ECs, GPA, etc for schools like Upenn, UMich, and Boston College

I have a question regarding GPA and ECs:

GPA Question: For UPenn and UMich if I have a 3.89/3.9 UW and a 4.47 Weighted GPA what are my chances for acceptance? Along with a 34 ACT

ECs: I have a lot of really cool ECs which I would be willing to list out if someone actually wants to see them, but if I have something like my work (data analysis etc) on my mentor’s research published in a well known scientific journal and in the NIH library, would that be considered a strong accomplishment? Especially if I am interested in med?

Okay… This is a little lacking in terms of information that we need…

If you want to get a decent response, I’d recommend using this template to create a chance thread.

-State of residence

-Type (Public/private & size):
-Graduates (How many go to Ivy’s/top 20):
-AP’s Offered:

Academic Profile:
-Unweighted GPA:
-Weighted GPA:
-Course Rigor:

EC (In order of importance/commitment):



Other Notables (College courses you've taken, papers published, created own website, TAing a class, ect):





Schools I'm looking at:





***The list is more or less in order of preference

Intended Major:
Intended Minor:

Okay @ConcernedRabbit

Northern California Bay Area (one the most competitive areas in the country)
Upper Middle Class

Public about 2200 students
About 30-40 percent of graduates go to a top 20 school
APs offered: A lot of APs I can’t name them all probably around 20 or so

Academic Profile:
UW GPA: 3.9
Weighted GPA: 4.47
APs: Bio, Chem, Lang, Spanish, Psychology (so far); Environmental Science, Physics 1, Calc AB, Global Lit (senior year)
ACT: 34
Rank: No ranking at this school
Course Rigor:
Freshman year (most rigorous): Geo honors, Bio honors, Spanish 2 honors, English, PE, World History, Drawing 1
Sophomore year (almost most rigorous) 1AP 3 honors/ 2AP 4 honors : Algebra 2 Honors, Chem honors, Spanish 3 honors, Ap Psych, World Lit, History
Junior year (almost most rigorous) 4AP/5AP: Ap bio, Ap chem, AP lang, AP spanish, trig, US history
Senior Year: TBD

El Camino Hospital

Volunteer in Junior Program Information Services
Opportunity to volunteer in a highly regarded hospital of San Francisco Bay Area
Co- Lead of all juniors in Escort and Information of El Camino hospital where I am responsible for all of the juniors; Clerical work: Input patient information into computers; Patient transport: Assist pregnant women in labor to respective location within the hospital

American Red Cross Health and Safety Committee

One of the twenty people in the San Francisco Bay Area chosen to represent The Silicon Valley Chapter while planning, writing, and implementing the Basic First Aid teachings to 1500 Bay Area youth.

CPR and Basic First Aid Instructor

Teaching 1500 Bay Area Youth CPR, Choking Rescue, Recovery Position, Casting and Splinting, and Basic First Aid

Pre-medical Experience
UC Irvine Pre-med Program
Selective 2 week summer international program/internship in which 40 high school students are chosen from around the world to participate in hands-on medical activities at the level of 2nd year medical students at UC Irvine Medical School. Out of thousands of applicants, only 120-150 are chosen each year. It is a special opportunity to work with real patients, diagnosing, clinical case studies as well as performing many other surgical techniques and procedures. Other activities include ultrasounds, laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.

Certificate of Achievement

National Congressional Award

A prestigious, national award given to students who have displayed excellence in four areas: Physical Activity, Exploration/Expedition, Personal Development, and Voluntary Public Service


Worked as a corrector and a teacher at Kumon

Surgical/Audiology Internship

Intern at the California Ear Institute working with adults and teenagers on cochlear programming, and seeing actual patients at an internationally renowned surgical and treatment center for ear, hearing, and balance disorders.

UCSF Research Intern
Work with well known researcher and professor of Chemistry, Dr.Al Burlingame, and PhDs in post doctoral research, to study proteins and do mass spectrometry research to figure out how infections and diseases are formed in the body through proteins and how to further inhibit those proteins. This research will eventually be able to figure out how to inhibit diseases and infections.


Asked to audition and participate in International Piano competitions such as U.S Beacon Artist Worldwide International competition and US Open
Played in International guild examinations

Carnatic Music Singer

Asked to audition and participate in various prestigious musical productions
Participated in fundraisers such as AIM for Seva and Nandalala Mission
Asked to participate in a prestigious International Music Festival/Competition in Cleveland, Ohio called Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana
Broadcasted on International TV through participating in International festivals
Performed in many locations around San Francisco Bay Area and in several temples


Tennis for 8 years
Varsity for 4 years (2015-present); Singles all 4 years
Quarterfinals 2 years in SCVALS De Anza league, one of the best leagues in U.S.A
Ranked in Top 150 tennis players in California

Future Physicians of America (Founder and President)- Created a medical club that fosters the interests of people looking to be in the medical field. We create sample resumes and give tips for applying to medical school and pre-med programs. We also hold fundraisers for different diseases and illnesses, and we have many distinguished guest speakers come speak at our meetings.

