I think my parents are blowing me full of hot air.

<p>My parents (specifically my mother) keep suggesting that I look at schools I don't think I have a very realistic shot at. Dartmouth continually comes up, as well as Princeton. While I would love to go to these schools, I don't think I have the numbers to get in. I'm just not sure if my opinion is skewed from spending too much time on CC though, which is why I'm posting this. I guess my question is, am I in the league of these schools?</p>

<p>Intended major is history, econ, or polisci
GPA: 4.6-7 (weighted)
Rank: 16/roughly 650
SAT: 2060 superscore (750 CR, 640 M, 670 W)
SAT II: 790 in USH and 670 in chem
Notable EC's: -Drum Major of literally world-class marching band for jr and sr years, staff position soph year
-Editor in chief of newspaper sr year, sports editor jr year, and asst sports editor soph year
-Committee co-chair for the largest NHS committee (blood drive, which collects about 500 pints per year)
-Student gov't fresh and soph years
-Attended Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship (which was a gov school before budget cuts) the summer between soph and jr year
Recs: I'll likely have glowing recommendations from my counselor, chem, and english teacher</p>

<p>So is it realistic for me to be considering those schools? I feel like my numbers (SAT and rank) are a little low for those to be realistic. I also haven't really had any kind of adversity in my life that would make me particularly interesting. Very typical white, upper-middle class upbringing.</p>

<p>Let me ask you a question: What colleges and universities are * you * interested in applying to? What kind of college or university experience would you like to have?</p>

<p>If the Ivies fit what kind of college experience you'd like to have, your class rank and GPA are competitive, your test scores a bit low, and your ECs sound like you've got both depth and passion, but I can't tell if they're strong by Ivy standards or not. So my own advice is if the suggested Ivies fit the kind of college environment you want anyway, then sure add one or two to your college list as super-super reaches, but fill out the rest of your college list with schools that you like as much or more than the Ivies and that you more easily see yourself as being at. And if you don't get into the Ivies, but get into the other schools you like just as much, toss the skinny letters into the trash without giving them a second thought.</p>

<p>The Ivies are a reach for everyone, but if your mom wants to pay for the apps, why not apply? She'll always wonder if you might have gotten in if you don't apply. But do apply only to those you think you would like, and then expect rejections, like most applicants.</p>

<p>I'd say you are justified in being jaded about your Ivy League chances. Most of your stats are not remarkable at such a high level of competition. Not to say you'd have no chance, but I agree that your parents are being a little optimistic.</p>

<p>Yeah, your stats are on the lower end of Ivy quality. But I do think you have a chance. It's probably not as high as a lot of other applicants, but nobody really has that high of a chance in the Ivy League anyway.</p>

<p>I would go ahead and apply anyway; you never know. That extra $50 or so of an application fee would be worth it if you get in, and if you don't, hey it was worth a try.</p>

<p>Would you consider studying for and taking the SAT again to bring up your math score?
If you could get it in the mid 700s, you would look a lot more likely. While scores are certainly not the be-all and end-all, the competition will have scores in the mid 700s, and this is one area where you may actually be able to improve your chances with relatively little effort. Even if it doesn't open ivy doors, you may find that you are eligible for merit money or other opportunities with a slightly higher SAT..</p>

<p>tell them that you don't wanna be a hot air balloon</p>

<p>
[quote]
Would you consider studying for and taking the SAT again to bring up your math score?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Math is easier to bring up with study over a matter of months than the other two sections.</p>

<p>not sure if this situation is causing any angst in your house but one approach would be to add Princeton and Dartmouth to your list as reaches to make your parents happy and then fill out your list with schools in which you are more interested ... worse case this costs you the time of a couple more applications.</p>

<p>Nothing ventured nothing gained. Apply to those two and some others that are more assured and see what happens in the spring when the offers and financial aid if needed come through. There's not a sole on these forums that would tell you to put all your eggs in the reach basket.</p>

<p>You're in the top decile of your class--you have nothing to worry about.</p>

<p>Could you just practice for the SAT? A great score can't get you into a top college, but a mediocre score will keep you out.</p>

<p>As someone who was a HS counselor for many years, I can tell you that many parents have no idea what it takes to get into an ivy or similar today. They mean well, but it was much, much easier to get into these schools 25 years ago.</p>

<p>Show them the facts, Dartmouth admits this year had an average of 733CR and 740M. AVERAGE. That includes all of the recruited athletes, URMs, legacies and others who have hooks. 40 something percent were vals or sals:</p>

<p>TheDartmouth.com</a> | Lower acceptance rates seen by many colleges</p>