low, LOW gpa, high scores, good ecs, help!

<p>Hey, I attend a competitive public high school in the Pittsburgh, PA area</p>

<p>SO over the course of high school, I have kind of taken a hippie approach to learning. By that I mean I always put soul-searching over school work and kind of discounted the importance of grades and gpa (how stupid I was!). As a result, my gpa is nowhere near as high as I would like it to be.</p>

<p>Here goes...</p>

<p>3.34 uw/ 4.2 w</p>

<p>I have taken 9 AP classes and 4 college classes, on top of honors everything else.</p>

<p>Senior Courseload: 4 APs (calc, physics, bio, lang), 3 college classes, independent study in "management", honors english</p>

<p>previous AP scores:
AP US: 3
AP Euro: 4
AP Chem: 4
AP Stat: 4
AP Psych: 4</p>

2220 (800w, 720r, 700 m) retaking in december to try to superscore on math</p>

33 (dont know the breakdown, sorry!)</p>

<p>3 good letters of rec
commended PSAT</p>

Prom Commitee - President
Model UN - President
Science Olympiad - Captain (with multiple state level wins)
Amnesty International - Leader
Chorus - 4 years
Drama/Musical - 3 years cast and/or crew
paid summer tutoring job - 3 years
250+ hours volunteering at a local hospital
Student Council - 2 years
Culture Club - 2 years</p>

<p>Colleges I'm looking at:
UNC Chapel Hill
William and Mary
University of Virginia
University of Rochester
Carnegie Mellon

<p>I know most of those schools are probably reach-y but I just got my acceptance to University of Pittsburgh this week and now I plan on applying to mostly reaches! (Also looking for suggestions for more target schools)</p>

<p>Thanks so much!</p>

<p>These are pretty much all high reaches except for the University of Rochester. What is your class rank, though? If it's top 5% or better, they may be inclined to give less weight to your poor unweighted GPA. If I were you, though, I would definitely narrow this list down to 3-5 reaches that you want to apply to so that you won't be incredibly disappointed come April. I hate to be so harsh, but I got rejected from UChicago and Northwestern last year with a 3.85 UW GPA and similar (albeit unbalanced) test scores. Your ECs are pretty good, though. As for other schools you should apply to...perhaps Bates or Bard if you're looking for that LAC environment, and GW, Fordham, or American if you're looking for more of that big-city feel.</p>

my school doesnt rank, but to be honest, I've been told that i am in the top 10-15% and I really appreciate the honesty!</p>

<p>No problem! I feel bad because I don't want to discourage you and I think that you would do well at any one of those schools, but I wish someone had told me before I went into the admissions process how much of a numbers game it really is.</p>

<p>Well I'm actually not so afraid for rejection...my parents and I did strike an agreement, and its that they will allow me to take a gap year if I get into a "top school" and there's my incentive for trying to get into a reach school!</p>

<p>You're gonna be a tough sell for those on the top of your list.</p>

<p>Might look at Bucknell and Holy Cross. Holy Cross has a nice campus 1 hour from Boston and hc has great sense of community and school spirit.</p>