Chance me for Stanford


  • US domestic
  • State/Location of residency: California
  • Type of high school Public, decently competitive:
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Chinese
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): none

Intended Major(s)
Economics and Mathematics

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.96/4
  • Weighted HS GPA: 4.1/4
  • Class Rank: N/A
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1540 (750 English/790 Math) 8/6/8 essay

AP Calculus BC: 5
AP Psych: 5 (self-study)
AP Macro: 5 (CC class)
AP Micro: 5 (CC class)
AP Phys 1: 5 (self-study)
AP Chem: 5
AP Phys C Mech: 5 (CC class)
AP Stats: 5
AP CS A: 4
AP Seminar: 4 (outside of school)

Multivariable Calculus: A
Intro Linear Algebra: A
Ordinary DiffEqs: A
Upper Div Linear Algebra: A

3x AIME Qualifier
1x USAPhO Qualifier

Published game theory research
Research helping farmers in poverty optimize finances, presented at colloquium
Speech and Debate: mild competitive success, leadership of school’s team
Physics Olympiad Club: founder and president
Editor of mental health magazine

Essays: 4/5
LoR: 2 from school 3.5/5
Extra LoR from professor I worked with on research: 4.5/5

Cost Constraints / Budget


Stanford is a stretch for anyone - so your chances aren’t good. And that’s the same answer for the best students.

One inconsistency - how do you have a 3.96 UW but a 4.1W if you took all the APs you did. Your WTD would be more 4.6 or 4.8. So you have a rock in there somehwere.

Most APs were self-study and not reflected in school GPA

When you make your list, you want reaches, matches, and safeties.

I don’t know your hot buttons (cost, location, etc.) nor do I know how self taught AP is looked at - if at all.

But in general - your Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, Ivies - except for a few programs like Hotel at Cornell - it’s a reach for EVERYONE.

You certainly seem well accomplished and perhaps a Stanford or Rice or Chicago would accept you - but you’re nothing special for them. That’s not to say you’re not special - you are - but so is everyone.

Look to the UCs, Washington & Lee (Johnson Scholarship), other LACs if you like the mid size or even a Northwestern…or even prominent Honors Colleges which would be a safety for you such as ASU or U of SC - great programs.

Perhaps some of the top and mid-tier LACs schools - the Macalesters, Carletons, etc.

Your weighted GPA is what I’m concerned about - you might even call an admissions counselor at Stanford and ask.

Here’s the thing - the CC is littered with kids who applied to 8 Stanfords (Chicago, Rice, etc.), get into none - and then are left without a college.

Such smart kids doing such a dumb thing.

So apply to your dreams - but make sure you have others that fit the bill if they don’t happen - whether it be for admissions purposes or lack of aid.

Good luck.