Too many Reaches?

<p>Hello all! I am a senior applying to these schools:</p>

<p>Reed
Vassar
Bowdoin
WashU St. Louis
Brown
Dartmouth
Pomona
Rice
Haverford
UCLA
Carleton
Skidmore (safety)</p>

<p>Do I have too many reaches in my list? I feel like at these universities/ colleges no admission is guaranteed... so should I cut down some schools to put in more schools where I can get merit aid/ very high likelihood of getting in? Here is my "profile":</p>

<p>6 APs taken out of a possible 11 (not including languages!) including Senior course load..
GPA: 3.8 UW but with a downward trend.. ugh. I'm hoping a 4.0 midyear report makes up for 3.67s in junior yr.
SAT: 750 CR, 680M, 720 W (2150)
SAT II Bio 710, SAT II USH 730</p>

<p>Extracurriculars:
Logistics Leader at a summer camp(300 service hours)1 summer</p>

<p>English and Math Teacher at Kumon Institute of Education 1yrs (Student for 3 years)</p>

<p>Editor + founder of Literary Magazine @ my school</p>

<p>Published on TeenInk</p>

<p>President + founder of Philosophy Club 2yrs</p>

<p>100 Community service hours at the Library and volunteered at various street fairs in my community (4 yrs)</p>

<p>UCSB Research Mentorship Program (performed research - self started project I will submit abstract.) 1 summer. attended on a full scholarship.</p>

<p>-I am also low income, but asian.
-I will be the first in my family to attend a university.</p>

<p>The question needs to be, "Do I have enough safeties?" And the answer is, "Not yet." (Skidmore's cost of attendance far exceeds $50K; it's not at all safe financially.)</p>

<p>In principle, you can have as many reaches as you please. You can keep reaching until you run out of money for application fees, or your school just won't send another copy of your secondary school report, or you can't stand to write another damn "Why [name of college]?" essay.</p>

<p>But if you don't have a safety or two that you feel sure you can get into, and you know you could afford to attend, and you think you'd have a reasonable shot at being happy and successful there, then your college list is dangerously incomplete.</p>

<p>Could you please tell me which of the schools are reaches and matches?</p>

<p>If you're a CA resident, I'd say UCLA can be considered a borderline safety school. It looks like you have a legitimate shot at almost all of the schools you have listed, with the exception of maybe the ivies, which are always reaches. You should definitely consider applying to at least one or two more in-state schools, as these are a great option financially.</p>

<p>Yeah, I'm from Cali - but that's precisely why I don't want to apply for the UCs because they give extremely poor aid.</p>

<p>I'd say UCLA is a definite match and not a safety, particularly with your stats. Are you ELC eligible (top 9% of your class)? If so, then your safety becomes the UC(s) that they offer "auto-acceptance" to (some strings attached). The aid at the UC's isn't bad. My S got over $16,000 in merit-based aid and will be attending Berkeley in the Fall.</p>

<p>Jshain, sorry if this appears arrogant, but how is a 2150 and 3.8 GPA considered a "match" for UCLA, when the averages are clearly lower?</p>

<p>Because course rigor, a.k.a. taking full advantage of the AP's offered, is also extremely important for UCLA, and you have only taken 6 out of 11. UCLA is not a reach for you, nor is it a safety. Therefore, it is a match.</p>

<p>Also, your GPA might be a tad below their average.</p>

<p>It's pretty much impossible to take all the APs in my school. AP Physics C and AP Chem require prerequisites in the honors versions of the class and AP env sci. is a joke to adcoms The only APs I truly missed out on were AP Eng (I took the ap exam for it w/o the class due to scheduling problems and received a 4, if that makes up for it?) and AP Calc (this hurts pretty bad probably.. but there's a precalc requisite) I will be explaining this in my app, if that helps?</p>

<p>Even if you do try to explain it, the fact remains that you didn't take as many AP's as you could. AP Physics and Chem are somewhat excusable, but English is not. Calculus is half-excusable, but you still should've taken advantage of Algebra I while in middle school.</p>

<p>Again, UCLA is not a reach for you, so don't be too hard on yourself. But with your course rigor, it is not a safety.</p>

<p>The stat averages will also appear lower because you also must take into consideration "hooked" applicants, athletes in particular but also URM's, who typically lower the academic profile numbers.</p>

<p>If you are ELC (you didn't confirm that you were and that you returned the paperwork) you are a low match. If you are not ELC, you are a mid match. You may also want to use the link below, click on "Custom Profiles", answer a few questions, and enter up to 3 "characteristics" at a time to see what the UC admit rates are for someone with your profile:</p>

<p>University</a> of California: StatFinder</p>

<p>OP, if you legitimately couldn't get more AP's because of schedule issues or pre-reqs, you are fine. You can explain, very briefly, under Addl Info. Chances are, your hs will be known to the adcoms at these colleges- plus the hs will include a school profile, which usually explains much- sometimes even the avg number of APs that college-bound kids take.<br>
IMO, you are good for most here. WUSTL, Brown and Dartmouth are too competitive to project. Agree with Sikorsky, need more safeties. Write a great essay and don't bomb the "Why Us?" or similar.</p>

<p>You are likely an easy in at Skidmore- they can offer very good aid--BUT, it depends on your particular need, as they calculate it. You need to be sure you are doing your finaid homework.</p>