Is 4 B+, and 1 B bad for Ivies?

Rising junior here. I am enrolled in all honors/AP classes, and am currently taking 3 honors, 1 AP. Last year, I was really lazy cause Covid and my gpa was a 3.85, this year, I worked very, very hard and so far only had 1 B (that I’m honestly proud of and worked hard for) in biology. My first Tri gpa was a 3.86 again, second Tri was a 3.91(!!) this Tri, im taking 6 classes and have a study hall, so I may have all A’s and 1 B+ in honors geo, due to circumstances completely out of my hands. Im extremely sad about it, and have a slight chance of ending with an A-, but it’s really unlikely. I will end with around a 3.88 for Tri 3. My cumulative would be a 3.86, and my rank is around top 5 percent, but it’s not reported. In the future, I want to major in biology and econ emphasized textand my dream school is Yale. I’m also an URM. Thanks for the feed back.

Forgot to mention, my EC’s, in my opinion, are pretty strong, but have nothing to do with biology, which is fine. But my grades are really killing me and I’m taking 6 college classes next year so I’m worried.


This is a good grade. Being extremely sad about a B or an A-, for a college you have about a 94% chance of being rejected from, tells us that your priorities are misplaced. Your goal should be to do your best so that you have a shot at the best school for you. That may not be Yale. Your goal should also be to enjoy at least some of your time in high school and not stress yourself out at the age of 16 by taking six college classes.


It’s not good but guess what - the 4.0 with perfect SAT/ACT is also getting turned down. At some Ivies 97% are getting turned down and they’re getting high quality applicants.

Don’t focus on ‘Ivy’ - these are distinct schools from one another. One likely can’t love Dartmouth and Columbia equally.

Find a school where you can grow and prosper. Not a school that you perceive to be strong from a magazine article.

Be the best you and the rest will fall into place.
Ps - if your school doesn’t rank then you don’t have a rank unless you are lying. So don’t state that unless it can be validated by the school.

PPs. Saying cause instead of because is lazy. So perhaps covid is your excuse but it’s not the true reason for what you deem as lazy behavior.

Good luck.


Thank you for your reply! I know I shouldn’t feel extremely bad about a B, it’s just sometimes when I see all of these admits post their stats, I wonder if it’s even possible to get in with these grades. I understand that they are good grades, and that I should be proud of them, but it’s very hard to when you are surrounded by really smart people all the time. FYI, I’m taking 3 college classes/ semester as a community college student with around 2 college classes have created a (pretty good imo) college list with matches, safeties, and reaches. Ik ivies aren’t everything :slight_smile:

The reason why I said my rank was because I was at a counselor appointment and she pulled up my info and I saw my rank. Also, my grammar is generally pretty good, I was in a hurry typing this.

If the school publishes a rank or a range (like top 10%), it’s fair to say it.

If they do not publish it and won’t verify it, don’t use it or you 'll be considered dishonest.

Let the counselor report dictate your standing.

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Your dream school is Yale. You cant change the past.

Your life isnt ruined if you dont end up at Yale. 99% or more of the population didnt go to college there and many of us are still quite successful.


The harsh reality is getting into any ivy is really difficult. I don’t think 4 B+ and a B are bad, but I don’t think they are going to help either. My D22 was 4.0 UW, 5.7/5 W, 1540 SAT, top 1%, top 10 in school of over 750. She never got a B or an A- for that matter. URM female planning to major in STEM. One super strong EC with local, regional and national recognition. 5 honor societies and all of that. National Merit Commended, National Hispanic Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, AP Capstone Diploma candidate, 15 AP classes (5s and 4s so far, - 6 scores pending), 12 pre-AP/advanced courses and more. Not accepted to ivies she applied to, (Was waitlisted at one). Nobody at my D’s school was accepted to an Ivy this year. I don’t think anybody in the district was - and usually we have a few at each high school. She was sad for a day, but she was accepted to 3 top 10 unis and 2 top 10 LACs and is really excited about the one she chose. This doesn’t mean you won’t be accepted, and I don’t say this to discourage you from applying, just to let you know it isn’t easy and to treat it as a super long shot. But since you are thinking about it already, start preparing early, it may help you write a better application. If it is within your means, by all means visit campus this summer or sometime over the next year. As I recall, Yale has possibly the longest application with like 9 essays, mini essays, short answers. I think preparation is key. As for college classes in high school, I honestly don’t know why so much emphasis is placed on them by a lot of schools. Most colleges will not take the credits earned at local community colleges during high school. I guess if it gives an opportunity to take classes your high school doesn’t or can’t offer, it makes sense. So, like I said I would never discourage you from applying to Yale if that is your dream school. I would say start preparing now. Look at the application and the essay questions - they might be slightly different in 2 years, but it should give you an idea. Research the school through their website, research the major, and the department you are interested in. Research the faculty and what they are researching. All of this will help you write the essays. But, at the end of the day, remember they accept about 4% and about 50,000-60,000 students are applying, and they are all the best of the best. Also remember that about half of the accepted student slots will be filled by ALDC applicants, so you don’t have as much of a shot as you think you do. It’s brutal - but it’s better to know this up front. Try to find teachers who will write really strong LoRs and those LoRs have to rank you not just a good student, but “one of the best students I ever had”. Work on the common app essay as soon as it is available in the summer before your senior year. But I would also encourage you to find some other dream schools. Start doing that research now too, think about what it is that you like about Yale and see if you can find it in other schools. Is it the campus? The town? the combination? It it purely the prestige and name? You have time to come up with strong Yale alternates. Covid set our college visits back a year, which kind of set our planning back some. I also don’t think my D went in as prepared as she could have - so that is why I encourage you since you have so much time, to prepare. Prepare so that you can submit the best application possible, but also be aware that all you can do is submit your best and realize that once you hit submit as some would say you have a 96% chance of rejection and part of it may be based on pure chance of which admission officer reads your application.

