Hi! I’m looking at smaller liberal arts colleges like Carleton, Grinnell, Wesleyan as matches but I’m worried they’re too selective. Also applying to a number of reaches, do you think it’s worth it to use up a lot of Commonapp spots with them? If anyone could size up my chances and offer safeties/matches I’d appreciate it! Mostly looking for an open/kind/passionate school culture, and a solid humanities rep.
- US citizen
- New York resident, willing to go to school around the Northeast area and a bit further
- Public high school, not too competitive
- Female, East Asian
- Sister is a Yale student (if that matters? My parents think it will give me legacy status)
Undecided, probably will apply with something along the line of English or social sciences
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
- Haven’t been able to check my GPA, but vast majority of transcript is 99s and 100s
- Class Rank: Unknown but likely Top 5-10 of ~300
- ACT/SAT Scores: 35 ACT
- Full IB diploma. IB Physics SL, IB French 5/6, IB English HL, IB Visual Art, IB English HL, IB US History, IB Biology SL + HL, AP Calculus BC (highest rigor offered in my school, except if doubling in science senior year-- I took arts classes instead)
New York Times Contest Winner (Top 10 of 7000+)
Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest Finalist (Top 50 of 3500)
Poetry Contest Winner (1000$ prize - probably ~350 entries)
Scholastic Gold Key for art
Longlist for a literary magazine’s poetry contest
National Merit Semifinalist (should I include this? Can probably move stuff around)
- Editor in Chief of school literary magazine, members won 8 awards at local college’s poetry event, reads 200+ submissions
- Cellist in multiple ensembles. All-State, concerto soloist in honors orchestra and string quartet member.
- Poetry Mentor for online summer program affiliated with youth lit mag. Highly accomplished fellow mentors
- Art team manager for same youth lit mag, published 7 issues
- Quiz Bowl Captain/Literature Specialist
- Kenyon + Iowa Young Writers Online
- Very selective but unheard of UNDP-sponsored Chinese summer program - cultural, sustainability-focused
- Book Club President
- Artist and graphic designer
- Tutor in math/sciences
Essays should be very good but I haven’t gotten feedback yet.
LORs should be decent and show my strength in those classes, but with remote learning, I didn’t get to develop the strongest connections.
Cost Constraints / Budget
We have an income of ~40k a year, so looking at colleges committed to granting 100% demonstrated need. Savings are solid in those cases.
SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Buffalo (necessary to have both? Bing seems super reliant on stats)
Carleton, Grinnell, Wesleyan, Vassar, UVA
Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, Tufts, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Brown, Yale
My mom is pushing high Ivy reaches. Might also look at women’s colleges for matches? I wanted a couple bigger schools for variety and intend on shortening the list to 15. Thanks so much in advance.