South Asian Male with high stats and no admission yet

I read somewhere there are few kids who left with no admissions every year. I never thought it will happen to us but it did happen with no admission to enroll this year. Yep he/she sits in top quartile of every top school out there with GPA in top 10% of his high school. It hurts to even write the list of what his high school activities are as no one valued these achievements. May be some sort of curse, I have to say. We had total 18 applications with zero admissions. We had State Schools, Private Schools and reasonable safety schools in the mix. Yet no one liked our application. Can’t blame anyone but it hurts. Reason why I am so angry with uncertainty of the admissions process.


Just for clarification; is he an international student? Was he full pay, or were you seeking financial aid from the schools?

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Give us more info. Which schools? What were the safety schools? Are you international?

Without further information, I can tell you that you are not alone. Every year, not just since Covid, long time users on CC see posts such as yours. Often, the problem is that the student applies to colleges assuming that their stats alone will get them in. They don’t apply to a true financial safety, or any safety. Or they do not show interest at a college that considers interest.

There are still options for domestic applicants. Give us more info and we can help you with suggestions for next steps.


Born and brought up in US, the land of opportunity(not for him). Still have hopes two of our late applications will give us something.

Which schools, state of residency, budget, major and stats to start: uwgpa, AP/DEs, test scores, etc. I’m sure everyone can give you a list of schools he could still apply to and get into for the fall.

Can you share your list? It might help a student in the future.

Could be something negative in the teacher recommendations; could be a self-sabotaging essay.


OP doesn’t actually ask anything…

  1. No school with a 40% acceptance rate or below, in general, is a safety, UNLESS the student is in state for the school AND the school’s Naviance shows that virtually all students with similar stats are accepted.

  2. If the student shows no interest, that school is not a safety, unless it has a very high acceptance rate (70%) and does not consider interest.

  3. Test scores or lack of, especially this past year, are not what makes or breaks an application.

  4. At top schools with holistic admission, the most important factors are GPA, course rigor, teacher recs, ECs, and essays. And it’s not just one of those things, it’s ALL of those things. The kid with great grades and ECs will not get in if his recs are bad. Unless he is hooked.

  5. If you applied to need aware schools and needed a lot of FA, that school is going to be a reach.

  6. Applying to a lot of reach schools assuming one will work out is like gambling. The gambler usually doesn’t win. Holistic college admissions is NOT gambling, despite what people believe. It isn’t just luck that gets a student in.


:sob: :scream:

There are things that can be done. But we need data. State of residence. Test scores if submitted. EC’s. The schools he applied to, and which he hasn’t yet heard from.

Assuming he didn’t have a list of all T20 schools, if some of the rejections are surprising, he needs to go speak with his guidance counselor tomorrow and ask him/her to review his application, and tell him if there is something off-putting in it. If he needs to fix something, fix it. If they say that it’s fine, then he needs to consider some last minute applications.

Some of the less competitive flagship state U’s have a late application deadline, and honors colleges and merit money. There is also a list every year, put out in early May by NACAC, of schools which have space available. You can look at the 2019 list to get an idea of the schools on it - 2020 was an anomaly because of Covid.


I am sorry that college admissions have not worked out so far, but you didn’t provide enough detail to evaluate whether this is expected and/or why the result may have occurred. Just being in the top quartile of stats is not enough to evaluate chances. At some colleges applicants in the top quartile of stats average a <10% admit rate. Some information that would be helpful includes the following:

  • To which schools did he apply?
  • What was his listed residency on the application?
  • What were his stats?
  • What was his prospective major?
  • Did he take advanced courses related to planned field of study and achieve A’s?
  • Was he successful in out-of-classroom ECs/awards related to planned field of study?
  • Any possible problems with LORs, essays, or other parts of application?
  • Does Naviance or similar from your HS suggest other kids with similar stats were rejected?

Will reveal data once everything concludes. For now this post is meant to prompt Class of 2026 applicants to be really careful about building their college list.

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From my experience, there is always a good reason. You have a lot to share if you want us to dissect things. We need absolutely everything.


This post does nothing to help future classes without the data…GPA, test scores, and the schools to which this student applied. Without that info, any future student would have no basis for comparison to your student.

As an aside, there will be colleges with openings listed after May 1. Look at that list when it comes out…and so it quickly. There are usually some very good schools on that list that miscalculated yield.


Disregard it then. I may be an exception and that’s all I am saying.

Class of 2026 applicants of all backgrounds already knew this, so…


If your student applied to only top 25 schools…and no others, that could be part of the issue.


This must be so stressful. I hope it all works out for you!

I’ve read a similar post from a previous year. With the support of the CC community, (if I remember correctly), that student took a gap year, immersed herself in new activities, overhauled the resume, and reapplied the following year. It was a happy ending.

Maybe your teen’s path will be different, but once you’re past this disappointment, I hope you find the right path forward for your student with renewed vigor. Good luck!


First deep breath and a hug. I know this must be a stressful time. Next, wait for the two others to come in. There are always options. Gap year. Taking courses at a local college, so many others.
Most of the disappointments on CC that I have seen are based on the main factor that students and parents think high GPA and SAT scores will lead them to T20’s. Also there has to be a degree of differentiation and acknowledgment of where a student REALLY is before applying to schools.

Most of the chance me threads have almost no chance. They haven’t truly considered their EC’s and stats against accepted students.

Again, there are always options. And I hope one of the two does come through for him.