Should I aim higher or lower?

<p>Hey, I'm an Asian senior in California
I have good test scores:
SAT I: 1550 (780 verbal 770 math)
SAT II's :
Math ic: 780
Writing : 660 (just retook it, this time i expect something closer to my other scores)
math iic: (just retook it, i expect 770-800)</p>

<p>But, my GPA is not too hot...
LAUSD GPA: 3.57 (9-11th)
and my class rank is 143/850
My UC GPA : 4.318 (weighed) 3.6818 (unweighed, didn't know how to round)</p>

<p>(note: UC is approved academic classes in tenth and eleventh grades, 1 pt extra for Honors and APs, right?)</p>

<p>my extracurriculars are so-so:
4 years on tennis team (our school has been LA City Champions for five years now, although I've been fairly useless as a JV team member. I probaly shouldn't share that aspect in my applications.)
2 years in JSA (Junior Statesmen of America. I am minister of public relations right now)
a month of full time volunteer work at a summer camp
2 years in political philosophy club
2 years in chinese school (9 total, 2 while in HS)
3 years in video production class(this is an interest, so I am not sure if it is an extracurricular because I take the class at school too)
3 weeks in a Brown summer program
3 weeks in a cornell summer program</p>

<p>APs: I took 2 as a junior, got 5's on both exams. BUT, I also took the AP English test without taking the class and got a 4, if that means anything.</p>

<p>My current program as a senior is
AP Physics
AP Calculus
AP Economics
AP English Lit
Video Production</p>

<p>I'm thinking about applying to
University of Michigan
U of Chicago

<p>My question is, which schools should I consider as reaches and what as matches? I have looked around the forums and haven't really found anyone with stats similar to mine (weak GPA , but good test scores). And I didn't know if I should apply early decision anywhere, because I'd much rather go to the 2 listed UCs than anywhere else, but I don't know my chances there either. If my chances are good, then I won't apply anywhere early decision. And what should I consider as safeties? NYU? UCSB, UCSD? or is that being overly optimistic?
I figure that the best things going for me are that I have been to Cornell and Brown's summer programs (I figure those ought to help in applying to those two schools) and the way my GPA rose. I was a not very good student in ninth and tenth grades but then went hardcore academic and pulled myself up to having straight A's and 2 AP classes as a Junior.
What are my chances for said schools and how would my chances be for Brown or Yale early decision?
Any other suggestions for safeties, reaches, matches for a guy who doesn't know quite what he wants to study and wants to explore different classes freely, but has a slight inclination towards film, economics, political science and philosophy?</p>

<p>THANKS in advance, and I'd appreciate replies soon because I still need to decide on the whole early decision thing.</p>

<p>I'm not an expert...but I think your class rank and GPA really hurt you </p>

<p>Yale-Almost no chance
University of Michigan-good chance
U of Chicago-reach

<p>awwww nuts. Anyone else have an opinion? I really hope EnconiumII is wrong.</p>

<p>Hey, your extracurricular involvement isn't that strong, but you already know that don't you. I believe you have a legitimate shot at most of the schools. As far as Yale and Brown, you are going to need some help. If you have a teacher who is enamored with you, or your 660 Writing SAT II isn't reflective of your writing style, and you write an absolutely dynamite essay, you can vastly improve your chances. Maybe you should use your experience at Brown's summer institute to provide you with a leg up on the competition at Brown. Still, Yale regularly admits many students that are not in the top echelon, it mainly depends upon what they are looking for. They are looking for top-tier students, with a tinge of diversity. If I were you, I would apply to Brown early decision, if you want to go there and can afford it. Yet, you have a great chance to go to one of the top public universities in the nation in Univeristy of California Berkeley. If your other options don't work out, you should get in UC Berkeley.</p>

<p>Get some reaches off and put some match/safeties on - and keep everything below Northwestern/Cornell range - and I think you will be set.</p>

<p>Yale-No, only because of ur gpa and class rank. try EA, you might have a slim chance there</p>

<p>Brown-Yes, you SAT balances your gpa
University of Michigan-Yes
Northwestern-Good chance, but you gpa might not let you in
U of Chicago-good chance, but your gpa again will hurt you a lot

<p>What would you say my chances of getting into UCLA or UCBerkeley are?
I think I would pick UCLA and UCBERKELEY over Brown, but if I don't think my chances of getting into those two are good, then I will apply ED to Brown. ED to Brown I figure will increase my chances of getting in, but I will NOT want to apply ED to Brown if I have reason to believe my chances of getting into either of those two UCs are satisfactorily dependable. UNLESS, Brown is not as hard to get into as I think it is and RD will give me about as good as a chance as ED, then there is no reason to apply ED and I can still pick Berkely over Brown if I get into both. Sorry if this is confusing...but I would really appreciate some feedback.</p>

<p>"film, economics, political science and philosophy"</p>

<p>UC. definitely.</p>

<p>what would you say my chances of berkeley are though? i'm competing against like half of california. %wise?</p>

<p>and Brown - ED - chances %wise and chances RD %wise??</p>

<p>i would say that you have a good chance of getting into berkely. Your SAT balances your gpa/class rank. I would still try applying to Yale EA. Who knows, you might make it in.</p>

<p>mucho gracias amigos! so far very comforting feedback.</p>

<p>what would you guys think of my chances %wise of getting into UCLA, UCBERKELEY and Brown (ED and RD)?</p>

<p>i think that you are in ED in all. RD, all, but im not 100% positive about that. ..wait, the UCs dont have ED.....</p>

<p>Right now I'm leaning towards Yale ED. UCLA , BERKELEY, BROWN, DARTMOUTH, CORNELL, Northwestern, U chicago RD. NYU U MIchigan as backups. what do you think?</p>

<p>Think I and Neleesh are overly optimistic about my chances? post your thoughts.</p>

<p>Let's see if I still have my mad BB skillz!</p>

<p>** El-Supero-Reacho **

<p>** Reacho-but-doablo **
U of Chicago</p>

<p>** Somewhere in betweeno**

<p>** Reach-Match **

<p>** Matchish **
University of Michigan

<p>"Yale ED"</p>

<p>Yale is SCEA.</p>

<p>Aye. SCEA is considerably harder than ED, on most levels.</p>

<p>GPA before standardized test scores my man...but it's not like everyone has even a 3.5GPA or in the top ~17% of their class. Your chances aren't "excellent" or anything, but they are fairly good. If you want to go to those schools just apply and don't stress. I just hope you have the $$blingbling$$ to pay for the overly expensive application fees.</p>

<p>Yale - No
Brown - Slim
UCLA - Yes
University of Michigan - Yes
Northwestern - Maybe
Dartmouth - Slim
U of Chicago - Slim
Cornell - Maybe
NYU - Maybe/Yes</p>

<p>Apply to them all, regardless. However, dig some dirt on these schools and think about your strengths. If you get into a top-top school like an Ivy, a majority of will have been stellar in high school... valedictorians and such... some schools this might make an impact on the "social fabric" of the college. Just a thought.</p>


<p>Yale: Slight Reach
Brown: Match (both ED and RD)
Northwestern: Match
Dartmouth: Match
U of Chicago: Match
Cornell: Match</p>

<p>UCLA: Safe Match
UCB: Safe Match
UMich: Safe Match
NYU: Safe Match</p>