Should I submit a 1510 SAT (770RW, 740M) to T20s/LACs?

I am an international student from Oceania applying to the US in fall 2022 for fall 2023 first year admission. I took the March 2022 SAT and got a 1510 (770RW, 740M), and I recently took the May 2022 SAT. My May SAT score is still pending but I’m pretty sure I didn’t do any better than in the March SAT (Math score will probably be 740-760 if I’m lucky). I can’t retake the SAT again because it’s extremely expensive and my parents aren’t letting me take it for a third time. Assuming I have a ~3.85 UW GPA (converted to the American grading scale) and the following schools are all test-optional again this year, should I submit my 1510 SAT when my Math score is hovering around/under the 25th percentile at those schools? I am probably going to apply as a biology/cognitive science major (not engineering/CS) if that helps.

Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Duke, WashU, UPenn, Brown, Vanderbilt, Rice, Northwestern, Pomona

I’ll be watching this thread for sure because my scores are similar. An aside, though – I hope that’s not your whole college list? To put it mildly, it’s… a little heavy on the reach schools.


@cobalt2048 great SAT! I would definitely submit. But with a 3.85 gpa, you are going to absolutely need to add some more schools. Those you listed are heavy on reach schools, wouldn’t count on any of them.


Haha yep I know these schools are all reaches, but I’m definitely going to apply to other schools that have higher acceptance rates and where my SAT is above the 50th percentile. I also have safeties outside the United States in case I don’t get in anywhere.


Yes, I’m definitely going to apply to schools with higher acceptance rates as well. Are you sure I should submit my 740 in Math as a prospective STEM major?

I would say yes, submit. The score isn’t used to determine whether you are a better applicant than another, it’s used to assess whether your meet the threshold for admission. I would say it serves this purpose and makes the case better than the GPA alone.


Yes, I would submit them.

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Regardless of your SAT score…this is a very top heavy list. Your current SAT score is fine. I would agree with others that submitting is fine.

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My daughter made it to U Chicago and Berkeley with the same score but higher GPA. Did not make it to the Ivies, except for Waitlist at Brown
Also accepted at Boston College, northeastern, UCSD and UCSB

Also waitlisted at Northwestern

Interesting, thanks for sharing her results!

Your kid’s GPA would fit in the top percentiles of those colleges, while the OP’s GPA would be within the mid 50% range. For colleges with acceptance rates of under 25%, that is the difference between the colleges accepting 70% of applicants with similar profiles and the colleges accepting 20% of such applicants.

@cobalt2048 The colleges on your list accept very few applicants with GPAs of 3.85, unless they have attended a well regarded high school which is know to have serious grade deflation, are kids of wealthy alumni kids of very wealthy donors, or star athletes. You SAT will not affect your chances of admission, though.

Here is the honest truth. There are literally thousands to tens of thousands of applicants to each of these colleges, and each of these colleges only accept maybe 2,000 applicants a year (Pomona accepts fewer than 1,000). Except for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, the rest of the colleges on your list are need aware, meaning that they will consider your ability to pay tuition as well. That means that you need to convince them to accept you, even though they know that you cannot afford to pay tuition and housing.

Again, unless you are attending an internationally renown high school with an average GPA of 3.0-3.2, are a champion athlete, have very wealthy parents, or have some other international level achievements, you are likely not competitive for any of the colleges on your list.

Also, looking at your list, it seems that you have not actually researched any of these colleges. Shooting off a set of identical applications to colleges which are radically different will likely result in you getting rejected from them all. Unless your other USA colleges do not consider anything but GPA and SAT, there is a good chance that you will be rejected from them as well.

Decide what you are looking for in a college, and create an applications that will demonstrate that you are a good applicant for that college.

Harvard is an old East Coast college (oldest in the USA), Vanderbilt is very different college in the South, while Pomona is a relatively new Liberal Arts College in Southern California. There is no way that all three are on you list, unless your single criterion is the USNews ranking of the college.

If that is your level of knowledge about these colleges, and your applications reflects this, your chances of admissions to one of these colleges moves from “very very low” to “absolutely no chance at all”.

