Do I stand a chance at stern?

So essentially, I’m asking people to chance me for NYU stern 2026. My school, the way it functions, is that when first semester ends Junior year, they give you a rough calculation of what you’re gpa is going to be. In addition, they ask for a list of potential schools you’re interested in so they can get an idea of what you want, and so the counselors can start writing specialized letters of recommendations.

As the title suggests, my first choice is as of right now is stern, and seeing as ED 2 results for NYU came out a few days ago, I’m really only asking this early because the counselors write really good recommendation letters if they get an idea of the schools you plan on applying to, I only get to tell them 5 schools, in order of priority, and I’d really like to keep a school at the top I think I’d have a good shot at.

I’m a high income (no need for aid) middle eastern male from a competitive school in NY, notorious for sending 15 and 10 kids + to NYU and Cornell respectively, and where all the kids who graduate in top 10% normally attend a T15 school (out of ~150 class size).

Here are my stats and I think my GPA is going to kill me:

GPA: 3.8 UW, 4.3 W, I got 3 Bs, one B+, and UW B- freshman year cause I was lazy. All As and two A+ sophomore. All As and one A+ predicted 11th.

Taking AP bio and AP Statistics this year. Taking AP macro, gov, physics, computer science, and calc AB in 12th. Hardest course load 12th, near hardest 11th (didn’t take APUSH this year).

Class rank: School doesn’t rank but around T25%

Test scores: 1580 (800M 780 RW), was panning on taking subject tests but they got removed. Considering taking ACT and trying to get a 35.


  1. Founded a website/nonprofit (3 years) that writes articles about social injustice in the business world, social media has 12k+ followers, was published in local newspapers and was interviewed by local media
  2. Founded and president of our finance club (2 years), we teach kids about non profits and matched kids up with volunteer gigs at local companies
  3. President of our Spanish club (4 years when I apply), didn’t really do much, but we had a lot of members
  4. Secretary of our DECA club (3 years)
  5. Interned for a politician (2 years), designed campaign logos, handled mail, and scheduled interviews with media stations
  6. Internship at a private investment firm (2 summers)
  7. Was an editor for our schools newspaper (4 years)
  8. Varsity track captain (4 years)
  9. Member of model UN (3 years), won best delegate
  10. Was a leader in a special program at our school where we would have a bunch of kids in our group and essentially just talk to them

Awards (I’m not sure if I even have space for these): 2x Scholastic gold key award, national merit semifinalist (these haven’t been officially announced but my counselor told me before hand, I’m not sure how he knows), won an award in a spanish essay writing competition, and trying not to reveal my identity, but was recognized in a few DECA competitions.

I haven’t written any essays and haven’t got any letters of rec (I’m making this post because of a rec letter). But, with sterns 8% acceptance rate, and my GPA (despite upward trend), do I have much of a chance? Stern is pretty much as hard as Wharton, and if I applied to wharton they’d laugh at me.

If it helps, I have an older sibling currently pursuing a bachelors at CAS.

Any feedback is appreciated, as if stern is a bigger reach than I thought, I’d rather put another school on my list. Sorry if I just comes down as another paranoid junior lol.

I think you are a good match. It could go either way, so start studying!

Thanks. My counselors write real good letters if you give them your schools beforehand, stern has always been a dream of mine.

I’m pretty impressed with your qualifications. Don’t bother with the ACT. You already have a 1580 SAT, and you’re National Merit. Don’t waste your time prepping for the ACT, which is somewhat different. You’ve already basically hit the top of the scale on standardized tests.

Okay. You were lazy in 9th grade. But you’ve worked hard for two years since then, it looks like. Colleges supposedly think better of a slightly lower GPA if there has been a strong upward trend, and there has been, for you.

It sounds as if you go to a well-known school in NY. As such, your admissions counselor is going to be able to give you the best advice. It shouldn’t be this way, but the fact is that admissions counselors from exclusive private schools often have privileged access to admissions committees at top universities. I don’t know whether this is the case for the highly selective exam schools in NYC, also. But you may be able to work this in your favor.

It’s one thing to be in the top quarter of a large, diverse public school. It’s quite another to be top quarter of a highly competitive school, and if the schools were to overlook your freshman year, sounds as if you’d be possibly in the top 10th percentile. Those standardized test scores are very impressive, plus your grades sophomore and junior years show consistent hard work, so they’re less likely to think that you’re a very smart, but lazy kid. They know that you were 14/15 during freshman year.

Your extracurriculars look pretty darn good to me.

I think that you would have a chance at Stern. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think you also have a chance at Wharton, believe it or not. If you’re at an elite private schools, I think you can get some good input from the advisors at your school regarding reasonable reaches for you, and good matches. If Stern is your dream school, you should definitely go ahead and apply.

Wow, didn’t expect such a positive response! I definitely think my test score does bump me into the high percentile, but I doubted whether it was anything special. As for my high school, I just go to a really good public one (ranked #1 by certain papers). The only thing that scares me about my gpa is that I had actually taken much easier courses in 9th (only one advanced one was available, and I got a B- in it), and I wonder how colleges will comprehend I got As in advanced courses and Bs in regular ones.

Does your school use Naviance? If yes, you can MAYBE get some idea of your odds by looking at where your GPA and SAT place you. But if I were you, I’d also recalculate your GPA without your freshman year, and see if that puts you in range. But don’t automatically be discouraged by this if it doesn’t. My kid’s GPA was not perfect, virtually no one from kid’s school gets into a top 3 school (maybe two in the past 15 yrs, with a class size of 400), and the kid did get in, due to extracurriculars that they wanted.

I think your extracurriculars are really quite good. If your small public school is so good, and so well-recognized that so many from each class get into highly competitive schools, then it may be that you have a chance. This is what reaches are about - they’re reaches, not guarantees. Just make sure that you also have matches and safeties on your list that you would be happy to wind up at.

I think you have a really strong chance