml

    Then, with the smaller Ivies (not Penn or Cornell), assume the first quartile is composed of hooked applicants -- athletes, URM, low SES and other hurldle clearers, Legacy, developmental, and also stats-not-as-important angular EC stars such as a Jiulliard quality picolo player, or a Junior Olympic equine show jumper.

    So you're left with the 25/75 as the bottom and 66% of non-hooked applicants, respectively.

    Taking Brown as an example, the 25/75 is 1320/1530. That means a huge chunk of Brown's UNHOOKED entering class each year scored under 1400 on the SAT, wheras you seem to indicate 1500 is the entry point for consideration. Other non-HYP Ivies (and Stanford/Williams/Amherst, etc.) have similar stats, perhaps 15 points higher.

    I would say that under 1350 raises concern, but your 1500 is completely off base.
  • RedrosesRedroses - Posts: 3,293 Senior Member
    Mostly agree with the above post, but hooked candidates are far kore than just 25%, more like 50%.
  • DunninLADunninLA Registered User Posts: 4,271 Senior Member
    avenlea wrote:
    reach: Berkeley, Rice, UCLA, Northwestern (probably gonna do ED here), Carnegie Mellon, Cornell
    target: UMaryland, McGill, UMichigan, UConn
    safety: UMinnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin-Madison, Urbana Champaign, Purdue

    Your huge hurdle with adcoms is whether they have the time or inclination to understand why your grades match more to a 26 ACT than a 32. At an LAC maybe, but I think that chance is slim at any school larger than, say 8,000 students. The Adcoms just don't have the time to figure out what went wrong in the classroom in your case.

    I don't actually understand why you are re-taking the SAT when your brain appears to be wired better for the ACT... take the ACT again if you want... but understand 32 is well within the 25/75 for Harvard and every other school excepting I think Caltech.

    Having said all that:

    SUPER reach: Berkeley, Rice, UCLA, Northwestern (probably gonna do ED here), Carnegie Mellon, Cornell
    REACH: UMaryland, McGill, UMichigan, UConn
    MATCH/REACH: UMinnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin-Madison, Urbana Champaign, Purdue
    SAFETY -- you don't list any.

    By all means apply to as many as you feel like and can afford... but understand that each application could take as long as five hours, and as little as one hour. Applying to too many could impact the time you have to do well in this your Sr. year.
  • DunninLADunninLA Registered User Posts: 4,271 Senior Member
    Lest you feel I might have been unnecessarily pessimistic in my above post, let me explain. In California, we have a three tier public University system:

    1) University of California, with campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz, Riverside, and Merced. Thes schools are defined by California's legislature as being created to educate the top 12% of CA's graduating high school seniors. Your stats match to Riverside and Merced, but not to any of the other seven.
    2) California State University at XX: Campuses located in San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Pomona, Long Beach, San Jose, and 17 other locations. These are slotted (with the exception of the first 3-4 which have become more competitive and popular) for students graduating high school in the 13%-33% of their graduating classes.
    3) Community College: These are designed for those students who do not qualify, or cannot afford, or for other personal reasons choose to stay close to home, the first two categories.

    Here's the problem: YOur ACT matches to ANY of the above, but your GPA matches to a mid-tier Cal STate or the lower two UCs. And most schools put much more emphasis on GPA than test scores... especially Publics.

    Combining Test Scores and GPA, you match to UC Riverside (ranked #96 in the current USNWR), UC Merced (unranked), San Diego St (ranked #183) and Cal Poly Pomona (ranked #32 West).

    Every single one of your target schools are in the USNWR top 75 ... no safety in there.
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,042 Senior Member
    Your gpa will not get you into Michigan,Wisconsin, or just about any B10 school. Sorry to be so blunt, but an approx. 3.0 just won't cut it.
  • avenleaavenlea Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    i'd like to thank everyone who responded to this thread and add my own two cents.

