Chance Me (Early Graduate) for Harvard, Yale, Stanford AND Match Me with Good Schools - Please read for context


Howdy! So I am quite new to College Confidential and was in need of advice. The title of this post is a little bit misleading but basically, I would like to know if you guys think I would be considered a competitive application for T20 admissions and if you guys could suggest solid match schools for me to apply to. When I say I am an early graduate, what I mean is that I entered high school in the fall of 2019 but will be graduating in the spring of 2022 rather than in 2023. While I wish I could say the reason I am leaving school a year early is that I am so academically ahead that my high school cannot support (that would be cool though) it is actually because my mom will be facing uncertain legal immigration status in the United States in the coming months. Graduating early will allow me to, as the eldest son of a single mother, to best financially and emotionally support my family ESPECIALLY if I am fortunate enough to be admitted to a selective private university with a healthy endowment. Well, enough typing on my part here are my stats:

Demographics: Male, Black (West Indian: Haitian), FL, lGbt, First-Gen, Low-Income (<30k), URM

Intended Major(s): Political Science/Human Rights/Public Health

ACT/SAT/SAT II: 33 ACT (I think this is on the low end so I might apply test-optional!)

UW/W GPA and Rank: 3.99/4.22, My school does not rank.


Freshman year: World History, HOPE (PE Class in Florida), Academic Advising 1, Chemistry 1, Geometry, English 1, Spanish 1, Intro Programming H, Driver’s Education

Summer 1: Spanish 2

Sophomore Year: English 2, College Algebra & Trig, Academic Advising 2, Government and Economics, Music, Biology 1, Spanish 3 H, AP American History

Summer 2: Physics 1 Honors, AP American Government, English 3 Credit Exam, Precalculus Credit Exam

Junior Year: Comparative Government & International Relations, American Literature, Calculus 1 &2, General Biology (AP Bio equivalent), European History, AP Spanish 1 (lang), AP Stats, Academic Advising 3

  • = My school does not offer any honors, AP, or IB and all the stuff I have taken was through FLVS or just through a different third party.


  • AHEC Scholar = In the summer of 2020 I was selected for the program to complete graduate-level coursework in public health. We covered interdisciplinary education, cultural competency, social determinants of health, and much more. This program is competitive for senior undergraduates, graduate students, and people actually in allied fields so doing it as a rising sophomore was really cool. At the end of it I presented an interprofessional research presentation on the importance of critical indicators of the human papillomavirus and preventative medicine.
  • Day on the Hill Health Advocate = Nationally selected to represent an org that I won’t name so not to dox myself. I was able to [virtually] talk to members of US Congress on the importance of funding STD diagnostic centers during COVID-19.
  • Presidential Volunteer Service Award Gold = Awarded for 400 hours dedicated to a particular organization and 900 total.
  • Health Pitch Contest = Led a team where we entered a national contest to secure funding for a health fair initiative we are currently organizing. We ended up getting first which was AMAZING!
  • College Board African American Recognition Program = Top 2% of Black test takers on PSAT; nothing that crazy I just got 1300…

