Chance Me for Ivies and T20 (sort of)

Hi guys, I’m a current junior from a semi-competitive high school in the Northeast. I was wondering if you could help me not waste my ED. I have the following colleges in mind: JHU BME, UPenn, Brown PLME, Dartmouth. I’ve visited all of them except for UPenn, and I really liked all of them.

And here are my stats (my GPA is slightly low compared to those who have been accepted from my high school for the above schools):

Gender: Male
State: Northeast
Major: Biomedical engineering and Business (maybe); ultimate goal is to be a doctor, preferably for something related to neuroscience
School Type: Relatively large competitive public, ~450 in grade
Race/ethnicity: Asian
Income bracket: upper middle class

SAT I (breakdown): 1590 (m: 800 r+w:790)
SAT II: Chemistry: 800 Math II: 800
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.78
Weighted GPA (out of 5.0): 4.24
Rank: No official rank, but definitely top 10% tho
AP (place score in parenthesis): haven’t taken any yet but taking AP Stats, Bio, Chem, Microeconomics, and APUSH this year
Senior Year Course Load: AP Comp Sci, AP Lit, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish, BC Calculus

Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.):

  • Placed 3rd out of 120 in Regional fair with 1st place award in Computer Science/Math (missed ISEF by one :()
  • 3rd place overall and 1st place Biomedical Sciences Southern New England JSHS (National Finalist with $1000 scholarship)
  • Semifinalist (top 30 out of 800) in the Diamond Challenge
  • 3rd place Dartmouth Brain Bee
  • Presidential Gold Medal for Community Service (all 3 years and 500+ total hours)

Extracurriculars (including Community service):

  • Independent Research Club (leader and founder): Formed this club at the end of sophomore due to the trouble I had doing an independent research project myself; sent 7 projects to the state fair and one qualled for ISEF
  • Intern at HMS (image-guided therapy): Started at the end of sophomore year and worked in many different areas including PCNL (submitted paper to MICCAI), breast cancer (submitted abstract to RSNA), and now working on COVID-19 diagnostic and tracking app. Viewed live neurosurgery and PCNL cases.
  • Stadium Ways (CEO and co-founder): Formed company as part of year long entrepreneurship program; Won $2000 in pitch competition and was semifinalist in the Diamond Challenge (international, global competition) in the Business Innovation track.
  • Science Olympiad: Part of invitationals team in 11th grade (did all 3 years) and won some top 5 medals at Harvard and Brown invites
  • Tech for Seniors (founder): Formed a group that goes around local senior residences helping them with technological difficulties. Have helped over 200 seniors and am now conducting Zoom calls to help seniors connect with their families in isolation. Also, I'm recording a Zoom intro vid for my local TV station
  • Intern at HMS (stem-cell based therapy for Parkinson's): Started recently and working on a building a database with genes associated with Parkinson's in literature. Will also build a prediction model for Parkinson's from MRI/DTI scans.
  • Chess: 2nd category player and have won a few local tournaments; currently playing in a club
  • Volunteered in neurodegenerative disease wing of local senior residence where I assisted them with activities and played chess with them
  • Carnatic music: Senior student + have been singing for 8 years; few concerts in India and have sung for many fundraising events; Currently an assistant teacher + recently applied for grant from state
  • Sanskrit: Completed the 3-year SAFL course and received Princeton certification; published a Sanskrit article in the Samskrita Bharati newsletter and am currently teaching ~30 middle school students at a local class.
  • Academic Decathlon: one of three Honors (highest GPA) members from my school the past year; placed 5th statewide in my division and school won state + advanced to Nationals competition (cancelled :()
  • Kids On Computers (website designer and technology manager): attended Linux Conference in Canada as an educator and also install Ubuntu and Linux into computers we send to labs for under-resourced children in various countries (Nepal, India, Uganda, Mexico, etc.)

Summer Activities:

  • Shadowed local private practice dentist (9)
  • Summer Research program hosted by teacher (9)
  • Attend Sanskrit camp (9, 10)
  • Intern HMS (10, 11)
  • Travelled (9, 10, 11)

Could you please give me some help as to whether the above schools (and Ivies and T20s in general) are feasible for me and help me choose one to ED? Thanks!

Your ECs and SAT are amazing. Definitely worthy of any ivy or T20. What’s concerning is your unweighted GPA and AP course load. You mentioned the GPA so you’re obviously aware of that.
Does your school limit the amount of APs you can take or when you can take them? Most ivy applicants have probably taken APs since freshman year or are dual enrolled.

As for ED, only ED if you are sure you can afford the school no matter what. Of course, you can always negotiate aid or withdraw, but it’s a strenuous process.
In the same vein, only ED somewhere you can see yourself living and learning for the next 4 years. Don’t ED just because it’s a top school.

Hi @izrk02, thanks for your help! My school only lets you start taking APs in junior year, and I’m technically limited to 3 in junior year (I’m self-studying two). Also, I think my problem with choosing an ED school is because I’m very good at adapting to different environments, so all of the above schools feel like good fits for me. I think I’m leaning towards JHU tho.

Okay, the APs aren’t a concern then. Just study and good luck next week! If you’re super undecided, talk to your parents about what school(s) they’d like to see you at. Because travel and expenses are a huge factor.
If you can, see if you can get in contact with a JHU student to learn more about campus (since you can’t visit right now).

Alright, thanks so much for your help!

You seem like a very strong applicant. Even with a 3.78 UW, your course load and your ECs make up for it. As long as you have strong essays you will have a good application. As far as which school, ultimately it is up to which you like best as they are all equally competitive and amazing. I would say that if you really want to do BME, then Dartmouth may not be as good as the other schools. Brown obviously has the open curriculum which will allow you to take pre-med, BME, and economics classes. Penn has various dual-degree programs between Wharton and their Engineering School if you are interested (although they are significantly more competitive). I don’t know much about JHU but it is also a great school with wonderful opportunities.

Thanks for the help! Maybe I’m calculating my UW GPA wrong, but I’m p sure that A is 4 and A- is 3.7, right?

If you’re leaning to JHU, it’s a good idea to ED there. With a 30% ED acceptance rate and your ECs, you have a good chance there.