Chances for top/backup schools

<p>Well, I have a list of about 10 schools right now, and about 6 of them are the highest-end schools in the country, and I was wondering if I am over my league. I want to apply to most of them but I fell like I have too few backup schools and that I will be stuck with the one or two universities that I do get in to.</p>

<p>I'm looking into an engineering program, most likely civil engineering since I possibly want to minor/double major in architecture to become a structural engineer and architect. I am also considering physics programs, or possibly chemistry (with its affiliate programs). Furthermore, I have a bunch of other interests to consider as minors.</p>

<p>So far, my college list is this:
Princeton (I'm applying Early Action since it is most likely my top school, but also because it will allow me to "split the schools": If I am accepted, I'll just go and apply to all the top schools, but if I'm declined from Princeton, I'll apply to the lesser schools and 2 top schools).
Cornell (Engineering first, probably Architecture second, but possibly sciences), Columbia Fu Foundation (definitely applying to no matter what on Princeton)
MIT (my physics teacher is adamant about me applying here, even though I am not hopeful of getting in)
Caltech (only if accepted to Princeton)
Carnegie-Mellon (I used to think this would be a backup, but now I am not sure)
University of Rochester (since it's free...It doesn't have civil engineering)
Clarkson Honors
Colgate or Geneseo
NYU 5-year Poly/CAS program
Yale (if accepted to Princeton)</p>

<p>My statistics:
I have a GPA in the 98.5 area, and I am fairly certain I will be in the top 3 (most likely top 2).
SAT: 660 CR, 800 M, 680 W (1460; 2140) (I have yet to register but I'll take this once more, possibly twice)
SAT II: 800 M2, 800 Physics, 780 Chemistry
ACT: 34
AP: 5s on both AP Physics B and AP US History</p>

<p>Senior year courses: AP Biology, AP Calculus (I am not which type we do in our school), AP Microeconomics. I will be taking AP Physics C: Mechanics independently, and possibly C: E&M and Chemistry independently. </p>

<p>Hopefully I can mention in applications my drive in AP courses. I will possibly be doing three AP courses independently, and I have not had a lunch since Freshman year to take a course. (I'm taking a lunch senior year to do those AP courses). Also, for AP US History, I read an entire textbook not required by the class to study for the exam (I used to consider history as my worse subject, and our teacher was not that I read The American Pageant).</p>

<p>Language courses: I will have been studying Spanish for five years, and French for four. (I did French 2, French 4, and French 5 in three years). I am not sure whether to include on the CA whether I am proficient in these, because I am not fluent (I consider myself to be semifluent though), but I feel that I would be able to speak/read/write with accuracy. Hopefully I can do some explaining on this, because I started studying Spanish in 8th grade, but I read a teach-yourself French book in the summer and now can speak French better than Spanish. Along with my independent study (like looking up stuff on websites), I feel I am ahead of my class and I know most of the stuff we learn in class before we learn it.</p>

<p>Extracurriculars: Science Olympiad (multiple medals at regionals, 6th place at States at the very first appearance of our school). (We also have kind of a competition/fun/middle-school mentoring summer camp as well).
Science Bowl, National Honor Society, French Honor Society, editor of the yearbook
I have participated in our school's yearly fall play (once) and spring musical (twice), and have done a summer musical (once).
Mock Trial
Math Club (only like a 73 on the AMC though)
I apologize for the poor organization of this, and I am sure I missed some credentials, so if there is anything else I should write down, please tell me.</p>

<p>Thank you for chancing me. I am not sure how I will fare in the Ivies, so I want to make sure I get a few more backups just so I am not unhappy if I only get accepted there.</p>

<p>Also, unrelated to the chancing, but I am not sure if I want to apply to Colgate OR Geneseo. I believe they are on par, and they both offer a 3-2 Columbia Engineering program, but I can't decide to which one I should apply.</p>

<p>Your application would be generic to be honest. Also you need to raise your Critical Reading and Writing scores. Amazing maths though !!</p>

<p>Most would be high Mid-High reaches. (I mean the top tier ones your applying to)</p>

<p>Ok, thank you. I am confident that my scores should raise at least a little once I retake the SAT.</p>

<p>I was afraid of it being generic. :/ If you asked any of my teachers, (I assume) they would probably say that I am one of the most hardworking, dedicated, and involved students, but I guess going to a small school (about 130 in the graduating class), all that I can do doesn't look as impressive and outstanding as the stuff that big schools could do.</p>

<p>Specifically for Princeton, Cornell, and Columbia, what do you think my chances would be? And would you have any suggestions for other schools?</p>

<p>Thank you, again.</p>

<p>34 on ACT is fine. I'll be honest, I believe that you will not be accepted EA to Princeton. You are a great applicant, but so everybody will be. You will either be deferred, or more probably, rejected. I could be wrong, but there are so many kids with 2340+, 4.0s, better ECs, and amazing recs who get flat out rejected from Pton. </p>

<p>However, if you applied ED to Cornell/Dartmouth/Penn/Columbia, I think you would have a much higher chance. In particular, I am almost certain you would be an admit ED to Cornell, but RD, I am not sure. It is MUCH easier to get into Cornell, Dartmouth, and Penn early statistically, partially because it is binding (unlike Princeton EA). With your profile, I am really not sure if you would get in RD. </p>

<p>Look at Georgetown and Duke also. Apply early somewhere ED.</p>

<p>Ok, I'll look into those schools. I know Cornell has great programs in what I want to do, and it's in the NY area, but I am daunted by the binding admission aspect (I usually regret my choices).</p>

<p>As for Princeton, would RD generally be better for EA schools for the lower-caliber applicants?</p>

<p>For SATs, I will probably retake them twice and hope to improve to at least 2240.</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>They accept kids EA that they are 100% sure that they would accept RD. Students at Yale who are deferred (not Princeton, but similar admission policy) have much lower acceptance rates in the general pool, and it looks like Princeton will have the same policy. All of the recruited athletes/most legacies come in early, which leaves only a few spots for the top of the applicant pool. I don't know much about Cornell's transfer system, but research the ease of transferring between departements. Given your interest, I would apply ED for Columbia. With ED/your profile, I think you have a very strong chance of getting in early there, and a much stronger chance than if you were to apply RD. (Early decision is binding, so it works as an advantage.) However, if your heart is set on Princeton, and it is by far your first choice, you might want to go for it and follow your dreams. Don't look back and regret if you don't get in early and don't get into any Ivies RD.
Good luck</p>

<p>"Look at Georgetown and Duke also. Apply early somewhere ED."</p>

<p>Apply ED only if you have a dream school, especially if you need financial aid.</p>