CHANCE me (Ivies, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, etc.)

Hello, I’m a current senior, and I would love you guys to chance me on the schools listed below. My spike would be math and engineering and I really want to major somewhere around mechanical engineering or applied math.

Schools in order of priority : Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, CMU, and the UCs

Demographics :
Asian Male (oh no), us citizen
Private high school

Standardized tests and scores:
SAT - 1570/1600
SAT II - Math 2 (800), Physics (790)
GPA - 4.21 (W) 3.96 (UW)
9 AP’s with all 5

Awards :
AIME qualified 3 times, scored 7~8
USACO Plat qualified
HMMT and ARML Semi Finalist
Some smaller local competitions
Nationals qualified for Robotics

Recs :
Physics teacher (prly good)
Math teacher (very good, def)

ECs and Leadership :
Played a varsity sport for all years of HS
Researched and published 2 papers, mentioned in a famous stem magazine.
Math team all 4 years, captain senior year
Robotics team for 3 years, captain senior year
Part of a STEM research club, I’m officer this year
Made some projects (prosthetics, corona websites, school website redesign, etc.)
Music (I was really committed - jazz, pit, abrsm, international bands, carnegie hall, etc.)
Cofounded non-profit teaching young kids (MS and ES) basic coding and engineering
Cofounded NGO focusing on human rights in Asian communities
Maker blog where I record all my projects (won’t disclose for privacy reasons)
Internship (soph → jr. year) at a local university using CAD and stuff like dat
PROMYS this summer, was really nice.

I think that you already know the answer - you are competitive for them all, but they are still reaches for anybody. Choose the three or four which you think are the best fits for you, (though UCLA/Berkeley/UCSD can be considered as one), and find yourself some good matches and a safety which your family can afford and which you would be happy to attend.

However, before that - what is your state of residence, and what can your parents afford?

BTW, you really should choose between Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Cornell, CMU, and the UCs for reaches. Harvard, Columbia, and UPenn are not worth the difficulty of admissions for the level of engineering they provide, compared to UIUC, UT Austin, GTech, Harvey Mudd, Michigan, Purdue, TAMU, Wisconsin, or VTech. Even Penn State, UMD, or OSU would be better choices for engineering than those three, IMO.

Hey @MWolf , thanks for the response! I believe I can afford applications and tuitions for all the schools I mentioned above. What do you mean by state of residence? And, of course! I completely agree with the fact that the schools you mentioned may be better in engineering, but I really want to meet the brightest minds from all fields, which is why Stanford and Harvard especially are my dream schools. All the schools I mentioned are definitely GREAT schools without doubt, but in my opinion I equally value the experience and community that comes with the school. But yes, I will be applying to Michigan, GTech, and Purdue.

In which state do you live? It is important for calculating tuition and admission chances to public universities (some, like Michigan or GTech, which have higher acceptance rates for in-state students).

if you really want to keep Harvard, do so. You should also understand that engineering at these schools are somewhat different, character-wise - for example, MIT leans more to “traditional” approaches to engineering, while CMU has a broader approach.

You have done your best over the past three years to be the best student that you could be. Now it is time for you to find the college which would be the best for you. So do some more in-depth research on these colleges (and on your matches and potential safeties), and decide which colleges would be the best colleges for you.

What are you looking for in a college? What type of student body, what type of environment, what type of geography? Do you want a larger school or a smaller school, a rural location, an urban location, or a suburban location? Do you want fellow students who are more liberal or more conservative, more laid back or more intense, more geeky or more preppy (well, at least kinda-preppy, they are engineers, after all), etc. Do you want larger classes and more independence, or smaller classes and more support and in-class interaction? Do you want access to a wider variety of research opportunities, or access to more opportunities of independent research?

These are the questions that you should be thinking of now, and use them to decide which will be your top choices among your reaches, matches, and to determine what will be your safety/ies, and whether you will apply REA/ED to any college (and which).