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Under 3.6 and applying to top schools ( 2010-11)

5boys5boys Registered User Posts: 1,775 Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Parents Forum
I wanted to restart this thread, but I changed it 'top schools", not just top 20. I thought it was a really good thread and it gave me a lot hope for my DS that will most likely be in this range. It was really fun and interesting to see some of the results last year. It's nice to just start fresh. If you haven't read through the thread from last year do a search!! Some of the results will surprise you.
Post edited by 5boys on

Replies to: Under 3.6 and applying to top schools ( 2010-11)

  • PaperChaserPopPaperChaserPop Registered User Posts: 1,291 Senior Member
    It's nice to see a renewed interest on this topic. Even though I don't have an '11er, I'll follow this thread. Good luck to all the parents on this thread...it will be a thrill ride!

    Here is the link to last year's thread that 5boys referred to in the OP -

  • OlymomOlymom Registered User Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    Oh dear. My fear is that it will cause a lot of families to pony up application fees for long shots. We all adore when a long shot wins -- but most of the bets on long shots do not pay out. I hope families will closely scrutinize how their candidate fits into the school's past acceptance groups (for instance there is a difference between a 3.5 with a 2400 SAT and a 3.2 and a 1800 SAT).
  • GreatKidsMomGreatKidsMom Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    I'm glad to see this thread; we'll definitely report here. And, I seriously don't think that this thread alone will cause families to "pony up" for long shots...if I recall the original thread, most of the kids in this GPA range who were considering top schools had something else on their application that might help--difficult curriculum, outstanding extracurriculars, high test scores.
  • levirmlevirm Registered User Posts: 1,178 Senior Member
    Thanks for starting a new thread on this topic. I lurked (mostly) on the other thread and found it really interesting!
    For starters - did anyone apply early decision or early action to these top colleges?
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,598 Senior Member
    I kept an eye on the original thread also. Some schools don't weight GPAs so yes, some of those 4.0 and up GPAs are really 3.6 and up GPAs unweighted. If anything the original thread "helped" parents understand how colleges may view all the different GPA reporting.
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 12,538 Senior Member
    S2 (HS class of '10) applied Early Action to UChicago and Priority Decision to UMCP (both accepted), as well as to Georgetown EA (deferred, later rejected). College Park takes 90% of its applicants from Priority Apps and one must apply Priority for merit $$ consideration, so there was no missing that one at our house! :)

    He did not apply ED, though if he had been turned down at UChicago in the EA round, doing ED II at Tufts was very much on the table, as Chicago and Tufts were far and away his two top choices.
  • sacchisacchi Registered User Posts: 2,133 Senior Member
    I also posted on last year's thread. My S was accepted ED at WUSTL with a 3.5 UW, 4.2 W with a rigorous schedule, in the Top 10%, and 35 ACT.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,842 Senior Member
    Like CountingDown's son, my kid applied EA to Chicago and Georgetown. I'm sure it helped at Chicago. I think he was destined to get rejected at Georgetown in any event. (They don't reject anyone EA so the deferral meant nothing.) I agree that with a lowish GPA the rest of your application needs to work. My son had a good rank, rigorous curriculum and quirky activities he wrote about in his essays. He also showed his sense of humor in his essays.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Registered User Posts: 8,447 Senior Member
    High SATs can offset a lower GPA. But the top 20 schools are tend to look for high SATs and GPA... are we talking 3.6 UW or weighted?
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 12,538 Senior Member
    On S2's transcript, which included four year-long HS classes taken in MS, it was 3.49 UW/4.24 W. 9th-12th grade GPAs were almost .1 point higher. SAT 2290, 770/770/730 SAT-IIs, full IB diploma plus 11 APs. Terrific essays. Unusual combination of ECs/interests.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,842 Senior Member
    In our case, academic courses unweighted was 87, school unweighted was 93 (it included 2 orchestra classes every year), weighted was 97. Translate how you wish to the 4.0 scale. :) SAT was 790.690/670, all his reported SATs were over 700 including a 790 in US history, 7-8 APs (depending on how you count them), with 5's on all the three he took before senior year.
  • GreatKidsMomGreatKidsMom Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    With my S it is an almost 3.6 unweighted, a 4.14 weighted, SAT was 740/760/690 (lowest in Writing), 760 SAT II US Hist 790 SAT II Chemistry, full IB, top 10%. Not sure on essays, great ECs.

    He is EDing to Wesleyan, which we know is a reach, but we are hoping his mix of being a Science/Theater guy will appeal to them.
  • 5boys5boys Registered User Posts: 1,775 Senior Member
    GKM.. Is that your S's GPA through this year, or is it through Junior year? I'm have been wondering about ED app's for my S with a big upward trend this year as a Junior..... unfortunately he only had a 3.1 Sophmore year.. our school doesn't calculate Freshman GPA into total, so even if he continues to get all A's this year his GPA would only be 3.5 or so. I'm worried that colleges will want to see Senior Fall grades on him and applying ED might be a disadvantage.
  • luchteamluchteam - Posts: 23 New Member
    How about the under 2000 SAT students? My kid has a great GPA (4.0 uw and 4.6 w) and class rank (#1) but no stellar SAT or ACT scores. (SAT (1980): math 800, CR 610, W 570 and ACT (29) math 36, R:31, S:28, E:22). SAT II's are good (math 780 and physics 790) and AP Scholar with distinction. Will graduate with 10 AP's and 6 college classes. Needless to say a little unbalanced with the math/English thing. The top universities seem to want a little more balance than that--I mean why take a top math/science student when you can get one that is also good at English?

    Anybody else out there in a similar boat?
  • packer22packer22 Registered User Posts: 363 Member
    I'm not a parent, but a kid in the same situation. I read through about half (the first 30 pages, then the last 50, looking for results), and it seems that if you want to get in, you need as many "mini/pseudo hooks" as possible. Such as:

    1) Good SATs- not necessarily 2400, but the higher the better

    2) Good class rank- after all, a 3.5 who is #1 is better than a 4.0 in the top 25%. A good class rank can show either a tough school, grade deflation, or if its weighted how rigorous the course load was. top 10% is the magical number, although for T20 schools, its likely you need to be closer to top 5%

    3) Good extracurriculars- while its easier for math/science kids to show off with Siemens or USAMO, english or social studies kids have stuff like Boy's State and the NTCE writing awards. Basically, anything that shows how accomplished you are is good. If a 4.0/2400 kid who does nothing sometimes gets rejected, a 3.5/2400 who also does nothing almost certainly will.

    4) Rigorous curriculum- although I think this is basically a given with most T20 schools.

    5) URM- it doesn't lower the bar, but it gives you a better shot at it.

    6) male- acceptance rates for guys are several points higher

    7) Tough school- schools like TJ or Maggie Walker invariably create lower GPAs due to the increased rigor of ordinary classes, despite the higher caliber of students. However, if this is the case for you, you probably already know it.

    any other mitigating factors people have noticed? Good luck to everyone.
This discussion has been closed.