Sustainable Energy Club (Vice President) - Helped start a club that allows students to promote the idea of saving energy to help the environment.

Red Cross Club (Member) - Help to raise money for various causes regarding health, safety, and international affairs.

Haiti Solidarity Club (Member) - Assist Haiti in raising money to build larger schools that are very accommodating.

Honors and Awards:

Scholar Athlete (Unweighted GPA of 4.0) - 2015
National Spanish Exam Silver Medalist- 2016
California Scholastic Federation- Selected for Unweighted 4.0 - 2016
National Congressional Award- Bronze Medal and Silver
Acknowledged and Credited in NIH paper and famous scientific journal, PLOSH, for data analysis discussing Peptide Spectra
Titled Top Ten Talent, a title given to pianists who are the top ten percent of pianists in U.S.A
Awarded with National guild certificates
Awarded with Guild Founder’s Plaque, a highly regarded national piano award

Schools I am Looking at:

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
University of Pennsylvania
Boston College

Sorry I know this is super long, but I wanted to give a full description so you could give me accurate predictions.

You are an impressive applicant. I think Boston College is a high safety/low match for you. I would be surprised if you did not get into at least one of the following: UNC, UMich, Penn, Duke, Chicago, Brown, Vandy

Put a lot of effort in your essays and in securing solid recommendations.

Good look and Go Blue!

Thank you! @yikesyikesyikes do you have any suggestions? Do you think my lower GPA will affect me too much?

3.89 unweighted is fine - no point in worrying about it. Concentrate on doing well your first semester senior year, and kill your essays (and get good recommendations). You will be fine. I would add a safety school or two.

Would NYU be a good safety? @yikesyikesyikes

What can you and your parents afford?

If you choose a lower cost undergraduate school, would there be leftover money for expensive medical school?

Do you dislike all California public universities?

My parents can afford anything really. Money isn’t an issue. I don’t dislike the California universities, I just don’t want to live here anymore because the competitive nature has been very damaging to my self esteem and I don’ t want to go to a school where everyone is basically asian. @ucbalumnus Sorry if any of that sounded rude.

You should realize that most of California, including the various UCs and CSUs, is not like your high school.

However, pre-med will be a competitive environment at any college.

While your high school may be around 80% Asian, no California public university is even 50% Asian among domestic undergraduate students.

Can your parents afford expensive undergraduate school for you and expensive medical school for you?

As an Asian applicant your resume reads like so many other Asian applicants considering premed.

Many high school students have had research and volunteer opportunities where the work has been published.
Lots of Asian students have music, dance or playing an instrument on their resume.
The congressional award anyone can apply for that program. It is a matter of documenting what you do. My child has the gold award.
At top schools there will be lots of applicants very similar to you. You have to express what makes you unique.
If you are applying for premed most of those colleges have heavy weedout of students.

Sorry to be blunt.

What did your child do that was unique and where did they go? @raclut

I am not applying as premed or aiming to go to any premed programs. I am aiming to go into biochem as an undergrad. @ucbalumnus

A lot of good not very unique students go to good schools like UCSB, UCSC, UCR, etc…

Do you think I have a shot at schools like Tufts, Georgetown, UMich…schools of that caliber? @ucbalumnus

None can be considered safeties. It looks like, with your current list, your safety is to start at De Anza, right?

My safety is De Anza? I thought that my grades and ECs qualified me for much higher caliber schools like maybe NYU or University of Arizona or University of Washington as safeties. I was told by many peers and other adults that my resume is good enough for the schools I want to go to also, so I am a bit confused. @ucbalumnus

Which schools do you actually intend to apply to as safeties?

Most of your list in post #2 consists of schools that are reach for everyone. Since that list contains no safeties, De Anza would be your safety by default unless you add some other schools that are actual safeties.

In two previous threads you talk about applying to top BS/MD schools.

" I really want to apply and go to a well respected BSMD program."

I have multiple family members that have attended many of the schools you have mentioned.

There is no secret formula to getting into these schools. Through your essays you need to show what makes you different, what it is about the school your are applying to you think would make a good fit for you and how you would be able to contribute to the diversity of the school. Colleges are looking to accept a diverse group of students. At these schools all the students were stars in high school. When you are competing with the best it is harder to shine.
On paper you maybe a perfect fit for the school but realize there are so many equally good applicants to choose from.
Students with perfect grades and scores get rejected too.

Don’t make the mistake of applying to all reach schools. NYU is not a safety. Make your college application list wisely.

You can apply to any college you choose. Just realize that there are no guarantees at the schools you have mentioned. Meet with your high school counselor to come up with a list of safety, match, and reach schools.

I know you said money is not an issue but have your parents look at the costs of these schools. If you have med school plans too you are looking at least $500,000 worth of education costs. Believe me most parents get sticker shock when they find out what the final costs of these expensive schools are.

Also remember one thing. Your value is not based on the school you attend but what you do with the opportunities provided to you.

Can you give me some suggestions for safeties please? @ucbalumnus