Extracurricular Activities

  1. Mask Up X County - Board Member; County-wide initiative to increase education regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines and information about vaccines. Included in a COVID-19 PSA shared across X County, translated posters to Haitian Creole, and participated in press conferences.
  2. Teen Court of X County - Prosecuting Attorney; Program for first-time juvenile offenders to understand the justice system and reflect on the consequences of crime. Prosecute on behalf of the state of Florida to ensure fair sentences and train new attorneys to perpetuate the program.
  3. Independent Initiative - Entrepreneur?; Collect and distribute staple household goods, common school supplies, and cleaning materials to the Port-Au-Prince metropolitan area. Oversee the development of affordable housing units in underdeveloped areas. Solely responsible for the translation of all legal documents.
  4. Health Education Non-Profit - Peer Health Educator & Student Editor; Provide health education to youth from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds in my local community. Tasked with documenting events and goals for a bi-monthly newsletter. Oversee all social media operations with an emphasis on providing accurate information on current and emerging public health concerns.
  5. Tutoring Non-Profit - Vice President; Oversee the execution and growth of the company in order to bring free high-quality tutoring services to economically disadvantaged students. Currently have 50+ tutors and 1000+ sessions booked
  6. Human Rights Non-Profit - Editor/Content Writer; Conducted outreach and interviews with on-the-ground activists in Myanmar, Syria, and more to get first-hand testimonies on those country’s political turmoil. Wrote comprehensive articles addressing human rights abuses across the globe and to tell the stories of those who have either gone missing or lost their lives due to senseless violence
  7. Trauma Leadership Club - Educator; Organized trauma training sessions for community leaders to become trauma-informed and understand the impact trauma has on the day-to-day lives of the people they serve.
  8. Political Science Non-Profit (Vague on Purpose) - Intern; I am doing a summer internship at a well-established poli sci-themed non-profit. I don’t have any major accomplishments yet since I just started the program/internship. I’m only on week two.
  9. X Health Grant Team Funded through the X grant to participate in 147 events, serving and conducting outreach to roughly 5,500 community members, distributing 1,030 hand sanitizers, 3,130 masks, and handing out 450 referral cards.
  10. Florida Education Board Student Representative; Student-led coalition between 10 Florida non-profit through X university’s Program aimed at combating injustice in education. Work with other student leaders and educational professionals to implement strategies and actionable goals to minimize social inequities in FL.

I also held a job throughout high school but they were “less conventional” streams of income like interning and doing graphic design. Right now I just work at a coffee shop though.

Hope this was specific enough to accurately give me a “chance me” on my profile. I tried my best throughout high school and that’s really all I can give to it lol. Any help is greatly appreciate as I am already starting to stress out about facing this process alone (:


Wow! You certainly have a lot on your plate and I am sorry you have so much to deal with right now. There are a lot of very kind and helpful folks here who will do their best to help you, give suggestions and support. I think there are a couple of questions to clarify first, though.

Are you a US citizen?
Is your father in the US or a citizen?
Are there family members that will be taking care of your siblings? Or will you want/need to stay in FL to be with them?

You are a compelling applicant. The difficulty will be in helping you find affordable options. Things like your citizenship status and your father will be taken into consideration when it comes to financial aid as most of the generous private schools have their own policies. You may also want to look into the Questbridge program. I’m not terribly familiar with the specifics but I’m sure others will chime in.

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Yes I am a US Citizen (305!!!). Neither of my parents are citizens although they are both in the US. That’s honestly uncertain at the moment. I am considered a resident of the State of Florida and a domestic applicant in the United States. My father isn’t in the picture so he can’t really contribute to my education, unfortunately. I don’t necessarily need to stay in Florida with them but would still need to take up a job in university for ~20+ hours a week. If, God forbid, she is in fact asked to return to her country of origin my younger siblings would go back with her and I would support them financially from a distance in the USA like we currently do for a few other famiy members. And I’ll definitely check Questbridge out, thank you so much!

Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Rice, and the like as well as the small liberal arts colleges like Williams, Amherst, Carleton, and Pomona are long shots for anyone. The good news is that they are almost all very good about meeting 100% of financial need and committed to bringing in URM applicants to increase campus diversity. So, it is worth it for you to apply to any and all of them. Top Florida publics should also be on your list, including New College of Florida which provides a small liberal arts college at public college cost (if any for you).

You say that your reason for accelerating your education is so you can make money to support your family. So, I think it would be important for you to think about your career path now. Many if not most of the Ivies and small liberal arts colleges offer very few, if any, majors in which you can get a job coming out of college. Most are preparing their students for graduate school. That would not seem to be your path.

Obviously a college degree with any major enhances an applicants chances for a good job, but the path is less clear. Colleges and universities with schools of engineering, business, education, nursing and other health care specialties, for example, offer direct entry into the job market. A career in one of these areas might offer employer paid graduate school after you are working. The federal government is the biggest employer in the country and there are many careers with state and local government agencies as well.

Is there any career path that interests you? If so, that might begin to narrow done the list of schools that make sense for you.

You are an impressive candidate. Honestly, if you can tell your story well, you will be accepted to multiple T20 schools. These schools are reaches of course, but I would not say you are a long shot (data backs this up). As FGLI, and URM, your 33 ACT should absolutely be submitted, and with a 3.99UW GPA there is no need to test any more.

