Expectations reasonable?

<p>Recently after hanging out with a few friends who have very high grades/test scores etc. has made me question my original expectations on getting into certain colleges. My friends have approx. 4.55 gpa and 35 act and 4.6 gpa and 36 act (weighted gpa on a 4.0 scale), which is quite obviously, very good. Both of them dismissed Ivy League schools as too good for them, and they were aiming for schools along the lines of Northwestern, Rice, USC etc. Personally, I would have considered them as virtual locks for those schools, with very good chances at some Ivies as well. This is starting to get me wondering, mainly becuase the schools I want to go to are very similar, but my stats don't compare at all.</p>

<p>I have a 4.06 gpa weighted, and currently a 32 on the ACT (although i'm bustin my balls one last time this september and am honestly expecting a 34 based on how my practice tests have gone). I also plan to take the SAT and expect around a 2100 based on how i did on my PSAT and my ACT. I also got a 760 on the Chinese Language SAT II, and plan to also take the Math II and Physics or Biology SAT Subject tests. I'll be conservative and guess ill get about a 780 on MathII and about 700 on physics or biology. As for extra curriculars and such I feel like I have my bases covered, but nothing super special to make me stand out. I have JV Tennis, Varsity Golf, Varsity Track & Field (went to state in Track), I tutor at my high schools Literary Center, and have about 300 hours of volunteering at a local chinese school and a local hospital. I'm sure i'll find a few more things to add for my app, but as i said, nothing too special. One thing to add is that my high school is very big and competitive, so while my 4.06 GPA seems alright, in reality it's probably borderline for top 10% of my class.</p>

<p>I currently plan to major in Architecture and minor in Graphics Design. I want to apply to the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) as a semi-safety school, one more super safety school (maybe UIC, i live in Illinois), and then a handful schools that might be a bit of a reach, but i'm hoping i can get into atleast one of them. These schools are the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor, Northwestern University, UCLA, USC, and possibly Rice University.</p>

<p>My worry now is that maybe UoI isn't really as safe a school as i orignally thought, and i'm starting to think my chances of getting into any of my preferred schools are much closer to none. Do you guys think I need to lower my standards and apply to more "safety" schools? Or is my hope of getting into one of my "reaches" reasonable? If you go off of my expectations of a 34 on the act and a 2100 on the SAT, along with my 4.06 gpa, what should my expectations really be for the schools i listed, and should I perhaps change them to be slightly more conservative?</p>

<p>I really appreciate any input you guys can give, thanks!</p>

<p>Whether or not you are top 10% willl be important at the more competitive schools. MichigaN looks good and UCLA and USC look good with a bit higher on the ACT.</p>

<p>Do you mean a bit higher than my current 32? Or that I might need even higher than a 34? Plus another thing to add is that my high school got rid of class rank, so supposedly they don't send it to any colleges, however i'm not sure if they still send in the %s (as in whether im in the top 10% or 25%). </p>

<p>I also might add, that while I take a lot of hard classes, AP/honors etc., while it will make my rigor of curriculum look well, my unweighted GPA probably isn't stellar, I would guess around 3.65 or 3.7 =/ Will the fact that I took hard classes (I took BC Calc as a junior) offset the fact that I got quite a bit of B's in weighted classes?</p>