Chance me/Match me - NJ student, immigrant, mostly t20's + some state colleges

South Asian, female, 16, high school junior, NJ, immigrant
Highschool ranking on Great Schools - 8/10
US permanent resident
Hearing loss disability

Environmental studies
Foreign Relations
Political Finance

3.75 UW/5.2 W (scale of 6.0)
Top 10-11% of my school
750 Reading 800 Math SAT

Freshman Year:
Geom H: B
US History H: A-
Spanish 3H: A-
English H: A
Bio: B-
Art: A

Sophomore Year:
Alg 2 H: C+
APUSH (5): A-
Spanish 4H: B (Dual Enrollment)
English H: A
Chem H: B
Visual Arts 1: A

Junior Year - AP Scores are predicted - pretty confident about them
Pre-Calc 1: A
AP WH (5): A
Spanish 5H: A+
AP Lang (5): A
Physics H: A-
Visual Arts 2H: A-

AP Macro(4)
AP Psych (5)
AP Gov (5)

Senior Year (Courses I’m taking)
AP Stats/Calc
AP Euro
AP Spanish
AP Lit
AP Envi Sci
AP Art History

NYU Model Un Best Delegate
JSA Best Speaker gavels (6 gavels)
Award of Recognition from the school for being an upstanding student
Local CC Art Award
Artist of the Month award
Silver Key Scholastic Art Award
Odyssey of the Mind Regionals, States & Nationals award (from middle school)

NY Times Journalism Summer School Program
Yellowstone YCC
Volunteering with the Pune (India) RedCross (100 hrs)
Skating Instructor
National Art Honor Society (President)
Class council (Secretary)
JSA Chapter member
Mock Trial Witness
Model UN Crisis Delegate
Ice Hockey team (vars 2 years) (jv 2 years) - Only other girl on the team + only POC
School’s Quizbowl team - Ranked 2nd in the country
School Research Team
Writer for School Newspaper
Teen Advisory Board (Local Library)
Local Senior Home + Courtyard club volunteering (30 hrs)
Karate - Black Belt
Honor Societies: History, English, National, Spanish, Art, Math

Essay - Decently strong, has some distinguishable qualities about me as a candidate

  • Hockey coach - Wrote about how I broke barriers as a girl on the team
  • AP Lang teacher - Wrote about my enthusiasm and wide range of knowledge, and my ability to connect with people
  • AP World teacher - Also wrote about my extensive interest in history, my academic integrity, and my ability to connect history to the present

NYU - Top choice

Astronomically a reach:
Yale, Princeton, Stanford & Dartmouth

U of Washington

Boston U
Notre Dame
Washington University

U Maryland
Lehigh U
College of William and Mary

The UCs are test blind so your SAT won’t be considered.
If UCB is UC Berkeley, it would be considered a reach, not a target.

Please calculate your UC GPAs using the calculator here. Note that only AP/IB courses from 10-11 grade are considered “honors” in the UC GPA calculation. GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

Edit: I just noticed this:

Did you self study for the last three AP tests but not take the class?

I would move Georgetown, Notre Dame, UCB, Northwestern, and UVA (unless you are a VA resident) to the reach column.

Will you be applying for need based aid? Run the net price calculators to see the potential net costs (keeping in mind they are currently set up for 2023 entries to college). These will be an estimate only. If your parents are self employed or own a business, own real estate outside of your primary residence, are divorced….the NPCs won’t be particularly accurate.

Personally…I think you have too many reaches on your list.


Yep, self-studied the last 3. Also UC’ GPA calculator is noted, thank you.

Some of your list is off. Northwestern is not a match. Actually most your matches are not matches.

But you have some schools you will definitely be accepted to so as long as you are ok with GWU, Rutgers and UMASS, you’ll be good. UMD and W&M are not safe for you.

When I see your interests - journalism, Poli sci and International Relations, I wonder why American, Georgia, Indiana, and Syracuse aren’t on your list in place of others.

Your GPA is a tad low but you have improved and that matters.

UCs and UW will not look at your test score.

Any cost concerns ?

Good luck

I won’t be applying for aid. Thank you, I’ll move those to the Reach column.

You won’t be applying for aid because your parents can afford to spend $250,000 PLUS for these colleges for four years…or because you think it will help you gain admission?

Northwestern has a great journalism school. Also, most of my matches are also oriented toward environmental studies/pre-law or finance.

Did you get into your safeties?

Student is a junior, looking for next year.


Oh my bad - thanks I read too quick and saw her senior classes.

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I’m not applying because there is no way my parents would qualify for aid. 320k+ household income and my sibling is 6 years younger. Plus my parents have enough saved for both of our educations and I have a plan set up for paying them back in the future.


Deleted. I missed the word won’t.

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Grad school (ie. law school), it is expensive. Make sure you don’t break the bank on your undergrad education.


It sounds like finances are not an issue! That’s terrific for you.

I’d also move MIchigan to the reach column.


I don’t think UMD or WM are safeties with your stats they are more matches or high targets if OOS.


Pre law is not a major. Just advising.

They are reaches regardless of major. But yes with such varied interests you’ll need a school with enough breadth. Most will have env science.

What do you mean pay my parents back ?

They can afford but if you will ‘pay them back’ then that matters so you’re not on the hook forever financially to them.

Define that ??

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Paying back is just me WANTING to pay them back. They refuse to take money from me, but I still plan on compensating for it however I can.

Be a great kid.

If you plan to pay them
Financially find a less expensive school.

Rutgers, Alabama, Ms State, etc.

Not suggestions you go to those type schools.

Just letting you know if you spend $350k over 4 years, it’s a lot to pay back.

But hopefully the payback is not direct financially.

IU fits your list finance as does UGA, Syracuse and American.

Your list is HUGE reach wise and for your interests is not necessarily the best fits.

Given NYU is #1 and you have BU and GW, you might want to look at Pitt, Minnesota, Drexel, and other urban schools.

Good luck.

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I agree with the advice above regarding your classifications.

The question to ask them is: are they willing and able to pay over $320k+ for the private colleges on your list? And that’s at current COA - will go up by the time you start college.
Since you have a younger sibling, they’ll need to be able to support you both.

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