Chance me for UChicago, Princeton, Duke, and more?

Wanted some opinions on where I currently stand (Junior) and how I can bring out stronger parts of my application for next year.

White, middle-class (~100k) male

Potential Majors: Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Political Science. (I hope to attend a liberal enough college that would be supportive of my diverging ambitions). This is somewhat off topic but I really just value learning for what it is, these specific fields interest me most right now but I’m headed to college to continue my pursuit of knowledge.

SAT: 660 CR (:frowning:), 750 M, 790 W (11 Best Essay) 2200 overall

(Big note here, and hopefully someone can answer based on the colleges I’m looking at. Taken the SAT twice so far, 1900 and 2200 respectively, 11 essay came from the first test somehow. Anyway, wanted to know if its worth it to retake just to bring up CR to a 700+, or would a 700+ on the Lit SAT2/ a 5 on the AP Eng. Lang and Comp exam qualify my score?)

GPA (Unweighted; out of 100) 98.2783 (End of Sophomore Year)
All honors classes, most rigorous course load available, will take 8 APs over the course of HS
Rank: 9 of 90 (As of end of year 10. Anticipating top 5 by end of year. Highly competitive class but my weighted classes will have substantial impact on my rank.)

SAT2s: Yet to take, planning on taking Physics, Chem, Math 2, possibly Lit to qualify my terrible CR score on my SAT. Anticipating mid-high 700s, probably low 700 on Lit if taken.

AP Exams: This year I’m taking AP Eng. Lang and Comp, APUSH, and AP Chemistry. Anticipating 5 on Eng., 4/5 on USH, and 4 on Chem.

(A lotttt of music related things, seriously)
(I really love music and my common app essay will likely be strongly centered on something music oriented)
Concert Band: 4 years
Jazz Band: 4 years
Marching Band: 4 years (2 years as Drum Major)
Brass Ensemble: 4 years
Summer Community Jazz: 2 years
Instruments I play: Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn, French Horn, and currently learning piano
Chorus: 3 years
Select Chorus: 2 years
Drama Club: 3 years (Lead roles all years)
Musicals: 3 years (1 supporting, 2 leading)
(Student Government)
Student Council HR Representative: 2 Years
Class President: 1 Year
Class Fundraising Chairperson: 1 Year
(Will run again next year, undecided what position)
(Community Service)
Key Club: 4 years (1 as Treasurer so far, planning to run for district office this year, would be managing 8 clubs in my county (speculative))
Interact Club: 2 years
Misc. Other Community Service Projects
Total Hours: 200+
(Other Activities)
Mock Trial: 3 years (1st Prosecuting Attorney, 2nd Defense Attorney, 3rd Undecided)
Chess Club: 2 years (May exclude from app because wasn’t terribly interested, or good for matter :P)
Basketball: Freshman Year JV (Again probably wont include)
I write for fun: (Rather proud of my work too) I comment on current events when I feel I have something to add to the conversation, I’ve has two of my articles published in the largest newspaper in my County
(Work Experience)
3 years at ice cream shop
2 years dish-washing/bussing at local restaurant (current)
Just started internship at local STEM Academy (tutoring, test prep, robotics, programming, Minecraft for kids)
Nothing major yet
Countless school level awards, depending on how you guys deem my current résumé I will enter more higher-level essay competitions
Nothing I can say here will stand out but I want to know what you all have to offer as far as suggestions go.

So with all that out of the way, and though I probably forgot some major things knowing me, I’d like to be chanced for the following Schools:

UChicago, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Yale, Brown (I have a strong connection here), MIT, Cornell, UC Berkeley, and Notre Dame. (My actual list is even longer but considering I’ll have to cut it down soon anyways I figure I’ll start now)

Please take all liberty in criticizing me and scrutinizing every detail possible, I’m really looking to improve in any way whatsoever.

To awards, add
Tri-M Honor Society

I would retake SAT. A strong writing score is nowhere as good as a strong math and reading score. Taking the Lit subject test and taking AP Lit will not help you much in this regard.

Only one chance left with the January test, and I really don’t know if its worth it. I’ve known several applicants from my school with nearly identical profiles and worse scores to go to Ivies

Thanks for the input though, I didn’t want to come off as rude

It’s definitely possible to get in with a 2200, but your chances will increase by quite a bit if you can get a 700+ on CR.
It puts you at least at the bottom 25% of admitted applicants in terms of CR score for most of the top schools.
Also, the people with lower scores might have had 700+ in all 3 subjects.

How did you manage to fit all that on the Common App?

@NotIvyYet If you’re a junior, you’ve got not just the January test, but also test dates in March, May, June, and presumably a couple in the fall. You can take the time to prepare for one later this school year, and hopefully score your 700+.

You should definitely retake the 1/23 SAT as this is the last time for the old tests, and colleges will not super score between the old and new SATs.
Good luck!

Ah. Oops - wasn’t aware of that.

