Chance me for some T20 schools?

Hey. 15 year old Indian (currently a junior) here.

I’m looking to apply to HYPSM, Vanderbilt Cornell, Duke, Upenn and Uchicago for Economics.

No safeties in the USA since I need heavy financial aid (which seriously hurts my chances) and my parents don’t want to spend too much which is honestly correct. I’m open to a decent t30/40 school with generous aid, though, as a back up option.

I’m in the CBSE board. Got 96.2% in Grade 9, Expecting 97/98ish in Grade 10 (shifted to a new school in another city) and similar scores in Grade 11.

I’m also taking Ap Micro/Macro econ in 2022, expecting 5 in both. Also giving the ACT this October/December, if COVID calms down. Expecting 34/35 minimum, and 36 with superscoring.

As for my ECs, it’s not too good compared to other applicants but ig it’s better than nothing:

  1. Selected as the Chief Editor for the school newsletter. Also the head content writer.

  2. HR/Finance team lead for a student-run company programme organised by the school.

  3. Expecting to get selected for the student council.

  4. Selected for a state level business quiz (not happened yet, the competition is later)

  5. Selected for a national level debate that’s pretty much among the top 3 debates in the nation. Hoping to get selected for the other 2 as well lol, which is likely if I do well in this one.

  6. Also selected for a national level declamation contest.

  7. Have taught English/maths to kids of ages 6-14 during the quarantine, online. Also offline though that’s on hold for now.

  8. Helped run a charity started by my sister that raised ~300k in USD over the past 5 years. I started in Grade 6 ish but didn’t really actively spearhead until grade 9 or so (details changed/made a bit vague because otherwise it’s easy to guess who I am, though the essence of the activity is the exact same).

  9. I also started a small blog for economic issues that interest me, current affairs, and a few of my short stories.

  10. I also do coding on the side though not sure if it counts because I’m honestly only a beginner and I’m doing it because I enjoy it, no other ‘grand’ cause that could contribute to my application.

Essays- 8-9/10, I’m fairly good at writing lol. The one thing I’m not completely unconfident about.

LORs- also going to be good. My class teacher (English) likes me a lot. The teacher I’m working under for debating is also known for writing glowing LORs. I’m iffy about my eco teacher but oh well, I’ll try and see how it goes.

Well, please help me out if you can. Thanks!

Zero chance until you have actual–not expected or predicted–numbers.

Also, from the schools’ perspective, it is not what amount your parents want to spend, it is what can the family spend as determined by the school’s financial aid officers.


1% chance.

These guys are hardcore lol, tho predicted numbers of course cant be expected to hold a lot of weight. Ive got to question the HYPSM tho, not because of qualification, but because of relavence, MIT econ? Yale Econ? Stanford mkes some sense, and the other two are great, but i don’t see why you would apply to Yale (tho idk about it, im just thinking columbia is better right?) and I have no idea y u r applying to MIT for econ. For safer schools, try looking at this site 15 Best Affordable Economics Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2020 - Affordable Schools. I mainly wanted to say dont be dissuaded by this place, and reconsider the top colleges you apply to, they are top for specialties, not across the board.

Affordability is an important factor when considering one’s higher education options, but so is job placement & employment.

For successful applicants in need of substantial financial aid, COA may be equal to or lower than the low cost schools presented in your post.

MIT economics & Yale economics programs offer outstanding academic experiences & superb employment prospects.

Rankings for economics programs differ from general rankings, an aspect you may want to consider when researching colleges:

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The second website noted by @merc81 shows that,as of June ,2021, MIT is ranked #2 and Yale econ is ranked #10 with respect to research citations.

While not a definitive method of ranking econ programs, it is worthy of consideration & a reasonable indication of department quality.