Chance lrising senior for reaches and possibly BS/MD's


  • US Citizen
  • State/Location of residency: TX
  • Type of high school : Extremely Competitive Public
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): None

Intended Major(s)
Molecular Biology/Biology on Pre-Med Track

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.91/4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 5.08/6
  • College GPA (for transfers):N/A
  • Class Rank: Weakest part of my application, around top 12%, significant donward trend from priorly being top 5% with a 4.0.
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1530 SAT (730 RW, 800 M) 35 ACT (35, 35, 35, 35)

(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))

17 AP Classes, all AP Sciences, Math up to Calculus BC

HOSA Nationals
HOSA State
Science Olympiad State
National Merit Semifinalist
USABO Commended Semifinalist
More State-Level Awards
Applying for scholarship competition awards

(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)

  1. Research Internship at Duke University, 40hrs/wk, 3 weeks, conducted research alongside PHD students surrounding molecular biology and cancer cells.

  2. Research Internship with global laboratory, scheduled for august to may 2022, surrounding environmental science and global change.

  3. Research Internship with local university this summer, conducting research on neurobiology

  4. Policy Translation Team for prestigious university, write op-eds, conduct reports, and meet with lawmakers in order to propel a movement dedicated to stopping eating disorders

  5. Medical Shadowing under multiple specialties, including psychiatry, cardiology, and surgery departments.
    (Note: Unsure of whether I can group shadowing into 1 ec, or have to list them separately)

  6. School HOSA President. Manage club affairs of the first established HOSA chapter in our district.

  7. .Independent research on neurobiological mechanisms. Working under the guidance of an individual professor, research not affiliated with university or program. Unlikely to have any sort of publication done by applications, only end of senior year.

  8. Scattered Volunteering, including American Red Cross, Local Clinic, Habitat for Humanity etc.

  9. Mayor’s Youth Council. Selected to be a part of the local Mayor’s high school youth council to help with district decision making


I am quite confident in my essay writing, and hope they carry my application. However the essay is too subjective for me to gauge, so I’d like to think they are very strong but we won’t truly know.

LORs should be alright, teacher LOR’s around average to above average, I do hope to get a LOR from my research professor at Duke, which if attained should be quite good.

Cost Constraints / Budget

I am fortunate enough to where there is no issue with cost constraints and budget, any school is within affordable ranges

(List of colleges by your initial chance estimate; designate if applying ED/EA/RD; if a scholarship is necessary for affordability, indicate that you are aiming for a scholarship and use the scholarship chance to estimate it into the appropriate group below)

Early Decision:
Between Rice, Duke, and Johns Hopkins University
any advice would be helpful to decide between the 3.

  • Safety (certain admission and affordability)
    UT Dallas
    Texas A&M
    Baylor University

  • Match
    Case Western University
    Boston University

  • Reach
    2 of 3 (Rice Duke JHU ) that I did not ED.
    UT Austin (Non-Auto Admit, In-State)
    UNC-Chapel Hill
    University of South California
    University of California - Berkeley
    Vanderbilt University
    Darthmouth University
    WashU in St. Louis
    Emory University
    Brown University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Yale University
    Texas A&M BS/MD
    UPitt BS/MD
    Brown BS/MD
    Might add more BS/MD to my list.

My stats are extremely poor in the context of my reach schools, considering I am an unhooked asian male.
My EC"s in my opinion are decent, but for admission into schools listed above and especially BS/MD programs I am significantly worse than what’s required, scrolling through subs on this website have proven that
I do hope that essays can bridge the gap and allow for admission into 1 or 2 of the many schools listed, although that’s extremely unlikely. I do hope that I can at least hit my match schools, and possibly scrape by with a non-auto admit to UT Austin.
BS/MD’s are extremely unlikely, as I don’t have as much volunteering/medical experience as most applicants and my stats are quite poor, however I’ve learned from other’s experiences that there is never harm in applying and trying my best.
Any advice on ED is helpful. ED is my best bet to get into one of the listed 3 schools, I am not sure if attaining the LOR from Duke will help my admisssion chances there significantly. From what I can tell JHU has the highest ED rate, and does not count legacy, which only increases its credibility, but Rice seems to be slighly less competitive in terms of applicants overall, albeit a lower acceptance rate for ED.

