Chance me for TUFTS and other top schools!!

Hey guys, I’m a rising senior and my top school is Tufts. I will likely be applying ED. Other choices I’m considering are Northeastern, BU, BC, WPI, Wentworth, UConn, and UMASS Amherst (safety). Here are my stats:

Straight A’s since freshmen year (19/440)
APs by graduation include: AP stats, BC calc, AP physics, AP psych, AP bio, AP Physics 2, and a Dual enrollment credit for calculus 2/3.
I have a 30 ACT from my first testing but will retake it 2 more times to get to 32-33.

EC’s include:
Key Club
Red Cross club
Summer Tutoring
Soccer (stopped sophomore year)

3.78 unweighted gpa
4.4/5 weighted gpa
Please help me and let me know!! Thanks!

Tufts - High match
Northeastern - Match
BU - Match
BC - High match
WPI - Low match
Wentworth - Safety
UConn - what state do you live in?
UMASS - Safety

Definitely take the ACT one more time and make sure you study hard. If you get a 32-33, it will improve your chances drastically. Also, do you have any leadership in your ECs? That is important and it looks like it’s missing from your application.

You have essentially no chance at Tufts with that GPA and ACT score.

@NickFlynn I think saying essentially no chance at Tufts is a little radical. According to college board the middle 50% is 30-33 for the ACT, this would put this person in the 25th percentile there, which is not NO CHANCE. The GPA is a little low, but really a 3.8 is not horrible, and I am CERTAIN people have gotten into Tufts with a 3.8 GPA. The candidate has straight A’s and is in the Top 4% of their class. So I think that you are being a little extreme.
Also, the early decision acceptance rate for tufts is a 39%, so this applicant has some chance at getting into Tufts early decision.
Please support your argument with facts and statistics.

@neuprospect98 ED doesn’t make it easier. The admit rates are overstated because of preselected students like athletes and legacy that only have preference in ED.

I think what Nick is saying is that being in bottom 25% for a school with an average acceptance rate of 17% drops the probability to about 5%. Not zero but 1 in 20 are very tough odds.

Tufts’ admit rate for 2014-15 was 17%.

The OP’s test scores are right around the 25th percentile.
(There is a similar issue here as with NEU, where the SAT 25th percentile is really closer to a 31 ACT.)

The OP’s class rank is top 5%, but 90% of Tufts applicants that reported class rank were in the top 10% of their class.
The OP’s GPA of 3.78 is not terrible, but it also is probably lower half for Tufts.
The OP lists 6 AP classes, but no scores, so my guess is that only 3 or less have been completed so far. That’s not a particularly rigorous schedule for a school of this caliber.

All of that combined leads me to believe that in terms of GPA and test scores, the OP is somewhere between the 25th and maybe the 35th percentile of admitted freshpersons at Tufts. So, how does that translate into an acceptance rate? I think that it translates into about 1/3 of the overall acceptance rate, so maybe 6% or so as an RD applicant.

Are there any other mitigating factors? The only other thing mention in the post was ECs, and honestly, they didn’t look like anything special at all.

What about ED? Everyone always gets way excited about high ED rates, but what they fail to consider is that the ED pool is usually much more qualified than the RD pool - there are recruited athletes, recruited URMs, legacy applicants etc…this all varies from school to school somewhat, so you can’t overgeneralize, but the general idea that you get a huge boost from applying ED is a canard. You probably disagree, so let’s just put that aside and take the ED rate as a given.

CollegeData says that the ED admit rate for Tufts is 36%, so let’s take 1/3 of that and we’ve got 12%, which I think is about right, especially given the mediocre ECs.

12% is, I will concede, better than “no chance” but still…

I think the OP also has pretty slim odds at BC and NEU as well. The other schools on the list are a lot more realistic in my opinion.

