Am I going to my safety?

So the next six weeks of waiting for the RDs to come out is killing me. I’m dying to know if I will have any options. I have zero enthusiasm about the prospect of going to one of my safety schools. After watching countless YouTube videos and reading a lot of CC posts, I’m realizing the very real possibility that I will be going to a safety school. I’d appreciate some feedback of whether you think I will have at least one option come April, other than a safety. Im kicking myself that I didn’t apply to more LACs in the safety range.

I am a Hispanic male living in suburban NY. Second generation to go to college. I have a 4.0 UW gpa. I have taken 3 dual enrollment classes, 4 AP courses (2 4’s, 2 3’s) and I’m taking 3APs my senior year. I have average ECs: track captain, staff writer, pep band, food bank volunteer, NHS, language club, Life rank in Boy Scouts, p/t cashier job. I applied test optional. I think my LoRs are just ok, nothing overly effusive, because the teachers I most connected with don’t have that type of personality. My essays got very good feedback from peer reviews on college vine and I think they are my strong point.

Now, for the schools I applied to:

SUNY Geneseo
SUNY Binghamton
CUNY Queens College

Targets (as defined by CollegeVine, though I’m thinking they are more reach schools):

Amherst College
Bowdoin College
Bates College
Colby College
Haverford College
Pomona College
Swarthmore College
Vassar College
Wesleyan University
Williams College

Brown University
Stanford University
Yale University

My favorites on the list are Bowdoin, Pomona and Wesleyan, although I’m trying not to get too attached.

My planned major is Neuroscience or Cognitive Studies. At this point, I want to study to become a psychiatrist.

I know some of you may think I have a huge advantage being a URM but most of these schools have Hispanic representation in the teens or close to that so I’m not sure that will help me much.

TIA for your insights.

Nobody here can tell. Honestly College Vine did you a disservice – IMO ALL of your “targets” are reach schools – for anyone. Without looking each school up my guess is that none of your “targets” have acceptance rates of over even 20%. The problem is that there are more well qualified students than there are spots at these top tier LACs. Being Hispanic can be a plus but certainly is no guarantee of admissions. “Average” (in your words) ECs and “just ok” LORs won’t help your chances.

It is impossible to predict if you will get into one of your schools but you should be prepared for the possibility of attending one of the SUNY schools – which happen to be two wonderful options.


Those targets are reaches for anyone. Even if you had outstanding recs, ecs and grades those are stretchy, IMO.
Amherst, Pomona and Williams are some of the hardest schools to get into. The others aren’t easy either.
Best of luck to you in any case.


I’d like to add to @Happytimes200: almost none of your targets are really targets. Except for Vassar, all have acceptance rates under 20%. It’s nothing about you as an applicant; these schools are considered reaches for everyone.


You have a really big gap in selectivity between your targets (which are all reaches as stated above) and your safeties. You could get into any of the schools on your list or none of except the safeties. I would like your chances better if you had a highish test score. If you are planning on psychiatry, you will need to go to med school. Its not a horrible idea to go to the college for undergrad that leaves you debt free. But if you want to have more options, google colleges still accepting applications for fall 2021. There are a number of schools still open where you would be such a high level applicant you might end up with a lot of good scholarship money. A lower status school in a city where you could do tons of medical related internships, shadowing, research etc. . . could serve you well.


I would be “somewhat” surprised if you do not get into at least 1 among Vassar, Colby, Bates and Bowdoin. Although it is possible that you might only be admitted to the schools from your safety list, I am “somewhat” optimistic that will not happen.

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And I will add…your safety list really has good schools on it.


I heard recommendations this year matter more than last year with schools moving to being test optional. As for your stats I think you have a decent chance at some of the schools you consider target but remember most folks consider your target schools reach schools because they have such low acceptances rates like Pomona.

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@LeavingLI If you are really unhappy with your safety schools, there are still some colleges and universities that are taking admissions that would likely be very happy to admit you. One that I can think of that might be of interest is ASU – primarily because it is home to what is supposed to be a fantastic Honors College (Barrett Honors College). The ASU deadline is May 1. It is unclear to me if you can still apply to Barrett Honors College at this time – probably worth a call to their admissions department. They mention a Late Consideration deadline of March 7 and a Late Consideration II deadline of April 4. I assume these deadlines are for freshmen applicants, but they might be for students who are already enrolled and want to apply after already starting at ASU (which they also allow).

You might also want to see if the Cognitive Science program at University of Pittsburgh is of interest. They have rolling admissions. There are other colleges with rolling admissions as well.

No idea about your budget, of course – but I thought those options might be of interest to you – even though financially, going to your in-state options are very likely to be your best financial choice.