They are getting applications by thousands kids with GPAs of over 3.95, state, national, and international level achievements in math, science, arts, social activism, etc. These kids are crafting applications which demonstrate that they are a great fit for the college, and that the college is a great fit for them. Exactly how do you expect to stand out and have the AOS say “this Cobalt2048 looks like they would be a great addition for our college. In fact, they are so great that we will allow them to attend for free, instead of charging them $300,000 for four years of tuition and housing”?

You have to convince them that you are worth $300,000 to them. Have you thought how you will do it?

Just so you know - they don’t randomly choose one or two applications every year and just accept them. If somebody whose overall qualifications are lower than average is accepted, that is because there was something about their application that made an AO say “this kid is worth the investment of $300,000”.

None of those applications were some generic application that demonstrated absolutely no knowledge of the college.

Your REALLY need to rethink your application strategy.

Good luck, in any case!


We don’t know what a 3.85 GPA represents for the OP. At the BS my kid attended, that would have been one of the highest in the most recent 5 years. For the OP, it could be that. Or it could be less impressive.

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1510 SAT is good. Go ahead and submit it.

I think I was in your place (on behalf of my daughter) about 6-8 months ago. Wowed by a very high test score, and started to get starry eyed (really unforgiveable for a parent, but I forgive myself). I remember the first “chance me list”. All brand names and no common thread. The forum let me know it. Rightly so, and to our benefit. Take a look. Very little of that list still survives.

You are at the start of the journey that will have ups and downs, but must be rooted in honesty at all times if you are to come out with a good outcome.

1- Read these threads, which have a ton of good and grounding information. There is alot of honesty in this forum, but don’t just take one person’ opinion.

2- Get real about finances as a family BEFORE crafting a list. Money does not fall from the sky when one is admitted to a school. “We will figure it out” is NOT a strategy unless your goal is misery.

3- Start to consider schools that are MATCHES first (match means good probability of getting in, you CAN pay for it and would go).

4- Accept that you might not get what you think you deserve. But you will get what you need.

At the intersection of “I want” / “I need” / “I can can realistically pay for” is the school you will attend. It might not even be on your radar yet. Unlikely it is.


@cobalt2048 posted these two comments (one is excerpted):

Haha yep I know these schools are all reaches, but I’m definitely going to apply to other schools that have higher acceptance rates and where my SAT is above the 50th percentile. I also have safeties outside the United States in case I don’t get in anywhere.

Yes, I’m definitely going to apply to schools with higher acceptance rates as well.

The OP knows these are reaches. I don’t think we know enough to comment on strategy or chances and, focusing on the straightforward question about whether to submit the scores, most of us have said yes.


You should submit those scores everywhere that you apply. No matter what the range for the school is, scores that strong support any application, especially one where the college may not be familiar with the rigor of your high school institution.

Bad news is that as an Int’l student, you’re very unlikely to get into the highly selective schools that meet need for int’l students unless you are one of the very top students in your nation, AND you bring something that the school wants - geographical diversity (which you most surely have), a very high extracurricular or specific academic achievement that they want, or extraordinary athletic or artistic achievement - something that makes them think, “This person is going to make their mark in the world, and it will reflect very well upon us if they are a graduate of our school”.

If your family thinks the SAT is expensive, look into whether you are eligible for a Common App fee waiver.


That is not going to rule out very many schools! 1510 is excellent. Admissions at top universities in the US seem to understand the grading system at a wide range of education systems in a wide range of countries. However, I think that a 1510 SAT score reinforces the point that you are well prepared to succeed in any university. I would submit it to any university (even the very top ones).

Where I went to high school an unweighted GPA of 3.85 would have made you by far the top student in the high school. Where my older daughter went to high school it would have barely put you in the top 10%, maybe. It is hard for us here on CC to know where this places you in your high school system.

I assume that you know that admissions to the top universities in the US is difficult to predict. However, you are a competitive student. Best wishes for your applications and education results.

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The major really matters. Since the OP is not applying CS, Engineering or Math, I think their list is still aggressive, but not completely unrealistic.

As to the OP’s question, the schools have gotten so weird about SATs that it is really school to school about whether to submit. Some schools that are TO only want 750+ scores because it helps their rankings, and I honestly do not have any idea how they are putting together the rest of their class since ever applicant that actually has a chance of getting in has a 3.8 or better GPA.

Our experience with this score this year is that you will not make it into T20 schools (my child got WL at rice) and also got WL at multiple schools in T20-T30 range. Above rice were all rejections. Good luck.