Applying to Stanford: I'm Nowhere Near a 4.0 GPA or 2400 SAT

<p>I come from a low-income, African American, single-parent household. I have 4 other siblings and 3 step-siblings, and I'm sure my mother makes less than 60,000 a year. Bottom Line: Money is tight. I don't know how she manages to support us on her meager earnings, but she always finds a way. My dream school is Stanford University and I'm well aware that my chances there are not in my favor based on my academics. The thing is I want to at least give Stanford a chance, but I don't even have the money to send in an application fee of $90. I've used up all my college board fee waivers on UVA and UNC Chapel Hill (I'm in the process of becoming an athletic recruit at both colleges). I'd hate to have to burden my mother by asking her to pay an expensive application fee on an ivy-caliber college that I'm not confident I would even be considered for admissions. So I'd like to ask the people on CC whether it's worth the chance (and money) to apply to Stanford. Although I may not strongly fit Stanford academically, I do feel like I have the potential to benefit from an institution like Stanford. I've had a lot of set backs (and I assume many people at Stanford and other "Ivies" have to). Many people say that my Local State and Community Colleges should suffice, but I don't agree. I feel like if I don't go to an institution of major success I'll never get out of the poverty that me and my family are facing at the moment.</p>

<p>GPA: 3.0 ish/3.5 W(terrible junior year academically coupled with family issues killed my gpa, but I have risen my grades substantially with my first semester senior grades--normally I am a B/B+ student in my advanced courses)</p>

<p>AP Classes: Taken 7 so far and by the end of High School I will have taken a total of 12 classes.</p>

<p>SAT: 1760 (600 Reading, 620 Writing, 540 Math)I know its incredibly low for Stanford, but I have a friend a couple of years back who got in with a 1500 (all 3 sections).--I'll be retaking them again, but I don't think Stanford would receive them on time--shooting for a 1900. </p>

<p>SAT II: None (I don't think I have time to take them, since I plan on taking the SAT one last time in January--I don't plan to apply anywhere that requires them, though some may recommend them)</p>

<p>Community Service: Just 175+ hours combined at local food kitchens and charity stops.</p>

<p>ECs and Leadership: Typical leadership positions and activities with my school. Nothing special. I'm involved in a lot of Environmental and Social Awareness initiatives, but I don't have time to do anything outside of school.</p>

<p>Recs: Decent I suppose. They are from my AP Spanish and Pre-AP English Teacher from Sophomore Year</p>

<p>Other Colleges I'm applying to:
UNC Chapel Hill
Some local state colleges</p>

<p>Is it even worth a chance</p>

<p>bump Anyone?</p>

<p>Chances would be extremely slim. While there can be a considerable boost for being AA, your GPA and scores are probably just too low. Stanford would maybe bend a lot on scores if you had a strong GPA. </p>

<p>Also, as far as aid, are your step siblings the children of a new husband for your mom? If yes, his income and assets will count too, so un calculators with that in mind if appropriate.</p>

<p>There's only a few days, but I'm not sure your list is as comprehensive as it might be. UNC and UVA can not consider race in admitting students. I would add some schools with good financial aid that can give you a boost for being AA- private schools less selective than Stanford. I think many would happily waive your app fee. </p>

<p>Consider a few schools like Bates, Macalester, St. Olaf, Colby, Dickenson, Conn College.</p>

<p>DO IT. Really. If you don't, you're going to spend the rest of your life wondering if you could have gotten in. </p>

<p>Kudos to you for succeeding in life and being self-made. I admire you.</p>

<p>I think on commonapp, you can just check unable to pay and they will accept your application. However, you only have 3 days.</p>

<p>I agree with Psychoanalyze.
Plus, even though I agree that your chances are rather slim, I admire your perseverance in your situation. (hint: it could make a good essay!) and I think you seem to have more soul in you than a lot of the robots applying. Do it!</p>

<p>"Is it even worth a chance "
no, sorry. This is a waste of your time[ and I think you realize it] Stanford has just rejected hundreds of far more qualified students- take a look at the SCEA results on the Stanford forum. Its time for you to spend the time writing great essays for the colleges where you DO have a good chance of acceptance. Dont waste any more time on a dream that wont come true.</p>

<p>stop wasting your parent's money already.</p>

<p>I don't think it's worth it. UVA and UNC are fantastic schools with a lot of prestige. There's not too much need in applying to Stanford. With your test scores, I don't think you have a chance at all.</p>

<p>It's going to be really tough but, I'd still go for it!
I'm applying to a LOT of schools and I know my chances are slim but I'm just still going for it!
You never know the odds!!!!! Who knows if it may surprise you?</p>

<p>There are MANY schools that will lift you from where you are right now. Please prioritize some academic and financial safeties. Please. You've already got some reaches. Are the local schools matches or safeties?</p>

<p>You never know the odds? I think you do.</p>

<p>You sound like you have enormous potential. There are always going to be people trying to discourage you. People will tell you that Stanford denies students with SATs of 2400 and 4.0 (unweighted) GPAs. So why even try, right!? WRONG!!
Stanford wants students with potential. They want students who are strong. They want students who are passionate. These students are most times, not the robots who score 2400s and get 5s on loads of AP tests.
Try and apply. If you feel you really want to attend Stanford, then you should give it a shot. Don't pay attention to the losers who try to tell you otherwise.</p>

<p>^So you are helping this student by telling him or her to put the last of maybe six applications on Stanford? Based on what? Who else would you give that advice to? Six applications, and as far as we can tell, no academic and financial safeties.</p>

<p>BTW OP, I went to Howard and loved it, but that was thirty years ago, and I had to join the military to pay.</p>

<p>^I would advise anyone who wants to apply to Stanford, to apply. Stanford offers free tuition to students with annual family incomes below $100,000.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. I've finally decided that I will apply to Stanford, though I am being realistic about my chances there. I understand they are next to slim, but I don't want to regret not ever knowing if I could have gotten in . I'm going to try and beg my GC for one more application waiver tomorrow. Stanford says that the latest acceptable SAT was December, but they can accept January scores if they come in quick enough. So I hopefully increase my SAT score by January (hopefully 1900+).</p>

<p>@shrinkrap As for academic and financial safeties, I thought that applying to my local state colleges (not flagships) would be enough security. I may decide to also look into Privates that offer 100% need met.</p>

<p>Thanks again, everyone. On April 1st, I'll be sure to let everyone know how my college decisions turned out.</p>

<p>" I thought that applying to my local state colleges (not flagships) would be enough security"</p>

<p>^ If you can afford them, and you would like to attend, that will work! Good luck!</p>

<p>You have a slim chance at Stanford. But you still have a chance. You'd have a better chance at Columbia University or some other Ivy if you want a top tier college. They LOVE AA students. Females, preferably. Who want to pursue in technology. Good luck. Have some kick a** essays and your good.</p>

<p>There were more than 4000 AA applicants to Columbia last year, and 174 enrollees. I don't think it's that simple.</p>

<p>There are always variables such as essays, ec's, grades, etc. Where are you getting this information by the way?</p>

<p>Yes, but you just told someone with a 3.5W and a 1700 that he only needs to write a great essay to be "good". Where are YOU getting that info?</p>

<p>I'll send a PM with mine.</p>