Chance Me: 2021 looked ROUGH, "chance" the list for a nervous 2022 grad

Here is our proposed list, would welcome any suggestions/comments. We are really trying to be reasonable and realistic.

  • White male, US citizen, Maine resident
  • Public High School w/decent regional reputation (Top 5 in US News ranking)
  • Univ of Rochester legacy

*Majors: undecided, interested in Econ (BA not BS), Poli Sci, Int’l Relations, Finance

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 93?
  • Weighted HS GPA * 97 (plus 3 for honors, plus 5 for AP/IB
  • Class Rank: Top 10%
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1500 (730 ERW/ 770 Math). took it cold, no prep. taking it again in June to see what a bit of prep for ERW can do (most schools superscore right?)

through JR year:
AP USH (5)
AP AB Calc (4)
AP BC Calc
AP Euro
AP Lit
IB Spanish
IIB Econ

will take SR year:
AP Stat
AP Lang
AP Gov
IB Econ
IB Spanish

Awards (not much to speak of)
Natl Honor Society
Tri-M (Music Honors)
Maine State Seal of Biliteracy
High Honors etc.

Varsity Soccer
Varsity Skiing (Capt.)
Model UN (leadership)
Math Team
Chess Club (founding member)
Wind Ensemble
Jazz Band
Reporter/Blogger for teen sports journalism site

He is a solid writer, essays should be fine or slightly better than fine, rec’s will be solid, but he’s been remote/hybrid so thinking they are not going to set him apart all that much.

Cost Constraints / Budget
Not eligible for any need-based aid. For Tufts, we are willing to pay full freight. Otherwise hoping for some merit to get the costs between $50 and $60K.


  • Match *
    Univ of Rochester
    U of SC (Honors College)
  • Reach *
  • High Reach *

Thanks in advance!

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Seems like a well balanced list to me!

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I agree a balanced list and generally categorized correctly. Have you run the NPCs at each of the schools and/or looked at their merit levels?

I assume that UVM, UMD, UofSC will be affordable ($50K-$60K) even if there is no merit, correct? But GW and Rochester are different stories…so a match for stats, but maybe a reach considering you will need $20K-$30K merit or so.

Is the intent to ED to Tufts? Do you want more school suggestions? Is your S interested in LACs?

Yes, you are correct. GW, UR, Northeastern would require some merit to become attractive options given that he would be happy at UVM. We need to learn more about UMD, and U of SC is really about the honors college which is a match/reach.

LAC: would love some ideas - issues are size, he is pretty adamant no small schools (> 2-3,000)

ED Tufts: I think Tufts could be great and am willing to pay. ED would be preferred BUT my son really wants to visit McGill (loves the idea of lots of int’l students and loves Montreal) and we haven’t been able to visit. Hoping to see both this summer. my pref would be ED to Tufts (which is obviously still a high reach). Would welcome any thoughts.

My white male ‘21 son was rejected at Tufts. Similar stats generally. I now wish he would have switched to ED when that was offered. ED was very powerful last year and Tufts took a very high percentage of test optional. Unfortunately for us he couldn’t visit until this April so we weren’t comfortable with ED at the time.

A footnote here that my son applied to a very popular major. I do feel like that played a part in some of his waitlists and rejections.

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It’s so hard. ED is clearly for the school’s benefit, not the student’s. I think my son will have a hard time wrapping his head around the idea of having to go one place by Nov.

I hear you. My son got a lot of acceptances and merit that made him feel good but in the end he picked the best school he was admitted to full pay. Tufts would have been a much better match for his areas of study. They do have ED 2 and offered it to him. Of course we’ll never know if he would have been admitted anyway.

Good luck on your journey!

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Major is such a big part of it, I don’t think people fully understand that.

100%. I did support my S applying as the major because he has two clear areas of interest (both very popular) and it all tied in with his essays and ECs. At his big publics you need direct admit so he had to anyway. It is important to be authentic and hopefully the right school will bite down. In any other year I suspect he would have been even more successful. Test optional/blind was a real game changer. I think for your class it might be less so because access is so much better and most schools more than met their obligation in ‘21 to take a lot of TO but just a guess. ED is your best defense against competing institutional priorities, TO.

Happily my D24 will be applying in humanities.

I’m curious, why U of SC?

Honors College is top notch, Bus School offers In’tl Bus Major and we have lots of family in Columbia and have spent significant time there.

Would UR give you legacy credit in RD? Do they have EDII?

Take a look at Tulane, Richmond and Wake Forest for matches, maybe Emory and WashU as reach alternatives. All have nationally recognized finance, economics and PoliSci programs, and have the right size. All of them give merit to different degrees.

Mainemom, I’m curious, why a BA in Econ and not a BS? Have him take the hard math classes and graduate with a more marketable degree. He is already taking upper level quant classes like AP Calc and Statistics.

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Different kind of major when it’s BA—social systems, policy, etc. unless you are taking about on-campus recruiting. As someone who chose a BA over BS (arts and sciences over Wharton decades ago), I was a liberal arts thinker. And I was recruited by almost as many of the same companies upon graduation. whomever hires him will teach you the math you need because they have “their” way of doing analysis. The critical thinking and abstract reasoning is oftentimes more powerful over time. My most successful MD friends were all social science majors with pre-med minors.