Is she reaching too high?

<p>I'm mom to a 17 year old senior daughter. I've really been enjoying this website and thought I'd come here and see what you experts think. My D is worried that she might be reaching too high and will not get in anywhere! I thought she was doing pretty good until I read some of the stats for a lot of the students on here!</p>

<p>She's applying to: Harvard, Brandeis, Tufts, Boston U, Northeastern, University of Georgia (has gotten really competitive, esp. for white females from Atlanta!), Georgia Tech, UNC Chapel Hill OOS(first choice!), Emory, Wake Forest, maybe Vanderbilt. Wants to major in Biology (not Pre-Med) - wants to do some kind of research, maybe genetics.</p>

<p>Here's her stats:</p>

<p>White females from Atlanta</p>

<p>4.02 W / 96 uw
SAT: 730 Verbal / 700 Math / 690 Writing
Public High School (ranked #135 on Newsweeks top 1200 public HS)
Rank: School doesn't rank. Counselor says top 5%, D thinks she's more like top 10%</p>

<p>Middle School Algrebra I - A / A</p>

<p>Freshman year:
Gifted Lit - B (89) / A
Advanced Geometry - A / A
Science Tools & Technology (special science course taught at Natural History Museum - have to be invited to apply) A / A
Spanish - A / A
PE/Health - A / A</p>

<p>Sophomore year:
Gifted Lit - A / A
Advanced Algebra II - A / A
Gifted Chemistry - A / A
Advanced World History - A / A
Accelerated Spanish - A / A
Interior Design - A / A</p>

<p>Junior Year:
Gifted Lit - A / A
AP Biology - B / B
AP US History - A / A
Advanced Analysis (Trig) - A / A
Spanish III - A / A
Latin I - A / A
Independent Study Biology (taught at Natural History Museum) - A / A</p>

<p>Senior Year:
Joint Enrollment English (at local college)
AP Physics
AP Calculus BC
AP Psychology
AP Spanish


<p>Volleyball - all 4 years
Beta Club - all 4 years
Key Club - 10, 11, 12
Spanish Club - 9, 10, 12
Spanish Honor Society - 10, 11, 12</p>

<p>Relay for Life Volunteer - 9, 10, 11
Special Olympics Volunteer - 9, 10, 11</p>

Outstanding Academic Achievement: World Languages: Beginning Latin - 11
Certificate of Distinction: American Mathematics Contests - 11
Georgia Governor's Honors Program Semi Finalist/Alternate (Spanish) - 11
2nd Place Dekalb/Rockdale County Science Fair - 10
Wofford Scholar
High Honor Roll with Distinction - 10
High Honor Roll - 9, 11</p>

<p>So.....what do you think. Do you think she's reaching too high? Any suggestions? Thank you!!</p>

<p>I know a lot of people just want to apply to Harvard for the heck of it, but she'd be wasting her time on the application. With below average SATs, very average (not for H) ECs and local honors, it's just not worth it. The Emory/Vandy level schools seem like the best bet.</p>

<p>Do not listen to bobby100 if your D is truly interested in Harvard. If she is, then by all means, she should Early. I do agree that her record is a bit the norm, but she still has an enough chance for the app to be "worth it," as bobby100 said.</p>

<p>do not listen to stupak. applying harvard = wasting the ~70 bucks</p>

<p>Agree, it's just silly that HYP get to reject 90 plus percent because people with no chance just can't resist throwing in an application.</p>

<p>Sorry, but I think UNC is a big enough reach oos.</p>


<p>Your daughter is very solid for all of the schools you list except for Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill (OOS). The majority of the schools appear to be Match to Weak Match. The apparent Safety schools are BU and Northeastern.</p>

<p>With Harvard (or any other school), I would never suggest to anybody to not apply so long as the school has appeal. In some ways, it's like the lottery -- you'll never win if you don't play... but if you do play, you should know that your chances of winning might be slim. Those who buy more tickets increase their chances, just as those applicants to Harvard with standout GPA, test scores and EC's increase their chances. Realistically, your daughter is up against tough competition, but then, she already knew that.</p>

<p>At UNC-Chapel Hill, being OOS is a tough proposition. It's a "Reachy" school for your daughter simply because 82% of their enrollment is mandated to comprise NC residents. This leaves 18% for OOS and international students, translating OOS acceptances to also be about 18-19%. Because of this, competition is highly elevated for OOS applicants. Your daughter's GPA is fine; however her SAT test scores are weaker comparative to other OOS applicants. Her EC's and awards are good, though no apparent state/national distinctions (which is what adcoms tend to look for in outstanding students). </p>

<p>The good news is that I think your daughter has a good list of schools who will offer admission to her. I see that she has interest in the NE, and it would serve her well to visit each of these Boston-area schools, if she has not done so already. I think that many current college students will tell you that a college visit was one of the most important determinants in choosing the schools they attend. Good luck!</p>

it's just silly that HYP get to reject 90 plus percent because people with no chance just can't resist throwing in an application


