Chance of Ivies and T20 schools


  • US domestic
  • NJ
  • Suburban Large Highschool:
  • Male Hispanic
  • First Generation/LGBT?/ Working Class

Intended Major(s)

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.4?
  • Class Rank: Not given to us
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1530 SAT

Will have taken 11 AP classes by end of senior year, all honors except for two normal level electives and a lower level history class due to miscommunication when I transferred to my current high school

I don’t really have awards. I’m trying to earn them this year tho. Possible Questbridge finalist and Prep Scholar? Possible Commended Scholar for PSAT
Probable AP Scholar
President of GSA (Gender, Sexual Alliance
Founder of Writing Club/ I founded and direct the schools literary magazine
Started a tutoring program for students in my hometown
Help my single mother take care of my sister
Co-Founder of a medical blog
Worked two jobs my sophomore summer year (not a very long time but a met remarkable people that I intend to write essays about)
Tutor Chemistry

Possible NJ Science league top 20?
May be admitted to CMU SAMS this coming summer

I intend my essays to be good as I have a lot to write about
LOR might be a above average due to working with my AP Lang teacher for writing club and participating NJ Science league with my AP Chem teacher

I am planning on applying to all the ivies but I really hope to get into Stanford, Princeton, Rice, and JHU

OK - so you’re a Junior? Questbridge is very helpful - if you can qualify, are chosen.

As for regular admit, it will be tough.

First off and everyone continues to mention it - so you’re LGBTQ and I’m straight. Why does this ever come up in conversation. This is not an edge and for people who continue to want to use it in essays, I’m sure it’s far more overused. You are you…I’m me. We are both people. Neither of us has an advantage.

Now, you’re President of GSA - and that is something. You need to quantify - what did you do, what types of activities or accomplishments, etc That has meaning.

Helping your mom take care of your sister - also outstanding -but you’ll quantify - how? By making money - if so, what do you contribute. By time - how much time do you spend helping. You mentioned two jobs - so this is strong.

So Stanford, Princeton, Rice, and JHU are huge reaches for all. Being Hispanic most certainly will help…maybe. For example, Rice has 17% of students. Stanford is 17%. Hopkins a bit less. What’s the mix they want / desire?

Frankly, you’re a fantastic student - strong GPA, Rigor, ECs, etc. I’m not one to think race is the sole game changer but i’m on another thread and those responding to me have more experience and say that it is.

Here’s the thing -when you’re applying to this group of schools - you need protection underneath - i.e. matches and safeties. Whether it’s a Case Western or Rochester or Wake Forest.

Or taking your outstaning GPA and going for the money - Florida State, Alabama, Arizona, etc.

Since you’re applying for Questbridge, you might also want to look at schools that meet 100% of need should you not go Questbridge - schools like Franklin & Marshall as backups.

But you are a fantastic candidate -without the hooks. Unfortunately most applying are also fantastic so you’ll have to package your story and the value you’ll add.

For your perusal here’s a list of schools that meet 100% of need.

Here’s Every College That Offers 100% Financial Aid (

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Based on what you’ve told us so far, you have all the ingredients for a strong application and a good chance.

One concern I have is that you need your essays to be about YOU. Colleges won’t care about who you’ve met (and certainly won’t care about a list of famous people). The only time you should mention another person is in the context of how YOU changed or were influenced by another person and how/why.

The other concern I have for you is that it takes A LOT of time to put together a good college application, so applying to all the ivys, Stanford and JHU is too much. You need to tailor your application to each school and show them why you are a good fit for THEM, and how you can contribute to their community. This requires a good understanding of what their community is, and each school has a different type of community. Spend some time researching this and figuring out where you’d fit in best, and then spend time on your application showing this to the school.


This. Applying to a safety school should also include the public flagship university of your home state, where you will no doubt be in the honors college or equivalent honors program, and likely qualify for merit money.


@tsbna44 @melvin123 @gandalf78 Thank you all! its hard for me to navigate the college journey since i know literally know almost no one who can help me, so i rlly appreciate the feedback! human feedback is better than admissions calculators lmao

You’ve come to the right place - there is a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people here.

Definitely look at Questbridge.

Are you in the Newark area? If so, look at Posse. Their new Virtual Program includes Newark. You will need to be nominated, though, so you’ll need to speak with your counselor.

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OP, what grade are you currently in? If you’re a junior, you should look into fly-in programs for next fall.