I got rejected from everywhere except my 3 safeties, need advice

Caltech does a lot of admits based on if their dad is a local congressman and also a lot of Disney exec kids get admitted. Then the rest are stellar brains. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that Caltech admits are all genius. They barely have any spots anyway but there’s a good number of mediocre kids who get in because their parents are influential in Los Angeles.

And maybe, just maybe…just because it is written on a Reddit thread doesn’t mean it’s true.


You have take everything posted on social media even CC with a grain of salt when it comes to GPA. EC’s etc… I do not how many times a poster will list some great accomplishments only to find out these are their on wish to accomplish list and they haven’t achieved any of them.

I have been a frequent CC poster for 8 years now and I have seen applicants with lower than average GPA’s, some with F’s in classes which they retook, C’s etc… get into some competitive schools but no one except admissions can see the whole picture of the applicant since we are not privy to that information.

Too many people jump to conclusions and make judgements based on some here say so you are welcome to vent but unless you have seen the college application for yourself and you know the real story do not have make such general remarks.


No one has said his stats aren’t high enough, the point is that even kids who have 4.0 all through HS with a 35/36 ACT are rejected. An upward progression is always preferred but regardless of whether you’re the former or the latter you need to manage expectations and prepare your college list with likelies, matches and reaches. There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in college admissions. That’s been happening with greater regularity for at least the last 5 years. My kids, the first graduated in 2015, had countless friends with stellar stats who were disappointed by their acceptances. The point is that no one thing assures acceptance. And when ~90-95% of kids are rejected from tippy top schools those are real numbers.


I agree. But I tend to think when dozens of kids are trying to post uplifting hopeful posts about their low stats then I think they’re truthful. But I’m just saying all the adults responding to this heartbroken Indian kid, telling them if they only worked harder or had higher stats, it would have worked out better is just silly. Who knows why AO’s choose a kid? It’s so very random. So it’s best for these kids to do what they love and stop losing their childhood to the meat grinder of GPA and testing.


In my opinion the narrative of this student was pretty clear — messed around first two years, got more serious last two years. Clear interest in politics. Remember that AOs look for obstacles and barriers as part of holistic. Those kids on blogs with lower GPAs or who went TO almost certainly demonstrated an issue — had to work to help family, COVID etc. OP clearly had none of these obstacles and comes from a well-to-do and educated family. Also, he applied to all the Ivies — they are not cookie cutter. How convincing were his essays when prestige was a clear goal? We saw his list of evaluative factors which indicated he should have applied to LACs. I think he was not a fit, and the AOs saw it.


Selective college admissions are not random. There is an element of chance wrt which AO might read the app first and find a certain essay topic appealing (or not), but that is not the same as random results.

Every year it is most likely that a given student does not get in to their reaches, and receives acceptance at only a subset of target/match schools (assuming schools are categorized correctly). So, OP’s results were in the range of expected results, at least to those experienced in admissions.

Do you have any supporting data for this statement?


“Mediocre kids” would not last a quarter at Caltech when they have to take courses like this: [Ma1a - Fall 14 - 15] - Calculus of One and Several Variables


Lol, they are all going to USC (see Varsity Blues).

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Focus on the OP please. And help the OP to focus. This is not the café.


It’s April 14th. That gives you 2 weeks to decide, right? Which way are you leaning now? Are you planning on checking out the NACAC list in May?

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3 weeks, the commitment date is May 3rd this year. Leaning towards GW, dont plan on looking at the NACAC list


The main issue I see is you applied to too many reaches (applying to more reaches does not increase the likelihood of getting in since they are all independent), and your unweighted GPA of a 3.6 is very very low for almost all of the schools. UCLA for ex has a 3.9X as the bottom 25th percentile for UW GPA’s. And that was one of the “lower” schools on your list. But congrats you have some great options and should be proud of that!


Many many applicants are accepted by an Ivy but rejected from Vanderbilt, USC, and Colby. When RD acceptance rates are below 10%, there is almost nobody who is “supposed to get in”, on paper or elsewhere.

Great stats just put you in the running, and you were likely in the running for all of the colleges to which you applied. However, with the whole “holistic admissions” process, other things kick in. Most of the colleges to which you applied did not find those “other things” to be things that they felt were important this year, while Brown did.


My earlier “suggestion” to focus on the OP was not meant to be viewed as compliance being optional. The OP did not apply to Caltech. While I will not go back and delete OT posts before my earlier not, subsequent responses are considered debate and have been deleted. Those topics have also been covered before. Feel free to provide the OP with those links so they can peruse at their leisure.


OP, if you can get on campus to look around at Rutgers, you should try. GW is in the middle of the West End of DC and is very much integrated into the city. Some folks love that (it’s like NYU in that regard), some find that’s absolutely not what they want. My dentist used to work across the street from some of the dorms and we’d get a real show looking out of her office windows.:flushed:

GWU is a polisci mecca, though, with lots of highly ambitious folks who want jobs on the Hill, State Dept., etc. The competition is fierce. It’s not a cheap place to live, either. Bring your A game.

(from a DC-area parent with a polisci/IR son who looked at the local options)


Hey there! I understand that you’re pretty frustrated and that’s okay! This was an awful year for applying to colleges. For me, Harvard was my dream school, but I ended up getting rejected (though honestly, I wasn’t a competitive applicant at all and I expected to be rejected :sweat_smile:).
If you decide to go to Rutgers (New Brunswick) though I just wanted to let you know that you’ll have a friend there! :slight_smile:
I’m personally committing to Rutgers and so far it looks great! I’m not sure if you got into the honors program, but it looks like there’s a lot of cool stuff there! For example, there’s a study abroad program to Japan we can take a sophomore year (I’m a bit of a language nerd, currently fluent in 6 languages :wink:)!
And there’s a bunch of activities too! So I’m sure you can find a niche if you go there! Though if you do end up at GWU, I hope that you enjoy it there! It looks like a really cool school!


So both Rutgers and GWU said hell no to my requests for more financial aid
GWU is 69k with a 10k scholarship
Rutgers is at 16-30k depending on housing status.

Visiting GWU tomorrow

Declined Penn State’s offer, I only applied as a safety cause a friend of mine goes there and I was trying for Schreyer but it costs 2x RU so no thanks on that

Due to covid disrupting everything the May list is out early!
There are quite a few good possibilities on it.
Fingers crossed for the GWU visit!


Just in case you are still considering re-applying to the same ivies next year, listen to the latest podcast from Yale Admissions. They discuss how to handle the acceptances, rejections and waitlists. And they say that you can reapply but almost NEVER does it result in a different outcome.