APs look great. ACT seems low and lacking a variety of ECs. I had spoken to an admissions counselor in the fall and she said applying ED does not increase chances of acceptance at Tufts

@NickFlynn Okay, you put up a good argument, and I agree with you. 12%, while not much better, is better than saying “essentially no chance.” Essentially no chance is kind of shattering in a way, and I do not want this person to think that they are wasting their time, as essentially no chance implies. While it is important to be realistic and realize that the odds are stacked against this person, I think word choice is important when dealing with an anxiety filled teen ager, do you agree?
I agree with your statements though, after you explained your thinking. Sorry if I came across as rude.


No, you were right, and I was wrong, and I appreciate you pointing it out. My initial post was too harsh.

The OP does need to take another crack at the ACT to have a good shot at Tufts - a 32 or 33 would make a big difference.

@NickFlynn I agree. OP should take another crack at the ACT to make the school low reach-high match, rather than a reach.

Getting up to a 33 would be huge. But I’m just not seeing it. There’s no leadership on the EC’s and nothing that sets you apart. I’d say maybe a 5% chance for Tufts. All the others are matches or safeties with the exception of BC which I consider a reach.

I don’t have much else to contribute to this discussion, but the acceptance rate for the 2015-16 admissions cycle was 16% (technically just under that), with a 29% ED acceptance rate.

With a higher ACT score and very good essays you have a chance OP. However you’ll have to wait to see if you end up with that 33, otherwise I don’t think your chances are great.

@micmatt513 Where did you find the 2015-16 data, if you don’t mind me asking?

@tigerrocks13 NEU is at least as much as a reach as BC, based on the data I have.

OP, I also think its important that you remember that these chance posts aren’t entirely reflective because we don’t know anything about your essays and recs. A 3.8 GPA is definitely not going to kill your chance at Tufts, I would recommend retaking your ACTs and focusing on writing stellar essays! Best of luck!

I can’t seem to find the Tufts blog that stated this, @NickFlynn, however they accepted around 600 applicants out of an ED pool of 1842 (not sure where I found my original stat, I believe it was in a Tufts blog somewhere, but the best I can do for the admissions rate is this There was a blog at some point I believe, or at least information about this being the most selective ED1 class so far, but I don’t know where that information is. Maybe it was put individually in a letter after we received after our acceptances?

The other number is pre-waitlist information, but here’s where they stated this:

They haven’t released the actual data yet, however. I once had the actual number of students who were accepted ED to Tufts, but I’ve since lost that number and don’t know where I can find it.

^^^ Thanks. I think it is interesting that their ED acceptance rate dropped by so much over one year. I think this is at least anecdotal evidence of what I said above - that ED is, for unhooked applicants, not that much of a boost. As more applicants attempt to improve their odds by applying ED, the admit rate starts to move close to the overall admit rate.

The article said that their number of ED applicants increased by around 10%, which means that the acceptance rate would have to drop by a pretty significant amount. I feel like ED (or REA/SCEA) is the only way to show top colleges that you really want to go to them nowadays. To have a realistic chance at schools like the Ivies, Duke, Stanford, etc. ED/EA seems to be the only way you can show them that you’re truly serious about their school. Not that applying ED guarantees a qualified applicant will get in, but there are plenty of qualified applicants who truly would fit at a school who would just be rejected based on dumb luck and no real explanation otherwise if they applied RD.

But, that is a very different topic from the OP and I feel bad derailing the thread haha. Also, please note that if you’re applying as an engineer to Tufts it does affect your chances slightly. The average math score for engineers is higher (about a 760 on the math section of the SAT) and I think it is more competitive overall than the A&S applicant pool.

^^^ Engineering is almost always a different kettle of fish in terms of admissions.

I do sort of disagree on the idea that applying ED is the only way to show interest in a school. Campus visits, a well targeted essay, a good answer to the “Why ?” question, a good interview can all express the level of interest that some schools are looking for.

Thank you for all the feedback and answers I really appreciate it. This is a lot of good info that I will put to use. I will keep working at it