I’m from a competitive demographic (Asian American) and I scored low on the SAT (1510), how are my admissions chances impacted in top 10 schools, given that I’m at the top of my class?

Picking up on this point, according to the College Board (2020), an Asian-American scoring 1500 on the SAT would sit at 98 percentile overall and 91 percentile among fellow Asian-Americans. While 1510 is certainly a very high score, it might fall on the lower end of the spectrum among Asian-Americans gaining admission at top 10 schools.

As others have mentioned, other factors also matter but only you and those close to you know whether the other considerations would strengthen your application. Tough call on whether or not to retake it, if you’re aiming for top 10 schools (nothing wrong to aim high but sensible to also have back ups).


So maybe there are other differentiating aspects besides a 1560+ SAT. Are you a team sport captain? Did you work during school in a retail establishment and rise to be store manager?

I just have to ask…how will the colleges know you are Asian American? You are not required to put your ethnic background on your applications.

Do you think they will know this because of your name? I know plenty of folks with Asian sounding names who were born and raised in this country.

Do you think it’s because of where you live?

How will they know?

I assuming you are a U.S. citizen….so that being the case, you will be applying to colleges as a U.S. citizen with a 1510 SAT score. And hopefully other great supporting things on your application.

And again I ask…why “top 10 colleges”. Is this a parent expectation?


I don’t think the question necessarily hinges on whether the student is Asian. If the student is from a high performing school and/or area, even a terrific test score like a 1510 might not compare well to kids with even higher scores from the same school/region/demographic. It is absurd, but it seems to be the reality.

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The OP specifically mentions concern about being from the Asian American demographic.

Regardless…their 1510 SAT score is quite good.

And I still ask….why Top Ten colleges?

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Yes, but the dilemma isn’t necessarily resolved by withholding the information on the application.

I don’t think the OP indicated an intention to apply only to top ten colleges. My guess is the OP is more comfortable with a 1510 score for schools that are slightly less selective than the most selective few.

I think its called humble-brag

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No. I actually think he’s just spent too much time looking at the overachievers (who might not all be real) posting stats on CC and Reddit

Since the “right”-achiever is not defined, and the OP really wants to go to Top 10, it’s better to err on being over- rather than underachiever.

As @thumper1 has asked, to no avail, “Why?” It’s folly to plan for a T10, and a dream life can be achieved even if never getting into their dream school.

Regardless, the CDS is a better source of SAT info than chance threads or results threads on any platform.


Not necessarily. MIT, for example, doesn’t have regional AOs. Nor does it read applications by region or school.

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I have no idea why, but it looks his mind is set on it, increasing his SAT score might be the only thing that s/he can do before applying (if s/he is senior).

The OP didn’t ask “am I right to shoot for Top 10”, he asked how his score can affect his acceptance. And though I agree that 1510 or 1580 might not matter, getting a higher one (if there is nothing else he can do before applications) might give him/her some peace of mind. And definitely help discarding “what ifs” if s/he is rejected.

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At no point did OP indicate that they were only looking at top 10 schools, or even planning on attending one. And shouldn’t the OP be able ask a question without being quizzed on why they are asking or having posters try to divert the thread away from the OP’s question?

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I don’t speak for @thumper1 , but sometimes with students, they do not always know the right questions to ask, so users probe for additional information to help guide them to alternatives they did not initially consider.

At this point, not wanting to further contribute to the OT tangent, I’ll step away until the OP returns.

Hey guys! Of course I’m going to apply to schools outside of T10, I believe I have a good list of safeties. Thank you to those who didn’t assume that I was only applying to those. My goal is simply to reach for my best potential, and my high school is very competitive. I just want to ensure that the rest of my application (which I believe has potential) will not be viewed in a negative light if I have a score on the lower side of my demographic.

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Thank you mtmind!

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Thank you for answering about colleges. Casting a somewhat broad net is always a good idea. Having a top school in the mix is certainly fine.

If you feel like you should give the SAT another try…then go for it. But I agree with others, you have a great score now.

There are sure to be a number of wonderful colleges where you will be accepted.

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