Chance a Rising Senior for LACs +more


  • US citizenship only
  • Connecticut
  • Well-known and extremely rigorous/competitive independent boarding school
  • Multiracial Queer Female (African-American & White)
  • Recruitable volleyball athlete

Intended Major(s)

  • Biology, Asian Studies (Japanese/Korean Language), International Development/Global Studies

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.93
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.6
  • Class Rank: School does not rank
  • ACT/SAT Scores: ACT 34 (not superscored)

Just a note: my school isn’t affiliated with any other schools, and so the way to determine honors classes coming in is placement testing. It is very rare to take an honors class freshman year and impossible to take an AP unless you have previous coursework. Therefore, no AP classes were available to me my freshman year.
Freshman Year:

  • Two accelerated, remaining regular (no AP available)

Sophomore Year:

  • Two accelerated, one honors (only one AP available)

Junior Year:

  • APUSH (projected 5)
  • AP Lang (projected 5)
  • AP Bio (projected 4)
  • One accelerated class
  • Two semester-long science electives (related to intended major)

Senior Year (school will no longer offer AP classes):

  • Post-AP Bio (Honors)
  • Honors Psych
  • Honors Math
  • Electives relevant to intended major

Math, English, Science: 4 years
Foreign Language: 3rd level proficiency in French
Beginning online Japanese next year

Another note: my GPA has significantly improved since freshman year. I’m also grateful for the fact that my school is well known for being incredibly difficult because it justifies certain times when I took normal level classes, at least a little bit.

Honors Student
Western New England All Star for Sport 2
League All Star for Sport 2

Two Varsity Sports

  • Volleyball
  • Captain of sport 2

Co-founder of my school’s Black Alliance Club (an active social justice organization)
Board member of Chinese Alliance
Co-leader of Quizbowl
Co-head of acapella
Dorm monitor
Student Mentor
Tour Guide
Dance Ensemble
Black and Latinx Female Affinity
9 years of classical piano
Summer Job as Camp Counselor

I’m a strong writer so my essays will be good
My recommendations are two teachers that I know very very well. One is a coach and teacher who I’ve known for 4 years, and the other is a teacher and dorm parent who I’m very close with.

Cost Constraints / Budget
Will apply for need-based FA, not low-income
Can afford about 20K/year


  • Safety (certain admission and affordability)
    UCONN (legacy)
  • Likely (would be possible, but very unlikely or surprising, for it not to admit or be affordable)
    Mount Holyoke [alum writing rec]
    Clark (EA)
    Union (EA)
  • Match
    Oxford College (ED2)
    Bryn Mawr
  • Reach
    Emory (ED2) [in contact with vball coach]
    Williams (ED) [Uncle is VERY INVOLVED alum who will contact admissions, I am in contact with the AO who will likely read my app, in contact with vball coach, I was invited to apply for the fly-in so finger’s crossed)
    Brown [it’s not one of my top choices, but I’ll apply RD if all goes up in flames)

Thank you in advance, and if you’re in a similar situation as me, let’s chat!

Are you recruitable D1 or just 3? If you are sure you want to play, why UConn? Or if you are D1 recruitable, why the rest.

I would check to see if Oxford has sports. It may just be Emory.

If you go to a well known boarding school their college counselors will be best to answer your question.

But it looks in line to me.

1 Like

I only want to play D3. I love volleyball, but it is not a “100% I must play” situation. I kinda approached the situation like this:
There’s a school I really like that’s a reach. I can use volleyball to my advantage to get accepted and I would definitely enjoy playing. So I emailed a few schools and am currently talking to 2 coaches. Oxford has sports but not volleyball, which sucks because I really love Oxford. I’m visiting next month, so I’ll ask the Emory coach some stuff about that.

FYI: our college counselor’s really suck. I know, unbelievable at a top school. My college counselor tried to tell me that Oxford is a safety when it’s acceptance rate is literally 20%. I feel pretty secure in the judgement of myself and my parents, but I really like getting outside opinions.

TYSM for your reply :slight_smile:

1 Like

Have you run the net price calculator on each college’s web site?

Emory or Oxford ED is not a safety - but given your geography and race, potentially a low reach.

I wouldn’t count your counselor out.

Perhaps your school rates high - i.e. they are a feeder for these type schools.

By Oxford, do you mean Emory/Oxford?

1 Like

From a well-known and competitive boarding school, it is very possible 30-40% of your class goes to Top10-15 type schools. So you are not in a typical school and it will be much more accurate to get chances from your college counselor. It is highly unlikely they “suck”, at your type of HS. And Oxford at Emory may be a likely admit for you. That particular school is framed that way for the most competitive kids at our HS and ours is likely not nearly as competitive or known as yours. You really need to talk with your school and get an understanding of where you fall in the class in terms of rigor etc.


I concur.

1 Like


Maybe I stress too much, I think I view certain schools as much more competitive than they actually are (not that these school’s aren’t competitive)
The issue with my college counselor is that she is infamous for forgetting to submit certain items, and therefore a lot of her students are forced to change to regular decision. I utilize her, of course, but my strategy is just to make sure to get second opinions and when it comes time to submit apps, make sure she’s on track. Thank you so much :)))


I just checked and there is no significant number of students who have applied to Oxford from my school in the past 10 or so years but…
I think that’s okay? No or little competition from my own school might be better.