Will apply EA for Case Western, forgot to mention that. My apologies

  1. why the drop in your ranking?
  2. why do you think that none of your teachers see you as a star?
  3. the Duke LoR will not outweigh your teacher / GC LoRs.
  4. This is not an absolute truth:

Strong applications require strong essays. Everybody runs out of steam (don’t kid yourself: you are not the exception), so batch your possible applications in a way that means the ones that you genuinely care the most about are after the first 2-4ish, and before the 10/12 range.

  1. You qualified your headline late in your post, but any student posting a “poor stats” headline over a 3.91 UW GPA and 1530SAT/35ACT is asking for accusations of ‘clickbait’.

Congratulations on your achievements.

I can’t chance you, but am concerned your list is much too long…it looks like you just took the top 20 USNWR list rather than looked for schools that fit.

You probably don’t need three safeties…would you be happy going to all of those? I am not sure TAMU can be a safety either, given that you won’t be auto admit there (top 10%). But, I still think admission is more likely than not.

Case Western is a match if you apply EA and demonstrate interest. I can’t stress DI enough. Even then, prepare to be deferred out of the EA round. Due to its low acceptance rate, BU is reach. You have to apply EA to UNC as well.

You can’t just apply to Pitt for BS/MD GAP, so get Pitt’s app in as soon as it opens. I would call Pitt a near safety for you if you apply early (GAP correctly categorized as a reach).

Would you consider an LAC? Your stats as well as being an Asian male are desirable at any number of LACs.

Rather than trying to guess which ED school your chances are best at, why not pick the one that appeals/fits you most?

Why do BS/MD programs appeal to you? There actually can be harm in applying to too many schools (and your list must be culled), in that you won’t be able to write strong essays and put in your best app at all.


Sorry about the title, I should’ve stated in the context of my reaches. I do not mean to come off as clickbait.

I don’t think none of my teachers see me as a star, I simply don’t see my teachers as writing an exceptional LOR in my case. I am an above average student in their classes, and I do expect a good LOR, but I don’t think it would be to the extent that it could salvage my application if need be. Rather a decently strong LOR that supports my best qualities but I am unfortunately not close enough to my teachers as I wish I was.

I never stated that the Duke LOR would outweigh my teacher LOR’s lol, I just hope that it is a good LOR overall and could help contribute to my app. I was simply wondering if the Duke LOR could help my chances at Duke specifically because its coming from one of their own professors.

My ranking dropped simply due to an overload of classes and poorer performance overall. I went from straight A’s to about 3 B’s in AP Classes, and that was my fault and my fault alone.

Thank you for the advice on batching my applications, I do plan to cut down my overall schools list, but what I have above is the schools I am interested in as of right now. I plan to do some more research into them to cut down to the schools I fit the best in.

The guaranteed acceptance of medical school is a dream come true. I would pick a BS/MD program over basically all my other reaches, however those programs contain acceptance rates even worse than the most selective schools.

Thank you for the advice on the list, I do plan on cutting down some of my reaches after research on the school. As of right now, I just listed every school I am a little interested in.

I technically do not have auto-admit for TAMU but unless major misconceptions occur I do believe its a safety, as I am coming from objectively one of the most competitive district in Texas, and their acceptance rate is rather high, and the only reason I’m applying to 3 safeties is for possible scholarships, I do know that A&M and UT give NMF scholarships.

I’ll definitely try to show DI for case western and other schools that look into it, and UNC EA as well.

I was looking into LAC’s recently and would love to consider them. My only concern is with the available clinical opportunity surrounding some LAC’s, as I know some are in more remote locations, and as a pre-med extracurriculars in undergraduate is extremely important. I will be researching more on LAC’s before deciding on whether to apply to a few or not.

