Seeking Advice on Schools to Apply To

<p>I am basically seeking the names of schools where standardized tests are "king".</p>

<p>My son has 2300 SAT. 800 CR, 700 math, 800 writing.</p>

<p>34 ACT</p>

<p>But unweighted gpa is only about a 3.6, or maybe a 3.7 (that does put him, after being weighted, in the top 5% of his class, but barely---by two people)</p>

<p>His APs are four 5's, two 4's, and two 3's. The two 3's are in Calculus and Physics. In non-science/non-math courses, he is top notch.</p>

<p>He is taking six more APs this year, his senior year. </p>

<p>Except for participating in Debate, and publishing a couple poems/stories in minor publications, he does not have that much in the way of ECs, at least compared to the super-human ECs I see on CC. </p>

<p>Any advice on top schools he would have a chance at? To be more specific, does anyone know of schools where standardized tests are the top criteria in admissions? Most schools appear to emphasize gpa and ECs nowadays. For example, he is applying to some colleges in England, where apparently, they go mainly by standardized test scores.</p>

<p>In America, the trend seems to be that gpa is the most important criteria.</p>

<p>I'm not aware of any schools in the US where test scores count for more than GPA - but perhaps others know better. On the other hand, your son's GPA (top 5% with high rigor in his coursework) sounds good enough for most top schools. If the real issue is that his ECs don't really set him apart from all the other top students, then there are still lots of great schools just below the very most selective that would love to have him.</p>

<p>What's he looking for? Size of school, areas of academic/professional interest, location (urban/suburban/rural, part of the country), and of course, what can you afford?</p>

<p>Remember too that many schools discount freshman year, especially for guys who are slower to mature. If your S has an upward trend in his GPA, that could help as well.</p>

<p>Given your son's rank (top 5%) you may be undervaluing his GPA. In practice high school grading policies vary widely -- from highly inflated grades to conservative grades. So the absolute numbers need to be understood in context. College admissions committees are often aware of the grading policies of many high schools. Larger colleges have regional specialists who get to know the schools in their area.</p>

<p>My sense is that your son has very good chances at several top 50 colleges. I would encourage you to work with his high school counselor on preparing the appropriate list.</p>