Could I get into an Ivy League?

Does auto admit guarantee entrance to the major? If OP is interested in a CS major, would there be another selection level for that? I’m thinking she could also consider another UT where CS would be a guaranteed admit with her stats. UTArlington or UT Dallas, perhaps.

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Auto admit does not guarantee even the college within the UT Austin campus. That is why OP should apply to the applicable honors programs which admit on a rolling basis. For OP, it appears there are several possibilities within the College of Natural Sciences, including one in CS, Plan II and there is a combined CS/Business honors program. Honors Programs | Undergraduate Admissions | The University of Texas at Austin


I disagree with this, based on lots of time spent running NPCs at various Ivy+ schools. My D22 will report AGI of 127k with modest savings and ~100k in home equity; for most Ivies and also Rice/Vandy, this results in net price of 17k-20k for us, or quite a bit cheaper than UT-Austin (~28k). Granted, only a limited number of schools can afford this generous level of need-based aid, but even schools ranked 20-40 have generally come in around 30k-35k. The outliers are WashU, Tulane, and USC, each over 50K net. I think OP should not rule out top schools based on finances unless the NPC clearly shows them to be unaffordable in her circumstances.


Having a current kid at an Ivy, I can tell you that this is the case. Many parents don’t realize that and when they run the NPC they think they will get a certain amount of aid, but it is rarely what they think they will get. They also rarely get rull aid as the Ivies don’t get merit scholarships.

I cannot comment on Vandy other than they do give a fair amount of merit scholarships and I don’t know how they are as far as need based aid. Rice I pointed to the example of the student from this past year that was admitted during ED and then couldn’t afford to attend. The thread is here on CC so all anyone has to do is go to that. They gave them $ but not at all what the parent expected.

The best thing the OP can do for herself is to really go through the specific schools she is interested in and look at the threads and see what has happened with students who have requested financial aid and what has happened with them. The NPCs are not all that accurate. For one school I was told my student would qualify for more than 30k in financial aid, yet the only thing they ultimately received in their financial aid award was the offer of a loan. That’s another thing that people are often confused about, financial aid, does not always mean grants/free money. Often times it’s made up of how much a parent/student can take loans out for and then the rest they have to get loans elsewhere. There are some good examples of the definition of this online. If you’re going through this for the first time since you mentioned a student graduating in 2022, just be aware and don’t count on the NPCs or go in with blinders. The last thing you want is to disappoint your child if they can’t go to the school they really want to go to. It happens more often than you think and for some parents it’s a killer trying to tell your kid you can’t afford to send them where they really want to go. Or to advise them against taking loans because no school is worth graduating with 80-100k in loans for undergrad.

It depends on if Med School is your destination, or if it is something you are just considering. If it’s your destination, major in something you would really like to study (e.g. maybe Russian, etc.). That will get you the highest GPA as you would have the most interest in those classes. Then plan the required science courses around easier classes so you can concentrate on getting at least a B+ in those courses as they will be considered separately (science GPA). If that is not the case then go with CS and do the best you can, but I would not go to MIT unless you plan on pursuing CS as a career. At MIT, based on just your scores and grades you would be an average maybe even slightly below average student there.

Hmm. Your comments run contrary to essentially everything else I have ever read on NPCs, both on CC and elsewhere. It does seem to be well understood that a few specific situations, including divorced parents and ownership of a family business or investment vehicle, can throw off the NPC significantly. Otherwise, the consensus is that NPCs are pretty close. And NPCs typically itemize the expected aid by grants/loans/work study, so there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding about what type(s) of aid can be anticipated. I wonder whether your situation, and perhaps those of others you mention, might be affected by asset issues - I have heard stories of families that have partial ownership of rental properties or investment LLCs that they didn’t think to input on the NPC, only to find that schools vastly reduced their aid package based on those assets.

I recall the Rice NPC situation that I think you are referring to, and I looked it up on the Rice ED 2025 thread. If that’s the one, your characterization is misleading. That parent ran the NPC and was unable to pay the NPC estimated net cost, but nonetheless encouraged their student to apply ED based the hope of obtaining an additional merit scholarship not reflected in the NPC (which they perceived to be a 20% chance for some reason). As one would expect, the actual aid award was close to, and in fact slightly higher than, the NPC estimate, but there was no additional merit aid. As others on that thread noted, you shouldn’t apply ED if the NPC estimate is unaffordable, especially when there’s zero indication that the school even gives that level of merit aid. This story is actually supportive of the idea that NPCs at Rice are accurate and reliable as long as you don’t harbor bizarre expectations of unforeseen mystery money.


In our case, one school offered a slightly higher FA, but 2 other top schools offered much better aid than the NPC numbers. NPC is not accurate for every school.

Dear Dasha,You are a great student and you did everything you could! Unfortunately, college admission in USA is not a fair game. Unlike Russia, Europe, or China, college admission in USA is NOT merit based. A lot depends on the circumstances that you cannot control - the color of your skin or the VIP status of your parents. If your parents can donate millions of dollars or have high profile friends (politicians or VIPs), then Ivys will accept you. If not … you are a smart student, you are doing great, and you will be successful in life! Please, do not take it personal if Stanford rejects you. You did all the right things … but admission game is not fair. IMHO.

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I will assume everyone is done swapping war stories about their experiences with NPC and are now returning to focus on OP.

I’ll refrain from further discussion of general NPC issues, though I think that is deserving of another thread. Suffice to say that OP should utilize NPCs as much as possible to get a sense of affordability.

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