Do you think these are my safety schools? (4.0 GPA)

Hi, I was wondering how confident I can be about getting into certain schools based on their average admitted GPAs. For example some, I am interested in are Syracuse University, UC Davis, University of Rochester, New York University. All these schools have average GPAs around 3.5-3.6 but some of them (like NYU) have low acceptance rates still. I was wondering how confident I can be with some of these schools as possible safeties.
I am an Asian American from a small rural state
I have unweighed 4.0
Full IB, involved in extracurriculars like Speech and Debate, BPA, MUN, Mock Trial, NHS. Volunteer, etc.
I haven’t taken my ACT yet, but have gotten 33 on the practice test.
I am interested in pursuing a double or interdisciplinary major in philosophy and applied mathematics.

Average Capped Weighted GPA for UC Davis 2020 was 4.11.

What is your capped weighted UC GPA?

Can you pay $65K/year to attend UC Davis? If not, UC Davis is not a safety school and depending upon your capped weighted GPA, it could a Match to a Low Match but not a solid safety school especially for CS.

Safety schools are usually in-state schools where you are guaranteed an acceptance.

A Safety school should be affordable, guaranteed acceptance and one that you are willing to attend no matter the outcome. Stats alone will not determine a good safety school.

I don’t know if I’d call any of them safeties. Are you full pay or looking for aid? What is your home state? Have you looked at Pitt? Strong in those disciplines.

I would not go into regular decision with that as my safety list even if I had $320k sitting in the bank

those schools are not safeties for anyone. You would need to show interest. They will realize that you are using them as a safety and deny or waitlist you.

Private schools with holistic admissions and low/relatively low admit rates are never safeties. For publics the factors can vary widely, but gumbymom has already addressed the one public on your list.

Of the ones you mentioned I’m most familiar with NYU. While your gpa is above average (which is 3.7 for attending students) your expected ACT falls well within the middle 50 of those attending; median admitted SAT last cycle was 1500. And yes, 4.0 GPAs do get rejections or waitlists from NYU, which has a 15% admit rate overall and for CAS (where a philosophy/math student would presumably apply) it is single digits. You are certainly competitive for NYU, and coming from a small rural state would probably be a slight tip for them as well, but it’s far from a safety .

@egganog UC Davis, NYU, and URochester are all selective schools practicing holistic admissions (idk nothing about Syracuse, and less so at UC Davis, as a public university) so you can trust the “average GPAs” listed on their website with a grain of salt, especially because high schools across the nation vary widely in terms of grading policies. Of those three, I’m most familiar with URochester b/c I applied and was accepted, and the school had a 30% acceptance rate last year: FAR from being a safety school, which should have a 50%+ acceptance rate. If your SAT/ACT are in range for U of R (pretty much the same as CWRU, Tulane, BU etc.) and your extracurriculars/essays are strong, it might be a match school, but definitely not a safety.

Also note that UofR is generous with partial-tuition merit scholarships (I received ~23K as a NMF,) but does meet full need based on a google search: so keep in mind that you’ll likely be paying 40-50K per year if you don’t qualify for major financial aid.

If you’re looking for a safety school, it should have a 50% plus acceptance rate AND be affordable to you and your family: for most applicants, this means their state school (not flagship if you live in CA, VA, MI etc.) If you’re a NMSF, there are a TON of schools offering full-ride and full-tuition merit scholarships, and a google search should bring up lists of these schools.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

More like, a safety needs to be automatic admit for the applicant, as well as affordable.

Truely Safe:
Guaranteed admission for your stats - that means open admission, or a place that publishes stats guaranteeing admission right on its website.
Guaranteed affordable - that means your stats qualify you for automatic aid from that college/university itself and/or you will have enough aid because of filing the FAFSA and/or you qualify for automatic aid from your own state of residence OR your family can pay for the place without any further aid.
Offers your potential major(s)
You will be happy to attend if all else goes wrong in the admission cycle.

Reasonably Safe:
Every applicant from your own high school with a profile like yours in the past few years has been accepted.
You have run the Net Price Calculator at the college/university website and the results make the place look affordable.
Offers your potential major(s).
You will be happy to attend.

Any place where human beings read the applications and make decisions about admissions is at best Reasonably Safe. Everything else is Match or Reach.

No, none of these are safeties.
Will you need financial aid? Merit aid?
What IB score can you reasonably expect?