Do I have any chance for Ivies with 2 Bs? (3.94 UW GPA)

I have a B and B+ in 2 humanities classes at my high school. I’m majoring in bio. Our of a class size of less than 180 students, 23 have 4.0 and 27 have 3.9-3.99. A college consultant just talked to me and said I have no chance for ivies because my rank is low, even though my school doesn’t rank (but apparently the colleges still rank anyways).

PS. I am asian with no hooks

  1. Why do you want to go to “Ivies”? They are all different.
  2. Try to learn about the many other great schools.
  3. Make sure to consider finances.
  4. Does your school provide the GPA breakdown of your class. That’s terrible.
  5. Admission to top colleges is not all about grades and scores anyway.

I don’t know what grade you are in, but most of all, don’t worry about fitting a certain set of schools. Instead find schools that fit you.


finances are ok bc ivies give good aid and yeah my school is very high ranked in the state and was #1 in the past… it’s hard to get good GPA since everyone is smart and you had to take a test to enroll at the hs

i’m 11th g

Does the college consultant know your school? How many students from your school normally get into t20 schools? One issue you could have is the strength of LOR’s.

Are these significant enough to qualify as a hook?

You may also have less of a chance because more than 25% of your class has a 3.9+. Ivies only have room for so many from each HS.


yeah they know how competitive the school is and didn’t even want to work with me because my gpa 3.94 was too low

You need to step back for a minute. The admissions rate for most of the Ivies are mid single digits, so they are pretty much long shots for the average excellent student, so even if you had a 4.0, still a long shot absent something that truly makes you stand out. If you had something that made you stand out, a B and B+ in subjects that are not your concentration would not matter.

At this point, there is nothing you can do about your past grades. What you can do is try to make the best grades you can this semester and take rigorous courses next semester and shoot for A’s. Even if schools are TO, I’d still take the SAT or ACT and try to score 1500+ or 34+. Choose your teachers for LoR’s wisely – you may want to get a jump on that now. But most importantly develop a good list of safety and match schools. Go ahead and apply to a few reaches next year, but temper your expectations. I always advise to apply EA where you can. If you get in any of those schools, it eliminates schools from your list that you rank lower. If you get into match/high match school, you can go reach heavy in your RD apps. If not, you will need to dig deeper into safeties.


@apply2bsmd2022 To repeat what others wrote - since you are not a legacy, recruited athlete, or the child of donor, your chances of being accepted to any college with single digit acceptance rates are extremely small, no matter what your academic record happens to be.

Your chances of being accepted with two Bs is identical to your chances of being accepted with a GPA of 4.0. A GPA of 3.94 puts you in the range of GPAs that they consider, so long as it is also for a rigorous set of courses.

Your GPA is competitive, but >90% of all competitive applicants are being rejected by colleges with single digit acceptance rates.

First, make sure that the “good aid” is good enough. Many upper middle class families discover too late that their idea of “full need met” is not the same as college’s ideas of “full need met”.

Second, different Ivies have different levels of aid, and there are a bunch of colleges which provide exactly the same level of aid as do the Ivies:

Look up “full need met colleges” to find which ones they are. Many are likely better fits for you.

Third, as others have mentioned, “Ivies” is not some monolithic group. They have different characteristics, are in different locations, and often are looking for different things.

Finally, if the entirely of your college admissions plan is “apply to an Ivy, under the assumption that I will be accepted to one”, then you have no plan. The most likely outcome of that plan is you in April in a terrible emotional state, trying to figure out what to do.



@MWolf @BKSquared Thank you both for responding with regards to my academic profile.

Why are you asking the question about Ivy League schools generically if your intent as conveyed by your handle is to get into a BS/MD program?

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Is there a reason why I can’t apply to both?

I’m trying to understand your perspective and desires in order to better offer advice. Best of luck.

Couple of things, yes rank matters but when the difference is a B and B+, much less so. The AO’s will also look at rigor and as importantly in your case your LoR’s – what do your teachers say about you? Often LoR’s are relative in nature. Top schools are not interested in “grinds” who just make A’s. They want students who will add to the academic and social fabric of their schools. LoR’s that tell a story of how you make a difference supported by examples make a difference. It could be about a field of study that is in you interest or it could be about a positive aspect of your character. Top schools want a compelling story about you through all the pieces of the app, including ECs and essays, that convinces them that you will be an asset to their school. Let me reiterate though, get your safeties and matches lined up. Further, if you scattershot something generic for every reach, it will not likely be a happy set of outcomes.


Sorry for being irritated earlier. My apologizes.

Sending you a private message.

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Thank you so much!

@apply2bsmd2022 Since others have already given some very good advise regarding what it means to apply to the reach schools, I am going to focus on this “international level research” conference presentation. You seem to think this is somehow going to push you over the top. I am seeing more and more of the “research paper EC” popping up like mushrooms - it takes several years of focused graduate level work to publish something meaningful in any field. A high school student with publications would have had to start learning in depth material at - what - age 10? Most likely, these contributions by high school students are something peripheral to the paper.

If, in fact, you have made some groundbreaking contribution to the paper - do you have independent confirmation of high level work as evidenced by science bowl champioships or math olympiad placements? Can your teachers give LORs that state you are so over and beyond the usual excellent high school student to have the raw talent to be working on international level research? There may be a reason why the college counselor was lukewarm about your chances.


Thanks for the insight.

Your grades would not be an obstacle given certain accomplishments Since for privacy reasons there is not much info on your presentation and publication, it is hard for us to comment.

It seems that many high schoolers are starting non-profits these days. This is a relatively new phenomenon , perhaps driven by social media. Again, for privacy reasons which are understandable, we have no info to base comments on.

I would make sure to research the many excellent colleges in the U.S. Make sure your essays are likable.

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