Ivy/Top Schools Chances?

I was wondering how I’m looking for Ivies (specifically Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Penn) and other top schools (Notre Dame, Georgetown, etc.)…

I’m a rising senior.


GPA (uw/w): 3.93 / 4.95
Approx. top 2% in my class
9 AP courses by graduation
22 credits of dual-enrollment with my state flagship by graduation (current GPA of 3.94 based on 14 credits)

ACT: 35
SAT: 1980 (not submitting)
SAT IIs: have not gotten scores back (should be mid-700s hopefully)


Varsity lacrosse: 4 years

  • starter 3 years
  • some awards (nothing major)
  • possibly captain next year
    Club lacrosse: 2 years
    Youth lacrosse referee: 4 years
    School band: 4 years
  • section leader 1 year
  • 2nd chair 2 years
    Pit Band: 2 years
    National Honor Society: 2 years
  • a few small academic awards
    National Science Honor Society: 2 years
    Another varsity sport: 1 year
    Few other junior varsity / freshman sports


25 hours coaching youth lacrosse clinics
10 hours volunteering at elementary school

Also, what type of school would be considered a “match” for me?


I’d say very good chances for top schools…Ivys idk. Your stats scream Georgetown for whatever reason, maybe Dartmouth, possibly Penn. You’ll definitely be set wherever you go! Applying anywhere EA/ED?

Thanks. I don’t think I’ll be applying anywhere ED (as money is definitely an issue - not enough to actually pay fully, but too much to get much financial aid, so I’m aiming for either schools known for merit aid or very generous need-based aid) because I want to be able to compare financial aid packages. Probably will apply to at least one EA though, just not sure where yet. So far I’m thinking:

University of Vermont
my (pretty good but not great) state flagship
University of Miami
Notre Dame
Boston College
University of Michigan

But I’m not really sure, and won’t be applying to all of them of course. Prefer to stay in the New England / Mid-Atlantic / Mid-West area. Definitely want a school with lots of school spirit. Favorite schools I’ve seen so far are Georgetown (loved its history/tradition/international focus/closed campus in the middle of D.C.) and Vermont (beautiful, outdoorsy Burlington). At least 4,000-5,000 undergraduates, would prefer a mid-sized school. Would also like a historic school.
So basically I’m still pretty unsure of where I want to apply haha. (any suggestions???)

Curious, why such the disparity between your ACT and SAT score?

Might I suggest University of Chicago? It’s my favorite underdog of all, as it is a fantastic university to anyone who knows what it is. It’s one downfall is it’s horrid name recognition (except among employers, I’m told!) except for the Econ program and business school and law school, which are well known. According to US News, it’s tied with Stanford and Columbia, but don’t necessarily go by what they say.

The campus was also voted (and it admittedly made me shake with excitement) the most Hogwarts-esque campus, embodying Gothic style architecture very similar to that of Oxford (where Harry Potter was filmed). They even have their own housing system that is similar to that in those novels that I so loved as a young lad.

They’re not a big sports school (DIII) which could be a problem for you, but they are rich with tradition that supersedes athletics.

If you’re looking for a sports school in the area, I’d look in Northwestern, Purdue, and University of Wisconsin. All are fantastic schools (particularly for engineering) and have tremendous school spirit and employment opportunities.

@boolaHI Honestly I have no idea. I scored much higher on my PSATs - I think I got a 219 or so, with a perfect score on math - and studied for the SAT the same way as the ACT (I took multiple practice tests over several weeks), but received scores consistent with what I was getting on the practice tests for both the SAT and the ACT. For whatever reason, the ACT scores were just higher… I dunno. I guess I’m just naturally better at the ACT.

Interestingly enough I had timing / pacing issues that I had to overcome with the ACT whereas I didn’t have any with the SAT. With the SAT I’d finish it feeling very confident in my answers, but then after checking the answers I’d always get a significant amount wrong. With the ACT that never happened - only a couple would be wrong.

@codemachine I’ve definitely heard of the University of Chicago! Not sure why I haven’t considered it as much… I’ll look into it. Thanks!