Chance me for Ivies + T20 - International, test optional female

Intended Major:

  • Fine Arts (second intended major: art history)


  • no hooks


  • Female/Asian
  • International student studing abroad
  • Private high school in U.S.
  • No financial aid needed

UW GPA: (school doesn’t do gpa but my counselor calculated for me)

  • 3.99/4.00 (Straight As except one A- sophomore year/ had 3.97 gpa end of junior year so assuming it’ll be 3.99 as I am taking 4 aps and 1 honors and got all As senior mid term)
  • no ranking

Test optional for most colleges but got 1480 (super score of 800 math & 680 english)

Honors/AP & test score:
(Total 8 aps - full year courses so can’t take more than 5 major classes per year)


  • AP stats - 4
  • Honors Chem


  • AP chem - 4
  • AP AB calc - 5
  • APUSH - 3 (not submitted)


  • Honors Math (highest math course at school)
  • AP art
  • Ap art history
  • Ap bio
  • Ap english

scholastic art regional gold key & 4 other international level awards for painting


  1. Art club head

Co-President & Head Planner (11-12) Member (10)

  • Hosted welcoming art space through weekly crafting and organized jewelry fundraisers. Gave $372 to (specific name of the organization). Worked with (specific name of our school’s environmental club).
  1. Town community art project about asian/asian american culture & life

Art Liaison (11-12)

  • Created series of art pieces about Asian/Asian American cultures and lives. Communicated with local store owners and librarians to showcase works.
  1. Student Council

Boarding Community Representative (10-11)

  • Attended weekly council meetings to discuss reported school issues and petition for events like wellness days, sports day, and spirit week.
  1. School literary arts magazine

Design Editor (11-12) Member (9-10)

  • Collaborated with other editors to select and arrange paintings, photos, and writings. Participated in weekly meetings for final publication.
  1. Volunteered at art center

Student Teacher Art Assistant (11-12)

  • Helped teachers with class preparation, cleanup, and material distribution. Guided 2-12 year olds with accessory making, ceramics, and paintings.
  1. Summer art programs @ Columbia & Yale

Art Student (11-12)

  • Learned drawing techniques using charocoal, pastels, ink, etc. Applied history and principles of typography; resdesigned images for (title of the book).
  1. International association club

Tri-President & Event Planner (12) Member (9-11)

  • Hosted activities to encourage international student interaction in school community. Held monthly events. Did cooking night with Asian Affinity club.
  1. Badminton Club

Founder & Co-President (11-12)

  • Arranged meetings with athletics department to petition for club to be spring fitness option. Worked with supervisor and taught basics to members.
  1. School Tour guide (9-12)

Student Tour Guide & Admission Liaison (9-12)

  • Gave school tours to prospective boarding students. Demonstrated tours to new guides and worked with admission to provide virtual meetings.
  1. Varsity fencing

Fencing, Foil Fencer (9-12)

  • Participated in daily after-school practices and taught beginners basic foil rules and postures. Competed in both friendly and competitive matches.

Essays (I would say my essays are pretty good and polished. Very authentic)

  • PS: It’s about how I used to be a realist when I was young but as my dad asked opened ended questions I slowly started to think about a life goal for myself. And that I realized how impactful my dad’s way of asking question was after he passed away. → basically j emphasizing that I am a risktaker and a dreamer lol (sounds much better in my actual essay I promise lmao)

  • community essay: I mainly focused on to show how I worked w students and administrators to better the community and how much I cared abt my boarding community (advocating for others)

  • intended major essay: mentioned art project & summer programs and said that seeing the art’s power to communicate and art’s inevitable presence in modern made me wanna pursue art

Portfolio: pretty good; used bunch of different art mediums(painting, charcoal, pastel, coding, digital painting, sculpture, and more)

Overall theme: love of art and promoting community wellbeing (and some sort of using art to talk abt social issues or personal emotions)


  • AP AB calc teacher
  • Ap Art teacher
  • School principal → I believe she wrote to only few students if not only me (additional recommendation)


  • Dad passed away last summer.
  • One of the family currently attend NYU
  • Got fee waived from Washu and Case Western (i don’t think it means anything tho)

College list


  • Columbia
  • Umich



  • Stanford, Upenn, Brown, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Carnegie Mellon Univery(CMU), USC, Washu, UCLA, UC Berkeley, NYU, Tufts smfa, Case Western Reserve, UCI, UCSB, UCSD, UCD
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While your school doesn’t rank you, the colleges DO put your GPA and academic challenge level on a ranking scale. (Personally, I wish schools would stop telling you you’re unranked. You are.)

What would you consider your class rank and degree of academic difficulty, compared to your peers? For some of these colleges, your academics will be a major part of your admissions criteria.

