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Is Stanford within reach for me? (Elaborated below)

TheTestPilot1TheTestPilot1 6 replies2 threads New Member
edited July 10 in Stanford University
Hello! I am a soon to be senior and have recently I've gotten more involved in trying to figure out where I want to go to college. I have researched a lot and Stanford is the university that has caught my eye. I am extremely interested in not only the physical location but also the holistic approach Stanford takes to try and create such a diverse community. I feel that the community that has been established is very appealing and would make for an amazing college experience.

However, upon watching many "how I got in" videos I quickly became extremely discouraged with my set of extracurriculars. I spend a lot of time with music (My main passion besides biology), but don't hold many leadership roles. I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me advice (the good and the bad) on how my perspective application looks.

SAT- 1530; 740 RW 790 Math
ACT- 34
GPA- 4.41 Weighted and 3.97 unweighted
SAT II- (I am taking them August but will provide preliminary practice test scores; I hope to raise them all by the time I take them)
Math II- 780, Bio 760, Chem 730
Rank- Top 1% 5/660
AP Classes- AP Human Geo (5), AP Physics 1 (3), AP World History (4), AP Pysch (5), AP Macro Econ (TBD), AP Span (TBD)
AP Tests w/o class- Stats (TBD), UPUSH (TBD), Eng Lang (TBD)
IB Classes- IB Spanish SL (TBD), IB ITGS SL (TBD)
Senior Course load- Orch, AP Chem, AP Physics 2, IB Bio HL, IB Eng IV HL, IB HOA HL, IB Math HL, IB ToK, AP Gov
Awards/Honors- Country Club Optimists District Essay Contest Winner, Texas Music Scholar Award (last 3 yrs), AP Scholar w/ honors, First Divisions at local and State Solo and Ensemble (last 3 yrs)

Varsity Symphony Orchestra (I put most of my time and effort into this one. Along with practicing every day for the class, I also prepare for solo and ensemble, UIL competitions, the local All region orchestra, and string ensemble which is only before school and requires an audition. I am a first violin which is the upper violin section. However, I hold no formal leadership positions. 9th-12th grade)

Private Violin Lessons (Along with everything above, I have additional repertoire to practice for my weekly meeting with my violin teacher. I have been with her since 5th grade)

Secretary of NHS (10-12th grade; I meet the volunteer requirement with misc activities than the ones listed below such as playing Messiah at a church at Christmas time)

Spring and Summer musicals (I play the violin for the musicals and my school and district; I have held the loose position of "pit manager" where I helped set up and clean up stands and chairs. I was also in charge of poster design for this year's spring musical before COVID. 9th-12th grade )

Musical Ensemble Club (I am co-principle (top players) violinist for this club; we rehearse once a week after school and do 2-4 concerts a year at 3-4 nursing homes; I designed and update the website; 10th-12th grade) *i don't know if it makes a difference but I did not use Weebly and instead created it from scratch using Dreamweaver*

Marching Band (I play in my school marching band. I hold no leadership positions but it is very time-consuming requiring an immense amount of practice and rehearsal. There are many whole day competitions and we go to every football game)

Volunteer with Saint Vincent De Paul and a local food distribution organization (I put them together since they often overlap; I perform various secretarial duties such as minutes, writing letters, food drive prep, and participate in food drive when I can 10-12th. Roughly 90 hours, I am estimating since I haven't kept track)

Volunteered at a hospital (I got 70 hours at a hospital; 10th grade)

Volunteer at local clinic (This is where I am volunteering this summer)

Future Doctors of America (11th-12th grade; no leadership positions :( but I am very interested in medicine)

Finally, I was planning on starting a club last year, but it fell through due to COVID. I hope to start it this upcoming year. It would be an organization where students interested in science can meet to discuss various controversial and groundbreaking science news. We would also perform various experiments to allow students to see multiple fields of science in a hands-on way. This would eventually lead to visits to local elementary and middle schools where we would give demonstrations to get students excited about science.

I mostly do the volunteering mentioned above as well as work at my father's office. I do test prep (lol). As for hobbies, I try to look at a new instrument every summer to see what is out there as well as spend a lot of time gardening and reading science literature (chemistry books, anatomy and physiology, etc.) I have been working on my extended Essay and IA's for my HL classes

I don't have any complete essays or letters of rec but have 3 people in mind (1 Stem, 1 Humanities, and 1 art (my private teacher).