I will with my parents very soon. I’m already on financial aid at my high school, so we can probably expect something similar. I’m also applying for outside scholarships.

As others have said, your boarding school’s counselor is likely the best source of advice, but your categorizations seem pretty correct to me. Which Oxford College are you referring to? If the one in England, which course of study? I don’t think I’d list that as a Match for anyone, and from what I understand, coursework would be much more focused than you may like as you’re interest in biology, Asian Studies, and international development.

Running the Net Price Calculators at each school on your list is important. Most of those are meet full need schools, but they’re also need-aware. I don’t think that will present too much of a problem, but it also depends on what on how much need there is. But I think you will be a strong applicant for nearly all of the programs on your list.

I also think your characterizations are correct, including the fact that Oxford Emory isn’t a safety.

If you haven already, it might be worth researching Washington and Lee. 10% of it’s classes (40 kids per class) receive full rides, with a bunch of extras (i.e. everything paid, plus a $7,000 stipend etc). Increasing the school’s diversity is a top institutional priority. The school has really jump started efforts in that direction (you can read other threads if you want more info).


I’m talking about Emory’s Oxford College, sorry for the confusion and thank you for your response!

1 Like

Good advice above. A couple of comments.

Getting recruited as an athlete is a process, not just calling some coaches. There are likely only 2 fully supported spots with maybe another 2 to 4 soft support recommendations that have the affect of boosting the sport EC. Coaches are in the process of identifying who they will support, which athletes they will submit academic pre-reads to their AO, who they will invite for official visits and ultimately who and at what level they will support.

It’s odd that Brown is a fall back “if all goes up in flames”. You should be looking at additional low matches/safeties if that is the case, not a school that is more selective than the schools already on your list.


I talked to the Williams coach a few days ago, and she said that they’re about to move forward with the pre-read process and she’ll update me :))
As for Brown…my dad forced me to add it. I’m really not into Ivies, but it’s my favorite out of all of them. I guess my point with the RD is that I’m not a super competitive applicant for it, so there’s definitely no point in ED, along with the fact that it’s not one of my top choices. I have plenty of safeties for RD, but Brown is more of a “I should apply RD cus why not” type school.
Tysm for your input :)))

1 Like

In the interests of full disclosure, I’m biased against Oxford. The reason is that the son of a friend of mine went there from Connecticut and had such a negative experience that he left in the first semester of freshman year. Now it’s not fair for me to react to a school based on the experience of one student. And in fairness to Oxford, he probably had a bad bout of homesickness and should have stuck it out. I acknowledge that. I also recognize that his short time at Oxford was his first time living at a school away from home while you’ve already had the boarding school experience.

I actually love the Oxford concept. Small liberal arts college experience for the first 2 years, followed by the resources of a research university for the final 2 years with the transition eased by arriving on the research campus in junior year with some friends already in place. So, the question is how does it work in actual practice?

You will be going down to visit in a month, so here are some suggestions for things to check out:

  1. Since you are a potential Bio major look closely at the lab facilities at Oxford and see how they compare with the facilities at Emory’s main campus. Also look at the course options at the 2 campuses to see if you’ll be limited in what courses are available to you at Oxford. Are you coming in from a private prep school already with high school experiences in Bio that are comparable with freshman courses at Oxford? If so, what will they offer you?

  2. My friend’s son found that the Oxford campus was dead on weekends to the point that he felt very alone and isolated. His experience will not be your experience. But you’ll be visiting when there are not students on campus, so you’ll be limited in what you can learn by chatting informally with random students. Your tour guide is paid to be an “ambassador” for the college and present it in its best possible light. Ask probing questions.

  3. There are some new dorms at Oxford but there are also some very old dorms with problems, which I’m told are the housing for many of the freshman. Check them out closely. They might not be included on the tour because the tour is designed to show the campus in the best possible light. So you might have to ask to see older dorms.

  4. Check out the food. I hear that it’s not very good but that you must take the meal plan.

  5. What are your options to transfer to Emory’s main campus if you don’t like Oxford after freshman year?

As I said at the top, I’m biased in a negative way even though I wanted to like it, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. But it’s best to go in with eyes wide open. Know what’s important to you and see how it matches up.

1 Like

Thank you so much, this is all so helpful!!!

1 Like

As a URM with a 3.9 from a top boarding school, I think you’re setting your sights a little low. You will have a great chance at Oxford/Emory during the ED2 round. Williams ED1 is a little more difficult to predict because their class size is so small. but the fact that you’re going through a pre-read via the coach signals a lot.

An unweighted 3.9 should place you in the top 5% of your class, no? If not can you estimate your class rank? Your college counselor should be able to provide it. If not looking at SCOIR or Naviance will give you a sense of where you stand in the class. The reason why rank is important is because many of your classmates will apply to the same schools. So they compare students within the same high school.

You already have a few things setting you apart (URM, LGBTQ and athletics). So you already are a competitive candidate. It sounds like Ivy league schools don’t interest you. Have you thought about schools like UChicago Georgetown or Rice? You’d be a strong candidate and you would probably get great financial aid.