Chance Me HS Sophmore

Hi Guys!
One of my dream colleges i want to attend is University of Pennsylvania. I plan to possibly attend Wharton and major in Economics or Finance. Here is my current resume, and I hope to add more to it when this Pandemic is Over

SAT: 1500 (700 Reading 800 math) Essay (8 writing, 6 analysis 7 reading)
GPA: 4.0/4.0 Unweighted, 5.63/6 Weighted
SAT Subject Test Math: 800

AP Gov (3)
AP CSP (5)
AP Calc AB
AP World History

FBLA National for E-Commerce 2019-2020
Volunteered to fundraise money for kids in Nepal
FBLA Graphic Design (Results come 20th)
Red Cross volunteer
Tutored at the Kumon during the summer

Ethnicity: Asian (Indian) American

I’m again a HS Sophmore and I am just starting out my resume, but any advice on what parts of it I can improve on to bolster it would be great! I also plan to retake my SAT and take a SAT II on World History and Chemistry!

Single digit acceptance rates. Be open to other colleges.


I know the acceptance rates are single digits. That is why I am asking if there is something I could do that could help bolster the application :slight_smile:

Stay at the top of your class. Show how you are going to use your intended major to give back to society. Have varied EC’s that show you are well rounded. Show demonstrated interest.
Then apply ED and cross your fingers (and have a list of safeties).

What state or region do you live in?

A 1500 on the SAT as a sophomore, eh? That’s impressive! Hats off to you for starting this college journey so early! Although, I must add that may be average for UPenn, but thankfully, you are still a sophomore, so you have time to improve.

I, myself, had a reach school I was very passionate about. I love Vanderbilt and everything Vanderbilt, and I would definitely say that I have an unhealthy obsession with Vandy. To my disappointment, I was denied. What I can tell you is that it’s rather impossible, right now, to chance anyone for their dream school, but I can give tips and pointers of what I wish I knew and would do differently.

You mention that you want to get into UPenn, an ivy, to major in Econ/Finance at Wharton. These ivies are highly selective reach schools for anybody. There are too many highly qualified applicants for such few spots. The acceptance rate is roughly 8%, so for every applicant accepted, nearly 12 who are similar are denied. Keep this in mind when you are applying as admissions at T20s is 20% stats and 80% luck. If you are passionate about Econ and Finance, your best bet is to show your interest in these two subjects. What does volunteering for Red Cross mean to you? What does raising money for kids in Nepal mean to you? How does this interrelate to being interested in business world? Although these are really great extracurriculars, holistic schools are looking for people who can portray their high interest in their specified major, so I would suggest adding extracurriculars that relate to your major of interest.

Along with this comes more extracurriculars and awards. Not only do you need to show that you are interested in a certain thing, you need strong extracurriculars as well. Being in student government helps, joining school sports teams and holding a team captain position, and devoting tons of hours in community service really helps.

Stats are everything. You have the GPA, and you have the test scores, but do you have the rank? Tons of highly selective schools are going to want students who are in the top 10% of their class.

Unless you are a published author, interned for Albert Einstein, got your essays proofread by JFK, found a cure to cancer, won a Nobel Prize, are a 100th generation legacy, were on Disney, model on your free-time for Vogue, have parents and family members who work at UPenn, and are directly related to Benjamin Franklin, I would say that the chances are unknown. If you are 100% sure that you want to attend this college, I would suggest applying ED. If you are accepted ED, you can not back out unless you have proof that you can not pay for UPenn or have medical reasons to not be able to attend. Keep a list that is comprised of safeties, matches, and reaches. Unfortunately, very few people are accepted to their dream universities, so do not solely count on one school unless you are a founder him/herself.


Thank You so much for your advice! I do have a few safety schools on my list as well! One thing i was thinking about doing, which I’m not sure about, is apply to it in another major like political science and then possibly switch the major. I’m not sure how that works but i’ve heard stories of it being successful! In addition, one club FBLA is a business club and i plan on hopefully running for an elected position this year! But Thank you so much for the response. I may seek other business related ecs if there are any at my school!+


Still the single best piece of advice for students looking to get into single-digit acceptance schools:

My guess is that you won’t want to accept the truth of it, but try: it really is the best path forward.

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Of course! Although, I must add, if you are applying as a Poli Sci major with no intent of pursuing it to get a better chance at getting in, admissions officers at such highly selective schools like UPenn can usually tell if that is what you are trying to do. Your best bet is to also make sure you write an essay that stands out and is unique.

It is great you have other safeties, but just remember that you can do everything right and still not get in. Keep on chasing your dream!

Try to have a theme in your application. College admissions counselors like a consistent theme so keep it one or two themes max. Also join multiple business clubs, maybe even create one in your school because that always looks great. Stack a lot of awards in business and either history or literature as that would be a nice compliment to the business side. Additionally, get your SAT up to hopefully 1550+. Also, try to join some business related nonprofits and try to obtain leadership positions in their

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Could you clarify when you took your SAT and your SAT subject tests?

I took SAT October of 2020 and subject test on december

In any case, I think that, as a sophomore, it is too early to even think of calculating your chances, There are many semesters between now and application season in your Senior year.

Keep on doing well in classes and in your ECs, and you will be competitive or even very competitive, though, as an unhooked applicant it will always be a reach. Also, do not “lock” yourself into any college or any major. By the time you are a Senior, you do not know what you will want from a college or which major you will want to choose.

Having a “dream” college is a recipe for disappointment and heartbreak, especially if that college is one to which you are not likely to be accepted. Furthermore, exactly how can you actually “dream” of attending a college, when you cannot really conceive what it would be like to attend Wharton. You have little understanding as to what attending college is like, what lectures and discussions are like, what interacting with fellow students will be like, or, in fact, much anything at all in college life.

Like most kids your age, the realistic part of your “dream” probably ends with getting an acceptance letter to Wharton or another “prestigious” college.

It is good to do your best, and it is good to plan ahead, and have, as part of that plan, “I will attend the best college for my career plans” as an option. However, having, as your high school plan “I will take classes have ECs, and do everything in my power to be accepted to Wharton, and I have no real idea what happens after that” is unhealthy, to say the least.

As a sophomore you now really see yourself in business as your career? Great, keep on taking classes which focus on that (as well as some classes which provide you with a deeper perspective in life), engage in ECs which interest you, some which may be in the fields of your interest, and try to do your very best. When it comes time to start selecting colleges, first figure out what type of college is the best fit, and what your parents can afford. Then see which colleges are of this type and offer your preferred major. One of this may very well be Wharton, in which case apply.

However, your choice of colleges to which to apply should be determined by what you want and need from a college. Your high school years should help you figure out what you want and need from a college. Basically - you should do your best in high school, and let your highschool years inform your college choice.

As it is, you are looking at it backwards, and trying to let your uninformed college choice determine your high school years. As I wrote, that is a recipe for many unhappy years, before, after, and during college.

College is a stage in life. It is part of your path to whatever you would like to do in life. It is not a life goal.

Imagine being about to go to a trip around the world, and focusing only on which vehicle will take you to the airport.


Being “well-rounded” is not necessarily a good thing with regards to admissions.