South Asian Male with high stats and no admission yet

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.


I’m sorry this has happened to you, but no one can help you or be informed by you without proper information to dissect the situation and it’s possible cause. Please consider sharing more so people can tell you about other options and get you back on track.

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We had few last minute apps which may turn out in our favor. So if I wasn’t involved he wouldn’t have applied those. We still have options, door is not closed for us yet. But apologize for venting out and your kindness is comforting.


It’s OK to vent…then regroup. Good luck with the outstanding applications.

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Please read this thread…


It’s fine to vent. Please understand that your child didn’t get NO acceptances because fate was against him. There is/are a reason/reasons. Being cryptic helps no one because without context, the post simply sounds like a rant and not helpful advice. I do hope he gets at least one acceptance.

@thumper has linked a classic thread. Here is another: Asian rejected from everywhere POSTMORTEM

I do believe this student was very hard on himself, and I really wish he would have come back to update, but he never did.


The thread Andison wrote is about her son. The very good news is he totally landed on his feet. For years, this thread was pinned somewhere. While it’s old, it had excellent advice in it.


There are a lot of people on here with a lot of knowledge, but they cannot help you if you don’t share the applicant’s stats. You don’t need to share more than state of residence, type of high school (inner city, suburban, rural), class standing (percentile is fine), standardized test scores, and extracurriculars, which can be masked by not stating exactly what they were if they would identify him, and need for financial aid, and expectation of merit aid.

Without this, we cannot tell what schools the person might now apply to last minute to wind up at a decent college at a decent price in September, or whether they should go to a community college that leads into your state’s flagship U, or take a gap year, continue to build credentials, and re-apply to a more appropriate set of schools.

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Hi! First, I know this is a really stressful situation. I can’t imagine what the student and parents are feeling. But college apps are not a reflection of who you are as a person, nor do they determine your future. There is still hope. I think there is a lot of good advice in this thread, and with a little more information I think the CC community could really help you out.

Look at local community Colleges just in case these last few decisions don’t work out. Community college is a great option! It saves money and it can help you get a strong GPA. After a year or two, you can consider transferring to another school. It’ll still be the same diploma and you’ll save a lot of money. If the student is considering grad school then this might help save money for that extended education and they’ll have more money to spend for grad school.

Check if any of the schools you applied to allow you to appeal your decision. Usually, appeals require another essay and maybe another rec. So make sure you really give your best shot with this option if it’s available to you.

Wishing you all the best!


As others have said, we don’t know enough about your son, as well as which colleges were on his list. I feel badly he has no acceptances in hand yet, though it sounds like he hasn’t heard from all his schools yet.

I will say this, though, as someone whose job is as an independent college counselor…I see the college lists that families create on their own, and in many, not all, cases, the college list is either inappropriate for the candidate and/or an unbalanced list. Had they gone through their college admissions process with their original list, the outcome would not have been pretty. I feel that the college list is one of the most important components of the college admissions process and much follows from that. For instance, did your son have two VERY likely schools on his list…pretty much sure bets? Everyone needs at least two. I have never had a student not get into their safeties or at least not attend their safety schools. But at the least, they had two options. Next, were all the schools on your son’s list ones that accept less than 20%? Any college that accepts less than 20%, even if a student is truly qualified, must be considered a Reach school, as the odds are statistically low for anyone and such schools turn away very qualified applicants in droves. It is unrealistic to count on such schools, but worth having about 40% of the list be in this category. Did your student have a number of schools that were target range that accepted more than 20% of applicants? In other words, I can’t tell if the college list was well balanced, but it needs to be in order to yield at least a few options.

When you say that these schools did not value what your son has to offer, I would not take it so personally. He MAY have been perfectly qualified but they simply take a fraction of those who are qualified (if we are talking colleges with low acceptance rates). As well, there are aspects of the application that are not so black and white as his “stats”…his EC’s, essays, recs, demonstated interest, etc.

Also, did your son receive ANY Wait Lists? Often, if a student is well qualified for a college, but not accepted, they may land on a wait list. If your student has NO wait lists yet, I am wondering if the college list as a whole was all that appropriate.

Fingers crossed that some schools come through. Hopefully you will come back and share the college list and the basics of his profile and you will receive helpful input. So far your post is not useful to future applicants because there is no way to tell if the college list was well balanced or not, and so on and so forth. In my line of work, I see many with unrealistic expectations.


One big thing is that many people just don’t have a good grasp on the numbers. Nearly all of the privates in the top 25 have relatively small undergraduate student bodies and the US is a big country. The privates in the top 25 added together take in roughly a little over a percent of all American HS grads, but when you consider that close to or even half the class at Ivies/equivalents are hooked and that they fill roughly half their class via ED/SCEA and they all admit holistically and they generally want a balanced class (while a ton of kids want to study a hot major like CS), well, your chances at nearly all of them may be close to zero if you are unhooked and looking to major in CS. Meanwhile, for something like CS, the top publics may be as difficult to get in to as the Ivies/equivalents if you are OOS. UNC’s OOS acceptance rate is around Cornell’s, for instance, because UNC is forced by their state to cap the OOS enrollment at 18% of the freshman class.

These days, if you are an ORM guy looking to get in to a good CS program, there aren’t too many avenues where you’d have a decent chance even if you’re top 1% in everything . I’d say UW-Madison, UMass-Amherst, definitely McGill/UBC/other Canadian schools (besides Waterloo, which is holistic and also very difficult to enter). UW-Seattle as a possibility but not for CS (but they have some CS-adjacent majors that are easier to get in to. Possibly one of CMU’s many CS-adjacent majors (but not CS). But places like CMU and UW-Seattle would still have all the top tech companies come to recruit.

And there would also exist the CC route. UVa automatically takes you as a transfer if you manage a 3.7 GPA at a VA CC for 2 years (but they don’t guarantee CS). Many of the UCs participate in TAG. And it seems to be easier for OOS with a stellar CC GPA to transfer in to engineering at some top publics like UMich compared to straight out of HS.


I also want to add, though most teenagers have trouble thinking years ahead, that life obviously doesn’t end at undergrad. So it may make sense to go somewhere in-state/cheap/free for undergrad (ideally honors) and then, if you still want to for whatever reason (such as better recruiting opportunities), apply to name brand graduate programs. A PhD should be paid for. You typically have to pay for a masters but they often are easier to get in to than undergrad at the Ivies/equivalents.



Any updates!


Hi - what does student showing interest mean? ( point number 2)

It means signing up for emails and opening them, requesting interviews, visiting if possible, contacting admissions officers with questions, talking to reps at college fairs if possible, attending virtual events if possible, and completing all optional supplements and ensuring that they are written with that college in mind. It means ensuring that the AO reading the app doesn’t feel the applicant threw the app in with the intention of that school being a safety, or with no real interest.

ETA: Showing interest doesn’t matter for tippy top schools that say they don’t consider interest, such as HYPSM. You can always check section C7 of the common data set for the college in mind.


It’s a numbers game and unfortunately this year in particular the numbers made it tougher. What is your read on the essays and teacher recs? People tend to think they don’t matter much or are just a check in the box, but essays and recs that are bland or generic can really doom an applicant. The stats have to be there to get you in the consideration pile, but the essays and recs can then get you into the admit pile.


Also, the strongest way to show interest beyond applying is applying binding early decision.


The Common Application is a wonderful convenience when used properly, but if your essay is flawed, sending it out eighteen times isn’t going to make it better.