California Asian Female Aiming for UCs and MIT+Georgetown+Ivies+Stanford


US native citizen

  • Type of high school *Public, large
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Female, indian, she/her
  • Other special factors: none

Intended Major(s)
neuroscience, computational neuroscience w/a focus on AI, neurobiology,

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.9
  • Weighted HS GPA: 4.7
  • Class Rank: My school doesn’t rank, but my class is around 300 students if that means anything.
  • ACT/SAT Scores: Took ACT once, 34, SAT Bio M :770

5 APs

    AP BIO (5) +honors
  • 10th: AP Chem (5), AP World (5) +honors
  • 11th: AP Physics 1 (5), AP US History (5) +honors
  • 12th: AP Spanish Lang, AP Calc AB w/ BC exam, AP US Gov, AP Microeconomics, AP English Lit, Dual Enrollment Kinesiology

Foreign Language

  • 2 years of Spanish in middle school, put me one year ahead in Spanish
    Spanish 2, 3, (skipped 4), AP Spanish Senior year, Nonnative speaker, Also speak Hindi at home which I put on Common App


  • 10th: Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship with local university
  • 11th: Careers in AI
    *Medical Pathway in my school, Sports Medicine, Kinesiology

Congressional Volunteer Award
District Academic Excellence Recognition
Area Woman’s Club “Young Woman of the Month”
Intel Digital Ambassador
Daughters of the American Revolution Essay Contest, (REDACTED) Chapter
AP Physics Student of the Semester (​​Out of the 6 classes that my AP Physics teacher has, 2 students out of 350 are chosen to be Student of the Semester. Students are chosen based on engagement with the class, demonstrated work ethic, and academic excellence.)
AI Virtual Success Summit Speaker 2022
Chosen to be a student presenter for over 150+ people, including CEOs, about the AI software I developed


Varsity Tennis for 2 years (quit due to COVID) (freshman/soph)
Nonprofit 501(c)(3) founder that went international with quantifiable success (300 + food donations, 20+ chapters, multiple countries/continents, events, etc)+ genuine reason for founding it, I actually do plan to continue it in uni since it was founded for personal reason I don’t want to disclose here (junior/senior)
Publishing my own app
AI prototype, patent pending (senior)
Youth Advisor for local Congresswoman (junior/senior)
Youth Advisor for local UC university’s Conference Committee and mental health center (senior)
Volunteered 90+ hours for psychiatric ER (junior summer)
Leader of Pandemic Community Groups, had largest group in program but program was disbanded in 2021 (freshman sophomore)
90+ UCI Dementia Study Volunteer (all of high school)
Founder/President of my Nonprofit Chapter at my school (senior)

Other smaller clubs/activities
California Scholarship Federation (6 years including middle school)
MCP (A medical certificate program, 3 years and it teaches you real-world medical skills)
Virtual Peer Court, essentially being a jury for juvenile rehab trials in the local court


  • Common App essay was really strong, focused on a personal situation in my life but framed it through the analysis of a single word, which was the motif of my essay
  • My supplemental focused on essentially how i want to study the medical /neuro ai ethics, hence why my extracurriculars involve tech,policy, and medicine , had a food motif that was essentially a ‘made up’ food in family
  • LORs from AP US History, English Honors, and AP Physics 1 teacher (APUSH teacher really really liked me, and AP Physics 1 teacher gave me the award, and English Honors teacher took notes the whole year for LORs and I was part of her favorite group of students)

Cost Constraints / Budget
DW about this, i just want to know matches

Georgetown (EA)- interview here went REALLY well!
MIT (EA)= interview was well, not as great at GT but not bad either, had a good convo
UCs (RD)
UChicago (EA)
Stanford (RD)

You have clearly worked very hard! I think the UC’s will love you as you have an impressive resume, but it’s such a crap shoot at this level for MIT, Ivies, and Stanford because the acceptance rates are so low - that who knows? But seriously, take that drive and determination (heck, even 50% of it!) into college, you are clearly going to do great things. I hope you get the answers you want soon.


I think you have an excellent chance anywhere you apply, including MIT and Stanford. Do you have any idea what percentile you are in your class? The size of the class is not the issue - your percentile in it is what is relevant.

You’ve got all the other components in place - grades, rigor, ECs, awards, recs. Your ACT of 34 is good enough that it won’t be held against you, especially in this era of test-optional applications. I think that you will make it into the “shaping of the class” round - after that, it’s just a question of which school doesn’t need another brilliant, incredibly accomplished, South Asian female whose field of interest is medically-related AI.


You have amazing accomplishments and a strong academic record. Congratulations!

