Chance a nervous girl who applied to northeast schools + Stanford!

Citizenship- U.S. domestic
State- Connecticut
High school- Public high school
General- Asian female
Financials- Family income of 200k per year in a very expensive town so did not apply for aid, and also can afford to pay in full.

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
UW HS GPA: 4.0 (HS doesn’t do weighted nor does it rank
ACT: 34 (33 in English, 35 in Math, 33 in Reading, and 35 in Science)


  • 10th grade: AP Human Geography (5), AP US History (4)
  • 11th grade: AP Macro (4), AP Calculus AB (5), AP Biology (4)
  • 12th grade: AP English Language, AP Enviro Sci, AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, AP Micro


  • Two Time Gold Community Service Award (11th grade, 12th grade)
  • National Community Service Award (11th grade, 12th grade)
  • Regional Community Service Award (11th grade, 12th grade)
  • National/International Olympiad (its a small niche one) (12th grade)
  • National Olympiad finalist (11th grade)
  • AP Scholar with Distinction (11th grade)
  • NHS (10th-12th grade)


  • Environmental Club President (9th-12th grade): Created presentations and led meetings on local issues to get people involved, raised over $20,000 for organizations
  • Anxiety Club President (10th-12th grade): Prepared listening/conversation sessions, facilitated activities for and ensured the safety of everyone
  • Political Intern (11th-12th grade): Helped a state senator on errands, answered phones, wrote briefs on state environmental issues like atmospheric pollution
  • Graphics Project (9th-10th grade): Coded and designed an environmental search engine website that focused on supply chain, presented to investors
  • Research Intern (10th-11th grade): Researched atmospheric pollution in the new england area, wrote a paper but did not publish
  • Communications Intern (10th-12th grade): Help create graphics and write posts for social media account and blog of a large environmental organization, have a few million views total on my graphics
  • Ski and Rowing Club Teams (9th-12th grade): Varsity member, high time commitment, and volunteer sometimes
  • Blog Author (9th-12th grade): Authored an environmental awareness blog with regular posts about global climate issues
  • NHS Tutor (11th-12th grade): Tutor students in american history, math subjects, and environmental biology

*Common App: 8/10
*STEM: 8/10
*Humanities: 8/10
*Counselor: 7/10

Schools (applying RD to all, supplements rated in brackets, all environmental majors):

  • Conn College (no supps)
  • Colby (no supps)
  • Amherst (8/10)
  • Williams (essay 7/10)
  • Hamilton (9/10)
  • Middlebury (no supps)
  • Dartmouth (7.5/10)
  • Cornell (10/10)
  • Tufts (7/10)
  • Brown (7/10)
  • Bowdoin (7/10)
  • Stanford (9/10)

I wish I had REAd to Stanford but I just wasn’t prepared that early in the year.

Congratulations on a great HS resume! Does your school /counselor give you any rough estimate of your rank? Believe it or not, 4.0 uw can be up at the top or more in the middle of the pack. Your school likely has a profile they send to colleges that gives some general breakdown of gpas…so usually colleges will be able to figure out your rough rank or at least quartile compared to peers. Without that piece it is too hard for me to give any intelligent chance estimate, but best of luck to you!

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Thank you! I think I am just outside the top 10%, although I’m not 100% sure since my counselor just left for maternity leave on friday

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Should not matter if the school does not rank.

I think you will have several options especially among the NESCACs on your list.


Is Connecticut College a safety? I would be a bit nervous having a safety with only a 37% acceptance rate. Do you have other safeties such as U.Conn?

Environmental sciences or environmental studies? I am not sure if it matters in terms of acceptance probabilities, but they are not the same thing.

You are competitive at other universities, but you have a lot of reaches. Most of them I might categorize as “reasonable reaches”, but still reaches. Stanford is definitely a reach. Probably 85% of applicants have similar stats to you, and I expect that you know the overall acceptance rate. Also many slots at Stanford go to recruited athletes and legacy students.


Except that college adcoms will know roughly where an applicant stacks up relative to peers at the same school.


U will get in CT for sure. The rest I’d consider reaches RD but your ECs are unique and impressive. I could see Mid and Colby. Congrats on a fantastic record - with drive like you have you’ll do well whether at UCONN or your Connecticut!!

I assume this isn’t the full list and you have matches (beyond CT) and safeties ?


CC, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Tufts, Bowdoin - I think you will go 4/6.
Amherst, Williams - 0/2 with 1 WL
Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Stanford - 0/4 with 1 WL
You may pull 1 of the 6 that I have as 0/6 and I hope that is what happens. Please report back on how it goes and best of luck.


Whoops I realized I never categorized them! I also left out UConn as my safety, and Northeastern and michigan (accepted both as EA already) though if i’m being honest, i am not sure I really love those two schools.


Michigan is a great option. Congrats!

NEU is good too but it’s not for everyone


I did studies for those that had them, and science if they didn’t. Stanford was Earth systems and Cornell was Sustainability. thank you for your insight though!

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thank you, you are too kind!

you were already accepted at U Michigan? realize that is not your school, but that is impressive. hopefully that level of success will carry through to the others named.


this is almost exactly what my parents said haha! I will be very happy with wherever I get into, but hopefully I will be able to pull that 1. thanks!!


Yup, I was so surprised as an out of state student! :smiley:

I’m glad u realize it’s not for you. I assume large and Urban aren’t for you.

Great that you will pick the right school and not the high rank. Very smart of you.


You have applied to some great schools for this interest: Top Colleges - Environmental Science.

You also might find it reassuring to see that you applied to 5 of the 10 colleges mentioned in this Forbes article:


I’m so glad for you that you already got accepted to Michigan and Northeastern. I’m assuming that you will be accepted at UConn, probably also at Connecticut College. The rest, I think that Michaeluwill’s predictions will be fairly accurate.

You need to start thinking about whether any of these other schools are worth 30-50K/yr more than UConn to you. I think you may get UConn honors, with a small merit scholarship (5K/yr?), so that going to any of these other schools may wind up costing you/your parents anywhere from 140-220K more in total. And if what you want to do is environmental science, UConn has a good department, and I’m sure they have connections to the CT DEEP for internships.

As I’m sure you know, 200K/yr household income in an expensive area of CT is only a hair above middle class - we’re talking over a million for a small 3 bedroom ranch in some of those towns in southwest CT. Think very carefully about going anywhere that costs so much more than UConn. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 200K downpayment on your first home?

Seriously, there is a reason that UConn has become so much more selective. Families that don’t qualify for financial aid but don’t have an extra 80K/yr lying around are voting with their wallets, making UConn a much better place, academically, than it was a generation or two ago.


UConn evidently enrolls some excellent students. However, its admission yield (recently 20%) seems low for a state university flagship.