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Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Chance for Harvard, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, UPenn

vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
SAT: 1560 superscore (Math: 800, Verbal: 760)
UW GPA: 3.85
W GPA: 4.33
SAT Chem: 740
SAT Math 2: 740
SAT US History: 750

Academic: All Honor Society (National, Math, Science, Spanish, Music)

Sport: Varsity Track and Field
Music: piano for 10 years, won many superior awards; Violin/orchestra for 8 years
EC:
Chess - 12 years, State & National Champ, member of US chess team to World Youth championship, President of chess club, Founder of non-profit chess & tutoring program
Scout - 6 years, Girl Scouts Senior Patrol Leader, earned Gold Award
Internship - fully-paid for biochem summer internship at local university, shadowing at doctor office
Science interest - 2nd place & honorable mention at school science fair (not sure if it's worth mentioning in the application), currently applying to the Regeneron STS 2020
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Replies to: Chance for Harvard, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, UPenn

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6834 replies60 threads Senior Member
    So what did Princeton & Yale do to get knocked off the list??

    Anytime I see that group of colleges it becomes clear that the goal is the bumper sticker. This is not a homogenous group of schools, and her 'chances' will be better at the ones that are a better fit for her.

    She is a credible candidate for any of them, and the national Chess ranking is eye-catching (2nd place at the school science fair- unless she's at TJ- not so much). Instead of the carpet bombing approach, figure out which ones of these are the *genuinely*, for *her*, better fits, keep them as credible reach schools, and then work on identifying other schools at a range of selectivities that are similar in the ways that are important to and for her.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2451 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Based on stats and ECs app will get a serious look at many schools, but I agree with the above that there is little cohesiveness to this list.

    Brown and Columbia could not be more different. Same with Dartmouth and MIT.

    Having such disparate schools on the list suggests you will have a difficult time creating a compelling application package and writing Why Us essays that show how you match the school. Seems like additional research is necessary. Make sure to apply to target schools and at least one affordable safety.

    Good luck.
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  • vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for all replies. Those are all high reach schools for her, so she also applied early action to some in-state target and safety schools. For now she only applied REA to Harvard. Brown, Dartmouth, and UPenn are on her list for Regular Decision. The rest are from her parents for her to do more research since they all have good biochem/biomed programs. We took her to Yale and Princeton last year but for some reasons she didn't feel she would fit in. As for chances to top schools, would it make her application stronger if she retakes SAT Math 2 or Chem subject test ? It seems a lot of work to prepare for a standardized test, so we hope her SAT subject test scores are ok. Thanks.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6834 replies60 threads Senior Member
    edited October 24
    I wouldn't retake the subject tests- she has other things to be getting on with!

    Good for her for recognizing that Y & P weren't good fits for her- and super that she has already applied to some safeties and targets. One question about that: if it came down to it, would she cry if the only option she had was her 'safety' school- or would she be able to be happy enough once the disappointment of rejection has worn off a little? Would the parents be ok enough with it? Would she know that you are happy enough? I know-we all hope that it won't matter, but every year it does matter for more students than you might think!

    There are *lots* of super-strong biochem/biomed programs out there that are in between the super selective and the safeties- time spent finding them is likely to be better spent than researching more reaches. Unless your daughter loves the idea of the Core at Columbia, for example, I would leave it and put in (for instance) a WashU or WF (neither are more than matches btw) in the mix.
    edited October 24
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2596 replies33 threads Senior Member
    For top level schools that recommend/recommend SAT Subject test scores, the expectation is 750+.

    740 for STEM is low for the schools on the list. Also I don’t see AP scores listed.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2342 replies3 threads Senior Member
    To put this in perspective, it comes down to dumb luck. There's about 40,000 high schools in the U.S. Every student in the top 10% is applying to all the same schools and ALL of them are convinced that they have a "hook" in their essay. All of them have a long checklist of ECs.

    The reality is that there's a 96% chance of getting rejected no matter what you do. Keep a good list of realistic target and safety schools you're serious about.
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  • vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
    @Hamurtle Even if she decides to retake the SAT Math 2 Subject test, will it be too late for the EA/REA round ? Maybe for the RD round for the Math 2 subject test, for SAT Chem she got 750 so hopefully it's ok. Her AP scores are not so great. AP CS (5), AP Chem (4), AP Calc BC (4), AP Lang (4), AP US His (5), AP World His (5), AP Physic 1 (3). Currently taking AP Bio, AP Spanish, AP Lit, AP Statistics, AP US Gov.