The only person with "no chance" is the person who has not submitted an application. If a student has a desire to attend a school (and ONLY the student can determine the sincerity of this desire), the hope will not be realized without taking the necessary steps, beginning with an application. Where hope is concerned, the only thing to "resist" is the cynicism that would undermine that hope.</p>

<p>For Collegepainter, FYI, here's only one of the posts from the "Official Harvard EA Decisions – Class of 2010”
(reference: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Decision: ACCEPTED</p>


<pre><code>* SAT I: V: 650 M: 690 W: 730
* SAT IIs: Math IIc 780 USHistory 710
* ACT 31
* GPA: 3.70 UW upward trend
* Rank: 14/212
* Other stats: School Math Contest Winner,


<pre><code>* Essays: "Best theyve ever read"
* Teacher Recs: didnt read
* Counselor Rec: didnt read
* Hook (if any): I've played piano for all my life, didn't send in a tape, but I wrote essays on it. I got a fee waiver


<pre><code>* State or Country: IN
* School Type: Private
* Ethnicity: White
* Gender: Female
* Perceived Strengths/Weaknesses: My GPA was a little low, and I sucked on my SATs

My essays made my teachers cry
* Why you think you were accepted/deferred/denied: I dont know!!! Good teacher recs? Essays? My interview was awesome, and Ive won some piano awards

<p>Other Factors: **
**General Comments/Congratulations/Venting/Commiserations,etc:

I love you all! THIS IS SO AMAZING</p>

<p>Thanks for the feedbak. She really doesn't expect to get into Harvard...she's just applying for the heck of it. She visited her cousin there last year and really liked it. As far as SAT's - those were her scores last year and she really doesn't want to take it again. She's been taking it every year since 7th grade (Duke TIP program) and is "over it". And she definitely knows UNC is a long shot - but again, what the heck....we're just out the application fee and never know. I'd love to hear other ideas, opinions. Thanks!</p>

<p>Norcaldad, GREAT post. Your daughter is reaching for some excellent schools and has plenty of matches and safeties. Good luck to her. She may not have the best extracurriculars ever, but if she is one of the top kids in her school, then that's all that matters. Her grades are excellent and her SATs are fine, I've seen normal non-minority kids get into Harvard with SAT scores below 2000.</p>

<p>Norcaldad, I can't speak for Suze, but I have a feeling she meant that this candidate has an incredibly small chance of getting into Harvard by any objective measure. Applications do take a lot of time and energy and every candidate should think long and hard about whether to spend that time on a school they have such a small chance at.</p>

<p>The candidate you chose to profile got a fee waiver. We can take a good guess therefore that she fits into the group Harvard is trying hardest to attract and gets the least applications from, low income. We can probably further deduce that like most low income students, she did not go to a highly ranked high school, much less the Duke TIP program and the adcoms probably guessed that she hadn't taken the SAT 5 times.</p>

<p>By pulling out such irrelevant examples you do no favors to the kids on this board. Sure they should apply if they can spare the time and money. But they should be fully aware of the odds and think through the advantages of putting the focus on the applications for schools they have a real shot at.</p>

<p>Tell your daughter to do as she pleases. It doesn't matter if some of these anonymous nobodies (I include myself in that generalization) are cynical. She needs to make her own decision, free from the judgments of the skeptics. She has a chance, whether large or small, and should act accordingly.</p>


<p>I'll stand by my comment that "the only person with "no chance" is the person who has not submitted an application". Nobody on this board -- not you or Suze -- can verifiably argue that Collegepainter's daughter has "no chance" to be accepted to Harvard or any other school. </p>

<p>Collegepainter's daughter does not appear to be somebody with a dearth of smarts -- she undoubtedly understands her uphill path. It sounds by what her mother said that she is "fully aware of the odds". Ultimately it's her decision to make on whether to apply. Whether it's against all odds or not, it's her time/effort, and I'm not about to discount her ability to possibly surprise even herself. </p>

<p>Regardless of deduced categorical factors, I've seen too many exceptions to the standard assumptions about admissions outcomes. I'm never entirely surprised any longer by the admissions decisions made by our nation's most elite schools. The example I cited is but one example, and I don't know (without much more information that was not revealed) whether it was "irrelevant" or not. I'm not willing to make any willy-nilly assumptions based on information that has not been fully revealed. </p>

<p>As for doing "no favors to the kids on this board', I have no doubt that I have done many "favors", some via private messages. I have no hidden agenda -- my daughter is already in college -- and I offer my comments based on empathetic perspective. When Collegepainter said, "My D is worried that she might be reaching too high and will not get in anywhere!", I responded in my first post #6 accordingly, offering objective comments about the full breadth of the schools mentioned. I think I was providing good and realistic feedback.</p>

<p>You did speak for me bobby.</p>

<p>I would say no for Harvard. And UNC? Very reachy for OOSers. But if its what she really wants, whats the harm in applying? I'm applying to USC, and I have almost 1% chance of getting in!</p>

<p>Why? Because you just never know. Go 'head and apply anyway.</p>