Just an idea - I think that there may be some college consultants who would be willing to work with you on a pro bono basis, because your results are likely to be great, which will reflect well on them. I remember seeing a number of offers along these lines from a few with national presence (like college essay guy I think). Perhaps others on this site can point you in the right direction and give you some leads. Presentation of your story and accomplishments in the face of challenges will be key.

Best of luck!

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Definitely add FSU, UCF, and UF. I think you can apply for the Bright Futures scholarship which gives free tuition for a lot of colleges in Florida. Just make sure you have enough community service hours.


About Questbridge, if you are a senior next year and planning on going to college NEXT fall then you can apply, and you have a good shot of being matched.

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In state Public schools UCF/USF or FIU (305) are safety schools for you. FSU/New College are matches and UF should be but it is getting really selective. . Bright futures will take care of tuition plus any other scholarships you may receive.
OOS Colgate Colgate Eliminates Tuition for Families With Incomes Less Than $80,000
Ivies are need based no merit run the NPC on their website to give you a realistic cost.

Definitely Questbridge.

For matches/safeties look at Colleges that Change lives.

In FL many different colleges are matches but Bright Futures may not suffice for a zero-EFC student.

Note that, contrary to what was stated in a post above, LACs prepare for grad school well but it’s not their sole or even main purpose. Only 5-15% LAC graduates get a PHD (far more than from national universities, but far from a majority) and law school/med school admissions are on par with similarly ranked national Us; many graduates go on to jobs using their extensive alumni network.
@Lindagaf @blossom will have examples I think.


You’ve gotten great advice about colleges in general but I wanted to address this…College is not HS. Working 20 hours/week is not going to be realistic if you are a full time student. Most folks recommend planning on no more than 10 hours/week of outside work.


Ideally, I would like to go to law school or go into Public Health like an epidemiologist or biostatistics; my career path would most likely be something that requires study past the undergraduate level. I’m not as familiar with it but getting a government job isn’t something I am opposed to either. As far as in state schools go I have looked into New College of Florida and it’s quite nice in my opinion. UF also has an undergrad public health program that I am interested in. I’m open to most things, but I do have some reservations against FSU

I see! Thank you for pointing that out…that’s definitely something I will have to keep in mind

I’ve actually reached out to some in hopes that they could help me for free…hopefully they respond :)! I appreciate the feedback. Have a nice day!

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I currently have ~976 volunteer hours and I believe I make the cutoff for the GPA/SAT&ACT scores. It might be important for me to email Questbridge and ask them if they take early graduates, huh? Anyways, thanks so much for the feedback and have a nice day!

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It seems we meet again (:wave: )! I’ll be sure to check out “Colleges that Change Lives” thank you for the suggestion. I believe Bright Futures on covers tuition (:slightly_frowning_face:) so it would likely still make the cost of attendance too high for me. Though I think there are a few scholarships here and there that I might be able to receive. LACs are nice but some of them are little too rural, but hey beggars can’t be choosers after all.

What are your reservations about FSU?

This isn’t really founded on anything but a few of my friends have voiced their experiences of racism and just overall prejudicial behavior of the FSU student body. I haven’t really looked into it so it’s definitely not off my list!

I am sorry to hear that, unfortunately, you can encounter racism at any time. However, I believe it is isolated cases and FSU is a very inclusive place overall and trying to do better.
The school has really been improving the last few years and Im glad it is still on your list

That’s a really good point! Are there particular programs at FSU that stand out from the rest?

If you are graduating next year you should be fine. Definitely place importance on QB, their application opens later in the summer and is due this year in september (projected date).

Bright futures pays for tuition, and you can always ask the college for more financial aid to cover other things, you probably can get a full ride. I think you’re aware of this already, but because you are planning to go beyond the undergrad level your first priority should be cost, not prestige.

Good luck!

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Good point, thank you! The only reason (well not the only) I’d like to attend a prestigious (wealthy) school because of the guaranteed full ride. For example, Harvard guarantees 0 Parent contribution for families making less than 65k. Again, thank you for your feedback. Have a nice day! (:wave:)

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