Middlebury/similar schools chance me and advice please!

I’m going into my junior year this fall so I know this is kind of early, sorry.

Could anyone chance me for Middlebury and other similar schools ( e.g. Williams, Bowdoin, Wellesley)

Current GPA: 3.9 weighted probably about 3.7 unweighted

2 APs so far:

4 on European history
5 on Compsci

Next year taking 3 more: environmental, language and composition, and APUSH

Senior year will take: human geography, calc bc (hopefully), French, and maybe another history class or AP lit

Practice SAT scores average about 1500, hope to improve


Freshman year-
Baking a Difference (selling baked goods to raise money for charity)
Sitting with Seniors (volunteering at nursing homes)


Society of women engineers
Model UN

Junior year-

Society of women engineers
Congressional debate team


Same as junior year, hopefully with leadership position


Freshman, not much

Sophomore, volunteering in park and local library, documented types of wildlife in local nature reserve (own initiative, sort of year round)

Junior, will attend volunteer trip with Trip of a Lifetime organization (was selected as one of ~25 people for scholarship for program out of ~200 applicants). Probably more volunteering, maybe at library again

I also write for fun and hope to have some some stories published in a magazine or something, I plan on entering in the library’s writing competition this year

Also do photography for fun, May submit portfolio to schools

Attends selective public high school in NYC

Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how to improve my application, thank you!

I’m concerned with your lack of consistency on ECs…always changing. What year are you now?

Your weighted GPA needs to come up - i.e. your rigor isn’t there. It’s less harmful if you are maxing out what the school offers.

you need to stick with your activities - i.e. Society of Women Engineers - and not just have leadership, but show how you demonstrated it.

Keep up with your studies and get your best grades - that’s what you can do. It’s less about a specific school and more about putting your best effort forward for any and all schools.

No problem in reaching to those but I suspect a Trinity, Skimore, Franklin & Marshall are more within range.

Thank you for your response

I am aware my EC are bit inconsistent. The Baking a Difference was cancelled this year, likely due to the pandemic so if it is on this year I would like to join again. Sitting with Seniors I quit because it just wasn’t very well organized (the people in charge were frequently late/they cancelled meeting and they did not provide many volunteer opportunities). Model UN I will not continue because I have been offered a place on the debate team and participating in both I think would be too time consuming and therefore stressful.

As I mentioned before I am going into my junior year which would be my third year of high school.

Also, I did poorly in certain classes freshmen year (i.e. physics and geometry), however this past year (my sophomore year) I did much better, would that be looked upon more favorably than if I had done just okay both years?

Thank you again

Oh and by the way I’m pretty sure I took the maximum possible amount of AP classes so far, and my school does not have “honors” classes or anything like that

What’s your intended major?

Environmental studies

My weighted gpa is 3.9/4.0 I thought that was pretty high no? I know some schools do weighted out of 5 but mine doesn’t

A “typical” but every school is the same - weights an honors +.5 and an AP +1. So you see kids with a 4.6, 4.7 weighted out of 4.

Your school may be different. If you have a college counselor, they should be able to provide you results based on past kids from your schools.

Get into activities and make a difference. Take a rigorous schedule, but one you can’t handle. There’s no point in taking all APs - if you’re stressed out or do poorly. For ES, there’s a ton of great schools - and you’ll find one.

Sounds like you want a smaller school so take a look at SUNY ESF in Syracuse, Eckerd in St. Pete, Tufts, Colgate, UVM, Stony Brook - not small but cheap for you), Drew, Gettysburg, Dickinson, and Macalester. Honestly, lots of schools will have the major.

Shoot for Mid…but have targets and safeties.

In the meantime, find your passions and stick to them - and you’ll be fine.