I wasn’t listed as a valedictorian, which is given to top few percent. But our school does this thing where if there is ppl with high gpa are same race then they give some to other race, which isn’t fair in my opinion but whatever. I am pretty sure I have higher gpa than half if not more of the valedictorian. Also it is only based on unweighted gpa so I took more AP or honor classes than most of the valedictorians.

I am concerned that you don’t have any acceptances at all at this point. Or do you have some that you didn’t list?

I assume you’re in California? (Because of all the UCs you’ve listed).

You have a very reachy list of schools you’re waiting to hear from. Rather than speculate on your chances at these schools, I’d suggest getting recommendations for schools you can still apply to at this point. You don’t want to end up completely shut out. There are some very knowledgeable posters here who can provide guidance.

@AustenNut, @Mwfan1921, @Gumbymom, to name a few.


I don’t have any acceptance yet because I only applied to ED and one EA. I am not from California, but my school has been sending a lot of international asians who did less than I did to UCs. My college counselor told me I should be fine with my list and that’s why I don’t have much safety schools. Thank you for your advice though!

OP is an International student and appears to have no college budget constraints. I believe a couple of the UC’s will come through with an acceptance.

Best of luck @Who_am_I


I think it is hard to chance you because a not small portion of your package is your art portfolio that we won’t be able to judge.


Thank you! I study in the United States but because I don’t have an US citizenship, I am still considered international…:sob:

I think you’re academically very strong and clear all hurdles in this area. Congratulations on your years of effort at a tough school! I think you’ll get into several colleges just based on academics alone.

I would say my question would be the strength of your fine arts portfolio. If you can stand out for fine arts I think you get into some of the reaches. But otherwise you compete with the strong academics and good extracurriculars pool of students. And it’s a tough pool to be in for general academics.

But really you’re a very qualified academic candidate.

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That’s true. I got my portfolio reviewed by professionals and they said it’s pretty strong as most of them are under common theme. Assuming that my portfolio is pretty strong, will you be able to chance me some schools?

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Thank you so much! Assuming that my portfolio is pretty strong, which schools do you think I have chances at?

I think holistically there are reasonable chances across the pool, as opposed to any individual school, because you are saying your portfolio is strong, and judging art tends to be subjective. So I would guess your chances at each school are hard to assess, but in general these potential outcomes are independent of each other, and taken as a whole, the chances are reasonable. Perhaps 50/50 apart possibly from your safeties at the lower UCs…

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It’s impossible for anyone to accurately chance you. Look up the international admission rate for each one and those are roughly your chances. Maybe a little higher with a strong portfolio given your GPA. The good news is you’ll know by the end of the month.

Good luck!


Thank you so much! And yes I am just saying my portfolio is not too bad cuz I did won some regional/international awards with some of the pieces. But I agree that art portfolio is very subjective.

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Are you able to pay the full cost of attendance at these schools? Or what?
Are you sure your now single parent can pay the costs for you to attend?

This is between $65,000 and over $80,000 per year…if you are full pay.

Did you apply for need based aid?

+your academics are definitely strong. Especially for an prospective art major where that takes a back seat to the portfolio.

+if I were you, I probably would have submitted the two SATs used to superscore to 1480. 800 math + 680 ebrw fir someone who is presumably not a native English speaker still puts you in the middle 50% almost everywhere. Those scores would not hurt an art major and likely would help (very modestly).

+given the awards and the self described cohesion of the portfolio, it will be competitive at a minimum. It’s really impossible to say without it getting a “pre-read” from a faculty member of a solid visual arts program. Even a trained artist would have a hard time with that.

You’re definitely competitive. There are people with lower stats/rigor at Sam Fox right now. Without seeing the portfolio, LORs and essays, it is very difficult to say. Did your GC read/say anything about your essays? It sounds like you attend a pretty competitive/well resourced HS and he/she would have some insight there.

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Based on the above interests and evident satisfaction with the cozy community of your boarding school, it seems you might have made a natural fit for colleges such as Williams (renowned for art history), Hamilton, Vassar, Kenyon and Scripps. If you would care to say, did you consider any undergraduate-focused schools of this type for your list?

No I don’t need financial aid. And yes my dad passed away but that doesn’t mean I can’t afford college.


Thank you so much for ur comment! I submitted my sat to NYU, USC, and CWRU. I was going to submit my sat to other schools too but my college counselor told me that I will be compared with other international asians and compared to them my score isn’t ideal for many of the schools I applied :frowning: Also I made sure my essays are pretty well polished and asked my college counselor to read them over! They rlly liked my common app essay and said my other supplemental essays r also well written :slight_smile:

I’m sorry to hear about your dad. At the same time, it sounds like your parents planned well for your college education!

Good luck!! And please please do update us with any acceptances!

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