@rdeng2614 I see your points, thank you. Also, I didn’t fit it all on Common App lol, still a junior so I haven’t actually touched the service yet. Is there a limit to the entries I can put in?

@NotVerySmart lol yeah what londondad said, I really only have one more shot at this. Not interested in taking the new test.

@londondad Your opinion seems to be the most prevalent among everyone I’ve talked to, any suggestions for improving CR, I’m a little embarrassed truth be told because I usually score around 700 on practice tests.

Aside from these comments, considering where I currently sit, can anyone give me some actual chances for my schools, or suggest schools I should look at?

They are high reaches for everyone, including those with 2400. Find some safety schools.

@researchperson What about for George Washington University, Boston College, Boston University, Williams College, Wesleyan University, and Northeastern University? Those are the schools I’m considering for matches/safeties

Try! Apply to them. Williams is a reach for everyone, though. You can never predict what they want. Try anyway. Best of luck to you. These look like great choices.

I 2nd re-taking if you think you are capable of improving - it’s shame but these schools rely heavily on those scores to assess you. But it’s understandable if you choose not to.

You list out a lot of activities but here are the ones that mean something:
-Marching Band (Drum Major, 2 years) - can mention other instruments, but not particularly impressive w/o some sort of regional-level recognition. Drum Major is a fairly significant leadership role.
-Drama Club: 3 years (Lead roles, 3 years) - Definitely informative about your interests, and what you’re good at.

-Class President/Fundraising - Class presidency is a fairly significant leadership role.
-Key Club (1 year Treasurer) - A minor leadership role. Hopefully you can focus your community service efforts rather than devoting a little time to a bunch of initiatives. It shows more commitment and deeper involvement.
-Published Articles in County Paper - I think this is a relatively unique feature and something you can certainly build on since you’re talented. You mentioned essay competitions and this seems like a good direction. maybe you can get involved in the school newspaper as well?

Other than that, a mock trial award could help legitimize your time spent in it. Working jobs is also fine.

Overall Academics and ECs are just ok I would say. UChicago, Duke, Cornell, and Brown are viable, but still wouldn’t say excellent chances as is (except Brown w/ connections). You have a little bit of time so see how can take advantage.

@dblazer I appreciate your input. I may have to end up retaking since so many are urging me to. In regards to your other points…

Unfortunately my band does not compete on any regional level so no hope of any recognition there.

To elaborate on Key Club, it truly is a major part of my life right now, I frequently attend statewide and divisional events. In fact this coming weekend I’m attending a leadership conference through Key Club. I go to the two major divisional events every year, Fall Rally, (where last year we set the record for most Key Clubbers at one conference. NJ represent!) and DCON, which is the district convention where we end the current service year and vote on changes to the bylaws as well as elect a new District Board. I’m not sure how to communicate these things through my application, perhaps someone could give me a suggestion?

As for essay contests, I have found a few and started writing already, my AP Eng teacher keeps sending them my way so hopefully I can win a few. My school does not yet have a newspaper, but I have already talked with our coordinator for extra-curricular activities about starting one!

As for mock trial, my school currently gives no awards for it, but winning our county-level competition might help, as tough as that will be considering the brutal competition we face each year.

Thanks for the input all around though, I’ll be sure to hone in on these areas in my app!

Of all the schools you have mentioned:

Reach: Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Williams, UChicago, Duke and Cornell

Low reach: Brown (w/connections; otherwise it’s a reach), Notre Dame, Berkeley OOS

High match: Wesleyan, Boston College, Northeastern

Match: Boston U

Low match: GWU

I think you should consider adding some more High Match/Match schools, like Brandeis, U of Rochester, NYU, Lehigh, Tulane, Wake Forest, Richmond, Whitman, Holy Cross, and Trinity.

@prezbucky Thank you for your input, I’ll put those on my list of schools to research!


-There are district/regional/state level ensembles that are organized by each state’s affiliate of the national association for music education. You have to try out for the ensembles at each level. Otherwise there are youth orchestras in a lot of cities that you can try out for of varying levels of prestige. Certainly something to look into if you feel you are reasonably talented. Getting into one of these ensembles will help legitimize your musical talent.

-You should def include it, but, for as much time as it may take, it sounds like you are mainly just attending/voting in these conferences rn (nothing special) - maybe i just don’t know enough. It’s another level of involvement if you actually help organize one of these.

-Starting a school newspaper would really show some initiative so see if you can materialize it.

@dblazer I can’t thank you enough for the multiple responses! This is all very useful information and I hope to be able to use it all.

I will certainly look into an audition for regional ensemble, thank you for the suggestion!

As for Key Club, I’m running for Lieutenant Governor of my division in January, if elected, I would certainly be organizing, but I care not to speculate on something that isn’t yet there.

And I will certainly follow up aggressively about the paper, our school is going paperless lol but an online edition would certainly suffice imo. I’m going to speak with the coordinator tomorrow!

shameless self-bump