Well my school grades out of 100, my gpa right now is about a 94(weighted) and on the 4.0 scale you can’t get above 4.0 in my school. You can’t get above 100 in a class. For example this year in compsci I got 106 but on my report card it says 100(unweighted)

Also I looked on naviance for the gpa of kids admitted to midd from my school and there is a pretty big range

My school does have a document with the average gpa of kids admitted to midd (and other schools) and it is about a 96(weighted), which would be 4.0

However the document is a few years old so I probably will still ask my guidance counselor or college advisor

This site should help you refine your choices:

You may want to consider additional NESCACs, such as Colby and Hamilton.

Thank you! And yes I plan on applying to both the schools you mentioned and maybe some of the other nescac schools

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Since you appear open to women’s colleges, I’d also recommend Mount Holyoke.

Just to clarify what the OP wrote. She attends one of the specialized NYC public schools. Honors classes receive a 1.05 weight and AP classes receive a 1.1 weight. So the highest GPA possible is 110, which is impossible, since nobody can take only APs.

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Thank you for helping to clarify, I’m sorry if I confused anyone!

And just one more thing, we don’t have traditional honors classes but I did take DDP (design and drafting for production) which is a college level class but not AP, however I believe it is weighted the same as an AP class, or maybe honors (I’m not too sure, but I think the former)

Thank you - it’s all good - even if she was 100 with a 1600, we always say - take your best shot…but have matches and safeties too.

Appreciate the education.

You might want to add RPI to your list. They have environmental science, and are very eager for women applicants, to balance their sex ratio. They often give merit money.

Sorry to say it so bluntly, but your ECs are not impressive. However, with good grades and a strong SAT, with the schools you’re shooting for, it might not matter that much. You don’t have to win Regeneron Science to get into a second tier LAC. So I would say do whatever ECs you enjoy, to whatever degree you feel you can comfortably manage.

Don’t forget to choose a SUNY school, and maybe a CUNY school too, as a safety and as a financial backup, in case your family’s finances go south before next spring.

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Thank you for your reply

I am aware that my ECs aren’t that impressive, however I was hoping that I could put some more emphasis on my “unofficial” ECs such as documenting nature through photography which is an activity that I spend a significant amount of time on year round. I also hope this year to receive more recognition for my writing.

Thank you of course for your suggestion of RPI, however I will not be applying. I’m really only applying to the top LACs/private universities because if I am not accepted I will likely attend and instate public school. I’m worried about financial aid at the lower tier schools and I don’t think it would be a good idea to fork over a ton of money for just an okay school. Also no offense but even with merit/financial aid RPI doesn’t really appeal to me.

Thanks again

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One more thing, I’m curious as to what you consider top tier schools. You seem to consider Middlebury, Wellesley, etc. to be less than. What would you consider above them, when it comes to LACs? And please, does anyone else consider Middlebury top tier or just me?

Also, does anyone have any advice for improving my ECs before college apps come around?

We answered this - you need tenure, you need accomplishment. So if women in engineering is impactful, see if you can get a leadership type role. Even if you can’t, show what you did. Did you arrange a speech from a local engineer? Or set up a plant tour for the group…something with impact.

As for your comment on concern with aid at 2nd tier schools, you have it backwards. The Middlebury, Wesleyan type schools do not have merit aid, only need based aid. So run the net price calculator to see what your cost would be. Some second tier such as Franklin & Marshall also don’t offer.

On the flipside, the Dickinsons, Skidmores, Trinity, Connecticut College of the world do have merit aid.

So assuming you don’t have need (have your parents fill out your Middlebury net Price Calculator), you’re going to have less expense at a 2nd or 3rd tier private - and they’re outstanding…a school like Wooster or Allegheny or Eckerd would provide you a wonderful education and you’d get some aid.

The reality is - you’re probably not going to get into Middlebury or Colby - I wouldn’t count on it. But if you do (and I hope you do), you’ll be paying full pop.

So your expectation on aid is wrong…it’s actually opposite of what you believe - assuming you are full pay.

There are wonderful SUNYs too - but if you want a smaller school, you should focus on the LACs - and like everyone have targets and safeties.

Good luck.