Chance Me, a Junior, For Some Ivies/T20s

Demographics: white, northern NJ, public school

Rank: top 10% (I’m actually 1/95 but our school only officially reports deciles)

Stats: 1560 SAT, GPA > 100 (weighted, 100-pt scale)

Intended Major: Cell Bio, Pre-Med Path

APs: 4 currently (school doesn’t allow before junior year): bio, lang, apush, comp sci principles; taking 5 next year: chem, stat, calc bc, lit, french


  1. remote medical research internship, hopefully published by summer
  2. physician shadowing, starting after covid-19 winds down
  3. deca chapter executive
  4. future problem solvers
  5. hospital volunteer, 70+ hours

Hopefully I can add NJ governor’s school to the list when decisions are sent out in 2 weeks.


  1. DECA state instructional award (x3)
  2. principal’s honor roll, all years of HS
  3. school renaissance award, all years of HS

Schools: Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, Duke, Hopkins, UVA, Northeastern, UMich, Boston Uni, UMaryland

I plan to take math II and bio subject tests in July. I really don’t feel like I stand out enough for top schools, and I know they’re a crapshoot either way, but I’d just like to know if I could have some sort of chance at all. Thanks so much!

Your ECs are excellent! Is it at all possible for you to take a more rigorous AP load next year? I took AP Calc BC last year (MUCH easier than what people say) and am in Physics C: Mech and a few others this year (hoping for some more APs in the next two years I’ll be in HS). For example, Phys C instead of stat? Other than that, I wish you the best of luck!

Harvard - Long shot, its a long shot for everyone
Princeton - Long shot, same as Harvard
UPenn - Average chance, depends on the internship
Duke - Average chance, depends on the internship
Hopkins - Low chances, JHU is one of the most applied to schools for premed
UVA - Good chance
Northeastern - Should be a high safety, low match
UMich - this one is unpredictable
Boston Uni - Low match, you get in im pretty sure
UMaryland - you get in

I would disagree with @GoBears2023.

UVA is a not a good chance for any OOS applicant, since the acceptance rate for OOS applicants are below 20%. Northeastern and Boston U are not safeties or even low matches for anybody anymore, now that acceptance rates are below 25% for these colleges.

I would also comment that “average chance” for Duke or UPenn are still in the low single digits for RD unhooked individuals.

However, you are a great applicant, and are likely to get at least a few great acceptances, so long as you apply strategically.

This list kind of makes a few assumptions…like mom & dad have unlimited money. All of these schools are private or out of state, which means if the economy gets worse, you’re probably going to end-up spending a year or 2 at community college. If I were you, I would apply to as many full ride scholarships as I could. That’s going to give you a guaranteed source of money for all four years.


Yeah, by average chance i meant like OP was going to have chances of an average applicant.

For UVA, you’re right, OOS is hard. My bad.

As for northeastern and bu, it depends on how you treat them. They know if you are using them as a backup or a target school. Northeastern typically waitlists people who they think are using them as a backup, same with bu.

OP - reach schools are reach schools for every applicant. Spend your time finding some true safety schools that you love. That’s the hardest part of the process, not finding the reaches.

You need to do three things: (i) Find out what your budget is; (ii) Make sure that given the currently highly uncertain state of the economy that your parents are really sure that they will be able to stick with this budget; (iii) Run the NPCs for the schools on your list.

“northern NJ”
“Pre-Med Path”

Medical school is insanely expensive. Rutgers is a very good in-state for you university with a very good premed program. You are likely to be spending buckets of money to attend at least many if not most or all of the schools on your list when you could save money for medical school. If you were to go to Rutgers, you would find premed classes tougher than you are expecting, and standing out near the top of these classes would not be at all easy but might be possible and would put you in great shape to apply to medical schools.