Chance me I am getting nervous!


  • US domestic
  • California
    Type of high school Private but on academic scholarship
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity white male
  • Other special factors no
    Intended Major(s) Poli Sci, International Relations

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

3.9 UW 4.2 Weighted on HS transcript
4.0 Dual Enrollment (18 credits, all A’s)

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.9
  • Weighted HS GPA 4.2
  • College GPA 4.0
  • Class Rank: unranked
  • ACT/SAT Scores:
    35 ACT composite


8 APs
6 Dual enrollment
9 Honors

CDB Scholar
Davidson Young Scholar Ambassador
Nationally ranked for Extemp Speech
MUN Diplomat of Year

(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)
Founded own 501(c)3 in 2017

Intern for local congressperson 2 years Youth Council

Current member of city youth council

Writer and Ambassador for large non profit

Contributing writer for various magazines


I think they will be good - just getting started

Cost Constraints / Budget


My dreams:


The only thing you should be afraid of is - can you pay for school.

People will need to reassess this - as markets and thus 529 plans are down - will they stay down, who knows?

You should not apply to any school you cannot pay for so you / your folks should run the net price calculators. What you think you can afford and what the school thinks you can are two different things - and it differs by school.

So lastly - you’re asking for chances - and well, the chances for any aren’t great - as they’re all hard to get into.

But that’s why you want to go to them.

And that’s fine - just make sure you have targets and safeties too. These are your reach schools but you do have quite an impressive record and so that’s great.

Don’t forget, you and not your school will make your career. You’ve already done a ton of stuff and last I’ve checked you’re not attended any of the schools you listed. And yet you’ve still done a lot!!

Good luck.


Talk to your parents and use net price calculators (or ask your parents to use them) on the web sites of the colleges you are interested in. Include some UCs and CSUs to check how affordable they will be for you and your family.

Start building a list of less difficult to get into colleges, unless you are happy with a backup option of starting at a community college (usually a good path in California to prepare for transfer to a UC or CSU, but may be less suitable if you will have already taken lots of college courses by the time you graduate from high school).

It’s June. You’re already nervous for what happens in March? That’s a pretty stressful way to live for the next 10 months.

Those schools are reaches for all. You realize you have no safeties on this list? If you have a school you are certain to get into, then there is no reason to stress out. Be sure you like it and can afford it.

I suggest you focus on adding safety and match colleges to your list. You don’t want to have no choices come next March. Don’t put all your effort into reach school applications. If you get into a reach school, it’s a bonus.


thank you.

I agree entirely with the above posts, so I also will focus a little more on your specific schools. The answers to these questions don’t matter at all for us here on CC, but you may need to think these through a little more thoroughly:

  1. Do you know why I grouped these unis together?
  • UChicago, Columbia
  • NYU, BU, Columbia, UChicago, +/- NU
  • Yale, Stanford, Brown
  • Brown
  1. Are you more PoliSci or IR?

  2. Why aren’t JHU, Tufts or Georgetown on your list (if it’s b/c you think you can do “better” go ahead and own it)

ETA: in May 2021 you were on a WL for UCLA- what’s the deal?

In 6th or 7th grade?

First of all, you have done really well up to now. Congratulations! I do see that you have put quite a bit of effort into your education and are benefiting from doing this.

Given that you are from California, I will assume that you qualify for in-state tuition at any public university in California. California has many very good public universities.

I think that your chances for admission at BU are quite good. However, given the cost of BU, it is hard for me to understand why it would be worth attending over the very good public universities in California. I guess that this does depend to some extent on how much aid you would qualify for at BU.

Otherwise you have reaches. You are probably relatively close to being an average applicant at most of the schools on your list. You are a very strong student with an impressive record. However, for most of the schools on your list your chances are probably not very far off from the acceptance rate.

There are three big questions here. What is your budget? What do the NPCs show as the likely cost at each of these schools? What are your safeties?

I see your budget listed as “unsure”. You need to figure out what this is.

Another issue is what you intend to do with a degree in political science or international relations. Are you thinking of attending law school in the future? If so then you need to think about budgeting for both undergrad and law school. Avoiding debt for undergrad would be a very good idea if it is possible in your case.

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Congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

First off, you need to figure out what the budget is. That is crucial. Also, as @DadTwoGirls mentioned, if you’re thinking of grad school have a talk with your family to see if they would be willing to spend some of your educational dollars on grad school if you spend less on college. Some families are willing, some are not; you won’t know your situation until you ask your parents.

I would not be surprised to see you accepted at any of the universities on your list. Unfortunately, however, I would not be stunned if you weren’t accepted into any of the colleges on your list. They are extremely competitive and reject far more qualified applicants (like you) than they accept. Thus, it’s important to apply to schools where you are likelier to be accepted and have the price be affordable for you.

What is it about your dream schools that attracts you? Once you let us know what it is you like about these particular schools, then we can help you find schools with similar qualities that are likelier for admission.


Make sure you put down some affordable in-state schools on that list. Applying to all reach schools is never a good idea.

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Very high reach – unlikely but possible
Yale and Stanford

Reach: – A real chance of getting into 1 or more, but don’t be surprised if you get rejected from all.
Brown, Columbia, Northwestern, and University of Chicago.

High match - your stats match their typical admitted student but they have low acceptance rates. You have a very real chance of getting accepted but still under 50%.
NYU and BU.

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