Real chances at an ivy (or similar) without test scores

She should not take tests without accommodations if she has them on record.

Her verbal score is high.

Test optional really does mean test optional, but I am bothered by the fact that College Board has forced her into this position.

It’s up to her. If she wants a school that asks for scores, or if she needs merit aid, she should retake WITH accommodations. Otherwise, if all her schools are test optional, her activities would seem to make her stand out and that is what “holistic” admissions is all about.

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To be honest I have no idea how do the weight the GPA, we met with the guidance counselor (they always have couple of one on one college meetings) and she gave us the number. I know last year valedictorian had 109.7. I do know that it is a ridiculously rigorous and high performing school district, those kids al have an ulcer before their senior year.

I agree with you, she should have never taken the test without accommodations, but she was really nervous, she started crying, she didn’t want me to waste the trip (drove over 3 hours), she was just terrified (she is 16!!!). It is a shame what college board is doing to her. But i am sure that at the end of the day she will end up where she belongs.

She is clearly verbally talented. The math isn’t terrible. She could send Georgetown the scores with an explanation of what happened (which is not legal) and do test optional at other schools.

This list is amazing FairTest | The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

She sounds like a great kid. I would bet she is going to do well with admissions.

(Has she looked at Clark? They do a scholarship for community service and it is a great school.)

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Her safeties are:
Suny Geneseo
U. New Hampshire
Sarah Lawrence
and still doing some research about others

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If she hasn’t missed the deadlines, I would encourage her to apply to fly-in programs at some of the schools on her list. I think most of them will still be virtual this fall due to the pandemic. 2021 Fly-In & Diversity Program List | Cappex


Actually her counselor mentioned Clark as a good option, we are looking into it. Sounds very interesting.

I love Clark. I remember sitting in the admissions office at Dartmouth and everyone was talking about Clark.


Fordham and Sarah Lawrence are $80k/year. Are you OK paying that without going into debt or altering retirement plans? Both are also around 50% admission rate. Not a safety by definition. UNH is around $50k/year OOS.

Do I think she’ll get into Fordham? Yes and possibly with merit but it’s not guaranteed. A safety is certain admission, affordable, and a school she would attend if necessary. My S20 really liked Fordham. We liked Rose Hill, he liked Lincoln Center. Even with merit it was still $55k/year.

You only need 2-3 safeties. I would think a couple SUNY’s or a CUNY. After that I’d play the lottery for top schools or the fly-in programs. A 1st gen URM female will most likely land in a good spot. Good luck.

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If she’s OK going to Geneseo you do not need UNH- it doesn’t seem to be a fit with the other schools on her list anyway, unless there’s some special merit award she’s likely to get which brings the cost below instate.

Clark is a terrific idea.

Does her high school have Naviance? It sounds like a competitive high school. Does it send many kids to T20 schools? It would be good info to leverage. If it is a competitive high school I’m guessing that admissions officers at top colleges are aware of the rigor. With your daughter’s GPA and class rigor they would have a pretty good idea what type of student she is without any test scores. Knowing those schools would be helpful.

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I’m not sure if @Kelvin82 is still on CC, but they’d be a great person to ask if you have ?'s about Swarthmore and/or about choosing a college as a 1st gen student with a visual disability. Swat has a particularly good record in terms of supporting students with visual disabilities. They also give a pretty good “bump” for ED, fwiw.

Sorry about the awful experience with the SAT. That’s really not okay. I’m sure she’ll do great with college admissions even without a good retake, but it’s a shame to waste all of her prep effort.

Has she considered William & Mary? Great school for history majors. Expensive OOS but not as expensive as full-pay at Gtown, Swat, et. al.

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This is so infuriatingly unfair. I think that you should ask the College Board to delete the score that was taken without accommodations, so that it won’t appear if she decides to send her SAT scores. They should also refund your fee, and get her a seat with accommodations near home for the next administration date.

That 780 English is too good to leave out of her applications. She has a good shot at any school, with her excellent GPA, ECs, and underrepresented minority, first to college status. Did she take an AP math test? If she got a high score on an AP math test, she can submit it, and it can stand in the place of that low SAT math score. I would have her register for the November test, and then ask College Board to find her a site closer, WITH ACCOMMODATIONS of course! She might have a better score then to submit for regular applications, plus the results might be back in time to add to her ED/EA application, which probably has a Nov 1 or Nov 15 deadline, but they will accept test scores that arrive later.

If none of that comes to pass, I would still recommend submitting that first SAT to any school, because of that stellar English score. She wants to be a history major. With the strength of the rest of her application, I think that schools will overlook that low math score.


What about taking the ACT?

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We actually have a visit next weekend, she has done some research and she Likes it!!

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Washington and Lee University is a selective school looking to increase its diversity, and so offers the Johnson scholarship, which is a total free ride plus a stipend. 10% of each class, or approximately 40 kids, are Johnson Scholars. W&L has strong ties to Washington DC; furthermore, their Mock Convention might appeal to her.


Washington & Lee should probably be at the bottom of her list.


Do you have in depth knowledge of the school, or are you thinking of the school 20 years ago?

It’s not a good fit for every student, sure, but no school is. And a totally free college education at a very selective school goes a long way, if one is on the fence.

Did you know about the Shepherd Program in Poverty Studies?

Or the Delaney Center for Southern Race Relations, Culture and Politics?

That the school president comes from Williams?

That a preorientation trip for incoming freshmen called the Freedom Ride focuses on “racial injustice, resistance and memorialization”?

Now, I will be the first to concede the school has a troubling history. But I am persuaded it is taking substantive steps to address that history. I think it is worth the OP taking a look, and deciding for themselves whether it’s a good fit or not.


How Far East are you on LI? There are many NJ testing sites 10/15 minutes from the GWB and both tunnels, early Saturday mornings there should be very little traffic.

From a few months ago . . .

After much conversation, pushback and debate, the Board of Trustees at Washington and Lee University has voted not to change the institution’s name. The latter part of the name honors Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate States Army and former president of the institution. The board voted 22 to 6.
. . .
“What the board decided on this June is mainly a symbolic conversation. There are so many more layers to the systemic inequalities that need to be unpacked on this campus, and this was the most surface-level of changes up for debate,” Kakkaramadam said via email. “And they didn’t even meet us on that – they settled for a fraction. Words can’t even express how much minorities, especially Black students and faculty, have been failed here.”