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My first reaction in reading your post is that you are stressing out unnecessarily. Becoming an MD is normally at least an 8 year process, and you need to stay healthy and well for the entire 8 years. Keep working hard but relax, you are doing well.

I also see that you have taken an enormous number of AP classes. This again is a source of stress, and might have made it a bit more difficult to retain a high unweighted GPA.

The good news: There are a very large number of universities that are very good for premed. You will be able to get accepted to a university with a very good premed program. Then when you apply to MD programs how you do will depend upon what you did in university. Also you are a very strong student. You can do this.

With a 3.9 unweighted GPA and 17 AP classes, I would expect that your chances on your match schools are pretty good. One daughter did get into BU with a similar unweighted GPA but with far fewer APs and a lower SAT (it was unaffordable for us, and turned out to not be the best fit anyway mostly due to its lack of large farm animals). I do not know anything about UT Dallas, but the rest of your safety and match schools do have very good premed programs. They will be very academically demanding also, but given that you have done well with 17 AP classes I think that you could handle any of them.

Dartmouth is of course both misspelled and listed as a “university” rather than a “college”. It would be academically tough, a reach, and a reasonable choice if you want all of the academic challenge, exceptionally tough competition from other students, cold weather, and a small school.

In terms of getting accepted to a BS/MD program, I would wonder about your statement “I don’t have as much volunteering/medical experience as most applicants”. This will be very important for admission into BS/MD programs. Also, experience in a medical environment is very important for entry into MD programs when the time comes. However, apparently not all doctors do patient care. Some instead are focused on research. You seem to have quite a bit of medical related research experience. I have no idea how this will work out.

I am not sure that I would apply ED anywhere in your situation. On the one hand you do not seem to have a clear first choice. Also, I am not sure how this will interact with your applications to BS/MD programs. Also, while you say that you have no budget limits, it might not be that bad to wait and see what offers you get (I think that you will get multiple acceptances) and see if any of them are combined with sufficient merit aid to allow you and your parents to leave quite a bit of money in the bank for medical school.

I am not sure that you should have so many reaches. The essays will matter a lot for your reaches, and I cannot imagine how you could possibly do a good job on so many essays. You might want to think about what you want in a university, and cut your list of reaches in half based on whatever it is that you feel is important to you. Also think about how much traveling you want to do between Texas and each of the “far away” schools. You have some very good universities and very good premed programs right there in Texas.


How do you know you are CERTAIN you want to be a physician, based on your experiences to date? (You are going to need to write about this, and speak about it in any BS/MD interviews.) Spoiler alert: This is a difficult question for many HS seniors to answer. It seems you have more research than patient facing experience (is that true?), and many successful BS/MD applicants have the reverse. If true, can you get more patient facing experience this summer? I would prioritize that over research this summer.

Next, think, really be introspective, about the college experience you want. Many BS/MD programs have onerous GPA requirements, and some still require taking the MCAT. If you attain good stats, you would have likely been a successful med school applicant down the road.

At many BS/MD programs, especially the accelerated ones, you might not be able to study abroad, work during the summers, double major/minor, or just explore your interests academically, extracurricularly, socially.

You might also research med school early admission programs (typically apply after your second year of college to med schools that your undergrad college has an early admit agreement with), perhaps those may appeal to you.

A popular choice amongst students in our area with profiles similar to yours who want a BS/MD or BS/DO program is Nova Southeastern. You’ll very likely get accepted so may be worth checking out.

Outside of top 10% rank, you do not qualify for automatic admission to UT Dallas and Texas A&M.

Other Texas public universities may have additional automatic admission criteria that you quality for.

Is there a cost limit on what you and your parents can pay including medical school before loans?

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Thank you for your response!

The amount of AP classes I have taken is average in the context of my school. The top 15-20% of students and upwards have taken ranging anywhere from 12-20+ APs. It is quite a competitive school district

I do think that BS/MD’s will be difficult because of my ec’s. I have some experience in research, but due to COVID it was difficult to find volunteering, and I am struggling to fit hours this summer because of travel plans and other programs I am taking part in.