MIT and Chicago - you’ll know in the next 3 days, so just hang in there.

Are you asking for additional school suggestions that are matches? Or are you asking which from your list are matches?


Best of luck. No reason you can’t get into a top school but one always needs targets and safeties. If this is your list and you’ve applied to UCs not named LA and Berkeley, you should feel good.

I hope you get into one or more on your list. It’s possible but so is a shut out. The 34 (not at UC since they are blind) might hurt you with this list.

Good luck. You’ve accomplished a lot and keep your head high no matter what. But I hope for planning purposes you out in a match and safety.

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Do you have knowledge this is the case? If so, please share, and no, 25/75 ranges don’t support your statement that the 34 could ‘hurt’ the applicant.

I don’t believe that a 34 will ‘hurt’ an applicant at any school…even if the 25/75 shows the 34 to be below the 25%ile of enrolled students.

A test score is just one of many factors that schools use when evaluating apps (at the schools cited in the OP), and again I don’t see a 34 being looked at by any AO as ‘less than’. I have never heard an AO say anything like this, and I hear presentations and/or speak to AOs every day.

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I said ‘might’. We don’t know the makeup. Was it two 32s and two 36s? Was it really 33.5.

Just one school, as an example, 34 is the 25th percentile. The math she quoted is under the 25th.

Yes she’s a package. Gender, ethnicity, and more. I said ‘might’ as we are not AOs and when it comes down to the end game, you don’t truly know the deciding factor. None of us do.

I know 34 is unreal. But at these schools they’re, in some cases, below the median or mean. And some may find the true score. As we know act rounds up but each school might not. And some look at the subject splits and we don’t have them.

That’s why I said it ‘might’.


Ps MIT is the school I looked up on CDS in making my statement.

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I can’t chance you OP, but congratulations on your achievements. You will be a competitive candidate at any school. I hope you submitted your ACT and SAT bio subject test to all schools.

Good luck and keep us updated!

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honestly i really dont know. my school is very competitive but i do remember when i was in sophomore year my counselor mentioned I’m in the top 5% and he didn’t know my other awards at the time

thank you!!

thank you! i didnt mention the breakdown since most of my schools didn’t ask, but
English: 35 Math:33 Science: 31 Reading: 36 ACT Writing: 10


which from my list are matches, but if anyone has any suggestions, would love to know those too! :))

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In my opinion you will get into berkeley and ucsd. Others i do not know. you can add carnegie mellon as they are strong in CS/AI.

UCs other than UCLA and UCB. Maybe Georgetown. The rest are reaches.

With the exception of some of the UC schools, all the other schools you listed are reaches for any student.

I wouldn’t consider any school that accepts less than 10% of their applicants a match, unless you have a hook like being a recruited athlete, a legacy (at a school that considers legacy preference), a child of a faculty member at that institution, or can donate serious $$$$ to the school (and if they can, call the development office!).

So all the UC’s, besides UCLA and maybe UCB, are likely matches for you - but that also depends on what your UC GPA is (my kid had a high overall GPA but a semester of Covid pass fail grades plus one messy junior year semester gave her a much lower UC GPA). You can check out the UC admission by source school to see how students from your high school fare at the various UC’s. Some schools send well over 50% of their class to the UC’s, with big numbers getting accepted to UCB and UCLA, while others have just the top 10% accepted to the “2nd” tier of UC’s.

Stanford, MIT, Chicago and the like are all reaches with their single digit acceptance rates. Women have higher acceptance rates in applying to MIT, so that will boost your chances, but your scores for math are below their 25th percentile. You might want to take it again if you can. Georgetown might be in the match category, since the acceptance rate is just a hair over 10% but their middle ACT range is 34-36.

Have you looked at any liberal arts colleges? Some of the women’s colleges might be a really good fit for you as well - Wellesley has a fierce reputation (with a beautiful campus to boot!) with a slightly less intense acceptance rate of 13% last year, plus you can take cross-register for classes at MIT. They seem to like high test scores too. I personally think that budding women scientists need to find a place that prioritizes strong student faculty mentorship - because those relationships are what will be crucial for graduate school admissions. It’s harder to do at big research universities because you have to compete for attention with so many people. If HWC are not appealing, a school like Reed might be of interest to you as well- they are not highly ranked, because they refuse to participate in rankings and their acceptance rate is higher than the schools you have listed. They have a reputation for being an academically intense school, with great graduate school placement rates.

Good Luck!

But they see the breakdowns. It’s 33.75.

As I said you are great. But with that list there’s no assurances or even matches (imho). If you did UC beneath LA and UCB the odds are better.

Good luck.

Closing at user’s request