Chance Me (sorta)?

Hey! I’m a junior, I’ll be applying to MIT (among other schools) next fall. If I had to pick a “dream school”, it’d probably be MIT, although I’m super pumped to go to other colleges as well! I know it 's generally not a great idea to overly fixate on one school, haha. So this isn’t really so much of a “Chance Me” thread as it is me wanting to get some more opinions on my app. Chance Me replies are generally not crystal balls of admission and I’m not expecting nor wanting that, I’d more appreciate if y’all could give me a more objective view of my app, both strong and weak, instead of me speculating from behind my rose-colored glasses.

So yeah (I just copy-pasted this from old decision threads, bear with me):

SAT I (breakdown): 1560 (780/780)
ACT (breakdown): Say What?
SAT II: MIT won’t look at these nor will a bunch of other schools, but out of interest for completion- Math II (800), Biology-M (800), Chemistry (800), Japanese (740, I’m a native speaker too, hah)
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.98 (AB Calculus first semester was ROUGH)
Weighted GPA: eh, 4.5ish?
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): N/A
AP (place score in parenthesis): Japanese(self-study, 5), Biology(5), AB Calculus(5), European History(5). This year- BC Calculus, Computer Science A, Psychology, Chemistry, English Language, Physics 1(self study). Let’s just say for now that I pass all of these :stuck_out_tongue:
IB (place score in parenthesis):N/A
Senior Year Course Load: Hard stuff
Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): USABO Semi-Finalist (then it got cancelled this year :/)
Some SciOly regional stuff, nothing huge. Couple of silver medals at some pretty big piano competitions, couple of golds at regional stuff. Other small stuff too.

Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): Science Olympiad (10, 11[VP], 12[Prez]), Science Bowl (10,[Co-Founder, Captain], 11, 12), Soccer(9, 10, 11) Cross Country (9, 10, 11, 12), Japanese Culture Club (for fun stuff and food heh-9, 10, 11, 12)
Job/Work Experience: Private tutor (I’m broke lol- 9, 10, 11, 12), Camp Counselor for a summer(10), Project Intern at a Neuro lab (11, 12), maybe Intern at Biotech startup? (See summer activities)
Volunteer/Community service: Volunteer at a shop in my town, nice place with friendly peeps ^-^, like ~120 hours? I’ll get the specifics later
Summer Activities:
Freshman: sports stuff and went to Japan
Sophomore: more sports stuff and worked as a camp counselor (FUN summer, let me tell ya)
Junior: So I got lucky and some dude offered me a job as a summer intern at this biotech startup, but with the whole COVID-19 craze I’m not 100% what’s going to happen. Same with SIMR and other summer programs
Essays (rating 1-10, details): Let’s just assume they’re ok for now, like a 7-8
Recommendations (rating 1-10, details):

Teacher Rec #1 (rating 1-10, details): AP Biology Teacher- 9, she offered to write one for me. I spent an unholy amount of time reviewing biology w/ her for the USABO this year, got along with her really well. Will include lots of specific stuff I did for our school
Teacher Rec #2 (rating 1-10, details): AP English Teacher- 7-8? I was never good at English, but I’m told she likes my work ethic (she’s graded an outrageous amount of my terrible practice essays I’ve done outside of class) and we clicked pretty well, but idk.
Counselor Rec (rating 1-10, details): 8.5? We don’t talk a ton but she really likes me. Will mention a lot of specifics for sure, like how I introduced a crap ton of educational opportunities at our STEM-parched school
Additional Rec (if any) (rating 1-10, details): Probably nice ones from my piano teacher and lab PI, probably generic, but what can ya do ;D? Probs 8-9, will also send in music supplement

Applied for Financial Aid?: Maybe, haven’t run NPC yet but I’ll get on that
Intended Major: Probably Biology/BCS/Computation and Cognition, I’ll decide later
State (if domestic applicant): CA
Country (if international applicant): USA
School Type: Medium-sized public, we’ve sent like 3 kids to MIT over the last 7-8 years lol
Ethnicity: Asian (Japanese)
Gender: M
Hooks (URM, first generation college, etc.): Not really, I don’t think USABO Semis really count and I don’t have a ton of flashy stuff

I know I’m shooting myself in the foot by being an overrepresented demographic in an overrepresented region, but I’d appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you so much!

Read MITChris’ post at the top of this forum, which I’m sure you’ve done.

There is no magic formula or model to what gets one into MIT. Do what you like doing, challenge yourself and apply is about all you need to do or can do.

You look to be a competitive applicant with academics and ECs that should get you a serious look at any college. The rest will depend on things we can’t see such as your essays, LORs, depth of your ECs etc.

Any elite college such as MIT (with acceptance rates in the single digits) should be considered a reach for any unhooked applicant. Be sure to take the time to search out a group of match and safety schools that appear affordable (run net price calculators) and that you would be excited to attend.

Oh yeah, for sure. MIT is probably the reachy-est school on my list, but I’d regret not applying, so here we are, heh. Anyways, it’s nice to know I’ll be at least considered at the colleges I’d like to go to, thank you for your reply!

Yes, I’m aware of that. I just wanted to get a rough ballpark of where I stand at the moment

The rough ballpark is 7% or so.

Continue to work hard and wherever you end up, you be better prepared for college.

@udonlord : I’m impressed by your profile. Any other schools you consider applying besides MIT, UBC and GT?

Since you are from California, are you planning on apply to any of the Universities of California?

What are your safeties?

If you want to attend MIT, and if you can afford it, then I believe that it is worth an application. I think that it is hard to say much more.

Typo on Post#6: UCB instead of UBC.

@DadTwoGirls Honestly really surprised anyone still reads this thread.

Anyway, yep, I’ll be applying to a a handful of UC’s. I also have a small handful of OOS safeties that do rolling admissions, so I’ve submitted those already. Hopefully we get a decision in the next few weeks :smiley:

My family’s philosophy about higher education has always been “if you get in, we’ll make it work”. That being said, I may or may not qualify for some FA so we’ll see. I’d be thrilled if I had the chance to go to MIT, but it really wouldn’t be the end of the world if I had to give it up for another school.


Well those are my top 3 (in order of preference). I have a couple of UC’s and other OOS reaches too, but I’d really rather go to one of the three you already mentioned hahah. I think the problem is that I really don’t vibe with very many campuses besides those three, bar a few exceptions.

I’m a STEM nerd, and I like doing cool nerdy things. That puts MIT and GT at the top. I really hate Cali weather (sorry! Grew up in the NorthEast) so that immediately almost scratches Stanford off the list. I got the impression that UCB was more focused on making good engineers while Stanford promotes a more entrepreneurial student, so if I had to stay in Cali, I think that’s the choice I’d make. If it came down to it, I’d rather be a first-rate cancer researcher than a mediocre scientist invested in startup culture. It’s a weird preference, but we play the cards we’re dealt. (Not to say that Stanford isn’t absolutely phenomenal in science and engineering. I just think the fit isn’t really there for me and I wouldn’t be happy there)

Harvard was a no-go the second I stepped onto campus for a visit. Can’t explain it, won’t explain it. Bad fit for sure. On the other hand, Duke was fantastic. I’d apply ED if I didn’t have to give up those other three.

Then there’s a whole bunch in the middle (Emory, Cornell, etc.) I’d be cool going there, but I wouldn’t realistically go if I had the choice of the top three.

Thanks for your reply on this old thread!