Chances for College

To anyone reading this,

To be honest, I’m not even sure if I want to attend an ivy league or one of those “traditional” colleges. Idk, I just feel like my chances are a little slim getting into some schools-- considering my circumstances. But before I make a decision, I’d appreciate some other peoples’ perspectives. Thanks~~

Currently a Junior, going into Senior year.

ASIAN FEMALE (welp) residing in the Bay Area (double welp, I’ve heard it doesn’t help to be from the BA)

GPA: 4.0 (weighted)
4.62 (unweighted)

SAT: 1560 (790 reading/writing, 770 math)
ACT: 34

AP World History (5)
AP Studio Art (6 on the portfolio)
AP Spanish (4)


  • I had a couple of leadership roles in Sophomore/Junior year: varsity golf co-captain, president of art club, National Honors Society president, and Treasurer for student government.


  • I’ve won a myriad of art competitions, including Scholastic and a few international ones as well.
  • Had a few pieces displayed at Capitol Hill.
  • I’ve started a S.T.E.M/ Art program for students in a nearby elementary school.
  • Currently working on having a collection featured in a local gallery.
  • Volunteering at a MBA hedge fund this summer.
  • Interned at a high-tech start-up in the Industrial Design department.

AP Studio Art, AP Stats, AP Econ, AP English Lit., AP Spanish, Political Science, Honors Physics

I don’t really know if I want to apply for Econ or Industrial Design, but these are the schools in mind:

Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UPenn, Stanford, MIT (as if)


Georgetown, Emory,

Any suggestions?

Ok first off your weighted and unweighted gpa are switched. Second georgetown and emory are NOT safeties for ANYONE. And based on your majors i have no idea why you picked those schools. You need to really rethink your total list based on your majors as well as having real safeties.

Can you explain why you think NW is a Match and Emory and Gtown are Safeties?

You need to check the common data sets for these schools. You will see how you have no safeties on your list. Your stats are wonderful, but your stats are common place at these schools. Many 4.0/1600 kids with exceptional ECs get rejected from these schools every year.

@Aneem00 @brightslacker it differs from school to school. At my school, kids with high enough stats can consider Vanderbilt, a school more selective than Georgetown or Emory, a safety. With a 1560+ SAT from my school, there has been 1 waitlisted, 10 accepted, 0 rejected. I personally know many of the applicants and they did not have great ECs. One of these even had an extremely low GPA that would be expected of someone with a 1300 SAT. With a 1540+ SAT, there has only been 1 rejection out of 21 apps. The rest are either waitlists or accepts and the acceptance rate for a 1540+ SAT is over 50%. I’m not sure what it’s like at @jennierw ‘s school but she should check naviance to see if they are true safeties.

@Max147 thank you for your viewpoint, but I believe those schools would be considered feeder schools. True, OP has not given us any information about her school type, but from the way she talks about the location of her school does not seem like she is confident about getting into colleges on her list (including the target and safety). Nevertheless, safeties are almost guaranteed to accept you. So that would mean at least a 90% chance of getting in. I also advise OP to check Naviance, but I would still love to know why she considered Gtown and Emory as safeties.

Also, OP, I encourage you to have more targets on your list.

@Aneem00 : Some people are are naive and still assume that all elite schools are primarily stats based. Emory and Gtown still have lower stats than other elite privates (Max brought up VU which is known to be very scores sensitive, more so than some top 10 schools like Stanford, Duke, or Penn, and certainly more so than Gtown and Emory. It should not be directly compared to those two as they have a different “style” of admissions despite the overlap in applicant pool and admits. The applications are even different), though honestly, after last cycle, the differences between those two and the others is likely irrelevant. Emory decided to admit scores at a median of 1500 SAT wise for class of 2022 (which means it cared about scores more than normal this past cycle). Even if other places were higher, it would be a not so relevant.

@Max147 : Vanderbilt and WUSTL are known to weight standardized test scores significantly more than Gtown or Emory and also have no or significantly simpler supplements. Admissions is less random than at those two if you have high stats (if they feel that the high scoring student is too much of a yield risk, the waitlist is applied. They used to send wait-list stats to collegeboard and took 200+ off one year, maybe 3 years ago. Their strategy is very different). Even if their admissions cite reports higher “stats” and a lower admit rate (a function of application volume), if the admissions philosophies are different, it becomes hard to compare and predict these things. “Selectivity” can be manufactured in many ways and can look different from school to school. While numbers don’t really lie, their interpretation needs context. The rankings have driven some interesting schemes that make places look extremely selective on the surface. Again, except admit rate, one would look and assume that Vanderbilt is as selective as Harvard and more selective than Stanford. The differences are only apparent when you look beyond the numbers which is not easy to do.

Your school might just be a favorite among Emory and Gtown. The admissions officers might just have a great report with the guidance counselors there. Doesn’t make Emory and Gtown any less of a (low) reach for OP.

@bernie12 I agree. Most highly selective colleges in the US take the holistic approach, which is fair when most of their applicants have exceptional stats.

OP has a good chance and should definitely apply wherever she wants to, but just wanted to offer some food for thought :slight_smile:

@emorynavy I agree with you but all i’m saying is that although it’s doubtful Emory or Georgetown is a safety for the OP, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

@bernie12 thank you for the info. That will be very helpful to me with my own apps.

What do you mean by “especially considering my circumstances”…?

And when you say you don’t even know if you want to attend a traditional college, what do you mean? Are you just feeling burned out? Are you feeling like you’d prefer something more hands-on and/or real-world, like a co-op school? (RIT, for example? Or maybe the HCDE major at UDub? U of Cincinnati DAAP is a highly competitive Industrial Design co-op program, if you’re interested in something different. )

You sound like you’d be competitive for CMU. Their design program is pretty intense, but the students really seem to love it. I visited with my daughter to look at it, thinking one of the interdisciplinary degree programs might be good, but the vibe we got from the Design folks was that they really prefer that students go all-in - they only have so much studio space and they aren’t wildly enthused about having combined-major students take up spots that Design-only students could be using. Not sure if you were looking at the BXA programs (theoretically you could do Design + Econ) but that was our impression.

Lehigh could be a good school to look at. They have strong design and econ departments, and they recruit Asian students as URM. (I understand they’re even opening a recruiting center in the Bay Area to reach out to CA students.) I still wouldn’t call Lehigh a “safety” but it’s a step in that direction compared to Georgetown and Emory.

You have a chance at all of those schools… you just don’t sound too enthused. What do you feel like you’d really like to do?

Judging by the tone of the post, I’m suspecting that mom and dad are pushing for something prestigious? Or are pushing you to major in something particular? And that may be an idea you don’t want to necessarily follow? :slight_smile: It seems to be common in Asian culture. There are no easy answers to that, unfortunately. If you’re in that situation, you have the stats to at least keep the peace. Just apply to all of them, but be sure to put a high ranking safety in there. Get your parents input with the college list. As far as the major, I don’t have any answers for that, sorry.