Chance south Asian girl for MIT RD

US citizen
State/Location of residency: PA
Type of high school: large public
Gender/Race/Ethnicity: south asian female
Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): none

Intended Major(s): biology or writing

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
Unweighted HS GPA: 4.00
Weighted HS GPA: 4.59/4
Class Rank: 9/823
ACT/SAT Scores: 1580 SAT

Took 7 AP tests, 5 on all, 4 more this year

Awards (intentionally kept vague): here are the 10 awards I listed for my MIT app: 3 competitive (15% acceptance rate) science research programs, 2 international writing awards, 1 national writing award, science olympiad awards, 2 state debate awards, 2 national science writing awards (NO olympiads, AIME, etc.)

4 activites for MIT app: highest leadership position at national organization, independent research, writing club w/ self-published book, personal project with national media recognition
Work: research intern at T10
Summer activities: research programs (see awards)

Essays: 7.5/10
LORS: 8/10

Cost Constraints / Budget: N/

Please chance me for MIT, thank you so much!!

It is very difficult to chance students for a top university such as MIT. You certainly are competitive for admissions and qualified to attend. Unfortunately the same could be said for perhaps 85% of applicants.

MIT does not admit by major, so your intended major will not matter in terms of admissions. I do wonder about the “or writing” part of your intended major given that MIT is not known for writing.

MIT does not consider legacy status, and has rather mediocre athletic teams. Having neither of these should not matter. Being Asian might hurt a little bit, but being female might help a little bit, so I think that these balance out. Having nothing but A’s through high school will help. Your SAT is superb (I attended MIT with what was probably the same math score but a much lower English score). You have quite a few APs and have apparently been keeping up the straight A’s even through your many AP classes. Your research experience is also likely to help.

Overall I think that you are a very strong candidate for MIT, but so are most other applicants. I think that your chances for admissions are probably not very much different from the overall acceptance rate. I might wildly guess that your chances are better than the 4% acceptance rate, but you definitely need to apply to safeties.

Also, given how well you have done up to now, I think that you are likely to do well regardless of where you go for university.


You have the same Chance as the other 5% or so who get accepted and the 95% or so who get rejected.

At this point, just wait and see.


Please be kind to yourself, and get off CC until after results are out. There is truly nothing that you can learn from anybody here.

You already know that you have excelled at everything that you have control over, and that you have ticked all the boxes.

You have done enough math to understand that a 5% acceptance rate means that 95% of the applicants will be told ‘no’.

And, if you have read the MIT admissions blogs you have already read this:

But what if you don’t get into MIT?

Well, you may be disappointed. But you learned everything you could, so now you’re smarter; you were a positive member of your community, and you made people happy; and you spent high school doing not what you thought you had to do to get into a selective college, but what you wanted to do more than anything else in the world. In other words, you didn’t waste a single solitary second of your time.

So go do something worthy of your time and energy. Do something physical. Do something to help somebody who needs it.

Good luck.


I think CC needs to make a sticky about “Chance Me” questions. Your response actually sums it up very well.
Excellent students, excellent stats and test results are minimum requirements.
The unknown are ECs and essays.

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Without knowing anything more, I would say a 30% chance. At most top places, the serious contenders are probably about 3x the number of seats. The rest of the applicants think they have a chance, but mostly don’t. It is not 40k applications that are all uniformly good. I can tell you one thing though – those writing awards are not immaterial. They will help.

But after the results come, depending on the outcome, you cannot really tell if you had a 5% chance, a 30% chance or a 70% chance apriori :-). That is the beauty of me making this prediction.


You have excelled in HS and should be proud. Vis a vis MIT none of us can say - there are kids similar to you that have been accepted but, also, many that are similar who have been rejected. Best of luck!

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How does someone with national and international writing awards only have 7.5/10 essays? False modesty, or lack of effort? Surely these essays were the best that you could produce, given how important this seems to you.

But I agree with above - there is nothing you can learn here. You have done everything “right” and you have everything they are looking for. There is nothing more you can do but wait. No one can tell you anything more than the MIT acceptance rate, which applies to all applicants, including you.

Regardless of what happens with MIT, you are amazing and can be very proud of all that you accomplished. You will thrive no matter where you end up, and I am sure you will end up somewhere great, whether MIT or elsewhere.

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Adding to the unknowns would be the letters of recommendation (where required).

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I would say…you have done everything you can do. You have applied and just need to wait and see.

I’m also hoping you have some other acceptances just in case.

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You certainly have met the academic threshold. The fact that you are female will help, since MIT is looking for qualified women. Beyond that, there is no way to say. But please realize that you have every reason to be proud of your fantastic high school record, whether you get into MIT or not. If you get rejected, it’s not your fault, it’s just that there are SO many applicants. Whichever school you wind up at, you’re going to do great there, and do well in your career.

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How do you know your essay is 7.5/10 and LoR is 8/10?

well for essays I had a bit of trouble with the prompts, and I’m assuming LORs are 8/10 because my teachers both really like me (one says I’m the best student shes ever had)

Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, I have applied to safeties and target schools.


Thank you so much :)))

Most applicants and most of those who advise them (whether on these forums or in their high schools, etc.) have no idea of how their essays and and the recommendations actually rate in the eyes of the admission readers at various colleges (and those at different colleges may rate the same essays and recommendations differently).

So, from the point of view of applicants and most of those who advise them, essays and recommendations appear almost like random variables, but from the point of view of the admission readers at the colleges who can see each one in comparison to those of others in the applicant pool, they are definitely not random variables, and they are often important in distinguishing who gets admitted or not.

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To expand on what people re writing - chances are meaningless. What people are trying to calculate is what percent of applicants like the person in question will be accepted. Will it 5% of the similar applicants, 30%?

However, any applicant is either accepted or not accepted. It doesn’t matter that only 1% of similar applicants are accepted if an applicant is one of those 1% who are accepted. It doesn’t matter if 95% of the similar applicants are accepted, if the applicant is one of the 5% who are rejected. Nobody is 5% accepted or 75% accepted - it’s 100% one or 100% the other.

These "predictions are only useful when an applicant is building a college list. It allows an applicant to figure out how to balance a list.

Once applications are sent, it’s over. When you know which colleges have accepted you, then is the time to make decisions.

In the meantime, there is nothing to do but to finish high school, and plan what you’re wearing for prom, and what you’ll do to celebrate graduation.


A useful thing to target for the rest of the semester, for example — my kid and a couple of others (Val and sal) jointly decided to drop a third of a letter grade in all courses in the senior spring semester. It was difficult. It did not happen. But something to aspire to.

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