Chance Me (Yale, Duke, Penn, Cornell, Columbia, Brown, BC, Colgate, Bucknell, WashU, USC, Georgetown


Hope everyone is doing well amidst the upcoming school year.
Some quick facts:

  • I am a rising senior at a top, private prep school in the heart of Manhattan
  • I am the son of a Yale and Columbia Professor
  • Applying SCEA to Yale, regular to all of the other schools listed
  • Duke (trinity), Penn (CAS), Cornell (CALS), Columbia (Engineering), Brown, BC, Colgate, Bucknell, Washu, USC, Georgetown
  • Asian…
  • Intending for Biology or BME

Please provide any feedback or tips and CHANCE me as well:)

ACT: 35 Essay 11 (Superscore 36, essay 12)
Subject Tests: Math 2 800, Bio E 790, Chem 800
GPA: 3.65 (Unweighted, top 15%-ish at my prep school, max AP/Honor courseload)

Senior Courses: AP Calc BC, AP Physics, AP US History, English 12, Science Elective (Hit AP limit)

BME Research at a prestigious college (Will be published in a high impact factor journal as a second author)

Another BME Research at a prestigious college (Will also be published in a different high impact factor journal as a second author as well)

Captain of the Soccer team, 4x varsity player, and competitive club soccer

iGEM competition Bronze

Violin 4 years in orchestra

President of a few minor clubs at school (all community service)

Medical Mission to a third world country for 17 days taking vital signs

Founded a non-profit effort to donate soccer materials and give a soccer camp at the third world country as well with a website (received president’s volunteer service award silver)

Assuming rec letters are really good??

In short, my application will be carried by good scores, legacy, 2 published abstracts, and my NPO work.

Thank you so much for reading and let me know!

The standardized test scores look good, but the GPA does seem low.

Is your private school a known grade deflator? Check Naviance or whatever tracking system your school uses to see what the acceptance outcome is for students with similar profiles. Also ask your counselor whether your list is feasible.

You are in the ballpark for any school but like all applicants, you need some true safeties.

For your Top-20 schools, best chance is at WashU. Your GPA is similar to my WashU junior’s high school GPA. SAT Subject scores are about the same but you have the higher ACT/SAT equivalent.

I might consider ED2 to WashU if that is allowed under Yale’s SCEA rules. Your GPA would be low for WashU RD but it might work for ED1/2.

Your first 5 schools will be reaches. Even if your school has grade deflation, there will be applicants with the same test scores/ECs but with ~4.0 UW GPA.

I would switch out BC with BU. BU has the better reputation for the sciences and your grades are within their ballpark. Northeastern might be a good candidate school as well.

My GPA is relatively in the ball park for all schools w the exception of Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and MIT. Yale’s average GPA from my schools is roughly a 3.8

I am just wondering how much significance 2 published abstracts in high impact factor journals would have.

Being published will certainly have an impact, but GPA is still important.

Perhaps take out 2 of your Ivy reaches and switch them out with Rice or Vanderbilt.

Did you say you are the child of a Yale faculty member? And you have a perfect superscored ACT, near perfect subject SATs, a serious athletic extracurricular, an arts extracurricular, volunteer work, and research? And you are applying SCEA?

I’d say your odds are very good, as good as anyone’s odds can be at Yale. I would not want to be a dean of admissions who turned down a faculty member’s child who had this set of credentials.

I’m trying to figure out whether you have any safeties planned, just in case. Are you considering Bucknell your safety?

Faculty brat preference is huge at the Ivies. Nothing is for certain, but you look to be in decent shape for Yale if one of your parents is a professor there.

My list is not final. My counselor added Bucknell, Colgate, and BC as safeties. I have some weirdly competitive college culture at school.

Bucknell, Colgate and BC as safeties??? No. Matches, maybe. Safeties, absolutely not. All three have acceptance rates under 30%.

Your counselor has a better read on this than anyone on this forum. If Naviance is saying that 3.8 GPA is typical of HYP admits from your high school, Bucknell, Colgate and BC will be safeties for you (assuming full pay).

Naviance for my child’s elite private school (practically all students are full pay) shows that every single applicant with GPA above 3.5 unweighted and 1400 SAT was accepted to BC in the last 3 years (approximately 25 applicants), Every single one. All applicants to BC with greater than 3.5 GPA and greater than 30 ACT were accepted except one rejected with a 3.5 and a 31 (18/19 applicants, but no doubt there is some overlap with the SAT group).

Ditto for Bucknell with those stats (7 applicants) and Colgate (but only 2 applicants). Every single one accepted above 3.5 and 1400/30 ACT.

Full pay from a rigorous private high school is a large advantage at those universities.

Counselor feedback is important, but BC isn’t really associated with the sciences. So no idea how that school ended on a list for a potential Biology/BME major.

I would also add Tufts to the list of schools to consider. Still kind of a reach, but not impossible. And better in Biology than BC.

Are you applying anywhere ED/EA?

The founding of a nonprofit is very cliche these days. What you did sounds quite notable, but I would hesitate to frame it in the same way. This is the type of stuff that makes admissions committee members roll their eyes.

The rest of your application is stellar. Best of luck. Keep us posted where you end up.

Just a little info that goes beyond th 26.8 admit rate at BC. These numbers in a vacuum aren’t as valuable unless you put some context in it. Surf the decision day threads here and look at the folks with near perfect profiles very unhappy. Numbers at the elite catholic schools imho don’t take into account the numbers of non competitive applicants some schools may be receive for a variety of reasons. I truly believe ND GTown and BC are more selective than their raw numbers because of this and the religious association. But the applicants they do receive are incredibly competitive and usually interested in the school in a meaningful way. They list a high 70a to 80 percent of the BC admits are in the top 10 percent of their class. And add in the d1 athletic numbers and it’s generally assumed the gpa avg is in the 3.85 range. Also with Ed 1 and 2 garnering a lot of admits this year RD is going to be very thin pickings. Your test scores are other worldly and you have good science ecs.

So I would say you are of course a competitive applicant anywhere. Especially your ea and Ed choices.

BC as a RD safety is not realistic. Also on the science front they introducing the integrated sciences school and 400 million new building. Engineering is being offered for the first time and they are already known for excellent pre health programs and success rates are excellent. Not sure on the launching of future researchers and academics. I just don’t know. However it is a commitment of the school.

If you want a pure academic experience and the other components of the college don’t matter. BU would be a good substitute indeed. They have really good sciences. But BC bio and chem are excellent too.

You’ll be fine.

Oh and btw. When I say competitive ea and Ed, I mean that the preference and numbers are more reasonable at some of your super reach schools. Legacy etc. still high reach, and we all know how many super high scorers don’t receive admission each year. It just helps the narrow odds a tiny bit.

I think all of your schools are reaches and bc and Colgate at the high match, BC rd is a toss up imho. and bucknell as a pure match. But really any considered safeties is a mistake. Don’t know much about bucknell other than it’s great reputation.

Sorry I didn’t see that you were planning on applying SCEA to Yale. I think you have a strong chance. Good luck.

More than having the research experience alone without a published abstract, less than a single author paper submitted to a journal or a major science competition (Intel, Siemens…). Reason being that with a single author paper, the admissions office (and the professor in the field they ask to review your paper, should your other stats otherwise be sufficient to make your application worthy of further consideration) can clearly evaluate your level of accomplishment. With a multi-author paper, your individual contribution is much less clear.

For Yale, as others have noted, the faculty connection is likely to be the deciding factor. Best source on how likely admittance would be with your stats would be to ask your faculty parent to ask their colleagues who have had children apply recently.