I am narrowing down to a first choice for ED. but I also am considering not ED’ing at all. I hope to get multiple acceptances but with the rates of these schools, its more than possible that I get rejected everywhere except possibly my safeties. I do think that if I truly come to love a school I will ED to maximize chances, or else I will back out and just do EA/RD.

I do plan on cutting down my reaches, this list just shows everything I am looking at currently.

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I also think I am lacking in volunteering/patient facing experience. It was difficult to find such opportunity due to the pandemic, and even now the majority of hospitals in my area are not allowing high-schoolers to participate in past volunteer programs because of COVID protocol. I’m actively searching for clinical patient-facing experience so hopefully I can find something this summer, but I do think BS/MD’s are unlikely in my current situation.

One opportunity I was thinking off is becoming a CNA, which may provide me with clinical experience in the field. Do you think this is beneficial?

The points you listed about BS/MD’s certainly make me question whether or not I would pick it over a normal undergraduate institution. As of right now I do think i’ll still apply to a couple of BS/MD’s, possibly cutting down the more competitive ones from my list, but it’ll be wise to do some more research into the program requirements before committing to writing essays for these schools

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I listed UT Dallas and Texas A&M as safeties due to their high acceptance rates, NMF scholarships, and based on students within my area that have gotten accepted into their schools.

From what I can tell, the majority of my stats except class rank fall within the upper percentiles of these schools, and although they enforce 10% automatic admission it is more common for them to not yield all these students, with the bulk of their class based in a lower percentile group based on common data set statistics.
Of course, no admission is 100% guaranteed, but unless major issues occur in my application I am quite confident in acceptances to these schools. NMSQT also provides a full ride + stipend to UT Dallas, so I can’t see any reason for me not to get into it as a safety. I do come from one of the most competitive districts in Texas, with the majority of our top 10-15% of students going to competitive schools, and the majority of admits to UTD and A&M coming from significantly lower class rank percentiles. Therefore I do think its reasonable to list these schools as safeties, regardless of texas class rank laws, as the only school that heavily enforces these rules for admission is UT Austin.

There is no cost limit on what my parents can pay including medical school before loans. I am fortunate to be in this position, but I will still look into scholarships and merit-based programs elsewhere as medical school is expensive regardless of affordability.

BS/MD is difficult not because of your EC’s. It’s difficult because it’s difficult. Too many applicants chasing too few seats. The U’s have the luxury of weeding out anyone who doesn’t seem to understand what a career in medicine involves. That’s why the volunteering is important- not because it’s a box to check, but because it is tough (even with shadowing) to convey the “why” of a career as a physician without experience working on the people side of the equation.

If you write about wanting to "help people’- heck- the Adcom’s know you could become a social worker, speech therapist, occupational therapist- a few dozen careers which are less time and money intensive than becoming a physician. If you write about your love of medical research and discovery- again- go get a doctorate. It’s a tough needle to thread to be able to convey why you want to be a physician. Patients are smelly, and cranky, and combative, and in pain, and sometimes bleeding from every orifice.

Since you haven’t had much hands-on patient experience, my suggestion would be to table med school for now. Give yourself the luxury of an undergrad education. Maybe you end up applying to med school or maybe not. But that allows you to put your best foot forward with the person you are right now, today, without tying yourself up in knots trying to get the right kind of experience this summer.

You are clearly a talented kid. why not apply to the places which will love you and want you just as you are?


The college search is not about trying to find the school where you fit in best. It’s about finding the school that is the best fit for you. I may be arguing semantics, but I think this is important. Your original statement makes it seem as though you will need to alter/change yourself to conform. The latter one is a place that is right for you, as you are, without you needing to be anything that you are not.

:100: :100: :100:

If you were to describe your ideal college experience, what would it be like? What kind of people would be around you? What kind of classes would you be taking? What would you be doing outside of class? What would you like the weather to be like? Are there any niche considerations that you would like accommodated? Is there a certain distance from home you would like to be? Would you like to be able to do an exchange program as a science major, and if so, for a summer, semester, or a year?

