Match me CA junior looking for target/reach


  • US Resident
  • CA
  • Type of high school : Test-in magnet program (~50 ppl) @ large public CA high school (~3000 ppl)
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Male Mixed (White/Asian)
  • Other special factors: Legacy to UPenn

Intended Major(s): Business, International Relations, Linguistics, Violin Preformance
looking to apply stem to interests
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 5.6
  • Class Rank: 10/904
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1590 SAT I

AP Japanese (5), AP Psychology (5), AP Chinese (5), AP Calc BC (5), AP Human Geography (5), AP World History (4), Precal DC

This year: AP English Lang, APUSH, AP Stat, AP Calc BC, AP Chem, AP Physics I,
Next year: AP Physics C, AP English Lit, AP GOV, AP Econ, Multivariable Calc


  • ICDC Qualifer x 2
  • 2nd Place @ ICDC
  • ISEF Finalist x 2
  • North American computational linguistics competition invitational (didn’t make IOL but near top %, so hopefully this year is international olympiad for linguistics )
  • JLPT N3 (shows japanese skill)
  • HSK level 4 (shows Chinese skill)


  • TMEA all-stater for orchestra x 3
  • DECA district/chapter officer
  • Orchestra President
  • Japanese club president
  • japan bowl volunteering / coordination help
  • independent research in area of applications of computational linguistics to musical performance
  • engineered rosin detector designed to determine the level of rosin (required for efficient playing) in order to help me preform better
  • yt channel originally just place to talk but grew to ~20K+ subs
  • advocating for my own crohnic disease in congress (state congress) and volunteering for its awareness

essay great IMO but not dazzling
LoR both decent I think pretty good but again not extremely impressive probably

Cost Constraints / Budget
Not huge concern, family can pay for sister who is currently attending 60K+ college, but is def a factor to consider

really don’t have much of an idea (reason for the post) – but very interested in huntsman program @ upenn

used to liv in TX/Northeast and loved both so interested in those schools especially

mostly target/reach as already selected safeties that I would be happy to go ot

The UCs are test blind. That said, you might look at Berkeley’s Global Management Program.

A couple of thoughts to consider

LACs: Ability to take a wide variety of classes, close ties to professors great for exploring different interests. Good pathways on to top graduate programs. (Amherst Hamilton, Bowdoin) look and see what research professors are doing that might line up with your interests.

UC - ??? : Certainly explore all the UC colleges. California has a great university system, certainly one of the cheaper options for you saving you money for grad school.

Georgetown: Great linguistics program and certainly one of the top undergrad business schools. Also big on anything international


Thank you! Seems like a good fit — how competitive is this program in contrast to Berkley?

Does your money qualify for financial need? As in, when your family runs the Net Price Calculator for a school whose cost of attendance (COA) is around $80k, does the school say that your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is about $60k or does it say that it’s more than that? That will be important to know whether some schools, like U. Penn, that don’t offer merit aid can remain on the table. I would have your family run the calculator at U. Penn and another school like Harvard and then let us know whether your family can afford the EFC as the college calculates it. That way we know if the budget is $60k with merit aid, or if a meets-needs school will get you to $60k as well.

Very competitive. @gumbymom might have stats on it.

There was an applicant last year who was accepted for GMP and almost attended. I believe she ended up choosing UChicago instead. I will try to find her info.

Edit: Found the person. Not sure if @Villalona is still here.

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Georgetown was my first thought, too.

And, since you’re a Cal resident, UC Berkeley, UCLA, maybe another as more of a target/safety.

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Cal/ UCLA can never be considered anything but a Reach even with an impressive resume.


Congratulations on your accomplishments! Penn values service to society in its applicants so look for opportunities at the intersection of your interests and community. If you decide Penn is your top choice, and it’s affordable for your family, apply ED. Penn fills half of its class from ED and by applying early you clearly demonstrate that Penn is your top choice.

Manage your expectations though. Penn is highly selective and even with your excellent profile you might be rejected. Find some matches and safeties to love. Good luck with your applications.

Thanks! By service to society, do you mean community service in particular? I personally enjoy community service, so I do it sometimes on my off time just for fun and to help out, but I’ve never really been able to find anything that aligns with the rest of my application to put on there. Plus, it could be even more fun to find something that actually matches my passions. Do you have any suggestions as to what these services to society could be?

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Yes, the EFC for both matches our expectations – should be affordable. Hard to say affordable when it is still 60K+, but within the budget, yes.

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I didn’t see community service listed in your profile. That’s great if you’re already doing community service that is meaningful to you!

Service to society is a tenet that comes from Penn’s founder, Ben Franklin. There is an expectation that students will use their Penn education and resources to make an impact in the world. If you can show community impact/service in your application, it will help AOs imagine you as an active and engaged member of the Penn community.

Keep doing what you’re doing and I think you’ll have good college outcomes.

Congratulations on making yourself such a strong applicant.

For your in-state publics, I’d take a look at UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UCLA, UC-Riverside, and UC-Santa Barbara. As @gumbymom indicated, Cal and UCLA are reaches for all. Riverside I suspect would be extremely likely, and am unsure where Santa Barbara would land (likely?).

