High School Junior (rising senior) at a catholic school in New York

Hooks: I am a URM (Hispanic), a first generation college student, and I’m also adopted

SAT I (breakdown): 2400 (no need for subscores lol)

ACT (breakdown): not taking

SAT II:, us 750 , math 2 740 Lit 730 bio 750

Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.7

Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): school doesnt rank

Course Rigor: Frosh- Stage Band Honors, Integrated Geometry Advanced (took Algebra 1 in middle school).
Sophmore- Biology Honors and Global History Honors,
Junior Year: APUSH

AP: US - 4

IB (place score in parenthesis): not available at my school

Senior Year Course Load: AP Lit AP Government Honors Calculus Honors Physics

Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): Nothing aside from National Honor society and foreign language honor society


Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): 150-200 volunteer hours, golf team, bodybuilding, peer tutoring 4 yrs of band, National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society

Job/Work Experience: 3 different jobs in three different businesses

Summer Activities: Worked 20 hrs per week summer of freshmen year
worked 30-35 hours per week summer of soph year
Summer of Junior year got 100 hours of service volunteering at a nursing home

Essays: Extremely strong have been working on them for many months

While your SAT 1 is obviously flawless, you have a rather low UW GPA and the number of AP classes. Try to balance them out, and you should have a fair shot.

Chances look good to me. Two hooks (URM + first gen) and perfect test scores is a very rare combination. If the 3.7 is coming from a competitive high school and having taken a challenging curriculum (which I’m guessing is the case), then it can be justified. How much the 3.7 will hurt you is difficult without context. Having said all that, with a sub-10% RD acceptance rate, Duke is still a crapshoot for most qualified applicants, but you’ve set yourself up almost as well as you could assuming your course rigor is there (can’t say without knowing what your school offers).

The only place you may be lacking (other than academics-3.7) is your extra-curricular activities. Yes, you have volunteering (and a large amount of it), but honor societies aren’t quite as important as they may seem and how involved were you in golf? If you weren’t on varsity or weren’t highly devoted to it, you may be lacking something Duke holds quite strong-the impact a student has on his/her school. You have impact on the community (via community service) and if you express that well, that’s part of the story, but you may be lacking a lot of impact on your own school’s community. What have you done to make it better than when you came? Have you started a club you thought was lacking (please make sure you do this solely for the right reasons)? Have you done something to improve that sense of your community? That’s also important. Duke will want somebody who is going to impact Duke as well as Durham. And, ultimately, another important aspect is not to overwork your essays. This is key. You may think that they’re extremely strong because you’ve been working on them for months; however, working on essays for months is not necessary at all. I ended up writing my duke essays within 30 min each because I was running out of time in December. It turns out these were the most genuine essays I produced all semester, leading to my fortunate acceptance. If you spend too much time on your essays ‘perfecting’ them, you may lose yourself in the process. Many of us have learned this the hard way.

Lastly, chances, as mentioned, are all over the place, but good luck to you!!

Everyone pretty much said what I would say personally. All three chances comments are spot on.

@bigdreamer14: I agree with the foregoing comments, but would add that your essays and recommendations are likely to be very important, perhaps decisive. You want them to compel Admissions Readers and Officers to believe, “we really want this applicant.” Absent that, you’re quite competitive, but so will be 15,000+ of your “distinguished peers.”

You have an excellent shot. Getting a perfect score on the SAT is not easy. While there will be lots of other kids with perfect scores who apply, very few of them will also be URM and first generation.

As others have said your ECs are a little light, but given the fact that you worked during the school year and in summers, this is understood. I honestly don’t think you will have a lot of difficulty getting admitted. Just write good essays and make sure your teacher reccs are solid.

Good luck