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Why BS/MD’s?

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First, congratulations on all of your achievements! Your stats are not poor!
A few questions: do students outside of the top10% get into schools on your reach list? W
What are your AP scores so far, and what classes? What classes were your Bs in, and were they all junior year?

That is my biggest worry. Its possible but significantly more uncommon for students outside of the top 10% to get into those types of schools. Considering common data set statistics, the likelihood of not making those schools as top decile is lower, but at the same time, the amount of students who commonly report rank is quite low, so the stats only represent a portion of the population. I do come from a competitive district, and, although rare, there have been students who have made Harvard and UPenn this last cycle w/o being in the top decile. These students are of course outliers, but I don’t think all hope is lost if you’re outside of the top 10%. Because admissions are holistic, a strong application overall can possibly help make up for that flaw, especially considering the rigor of my secondary school is extremely high. For example, a student outside the top 10% of a strong school with 15+ AP’s and only 3 to 4 bad grades overall is in a more favorable position than a student within the top 10% of their school with only 4-5 AP’s and significantly less course rigor. That’s what I have heard at least, I can’t claim this is true, and comparisons regionally will put me at a disadvantage. There is a chance by RD round that I can climb my way into the top decile and send an update with my mid-year report, but that is not set in stone.

AP Scores so far are not that great, they consist of 3s and 4s with 1 5, but thats across 4 tests. I have taken 12 AP"s till now, with 5 projected senior year, consisting of every AP Science course and math up till Calculus BC, alongside core courses such as histories, language, and electives including psychology, computer science, seminar and research.
I do hear that AP Scores matter much more for credit than application, although I am unsure if this is true. Based on my feels for this year’s test I do not expect too many high scores in math & physics, being my weak points.

All my B’s were junior year, I had 4 B’s total by semesters in 3 classes, which includes 1 B in Calculus BC, 2 B’s in AP Stats, and 1 B in AP Research. I did show an upward trend in calculus and research, going from a B to a 95 and 98 respectively in the second semester, but I failed to show any progress in stats as its my worst class.

The ideal school out of my reaches is UT Austin, considering I am in-state and its relatively inexpensive compared to the rest and quite a nice school which I like a lot. However because I am not auto-admit, it becomes a lot tougher and with UT’s well-known weird admissions, there’s a high chance I do not get in. I have seen students in my own school get admission to Caltech and Johns Hopkins this last cycle, and gotten capped from UT, while at the same time there were non-auto admits who got UT w/o as impressive of a profile. As a non-auto admit I do think I have a fair chance basing myself on profiles that I have seen accepted within my own district but with acceptance rates this low its never anything more than a reach.

OP- it is MUCH more important to have mastery of the material than to load up on AP’s and end up with a 3… Have you stopped to consider ratcheting down to make sure you’re actually learning as much as you can in each of your classes rather than trying amass more AP’s?


I got 1 3 on Physics 1, I don’t think AP Scores will hurt if I just do not report them? In the context of my school I am not loading up on AP’s, unfortunately my district is extremely competitive, and if I had to guess a number, the average # of AP’s being taken by students within the top 10-20% percentiles is at least 12-13, with the majority of my peers having near 20 AP’s by the end of high school. I did struggle on a few AP tests this year, although I feel like my performance suffers during testing pressure rather than content, as I maintained steady grades in most of my classes except those listed above, and the only AP tests I expect to do poorly on this year is AP Physics C, because that test was just too hard for me, and possibly some of the math tests because they’re my worst subject, but we’ll see. Of course I don’t aim for 3’s, but I don’t think its too uncommon for a student to make a couple of 3’s over the course of high school, since it is difficult to be a perfect student. I think for admissions, AP Scores aren’t a large factor, and for credit, I do aim to have the best scores possible on the AP tests that matter for my major, testing pressure is something I struggle with quite a bit, and in all honesty if a class is too difficult for me to take in an AP setting, I would not mind retaking that class in college to learn the material better if my credits from AP tests are not high enough.