As the Huntsman program seems to be of particular interest for you, these are some programs that you may want to consider:

Babson and Bentley are business-oriented colleges, but Babson (I believe) has a particularly strong liberal arts base. They’re pretty unique places, so I’d definitely browse around their websites. @Bill_Marsh may have more insight. At Babson look into the concentrations in International Business Environment and Global and Regional Studies. Babson students can cross-register at Olin College of Engineering, Wellesley, Brandeis, and Regis. At Bentley look into the majors in Language, Culture, and Business and International Affairs. Bentley students can cross-register with Brandeis and Regis.

Speaking of Brandeis, it’s strong in linguistics and international affairs and has business offerings that might interest you. Its business program melds the humanities with business and there are also accelerated programs to do a bachelor’s and a Master’s (whether an MBA or Business Analytics or International Economics & Finance). You may also want to check out its International and Global Studies program.

Washington University in St. Louis is another reach-for-all school, but within it there is the by-application Beyond Boundaries program which might hold some appeal to you as well.

Some other schools you may want to consider (some of which would be safeties…you’re a very strong applicant!, while others would be matches or reaches) include:

  • Binghamton (NY)
  • Bucknell (PA )
  • Columbia (NY)
  • Cornell (NY)
  • Rice (TX)
  • Rutgers – New Brunswick (NJ)
  • U. of Delaware
  • U. of Maryland-College Park
  • U. of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • U. of Pittsburgh: This school has rolling admissions, so if you apply early (like August) you can have an early acceptance in hand. Also, several have reported more generous merit aid packages to people who apply earlier (as the school will run out of merit money to offer)
  • U. of Texas – Austin: this is a reach for anyone who’s not a Texas high school graduate in the top 6%, but I think you have better odds than many others.

UCB, UCI, and UCR are the UCs with undergraduate business majors. Some other UCs have business-flavored variants of their economics majors. Undergraduate business majors are common at CSUs.

The program at Penn sounds phenomenal. One of a kind, I would think, so probably very hard to get in.

Here are my thoughts on the Babson suggestion. Located in a nice Boston suburb, it is adjacent to the small Olin College of Engineering with whom it shares facilities. The 2 of them are in a consortium with Wellesley College, a short shuttle trip or a bike ride about 2 miles across town. There is cross registration at all 3 colleges. The 3 colleges have a combined enrollment of about 5600 students.

Babson it is typically identified as a business college, but I think of it more as a liberal arts college with a business focus. It shares many characteristics with New England’s small liberal arts colleges, beginning with its small enrollment (2700), small classes with easy access to professors, a collaborative & supportive community of learners, and a strong advising program. Their attitude is that if you want something to happen, they want to make it happen for you.

It was founded a little over 100 years ago for the purpose of bringing innovation to business education. In that respect, they grounded their program in both liberal arts and business. So, in this respect it brings the combination of your 2 areas of learning. They have a heavy core curriculum which is divided almost evenly between the liberal arts and business courses.

The other ways in which they brought innovation to business education are their focus on experiential learning with real world, hands on projects and their commitment to collaboration and team engagement. One example of this is the freshman year project in which you start up and run your own business with a team of other students. They even give you a few thousand dollars of venture capital to get you started. Their mission is to change the world by educating the next generation of leaders with an entrepreneurial attitude and to prepare them to bring that attitude with them whether it’s to a small start up or a large corporation.

Babson does not have traditional majors. After completing the core curriculum, students are free to take whatever courses they want to supplement the core. That can mean a random selection of a student’s own choosing or one of Babson’s 24 “concentrations”. Two of the concentrations in which you might be interested are International Business or Global & Regiinal Studies. Students in these concentrations are encouraged to spend at least one semester abroad. Currently Babson lis limited to 5 foreign languages: French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. But Wellesley College offers 15 foreign languages and cross registration is both easy and encouraged.

Another option in the Northeast is Fordham University in New York City. Their Gabelli School of Business is very strong and has excellent connections with in the NYC business community for internships and placements. A friend’s son followed that career path into his first job.

A good option for you at Fordham is the Global Business Honors Program, which shares some characteristics with the Huntsman Program at Penn. you don’t live with your cohort but you do take 2 honors courses per semester with them for all 4 years. And you do travel with them as international travel is part of the program.

Another interesting option is at Columbia University, also in New York City, where you could combine your interest in Liberal Arrs & Business. Columbia’s Business School is a graduate school only, so you would be a liberal arts student at Columbia College where their are numerous foreign language options, BUT the Business School does offer a business management special concentration to exceptional undergraduate students, I.e. hard to get into. The purpose of the program is “to connect academic theory with real world practice, providing undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop key leadership skills, an entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to innovate.” (Sound like Babson?)

While all of these programs are competitive, Penn and Columbia are exceptionally so. Babson and Fordham are both competitive as well, but chances of acceptance are more reasonable, so they serve as good alternatives and one or the other may be more preferable than either of the 2 Ivies. Babson is my personal favorite, but to each his own. Best of luck with the process.