Should I bother applying?

<p>I've been told, and have a feeling, that Yale is a very high reach for me. Is it worth applying? I'm looking for opinions from current Yale students or alum. Thanks!</p>

<p>The Basics:
-Rising senior
-Upper middle class
-Attended public for 9th and 10th, private for 11th and 12th (nationally-recognized, #60/100 on Ivy feeder list)
-Intended Major: Environmental Studies</p>

<p>*I think that my strengths are: course rigor, standardized test scores, and extracurriculars/awards and achievements.</p>

<p>*My weakness is definitely my GPA, but it does show a consistent upward trend.</p>

<p>Course Rigor: By the end of my senior year, I will have taken 14 Honors courses and 6 or 7 AP courses. I wasn't offered AP courses until my junior year. Also, the recommended maximum of APs in one year is 3. I'll be taking 4 or 5 next year.
UW GPA: 3.63 (Upward trend: B+ average in 9th and 10th grade, A average in 11th grade, will maintain straight-A's this year!) Lowest grade on my transcript is a B. The highest UW GPA in my class on a 100-pt scale is a 94.
UW Rank: Top 8%
ACT: 33 (I'm retaking it in the fall)
SAT II: Literature: 800, Bio: 800, Spanish: 780, World History: 760, U.S History: 770
APs: U.S History: 5, Bio: 5, Psych (self-study): 5, English Literature (self-study): 5, English Language (self-study): 5</p>

<p>Extracurricular Activities:
Writing: I devote at least 1 hour/day to writing, not including schoolwork.
Literary Magazine (10, 11, 12)
-Short Story Editor (11)
-E.I.C (12)
Newspaper (10, 11, 12)
-Co E.I.C (11, 12)</p>

<p>Environmental Activism
Environmental NGO (11, 12)
-Co-Outreach Coordinator & Member-at-Large (11)
-Media Relations Coordinator (12, though I did some media work in 11th grade as well)
-National and International Young Delegate (11, 12)
Youth Environmental Activism Group (11, 12)
-Founder & Chair
City Waste/Recycling Department (10, 11, 12)
-Unpaid Intern
Green Team (9, 10, 11, 12)
-President (12)</p>

<p>Other: I dance, do photography, and play the guitar and piano. In terms of academics, besides writing and science, I also love history and linguistics. </p>

<p>Volunteer Work:
I will have accumulated roughly 500 hours of service by the time I apply.
-Environmental-related volunteer work (9, 10, 11, 12)
-Tutor to low-income children (11, 12)
-Friend to autistic children (10)</p>

<p>Awards & Achievements: (I only mention significant ones)
Wrote an award-winning children's book
Earned 2 Scholastic National Gold Writing Awards (Novel & Memoir)
Published in Scholastic's annual anthology, Best Teen Writers of 2010
Won a prestigious national writing competition (Creative Nonfiction)
Winner of the CT Young Writers Competition
2nd place in Siemens National Sustainability Challenge
Finalist in an international environmental project competition
Developed a composting program utilized by all of my district's schools and parks
Winner of the 2010 Green Cup Challenge
Winner of an environmental science paper competition - Presented at the U.N's Annual Commission on Sustainable Development</p>

Freshman: Unpaid intern at a local television and film production company
Sophomore: Unpaid intern with my city's waste and recycling department
Junior: Unpaid intern at the Museum of Natural History (I worked on a biological diversity project) and attended the Iowa Young Writers' Studio </p>

<p>*Would you recommend that I apply SCEA to show my interest or RD so that adcoms can see my 1st semester grades? (I'm going to continue to earn straight-A's.)</p>

<p>If you're pretty sure you want to go to Yale, apply SCEA. Your GPA is fine, relax, plus there's an upward trend. I think the Yale would give you the BOD that you'll continue to do well. Worst that will happen is you get deferred so that they can see your first semester grades, which ends up being the same thing unless you want to apply SCEA or ED somewhere else.</p>