Thank you for any advice you can give! I understand that a large portion of admissions is just how your reader resonates with your essays and maybe even partially just luck. I know that even though Stanford is the dream, I shouldn't be crushed by a rejection letter as there are many more opportunities available. Thank you again

If you have any questions or would like me to elaborate on a certain aspect feel free to ask.
edited July 10
10 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: Is Stanford within reach for me? (Elaborated below)

  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 212 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Worth a try. Make sure to have your own "match" (target) and "safety" schools list. Good luck!
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  • TheTestPilot1TheTestPilot1 6 replies2 threads New Member
    So true! No harm in trying. I think stressing over it will do no good in the long run.
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 212 replies4 threads Junior Member
    It's hyper-competitive these days even CalPoly-SLO cannot be called a safety school:

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  • MWolfMWolf 2785 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Yes, Stanford is a reach for you. It is a reach for anybody who doesn't have a Nobel Prize, cured cancer, or is a teen movie star.

    However, that doesn't mean that it's impossible, just that, if you apply, assume that there is a far bigger chance for you to be rejected than to be accepted. It's a reach, but not out of reach.

    So apply, but don't start making any plans that start with "when I'm in Stanford".

    That being said, why Stanford?
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  • TheTestPilot1TheTestPilot1 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Yeah I’d be crazy to rely on getting in. It’s crazy how competitive it can get. I think I was just wondering if it was a reach school or just a fantasy. All the videos and forums online make it seem that only business owners and non profit starters have a chance at getting in. Thank you for the article! It’s very interesting
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  • TheTestPilot1TheTestPilot1 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for your input! I think the biggest thing was determining if it was in or out of reach. I fully understand I need to go in applying with the mindset I likely will get rejected. And with that in mind I do have a list of safeties I’d be more than happy to attend.

    As for why, I think there are multiple factors that draw me. I really like the area and being so close to the west coast. I also think the campus is very beautiful. Of course the academics are amazing and I feel I’d receive an amazing education there. In the research I’ve done, I also focused on the community at Stanford. The traditions, clubs and the atmosphere created are all really appealing to me. I also hope to go into medicine one day and in my research have heard both pros and cons of taking that route at Stanford. I think what really appealed to me was the internship opportunities and the connections that can be made. That’s not to say that these factors are limited to Stanford as there are many universities that have a similar student body. At the end of the day, I guess there’s just a gut feeling that draws me to the school. Whether or not these are valid reasons to want to attend I’m still trying to figure out. Lol. Thank you again!
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  • AlwaysLearnAlwaysLearn 460 replies17 threads Member
    edited June 17
    I agree with you and everyone else that it's a reach but that there's no harm in trying. You never know; admission to these top schools can be unpredictible sometimes. You already have safeties lined up, so go for it. Put together a great app with strong essays and see what happens. Best of luck!
    edited June 17
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  • ballista1ballista1 18 replies5 threads Junior Member
    You should consider submitting an arts supplement considering how central music is to your life! Keep in mind, though, that you have to be playing violin at a fairly high standard in order for the arts supplement to boost your application. Just wondering, what repertoire are you working on at the moment (I play the violin too!)?
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  • fhockeyloverfhockeylover 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Stanford is my dream school too! You have such amazing stats so I'm sure you have a great chance of getting in! I'm a rising senior as well so see you on the farm next year hopefully ;).
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  • MWolfMWolf 2785 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Which other colleges are you looking at? Which matches and safety/ies?

    Remember that, if you are looking at medicine, there are many benefits in attending a college which has grade inflation, and which is cheaper, since medical school is almost always out of pocket. On the other hand the majority of students who want to become doctors change their mind halfway through college, and being a college with a lot to offer is a better place to change your mind.

    In any case, as you probably understand, in answer to your first question - Stanford is not out of reach.

    BTW, if you are looking at a smaller college, you may want to look at Pomona. Aside from everything else, they are one of the few colleges which put as much weight on musical accomplishments as they do on athletic accomplishments.
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