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Getting Realistic About My List [Looking for Reaches/Matches]

FakeName1332FakeName1332 201 replies31 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi everyone,

After some long talks with my parents and even longer conversations with some great people on this forum, I've decided to get more realistic about my list. I originally wanted to simply try my luck at all the tippy-top schools that I liked in America, but I realized that I have a very small chance at going to school in the states with that plan, so I want to change things up.

I'm primarily looking for more reach schools, but anything from safety to match to dream is appreciated also. I'll try to give some brief context here, but my story is the primary appeal to my application, and I don't quite have the time to explain it in its entirety here.

Stats/Info: Around 4.0. Straight As in APs. 32 ACT. Maybe one subject test this fall; I'm really good at writing, electives, and some courses like Psych and Econ, but I'm not too confident with my math, science or reading ability when it comes to subject tests. I only took APs in junior (and going to in senior) with around 9 total-- full APs and one honors in senior year. Canadian. Online student. Full pay.

The first three years of high school were really poor for me. I did homeschooling with my Mom and, to make a long story short, I only did four or five core pass or fail classes in those years. After those three years, I decided to enroll in grade 10 at a new, online (not homeschool) school where I would have full independence. There was no accountability at my new school, and I had nobody really helping me, but I went on to get all the main courses I need (and some extras) for top schools and a pretty good score. I live at a small shared (amongst four families) cabin in northern Canada and I do all my school up here. My hope is that my entire application will be able to express who I am and how my life over the past few years has shaped my character.

Pretty bad, to be honest. I started at my online school with absolutely no expectations, so I didn't really do anything special. Then, I started to add APs because I wanted to push myself more, but I never thought I would do well enough to be considered at top schools. Now, I realize that it takes a lot to get into top schools in America, and I haven't really met that cut. Not trying to make excuses here, but rather tell why this happened (my choices-- my fault! ;))

I have done a ton of shared-cabin like stuff, such as being the one responsible for tarping boats, cleaning them, packing the car every time we leave, taking my cousin's baby for rides in the quad, and stuff like that. I also have done some product-like stuff, and am in the process of designing some stuff to make the wakesurf wake better on our boat. Also, I am in the middle of pursuing a product that I think is pretty impressive. I can create a portfolio, but not sure if that helps. I've done a bit of community service this summer as well.

My biggest EC would be putting in and taking out roughly 30 docks in 50-degree water throughout my lifetime. Every spring (or late winter, lol), my family (mostly three or four of us) put in our extremely heavy dock and boat lifts. We also do this for three of our elderly neighbors simply because it's the right thing to do (never told, asked, or did so reluctantly). Then, every fall we take all of them out.

Here is my current in need of adjustment list: (Will be eliminating lots after college tours in a few weeks); an asterisk (**) means I really want to apply here.
Stanford ** (Product design. Fantastic location and campus. Amazing people)
Brown ** (Open curriculum and one of the best programs on this list: Behavioral Decision Sciences)
USC ** (Love the elective freedom at Marshall, their product design minor, and the athletics)
Penn Wharton (Insane business school, I have to try)
Dartmouth (Location!)

Amherst (open curriculum and good location!)
Northeastern (incredible combined programs. I like the campus but the lack of campus life is a drawback)
Babson ** (entrepreneurship!)
Boston College (Business and seems like the community is pretty awesome)
UDub Foster or Product Design (Courses and location. Love Washington State.
Bentley University (Like Babson but less entre.)
Waterloo **

Western Washington University (product design and good location)
Chapman (Comfort pick as I've toured it and found it very homey and easy-to-adjust)
Clarkson (Outdoorsy, Entrepreneurship, and Product design-like course)
University of Wisconsin Stout (Product design and outdoorsy)
University of Minnesota (I think I'd love MN. Product design and Entrepreneurship)
**a few safeties in Canada*

Obviously, this is a massive list. I am touring colleges really soon and I can cancel out a lot of these depending on if I like the locations/size/etc.

