Chance me for UPenn


I’m a junior from Long Island. I’m a Jewish female, LGBTQ, no need for financial aid.

I’ve finally finished my campus tours and my favorites include Penn, Brown, and Cornell(I have targets and safeties too). My intended major for Penn is criminology(would be human development, psych at Brown).

99.1 unweighted GPA (rank will be 1 or 2 out of 370)

AP chem, AP world and all honors for 10th
APUSH, AP psych and DE for the rest for 11th
AP Gov, APES, AP Lit, AP Calc BC and AP Stats with DE Spanish for 12th.

PSAT-1500(will be NMSF in NY)
ACT-36 (36, reading, English, science. 35-math)

My letters of recommendations will be good, I’m close with the two teachers and my counselor.

Extras(these are hard to articulate without doxxing)

  1. Legally binding peer court. I try low level juvenile offenders in a legally binding court. I’m in the process of founding a similar program in my school. Meeting with the principal after AP exams.

  2. Peer mentor for at risk underclassman.

  3. Religious school student teacher

  4. Executive board member and presenter for feminist club at school

  5. Horticulture club

  6. Three honor societies

  7. Hebrew high school graduate

  8. Run semiannual food drives that collect hundred of pounds of food for local bank.

  9. Georgetown summer program for national intelligence

  10. Sleepaway camp counselor.

You have a wonderful application resume here. Definitely submit that ACT score.

Good luck…


As good as anyone…which isn’t great. But you are certainly worthy of applying to any school in America.

Why just Ivy ? And schools that have little similarity? For criminology they’re not close to most known. Or is law school in the picture ?

Great questions. My goal is likely law school. I’m not only considering Ivies, I noted that I have some targets and safeties that I also “vibed” with when I visited. I love the interdisciplinary nature of the four programs/schools I referenced above, even though the schools themselves are quite different. For example, I absolutely love the feel of Penn. I have visited twice and both times I immediately felt at home. I really liked Cornell for the beauty of the campus and the Human Development major. Brown draws me due to the open curriculum, and Princeton’s program and vibe also drew me in.

My guidance counselor has given me great feedback on all ten schools I plan to apply. I just want some feedback on the ivies here.



Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. I think you are a strong academic candidate whose ECs present a great opportunity to differentiate yourself.

No one can chance you without seeing the entirety of your application and even then it is so hard to predict. With that said you seem to have many of both the tangible and intangible attributes schools like Penn and Brown are looking for.

I suspect you know this but make the effort to really understand how you could participate in the various schools community, thrive academically and leverage your education upon graduation to positively impact society. Be specific and detailed if possible. For schools like Penn and Brown they want to ensure you aren’t applying based on reputation or a preconceived notion about the place.

Good luck. FYI there are lots of folks on CC that have first hand experiences at these schools. As you get closer to completing your application I suspect you can benefit from targeted questions versus generic chance me threads.

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Thank you. Yes, I will be submitting my scores.

I do not think you meant this reply to me…I think you meant it for another poster.

My point is…submit the ACT…not the SAT.

My other test score is PSAT (1500 out of 1520), not SAT. I included it to show my reasoning for stating I’m likely to be a NMSF.

Sorry for the confusion.

If you are a finalist you may consider some undergrad schools that are free. Or close to…many with Jewish populations.

You’re going to do great. Academically and all around you are quite the impressive person.

Congrats on your accomplishments!! I think you are a strong contender for any school in the country (acceptance is tough for almost everybody). I see that you are from Long Island- does your major fall within one of the land grant colleges at Cornell (I think it does)?

I have a question, given law school seems to be a big possibility for you.

Is your family prepared to be full pay for both college and law school?

Would it be beneficial for you to look for merit during undergrad and put the money into law school? Or…are you planning to attend an Ivy if accepted, and then search for merit money if/when you apply to law school? Or…as noted above…can they afford to be full pay for both?

Congrats and good luck. You seem very impressive!

My parents have graciously offered to pay for undergrad. Anything further would be on me. All of this will ultimately factor into my final decision, once I know where I get acceptances. With the admissions process so unpredictable, I don’t want to make any decisions until I see where I’m accepted and denied.

Yes, I fall into the land grant school of Human Ecology at Cornell.

Cost absolutely factors into my final decision. I do know that if I want, I can try to chase merit in law school. One of the really frustrating parts of undergrad is that many of the schools I connected to(vassar, Wesleyan, Amherst) don’t offer merit aid. Some of my other targets and safeties do, and hopefully I can get good merit at those.


See if your parents will pay for law school instead. You can go from free to maybe half price at lots of schools.

Yes, they may not give you the experience of the elite you look for but they will save you money.

Also look to W&L. Both the Johnson scholarship and certainly the Weinstein, you’d be a strong candidate for.

I would consider the fact that approximately 3/4 of undergraduates change their majors during their 4 years and a comparable number change career expectations. Before you start saving money for a graduate degree I would be very introspective to make sure that you are set on that path and also contemplate what sort of undergraduate school gives you the best optionality if anything changes or as a spring board for law school.

You are in an enviable position to currently have great credentials and parents who can and want to fund your education. Lots of things can and will change over the next 5 years.

For some the wisdom is go cheap and solve for fit. Often that is a function of either limited financial resources or not being a viable academic candidate for the most elite of schools. In your case you are blessed to have the academic and financial opportunity to consider that trade off from a position of strength.

Best wishes to you!

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