Chance Me: UPenn, Georgetown, Emory, Northeastern, Michigan, and More

Colleges I have applied to/plan to apply to:

UMich (EA), UPenn (RD), Georgetown (EA), Emory (RD), Boston College (RD), Case Western (EA), Villanova (EA), UVA (EA), UW Madison (EA), Pittsburgh (EA), and Northeastern (EA)


Upper Middle-Class Asian Female from Michigan; Moderately competitive large public high school; Both parents are college-educated and immigrants from the Philippines; No Hooks; Intended Major = Nursing


SAT: 1510; 770 RW and 740 Math (1st and last attempt)
GPA: 3.95 (UW) 4.3 (W)
Rank: School does not rank but have been told that I am around the top 5% in a class of ~600 students
APs: APUSH (4), AP Lang (4), AP Psych (4), AP Bio (3), AP Gov (3); Currently taking AP Stats, APES, and AP Physics 1 (unable to take AP Chem senior year)
Health-Related: Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology and Organic Chem

Work Experience:

Senior Year: 24 hrs/wk Nursing Aide at Local Nursing Home


#1: ~200 Volunteer Hours at Local Library from leading STEM-related programs (9-11)
#2: ~50 Volunteer Hours at Local Hospital as a Patient Care Companion (13% acceptance rate into the high school volunteer program; 11)
#3: ~30 Volunteer Hours for a Filipino Medical Mission Trip Group (9-11)
#4: Executive Board Member of Mental Health Club (9-12; Leadership from 11-12)
#5: Key Club Secretary (9-12; Leadership from 11-12)
#6: NHS Secretary (11-12; Leadership in 12)
#7: Student Leadership Member (10-12)
#8: SNHS Vice President (11-12; Leadership in 12)
#9: Co-President of Future Medical Professionals Club (9-12; Leadership in 12)

Honors and Awards

#1: AP Scholar with Distinction
#2: County Executive Community Service Award
#3: County Extraordinary Citizen Award
#4: District Area Service Award
#5: School Honor Roll

Additional Info:

-Licensed in CPR/First Aid/AED
-Created School-wide study help service (Weekly Quizlets and Notes)


-Strong; worked on common app and all supplemental for 2-3 months (I don’t really know how to rate this since it’s more subjective)

Letter of Recs:

-Guidance Counselor (Has been friends with my family and I for 7 years)
-AP English teacher (Has known me for 3 years and is known to write the best rec letters at my school)
-AP Biology teacher (Knows me quite well and regards me highly as a student)
-Library Volunteer Specialist (Has known me for over 4 years and has seen me grow up as a volunteer)

Thank you for everyone who has basically read my entire high school story, I’m hoping for the best and if I don’t get into any of these target and reach schools I already have a full-tuition scholarship at one of my safety schools :slight_smile: If you want further details on any of my activities just let me know!

Hey there. I would be happy to give my two cents, but keep in mind that I am a high school senior as well so I am no means an expert. :slight_smile:

Stats: Your stats are very strong. A 1510 is good even for the schools you are applying to. Your GPA is strong, and as long as you took a very challenging course load relative to your school then you are totally fine. I wouldn’t report your AP scores to your reach schools, though.

EC’s: This is my favorite section for any applicant, as it really reveals their level of passion for, commitment to, and impact with their interests. You demonstrate all 3 very well with regard to medicine and volunteering. You DEFINITELY are more of a “spike” candidate than a round one. All of your EC’s (and I mean ALL) are either in medicine or volunteering. This has pros and cons.

On one hand, they will definitely remember you as the medicine and volunteering applicant, but they won’t see that much dimension to your interests beyond that. While some admissions officers might really appreciate your dedication and focus to medicine and community service, others might wish that you branched out and tried and developed other things in your high school career, and by doing so convince them that you can contribute to their school community in a multitude of ways. That is really subjective to the reader.

In terms of your level of impact, it seems like you have made (and have been recognized for) significant contributions to and leadership in your school/local community. While that is really awesome, it kind of seems like a big fish, small pond sort of thing. There will be some other applicants to these highly selective schools that have made impacts on a larger scale (state, national, or even global). But what you have done in your local community might be impressive enough to admissions officers to outweigh the smaller scope of your impacts. I personally am very impressed, but I am also not an admissions officer who reads hundreds of impressive applications a week.

Other thoughts: You seem to be confident in your essays and LoRs, which is great. It seems like they will be able to write detailed LoRs for you, and that is always a good thing. Hopefully, your essays convey your passion for medicine and service, but perhaps also somehow expand from that to reveal other aspects about yourself (to increase the “breadth” of your application).

Chancing You! :
I think you will definitely get into at least a couple of your reach and/or target schools. That is great that you have a safety net already. I am not familiar with the selectivity of the nursing programs, so I can only give your advice regarding selectivity for the schools rather than the programs. I would say UW and Pitt are shoo-ins for you. You will also probably get into Case Western, Villanova, and Boston College, and UMich IS. The rest (Penn, Georgetown, Emory, UVA OOS, Northeastern) are reaches, as they are reaches for practically everybody. UPenn is definitely a high reach in my opinion, given the relatively smaller scope and range of your impacts.

I really hope this helps! I tried to be very candid but also nice! I am in no way trying to diminish your wonderful contributions, but instead look at them through the eyes of the admissions officer. I wish you all the best, and I trust that at the end of the day you will do amazing things no matter where you end up!

Excellent points. However nursing schools admissions are often more school specific. Also Ed and ea vs rd.

PItt nursing is extremely competitive as an example. Especially out of state.

Northeastern is a great school. It is certainly not more attainable than BC. BC nursing is only 107 students so it’s in a different league. And RD is obviously more difficult. I would probably swap them in your analysis. Villanova nursing is also spectacular.

Michigan in state is not a reach for you imho. Definitely a target.

I believe that you will have great success. All such great schools. And you only need one to say yes !

I definitely made sure to expand upon my other interests in my common app and other essays because I wanted to show that I’m more than my “spike”. In fact, I talked about my passions for baking and calligraphy and how my favorite program at the library is just about playing with legos within my common app essays. Thank you for your reply, living in such a small town is weird because in comparison to my peers I have done A LOT but I had no idea how I compared to the other nursing applicants :slight_smile:

Thank you so much! I definitely think people underestimate how competitive nursing schools are in college admissions since not many people understand how grueling the profession truly is and how colleges want their nursing students to be the utmost citizens (how are you going to trust someone to take care of you at your most vulnerable/serious state if they aren’t a good and trustworthy person).

Oh I didn’t realize she was in Michigan. My bad.

I am also not familiar with admissions in terms of nursing, only with the standard schools themselves, so I apologize for the misleading info! I will edit my response!