Looking for Some Insight: Chances for an Ivy

<p>Hello everyone.</p>

<p>I've been looking through these threads periodically and, as a result, learned a lot that has been beneficial to my application process.</p>

<p>Although it may seem redundant, as I'm just a typical Ivy league hopeful, please read further and consider my possibilities.</p>

<p>State: MI
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: White
Income Bracket: 40K-60K, Single Parent Family
School Size: 1,900+</p>

<p>GPA: 4.0 UW. Weighted is not given.
Rank: 1 of 417</p>

<p>PSAT: 234
ACT: 36 (36 E, 35 M, 36 R, 35 S) [one sitting]
SAT: 2,390 (800 W, 790 M, 800 CR) [one sitting]
Subject Tests: 800 US History, 790 Chemistry, 780 Literature</p>

<p>Class Rigor: IB Spanish II HL, IB Mathematics SL (junior year), IB Physics II HL. IB Chemistry HL, IB English HL, IB History HL. </p>

<p>Full-IB Diploma Candidate.</p>

<p>Exams: IB Mathematics SL: 6, AP Chemistry: 5, AP Calculus AB: 5, AP European History: 4 [A little disappointed considering that's the one I studied somewhat hard for. Funny how that works.]</p>

<p>Intended Exams: IB Spanish SL, IB Physics SL, IB Chemistry HL, IB English HL, IB History (European) HL. </p>

<p>Intended Score Range: 38-40.</p>

<p>Extracurriculars: Varsity Basketball: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior. Varsity Track: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior. Directed and raised $4,000+ for local Alzheimer's Association through a charity basketball game (cross-town rivals, food drive, donations, t-shirts, ticket money, raffle tickets, etc). School tutor: various classes, various ages, anywhere between 40-50 hours if that's important. 'Little Five Stars' Program: youth basketball program, grades 1-5, meeting Saturday mornings from 8-10am, coached by high school basketball team, etc.</p>

<p>Awards: First-Team All Conference Basketball Selection: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior (hoping to be as a senior, as well). Honorable Mention All State: Freshman. Second-Team All State: Sophomore. First-Team All State: Junior. School records in points [broken early senior season, four games into the year]. Third in conference history in points [212 short of record with around 20 games left]. AAU Basketball: 8th Grade-Senior Year. Top-10 Michigan Recruit. Conference Champion: 400 (Sophomore, Junior), 800 (Sophomore, Junior), 4x400 (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior). Player of the Year: Sophomore, Junior Year (voted by local newspapers, first back-to-back winner in city history.)</p>

<p>*National Merit Semifinalist<a href="hopefully%20finalist%20come%20February">/i</a>.</p>

<p>Essays: For my common application, I wrote on a relatively personal topic that established the motivations that factor into my work-ethic. My grandfather died from Alzheimer's after a ten year battle when I was 11. This prompted me to take a significant interest in chemistry that has turned into a significant, albeit difficult to accomplish, dream of working toward a cure for this enigmatic disease. This, overall, was powerful and revealing. I take pride in my writing as I feel it's my strength in academics. As for the supplements, they were detailed and revealed that I did my necessary research (included teachers names, my intended major, etc). </p>

<p>Recommendations: Two total, as I didn't want to go overboard with it. One comes from my IB Chemistry teacher who graduated from Northwestern and one from an English professor at a local university who graduated from Notre Dame. This professor was influential in a project done for my Theory of Knowledge class and our relationship was significant in my growth as a learner and thinker.</p>

<p>Intended Major: Chemistry</p>

<p>Applications: Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Penn, and Northwestern.</p>

<p>Are you getting recruited for athletics? Your ECs seem centered around basketball, which is perfectly fine, but that only holds a lot of weight if you've talked to the coaches and they'll recommend you. Your objective stats are excellent and as good as can be, but Ivies have been known to reject valedictorians. Your essay does seem touching, but unfortunately, I feel that topic of a family member with a disease that caused you to take an interest in a particular scientific field has been done to death. Hopefully, you avoided all the cliches and made it more hopeful and inspiring rather than depressing (which you should avoid). I haven't read it, but most people say to avoid writing about deaths. What do they know though? Your essay could be amazing. Supplements need to be as strong as your common app, and some schools consider the supps more important. </p>

<p>Basically, you have an excellent shot (if not guaranteed in) at schools in which your athletics will count for a lot. I'm not entirely familiar with the athletics side of admissions, but hopefully you've looked into that. If not, you're entering the crapshoot that is the Ivies, and the only thing you can do to better your odds is have essays that are memorable, unique, passionate, etc. </p>

<p>I'd say you're pretty much in at Cornell and Northwestern since you have much better stats than almost all 15 people who got in from my school. Penn, if applying to SEAS, is a low reach, and Harvard and Princeton are high reaches (they are for everyone).</p>

<p>Thanks for the reply.</p>

<p>I'll comment on one thing. The essay wasn't focused on the depressing side of the death. The focus wasn't on the death itself, either. More on the growth of my passion and how it relates to my future.</p>

<p>I pretty much agree with DRose said. Your stats are definitely good enough, but when it comes to the Ivys, it's hard to predict your result sometimes. Athletics would help you a lot if you pushed it further. Otherwise, I would just hope for the best. Good luck!</p>

<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>This is what I expected.</p>

<p>Further opinion?</p>