Chance me (UPenn, Cornell, Brown) RD

To get straight to the point, I’m considering taking these universities off of my list of college applications because A) I’m not quite sure of my own statistics/chances, B) the application costs alone freak me out and C) realistically, I do not see the point in applying to a plethora of “prestigious” universities if I “think” I can get accepted but I’m stubbornly determined. I could use some help; It’s greatly appreciated.

Considering not applying (RD) to: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Stanford, UPenn

PS: I posted these same stats much earlier on about some different schools, so forgive me if you’ve read my stats before (these chance me threads can be quite tedious, so, again, apologies)

ACT: 31
SAT II: WHistory- 680, USHistory- 680, BioM- 610 (I know they are horrible, sorry. Considering not sending)
IB Diploma Candidate: Scores out of 7 (HL: English, Geography, Economics (Mirco and Macro)) (SL: Spanish (6), Math, Environmental Science, Biology(5))
Unweighted GPA: 3.776/4.0
Weighted GPA: 4.48/5.0
Rank: 75/754
AP Scores (self report or no?): AP Human Geography (5), AP US History (5), AP World History (4), AP English Lang (4), AP Bio (3), AP Spanish Lang (3)

Senior Year Course Load:
Note: For the IB classes, I’m taking both the IB and AP exams, so this year I have a total of 12 exams to take. Same goes for my junior year.

IB TOK (Year 2)
IB HL English Literature
IB SL Environmental Systems and Societies
IB HL Macro and Micro Economics
AP BC Calculus
Newspaper/Journalism Honors 2
AP Physics 1 (Self-study)
AP US Government (online)
IB Geography TA

IB SL Biology
IB English Language
IB/AP Human Geography
AP US History
IB SL Math
Newspaper/Journalism 1
IB Spanish 4 Language
IB TOK (Year 1)

PreAP Algebra 2
PreAP English 2
PreIB Spanish 3
AP World History
Speech/Health (4.0 but required for graduation)
PreAP Chemistry

Theatre 1 (FA cred)
PreAP English 1
PreAP World Geography
PreAP Spanish 2
PreAP Geometry
PreAP Biology

Extracurricular Activities: (Service hours around 500 or so)

  • Co-president and co-founder of a student volunteer organization at my school; tied with a local non-profit and currently volunteering/working/tutoring at four local elementary schools for educational opportunities for their students and to help in any events they need extra hands for
  • Editor-in-Chief of my school’s newspaper
  • Staff writer for an online lit mag since June 2016; recently made and has a decent following; Toronto-based and writes primarily towards a female audience about social issues, culture and feminism
  • Cultural representative/volunteer at the Indonesian Consulate; I help sell food, make the food, teach traditional dance, perform in dances during festivals, set up/clean up for events, etc. I’ve been doing this since I was a freshman
  • Volunteering/tutoring in general for students and at events (for National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society) and at hospitals and other similar events (for Students without Borders (a student branch of Doctors without Borders) and Red Cross).
  • Representative for National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Red Cross and Students without Borders


  • AP Scholar with Distinction
  • IB Anticipated Diploma Candidate
  • National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar/Finalist
  • Silver (2015) and Bronze (2016) Awards in the National Spanish Exam (non-native speaker)
  • Bronze Awards in District UIL for English in Ready Writing and Journalism in Editorial Writing
  • Top Seller in 2015 for newspaper subscriptions at my school
  • (Applying to some other scholarships/awards, etc.)

Summer activities:

  • For the past two summers, I’ve interned (unpaid) and volunteered at MD Anderson Cancer Center in two different fields of study: Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. I’ve helped with medical research, clerical work, clinical work, patient care (both in and out of ICU), shadowed and learned about the inner workings of a hospital and medical research and had to complete a research project on a specific field within oncology (specifically I did breast and ovarian cancer)
  • Babysitting for my neighbors and family friends
  • Journalism Camp for one week at an in-state university
  • Volunteered at Texas Children’s Hospital and at the local zoo
  • Worked in my school’s book room to help pass out textbooks to all grade levels in my school of 4000+ students; also was given a leadership position to help the freshman class out with what high school life is like, bring them on a tour, give advice, etc.

State: Texas
School Type: Public (Class of 754)
Ethnicity: Mixed Race (Hispanic and Pacific Islander)
Gender: Female
Income Bracket: roughly under $120k
Additional Info: URM, female in STEM

Possible Majors: Molecular and Cell Bio, Cancer Bio, Bio (in general) (considering double major with humanities/social science)

Thanks again!

Are you actually interested in any of those schools other than they are prestigious? Are people pushing you to apply due to prestige? I’m not sure I’m following you.

What schools are you actually interested in attending?

Also, if cost worries you, I’ve actually heard (from a JHU rep) that some colleges will just give you a fee waiver for the application if you call and ask regardless of whether financial need qualifies you. Have you asked for any yet?