    first of all (this is to rjkofnovi), my GPA equates to about 3.4 unweighted - but you have to realize that NO ONE in my school goes over a 4.0 weighted - that is 100/100, and few kids ever surpass that. my weighted GPA is one of the highest with the number of APs i took. my gpa is on a 100 scale, and it's going to be about a 90 when i submit it (which, at most high schools is an a - but at my sucky high school it's a b+). the kids in my school who are in the top 15% are kids who have never taken AP courses in their life and are coasting on honors and nonhonors. that being said, i literally took the MOST APs that i possibly could in the environment i was in - with the rigor, i still managed to get b's and a's. i know that the kids around the country are crazy competitive (i went to a middle school in the mission san jose district of california), but in my environment i think i rise up on top, with the exception of class rank, and my grades this quarter are far superior.

    now, i don't know if i'm just crazy confident or optimistic or something, but i am taking the ACT again, as well as the SAT (which i signed up for before i got my ACT score), and i don't know if my "adventurous" high school transcript will make up for it. it's not like i slacked off, i worked my hiney off. i just had no support - no one i have EVER known at my high school has taken a schedule like mine - like i stated, i was one of the first juniors to EVER take ap calculus and that is the main reason my GPA is in the toilet.

    i'm not asking you guys to tell me what i "want" to hear, i'd just like to see if this further explanation changes anything, because my college counselor has told me that my list is pretty solid. if i'm completely nuts to all of you, i apologize, and thanks for taking the time to respond.
  • RedrosesRedroses - Posts: 3,293 Senior Member
    What you have to understand is even kids at weak high schools take calc junior year and ace it. You had good preparation going to a tough middle school, there is no reason between self study and enrichment opportunities that you could not have continued the learning pace you learned in middle school. A competitive candidate at top colleges would have little trouble getting straight As at a school like the one you describe. This is why over 40% of students at just the mid tier ivies are Val or sal of their class.

    Top colleges are looking for kids who go beyond what is spoon fed to them.

    You also don't mention whether or not you need aid. If you do, the UCs and Michigan should not be on your list.
  • DunninLADunninLA Registered User Posts: 4,271 Senior Member
    OP -- I am going to change my response after realizing your weighted GPA is a solid A. Schools don't care much about unweighted...

    SUPER reach: Berkeley, Rice, UCLA, Northwestern (probably gonna do ED here), Carnegie Mellon, Cornell
    MATCH/REACH: UMinnesota, UConn , , Urbana Champaign, Purdue ,mid tier UCs (Santa Barbara, Irvine, Davis) UMaryland, McGill, UMichigan, Penn State, Wisconsin-Madison
    SAFETIES I'M ADDING -- UC Riverside, UC Merced, possibly UC Santa Cruz, Cal St. Long Beach, etc.
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    You should drop Berkeley and UCLA, I don't think you have any remote chance of admission. First because they only admit a teeny-tiny few OOS applicants. Second because the schools are stats driven and those applicants are among the best in the nation. You don't have a remote chance. Don't waste the time or money.

    Pick 2 of those ivy reaches, if you like. I think it is a long shot, but they will give careful consideration to your state, your school and your EC's, unlike the UC system. The more unique you are (Maine, Indian) or underrepresented, the better.

    Otherwise your list looks good to me, but I also think you are selling yourself short by not looking at the superior LAC's mentioned here. Not only would you get a fine education with excellent prospects for grad school and work, you might be sought after for the things that you are trying to sell to us-- things that the big schools will be less concerned with.
  • avenleaavenlea Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    i took two classes at berkeley: i don't know if that helps any, and my rec is gonna be from a professor AT berkeley. berkeley and UCLA are actually like the two schools i've dreamt about, lol, and a lot of people i've talked to there have told me i have a solid chance (and they want more OOS students because they're low on money...?) either way, thanks everyone who responded again. redroses, i see your point, and that will definitely be a deterrance. i realize i don't have perfect grades but i definitely did not do as ****ty as some people who responded thought.

    i will definitely consider the LACs after you guys talked about it - any specific recommendations?

    if anyone has any thing else to offer up, i would really appreciate it.
  • avenleaavenlea Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    bumping this.
  • RedrosesRedroses - Posts: 3,293 Senior Member
    Your GPA will remain a big issue at UCs. And do note they will not read letters of rec. But the higher you get the scores, the more of a chance you'll have. They are anxious for those willing to pay $50k plus. You may want to apply to some of the mid tier schools.
This discussion has been closed.