Chance me for UPenn M&T

International student here. I take the IB where I have a Term grade of 39/42 and predicted grade of 42/42
Our school doesn’t rank students but if it did, I’d be surprised if I wasn’t in the top 5%
My grades have been excellent all through high school from 9th grade till now (11th grade)

UPenn is test-optional this year. I will be taking the SAT however, for my other universities. I’ve been achieving 1400+ in my practice tests.


Research in mathematical/ quantitative economics (their website says they like a strong background in math)
Won math olympiad
Started my own podcast (it isn’t related to business or engineering but it is some ‘initiative’)
President of the entrepreneurship club
Won several business competitions throughout high school
Started my own non-profit (Wharton wants to be the ‘business school for the world’)
Started a football club too (although it doesn’t really relate to M&T)
MUN (won few awards)- I don’t really do MUNs now; used to.

Just assume in your answer that my essays and recommendations are gonna be good. I am just a bit tensed about my extracurriculars, to be honest.

I really don’t have 100+ service /volunteer hours. I also don’t have extracurriculars in science except for reading books from the library related to quantum mechanics.

Also feel free to chance me for some of my other schools like MIT, Brown, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, UChicago. Upenn M&T is however my top choice. Please give advise also on whether I should apply ED or RD ( I already have the grades for ED and I feel my grades are gonna drop by the time RD comes)

Seriously? What are you tensed about? They are amazing.

For when to apply, it is mainly based on your financial situation. Will be comfortable paying however much they ask you to since it is binding?

Umm no. I do expect a very generous financial aid offer but I heard that we can overturn a binding agreement only on grounds of unaffordability if I am not mistaken.

Many US universities are running huge deficits since the start of COVID. International students typically are full pay. So they will likely not be handing out as much financial aid to internationals as in years past.

Suggest to have a serious conversation with your parents now on how much they can afford.

Congratulations on your achievements to date. Penn M&T is an exceedingly competitive program. For an international seeking significant aid it is even more so. It is impossible to chance for a school/program with a single digit acceptance rate. By all means give it a shot, but be sure to also focus you time and attention on finding less competitive affordable options including schools in your home country.

Almost everyone at Penn M&T is hooked, attended the summer program M&TSI, or applied ED. Most, from my experience, are two of the three.
Absolutely apply ED.

Hi, it’s hard to chance but I wanna still give you insight on demographics in terms of international admissions. Believe it or not, demographics play a large role in international admissions. For example, many accomplished friends of mine applied to Cornell for ED- they all got flat out rejected. It wasn’t because they were all far from Cornell caliber (many won international competitions, started their own businesses, or went to their summer programs), but the basis of their rejection was probably because so many people applied to Cornell. To give you an idea, probably ~10 people applied to US schools in the early round, and at least 6 applied to Cornell ED. I also know 2 people from surrounding schools who applied to Cornell ED. That’s at least 8 people who I know of who applied early to Cornell, think about the amount of people who I don’t even know who applied (from my area). Now my city is a medium sized city near Cornell. There are two other huge cities which are also within a 5 hour drive to the school. Typically speaking, a cities # of applicants grows exponentially with its population. That being said, I would estimate ~150 combined ED applicants with all of the cities within 5 hours of Cornell. Cornell can’t accept that many students from my country, since they have a quota on international students in general. That means of the 150 who applied ED, only probably 5 can get in. ( that is a 1/30 ED acceptance rate compared to the normal 1 in 5 ED acceptance rate. Ofc, my circumstances are different than most international students because I am from Ontario, Canada which is geographically very close to Cornell in particular.

This is pretty not to the point, but what I’m getting at is that you should evaluate how many students in your area are applying to that particular school. No matter how good you are or how good the ED statistics are, demographics honestly play a larger role for international students. All international students are also sort of different because they have vastly different demographics. Idk why I spent so much time saying this. This is my rule of thumb which i will soon test out: (if you are also a fellow Canadian, the US schools closest to you will have the most applicants from your region, thus making it statistically more competitive), if you live in a city/suburb, try applying to the more rural universities, and if you live a small town, try urban universities. That’s probably how you’ll most likely increase your chances at getting in an ivy.

Just reply back and HMU if you need clarifications. Hopefully this helped??

(btw all numbers are estimates and the rest are assumptions that are based on my friends experiences applying to colleges)

Yeah international admissions is going to be very tough this year. Apply M&T ED if it is your top choice and be sure to write unique essays. 1400+ isn’t the highest for M&T admits from what I know, so I would say shoot for 1500+ (close to perfection as possible on the math section, but it won’t be critical this year because schools are test optional). Also, don’t try catering your application to what they want to see (not saying that you would but I think it is worth mentioning). You need to make sure that people see you as a holistic person and not just stats and ECs, so make sure that comes through your application. Good luck!

All the schools you mentioned are incredibly competitive: I have seen kids apply to all of those and receive not a single acceptance letter (still going to wonderful schools of course, albeit not “ranked” as high). My point is to make sure you apply to a range of schools you would be happy with, and see where the chips fall. Good luck!!