    @collegemom3717 Her list has a mix of reach, match, and safety schools, and they're all good schools, so we're fine with any of them. The list may change for the RD round though as we haven't visited many schools. You mentioned WashU and WF. What is WF?

    Thank you.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 767 replies26 threads Member
    vvcd20 wrote: »
    @Hamurtle Even if she decides to retake the SAT Math 2 Subject test, will it be too late for the EA/REA round ? Maybe for the RD round for the Math 2 subject test, for SAT Chem she got 750 so hopefully it's ok. Her AP scores are not so great. AP CS (5), AP Chem (4), AP Calc BC (4), AP Lang (4), AP US His (5), AP World His (5), AP Physic 1 (3). Currently taking AP Bio, AP Spanish, AP Lit, AP Statistics, AP US Gov.

    @collegemom3717 Her list has a mix of reach, match, and safety schools, and they're all good schools, so we're fine with any of them. The list may change for the RD round though as we haven't visited many schools. You mentioned WashU and WF. What is WF?

    Thank you.

    Wake Forest
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2596 replies33 threads Senior Member
    750 Chemistry is better.

    And it might be too late to do a retake for Math 2 if there are any schools that are EA/ED. And 740 is low for MIT.

    The AP scores are not that bad, but MIT would expect to see 5’s instead of 4’s on STEM tests.

    WashU won’t be a match-it’s going to be a reach, but that’s the case for the majority of applicants. The SAT is in line and the AP scores should be OK. And the chess ranking might attract some attention because Rex Sinquefield happens to be from St. Louis.
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  • vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Since it's too late to retake Math 2 (740) for any EA schools, she decided only to report the Chem SAT (750) for any school that doesn't require SAT Subject test. Should she still go ahead and report the Math 2 score ? Thanks.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1517 replies30 threads Senior Member
    vvcd20 wrote: »
    Since it's too late to retake Math 2 (740) for any EA schools, she decided only to report the Chem SAT (750) for any school that doesn't require SAT Subject test. Should she still go ahead and report the Math 2 score ? Thanks.

    IMO, you submit subject tests if they help your application. A 740 (50th percentile) in Math II for a STEM major to the most selective colleges isn’t helpful. I know some others disagree as they think any score in the 700’s is fine. I’m not one of them.
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  • vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for sharing your opinion. Since it may hurt more than help, it’s probably best to not submit it.
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  • vvcd20vvcd20 5 replies2 threads New Member
    I also was told that by not submitting a second score indicates she did badly enough that she doesn't want to report. It's tough deciding...
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2479 replies5 threads Senior Member
    "Anytime I see that group of colleges it becomes clear that the goal is the bumper sticker."

    That's pretty harsh for a 17 year old. I grew up in upstate NY where a lot of kids applied to many ivies as the OP is doing, and no one was judged like this. I didn't apply to any so it's not personal for me but back then no one was like, you can't apply to Cornell and Columbia, they're so different!

    "Since it may hurt more than help, it’s probably best to not submit it."

    For STEM, these schools want to see the math 2, I would just submit, esp if you submit the Chem, adcoms know most kids don't sit for one subject test.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6834 replies60 threads Senior Member
    ...and yet....
    The rest are from her parents

    And yes, college admissions to tippy tops *is* harsh these days. When I was coming through the acceptance rate at Columbia & Yale was about 25% (Princeton was about 10%, and UPenn was seen as 'easy' in my cohort, at 30+%). Times have changed.

    It's not that a student *can't* "apply to Cornell and Columbia", it's that the set of schools are so reachy for every candidate it is in the student's own interests to do the homework to figure out which ones are actually a good fit for that student- and to use that understanding to identify other, more probable options. A lot of work goes into crafting a strong application.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34478 replies382 threads Senior Member
    Yep, it's been a long time since we parents applied and much has changed, starting with the competition. I might have said to submit the 740.

    But the first issue is the gpa. Adcoms will look at the transcript see any rigor and the grades. It depends on what was less than an A grade, cores and courses related to the proposed major matter most. Also whether that gpa is stuffed with easy APs or the more meaningful cores.

    Sports, music, chess, scouts, and an internship-- any collaborative math/sci ECs in school? Any local comm service (more than just through an honor society. It can even matter what efforts/project earned her the Gold.)
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