Quick notes on this list:
Stanford, Brown, and USC are far and above my number 1 picks. The incredible product design course at Stanford, the Behavioral Decision Sciences program and entrepreneurial resources at Brown, and the vast electives and entrepreneurial resources at Marshall at USC are the standouts here. Program is extremely important for me and the is the main reason for most of my selections. Here's a gist of my needs/wants

Program (open curriculum, product design, any psychology business mix, human behavior mix with entrepreneurship, or/and entrepreneurship resources or major; fewer the core requirements the better) --> community (not too political, laid-back, always stuff going on, inclusive, friendly, outdoorsy or business-minded is a bonus) --> location (decently easy to travel to, not in the south but anywhere else is fine) --> sports (intramurals are big for me, college-spirit with varsity/div1 is a bonus)

I'm really wanting to add some more candidates for my reaches. If I don't get into my reaches/dreams, there is a strong chance I will just do school in Canada. With that said, I want a list that is pretty heavy on reaches, so I'm looking for anything that would appeal to me yet is a place where I have a chance to get in (so not Stanford, lol). I ask that this doesn't turn into a chance me thread, but rather a thread that helps me find schools where I'm a reach or match.

Thank you all!!!

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Replies to: Getting Realistic About My List [Looking for Reaches/Matches]

  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 201 replies31 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    For quick reference, I'm probably going to be looking at something like this:

    Hail Mary:


    Safeties, A.K.A. I really don't like the schools in Canada and want an alternative:
    Two from the list of potential safeties above.
    Two or three extreme safeties in Canada.
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  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 201 replies31 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    To help with the search:

    Lehigh University looks incredible for me. So much so that I'm even considering it as a top ED candidate.

    I absolutely love the programs (Behavioral Analysis Certificate, Product Design or Entrepreneurship Minor, and Business + Engineering program or IDEAS or Industrial and Systems Engineering). They have a very inclusive community with great events apart from partying (no pressure to drink is important). Seems like a great match!

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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6635 replies41 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think Lehigh would be a much more realistic ED school for you. Be aware that they are big on demonstrated interested. Make it a priority to get to campus and have an interview. They are one of the small number of schools that still do admissions interviews with an actual admissions staff member and not an alum.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 55 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    sorry to say but I think your dream schools are really out of reach. I would add Amherst to that as well.
    UVM, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are much more realistic and seem like good fits for you.
    Lehigh is not an easy school to get in but if it suits you, applying ED there might be a great idea and might get you in. I wouldn't waste an ED application on Stanford or the Ivies.
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  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 201 replies31 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    To add another school in this range that I've found, Bucknell looks incredible as well. It might have the most appealing program I have ever seen: Markets, Innovation, and Design. I can't even describe how much this program appeals to me, and it seems like the rest of the school checks all the boxes.

    I appreciate the comments. Yeah, my expectations are very, very low for the Ivies and Stanford. I just figured I'd try because I have the time and money to apply! We will never know if they're looking for some online student or more people from Canada, so I think it's worth the $80 app :)

    I'll be sure to demonstrate interest. Traveling there might be a little tough because I just convinced my family to tour some New England schools, but I'll see what I can do. I'd definitely want to visit before ED, so an interview is definitely in the realm of possibility.

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  • FakeName1332FakeName1332 201 replies31 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Here's my rough-draft on an update. Thoughts? Still needs some trimming, but I think I am getting somewhere with this list. I'd be really surprised if I got into any of my reach/dreams, but I really want to test the waters because, if I don't get into one of them, I'll just go to a mediocre school in Canada. There isn't much point to me aiming any lower than this.

    Pray a ton lol:

    Try to get into at least one, if not then safety or stay in Canada:
    Boston College

    More of a match:
    U Minnesota
    U Wisconsin Stout

    Some others in Canada.**

    I also have some backups: Tufts, Bentley, Vanderbilt, Pomona, U Richmond, UVM, and some others.
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