Chance me for Ivies + T25s

White Male, currently a junior
Public High School, ~250 student class size
Rural area in Michigan, top high school in the region
Strong alpine skier, although likely not good enough to be recruited

Intended Major(s)
Economics, Finance

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • HS GPA: 4.0 UW, no weighted GPA
  • Class Rank: No class rank, although I would most likely be valedictorian
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1570 SAT (780 M, 790 ERW), 1540 SAT (790 M, 750 ERW), 1440 PSAT 9

Honors: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English I, English II

AP: Government (4, online AP test), US History (likely 4/5), Macroeconomics (likely 5), Microeconomics (likely 5), Literature (likely 4/5), Language and Composition (taking senior year), Calculus AB (likely 5) - all APs offered except for Biology

Four years of Spanish and will dual enroll at local cc/ take pre-baccalaureate classes through UPenn next year


  • Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search High Achieving Talented Students (HATS OFF) Award as one of the top one hundred scoring seventh and eighth grade students on the SAT in Michigan
  • Will likely be a National Merit Scholarship Finalist
  • Will likely be an All-State All-Academic athlete

Varsity Skiing (Four year varsity, will be captain as senior, twice All-State, two team state championships, pushing for individual state title next year)

Varsity Tennis

JV Lacrosse (decided not to play this year to focus on AP tests)

Youth Advisory Committee through local community foundation (Officer two years, will most likely be a liaison for the community foundation board of directors with full voting power)

Key Club (planning on running for officer position next year)

National Honor Society (planning on running for board position next year)

Student Advisory Committee (selected by principal to help identify student needs)

Student Leadership (Treasurer sophomore year)

DECA (freshman year only)

I was accepted into the Wharton LBW program last year and will be attending the online Business Leadership Academy in June!

Essays and recommendations should be very strong. I’ve built up great relationships with teachers and my HS counselor, and all speak very highly of me

Harvard (Possible EA), UPenn Wharton (Possible ED), Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton, MIT, UChicago, Northwestern, Michigan Ross (in-state), Amherst, Williams, Duke, WashU, UNC, BU, BC, UND, open to recommendations

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts!

What are your safeties?

You have done great but you have only single digit chance of getting into most of those schools.


Also, please note Penn has only ED, not EA.

You have good stats and seem to be a strong candidate. If you can afford to apply ED it will boost your chance a bit since ED acceptance rates are a bit better than RD.

Good shot at UMich. The rest are the single digit acceptance reaches for everyone.

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You may want to look into some LACs with notably strong economics programs, such as Williams, Hamilton, Amherst and Colby:

For finance, look for available courses in topics such as accounting, corporate finance, financial economics, international finance and financial econometrics.

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Too reachy. School counts a lot and will play against you, especially in a TO year in which you will need to face reality of some spaces being reserved for TO candidates. You may want to think of geographic diversity goals and places like Emory, Bucknell, Villanova, Stanford, Tulane, Georgetown and others; they probably don’t get a lot of apps from rural Michigan. You need to diversify your portfolio bud, even if you walk on water. Also WashU business would seem like a strong fit with potential merit aid although they probably do get more rural Michigan apps.

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Look at Babson College, it is business and entrepreneurship oriented, and you can easily find a major that fits your interests

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I agree that you have to add some match schools to your list, as all you listed are reaches. You will also need at least one affordable safety. Rural Michigan is unlikely to help you.

Do you know what your parents can/will pay for college? Start with that, and then run each school’s net price calculator to see if the cost estimates are affordable.

Pending affordability, IU Kelley could be a near safety, or Michigan State, or Dayton.

Match schools (some could be highly likely) could include Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette, U Richmond, BC, Pitt, U Miami, Miami Ohio, Syracuse.

UMich LSA might be a match (does your school use Naviance?)…but Ross will be a reach.