Also keep in mind cost of the school you choose to attend because if medical school is in your future that’s going to be anywhere from a low of $150K to atleast $250K depending on where you go.

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Four years of medical school could certainly cost more than $250k even at today’s prices. Prices are generally going up over time.

I would try to avoid debt for your bachelor’s if you can and if reasonably possible keep some “cash in the bank” for medical school.


Thanks for the correction :blush:

Your safeties are very good schools and you can achieve your med school goal from all. Are the three safeties affordable?

ASU and Pitt are great ideas…get your app in ASAP if either or both appeal, but neither meet full need, so affordability could be an issue. What is your budget?

I can’t chance you for the reaches (I agree all the targets are reaches). About half of those schools have under 10% acceptance rates, all are under 20%.

Some small to medium schools that are still accepting apps include Lycoming, Washington and Jefferson, Juniata, Roanoke, Suny New Paltz, U Dayton, U Scranton. There are more but that’s a good start.


You can still apply to a few colleges that have extended their deadlines:
Susquehanna for instance is a LAC where students have SUNY Geneseo stats.
Try emailing Admissions at Allegheny, DePauw, Dickinson, St Olaf, Drew, Sewanee, Gettysburg,Muhlenberg. Explain you’re a Hispanic senior trying to figure out the College application process on your own, would really like to attend a LAC to major in …, just found theirs and it really meets what you’d want in a college, realize it’s late but are wondering if they still accept applications?
(Some are bound to say yes, then you have very little turnaround time to send you app and complete the supplements).

In addition, in early May a list of colleges that miscalculated yield wil be published. With covid impacting everything, I expect the list will be long. There are always excellent colleges there -but to snatch the last spots with FA you have to be ready and send your app within 48h. (For the less in-demand colleges, you have up to a month, keeping in mind that FA dwindles as time goes.)

All your colleges are “reach for everyone” so it’s impossible to know whether you’ll get into one or two or three, or none.
Better safe than sorry, send the emails to Admissions above, you’ve got nothing to lose.


Thank you everyone for some great advice. I think I will email a few of the smaller colleges that appeal to me like Gettysburg and St. Olaf. I have to research some of the other ones mentioned. I was really hoping to attend a college on the smaller side, with small class sizes and where I can get to know my professors. If I go to one of my safeties it will probably be Geneseo because of its smaller size. I’m not thrilled with its isolated and rural location, but on the positive side, I would not have to take out loans to go there. And as some of you pointed out, I do have to consider medical school costs. I am waiting to hear if I have been accepted into the honors program there. They only take about 30 students. This has been an eye-opening process to go through. My mom says its so much different than when she went to college. At the very least, my younger brother will be more prepared in a few years to have a more expanded college list. Thanks again everyone!


That all sounds good OP. Keep us updated, and if you have questions about some of the schools people have suggested, ask away…there are many people here who would like to help you!


@leavingLI Good luck to you! I like the idea about contacting some LACs to see if they would still accept an application. You might want to also look at Lawrence University, in Wisconsin, to see if they are of interest. I know they offer good merit aid, and tend to be little off most people’s radar.

As for Barrett Honor’s college, they claim to be an LAC-like experience within a large university. Although the honors college itself is about 6,000 students, they have their own dorm, and specialized (small) classes and advising. So definitely seems to be a distinct community within the larger environment. Please note, however, that I am not speaking from direct experience – only from what I have read.

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Best of luck to you and if it makes you feel any better my daughter did the same thing and we are very worried as well. She has a strong profile and a 34 on ACT but who knows this year. Everything did change this year and it was hard to adapt. My daughter was full remote without a lot of guidance.


Do keep us updated depending on what you hear from the different colleges.

For the record: Students at Barrett ought to want a large university experience though - it’s huge: even if Barrett students have the Barrett campus and Barrett classes, the rest of the experience involves a very large university with large classes. So, for a student who wants a more personalized, more challenging experience within a large university, it’s perfect. For someone who wants a 1,800-4,000 student LAC experience, it’s not quite the same.


My son’s list this year is very similar. Two large state schools as safeties and ten or so reaches, including some Ivys and some high reach SLACs. But, he also applied to St. Olaf, and honestly loves it. Very much a match school, high merit award, very sweet place, has had lots of good conversations with people there. It makes his list of top three favorites. We decided he could shoot for the moon as long as he had a match school he adored on the list.

I’ll second the recommendation for Lawrence.
This was on his radar early, but dropped off as his academic interests shifted.

I think you have time to have nice chats with these admissions offices and get an application in, with a good chance of admission.