I get that. I wasn’t going to put my rank on my application or something. It was an accident that my councelor even showed it to me.

I dream of a Nobel Prize, but it looks I am not smart enough to get it. Oh, well…

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I think Yale is going to be very unlikely for you unless you have some crazy unique achievement or hook. don’t worry about it. Yale ain’t all that, and especially for Biology (really except for business fields that recruit) you don’t need that Ivy prestige to get where you want to be.

If you tell us what it is about Yale you like so much, maybe we can suggest some alternatives. Maybe Wesleyan is similar in some ways, for example.

I’m not saying don’t apply, by the way.

It sounds to me as if you are doing very well. You are taking your academics very seriously, and you are getting good grades. You have a goal to do well in school and in university. All of this is very good and is a good path to succeed in life.

I think that mostly you need to keep up the good effort and do not let a few setbacks get you down.

Also, you should keep in mind that there are many very good universities. The eight Ivy League universities are all very good, and are a good match for some academically very strong students. They are however academically very tough, as are other top schools (MIT, Caltech, Chicago, and Stanford come to mind as some other academically very challenging universities, but there are many more). None of these schools are a good fit for all academically excellent students. Most academically excellent students will find a good fit somewhere else.

I think that you should keep working hard in your classes, keep striving for A’s, understand that some B’s (and maybe even a C or two) will happen to almost everyone, keep an open mind when it is time to apply to universities, make sure that you apply to at least a couple of safeties, and keep your budget in mind.

You are doing well. Try not to worry about it.

Also, understand that Yale is unlikely even for straight A students. However, if you look at the graduate students at Yale or other top universities, they will have gotten their bachelor’s degrees at a very, very wide range of universities.

Also, 6 college classes at once sounds like too many. Even university students rarely take this many at the same time.


I like that you said you got a B and worked very hard for it and your proud of that grade. That tells me just about what I need to know about you. Use that when applying. Apply to schools like some ivys with the idea your never getting in. I can say that to just about any student and be correct almost 100% of the time. If “luck” is one your side then awesome.
. But if you “expect” to get in then you will be greatly disappointed.

An example. My assistant applied as a whim for a masters program to University of Chicago. It was a far reach and like never expecting to get in. But, she took a shot. Well… The stars were aligned and she got in. She was “expecting” to read a rejection letter.

Do the best you can do but still enjoy your high school experience. This year many, many students that studied hard were disappointed in their acceptances which leads to… Don’t build a college list with schools you will not be happy to attend. This happens every year. If your not happy to attend they should never be on your list.


If your rank is around the top 5%, it sounds like you go to a very challenging school. While in general, your grades are unlikely to pass muster at an Ivy, if you attend a feeder school and are in the top 5% they may at least clear the academic bar. If this is the case, colleges will know that your grades are among the best at your school, even without knowing specific rank. What happens from there is impossible to predict, but being in the top 5% of a known highly competitive or feeder school will matter more than the specific GPA.

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I go to a normal public school that is challenging and only uses honors rank.

I saw on your other chance post that there are high numbers of students from your school and with your stats who are getting into tippy top schools. You might want to mention those specifics here to get a better answer.