Chance me! :] Junior looking @ UChicago, Boston University

Hello! I’m currently a junior in high school who has fallen down a bit of a self-deprecating rabbit hole these past few days, and I’d like to see what my chances are with my dream schools.

The main dream schools I’m looking at are in the title; UChicago and Boston. I’m also looking at Northwestern, WashU, Syracuse University, and NYU. Occasionally, I’ll consider Columbia or Brown, but I don’t really think I’m Ivy League material.

I ask that you be as brutally honest as possible. I really don’t want to get my hopes up only to be let down.

My info is as follows:

  • White female
  • Upper class
  • 4.0 UW GPA, 4.64 W GPA
  • 8/464 of my class (top 1.7%)
  • I’ve taken 5 AP classes so far, have tested for one and scored a 5
  • Intended major is Linguistics! (vague, I know, but major really depends on the school)

ACT Scores:
I’ve taken the ACT twice: once both my freshman and sophomore year. I’m going to take it again this Saturday.

Freshman year I scored a 31 composite.

  • English: 35
  • Reading: 34
  • Science: 31
  • Math: 25 (yikes…)

Sophomore year I scored a 32 composite.

  • English: 35
  • Reading: 34
  • Science: 32
  • Math: 27

PSAT Scores:
I took the PSAT last year and scored a 1290 ): Because I was a sophomore, I wasn’t eligible for National Merit, but I wouldn’t have qualified anyways. To be fair, I didn’t study whatsoever. I will be taking the PSAT again this year for National Merit.


  • Speech and Debate (2018 - present); 4th place in Poetry Interpretation at Districts (March 7, 2020); State Qualifier for Poetry Interpretation (2020) (state itself was cancelled due to COVID-19); Speech Captain (2020-2021 season)
  • Student Council (2018-2020)
  • Theatre (2019 - present); Member of publicity crew, have worked on two productions
  • Member of my school’s mentor program for freshmen (2019 - present)
  • Completed the A+ Program (2019); For those outside the state of Missouri, this is a scholarship gifted to students who complete 50 hours of volunteer work throughout their high school career. It covers 2 years of community college tuition.
  • Counseled at [School District]'s Outdoor Education Program (September 22-26, 2019)
  • Volunteered at Vacation Bible School (2017 - 2019); Crewhead 2019
  • Track (2018-2019)
  • NHS (2020 - present)

Awards/other stuff that doesn’t really fit into any specific category:

  • 2x Winner of my school’s “”"“most prestigious”""" award for having a positive impact on the school community
  • Accepted into Missouri State University’s Summer Medical Program (2019)
  • Considered for Missouri Scholars Academy - 1 of 4 in my class (2019)
  • Honor Roll literally every semester of high school
  • I advocated for the return of our district’s “Science Research” program to our high school, a process that involved lots of meetings with teachers and students alike. COVID-19, of course, prevented anything from actually happening.

That’s all. Compared to the majority of students who apply to these schools, I feel incredibly average. COVID-19 has also placed a stop on a lot of my high school plans. So far, I’ve spent my junior year at home doing absolutely nothing, and I’m starting to get nervous.

Again, please be as honest as possible. I won’t take anything personally. I know I’m terrible at math. Any input is appreciated! Thank you so much! :]

You seem to be a great candidate. Great grades and ECs. If Chicago is your top choice, your test scores need to be a tad higher (in the 33-34 range would be better). Applying binding ED1 will also certainly help.

Do you need financial aid?

Thank you so much for your feedback! It is very much appreciated :]

I agree that my test scores are my biggest weakness. I’m hoping to bump up my ACT this weekend. It’s my math score that’s been bringing me down, so I’ve been primarily studying for that.

Fortunately, I don’t have to apply for financial aid.