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I’ve read your post and the whole thread and I actually really LIKE your chances at one of these schools BUT you must widen your net beyond these. Further, your experience would be vastly different at each so I suggest digging deep into the core curriculums and unique offerings of each to see how they match with your interests and concentrate on only those in this tier - not all of them will be a good fit for you.

What kind of college counseling support do you have at your HS to help you expand beyond this limited list ? Focus and do research on a school beyond sometimes/mostly meaningless “rankings” - which like any data, can be sliced and diced to fit a narrative.

Finally, I cannot emphasize enough how time consuming it is to write essays and responses to prompts applications today require … and make them genuine, in your true voice. This is why I feel strongly you need to focus on a few in the hopes of standing out rather than just applying to a school because of rank or perceived prestige. Don’t go down that rabbit hole of disappointment. There are a ton of “next level schools” that boast brilliant outcomes, where YOU will be able to shine the brightest !


Absolutely, Amherst and Williams are definitely on my radar, and I am hoping to look into them more. Next year, given my schools relative lack of course offerings, I should have a lot of freedom to take some courses more closely related to the field. I have enrolled for dual enrollment in our local CC, so I am hopeful some class options there stand out!

Right now, there are a few other schools I’m looking into to serve as safeties, but in all honesty I didn’t feel as if I had done enough research into them to really see myself there yet, so I decided against listing them on my post. Notre Dame, Georgetown, Amherst, Williams, WashU, BU and BC are all schools I would like to look into more.

What do you mean by TO year? I haven’t heard that before.

Thanks, bit of a lapse in thinking there regarding EA vs. ED! Absolutely planning on making sure that my EA/ED application (wherever it may be, still want to get some in-person visits done first) is completely dialed in this fall. Super tough year!

In all honesty, my parents (although not extremely wealthy or anything) have done a really good job with planning for finances going into college. I don’t anticipate cost being a factor in where I decide to go at all. Additionally, there are a lot of great scholarship opportunities in my area that have historically been rather underutilized, and I will definitely take advantage of those.

Still looking into some schools I can feel more confident in my applications with, just haven’t found the places (outside of my targets) that I feel I can really fit in (or at least haven’t done enough research into them at this point).

I like your point about applying to UMich LSA, considering there are a lot of other low acceptance schools I am applying to that I would likely rather attend, maybe not applying to Ross would be a smart decision just to make sure I have a really solid in state option. Our school does not use Naviance unfortunately.

That all makes sense. You should certainly still apply to Ross, students can be accepted to LSA (or other UMich schools) but not Ross. As an LSA student, you could also do a Ross minor.

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Test Optional

Thanks! I have developed a really close relationship with my HS counselor, and she is highly aware of my goals and has really helped put me in a position to succeed. Like I have mentioned in some previous comments, I am working on finding some schools beyond the top choices where I feel would be a good fit.

Next school year, I think that I have set myself up well to be able to really focus on my applications and essays. I will have exhausted the course offerings at my school (except for AP Lang/Comp) by next year, so I will be taking a lot of CC courses which should provide some extra flexibility in my schedule. I definitely agree with what you said, there are lots of opportunities out there and I know I’ll be happy wherever I end up!

Good to know, I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I’ll bring that up to my counselor next time we meet and ask her thoughts as well.

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Ah, makes sense. Super disappointed with the move towards test optional all around, standardized testing is a definite strong point for me so it is frustrating to see that slip as a requirement. Was really hoping to have some SAT Subject Test scores to add as well, but obviously those were discontinued unfortunately.

Your excellent test score will likely be an advantage for you in your applications (unless you apply to any test blind schools where you would not be able to submit it).

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Are you saying that you are full pay and OK with that? Would NMS merit-friendly options be desirable nonetheless?

Right now, I feel that I am in a position where, barring admittance, I can attend where I want without costs being prohibitive. My parents have always been aware of my goals and do whatever they can to help me achieve them. That being said, a level of sacrifice is definitely present and any scholarship funding I can get is still a big help. Just wanted to explain that cost of attendance is not a primary factor for me in deciding where I want to go.