What are my chances at UVA, Princeton, Columbia, and UPenn?

GPA: 4.5 weighted, 4.0 unweighted
Class Rank: valedictorian (1st)
SAT: 1340

I am FULLY AWARE that I should not have sent my SAT score. I only did so because it was 210 points above average and because I (for some odd reason) thought it would give me an advantage.

I am a Governor’s School student and I am also graduating a year early. I also have a Career Studies Certificate of Mathematics and Science from my local community college

Please note that my school doesn’t offer many AP classes at all and the ones that are offered are not the most rigourous. However, my Governor’s School program is entirely comprised of Dual Enrollment courses, specifically STEM courses.

I come from a very small, southern school. My graduating class is 157 and very little students go off to four year universities. I’m likely the only student applying to some of the colleges listed. The average SAT at my score is around 1130 I think.

I’m also one of about 10 or so hispanics at my school.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll have taken DE Chemistry and II, DE University Physics I and II, DE Calculus I and II, DE Statistics, DE Pre Calculus I and II, DE Research (course made by the program), DE ITE (basically how to use microsoft products). I’ve taken two Governor’s School courses from a previous high school that were basically World History I and II. Every other class has been honors that was taught at the honors level.


• Member of Robotics Club

• Created STEM Club

• Member of Beta Club

• Member of National Honor Society

• only member of my school in my community college’s honor society, Phi Beta Kappa

• I did Covid-19 relief by busking at my local parks to donate money and canned food to my local food bank, did this entirely on my own initiative (wasn’t through a club or organization) - I run an online Smartphone repair/refurbishment store

I offered a free tutoring service to fellow students in DE physics, calculus, and chemistry

•I did a summer internship with my physics professor at my community college

I really haven’t received any honors besides acceptance into two Governor’s School programs and an award in spanish III freshman year. I would have had another award or two from my governor’s school but my ceremonies got cancelled.

I also got deferred from UVA early action. Figured I’d just throw that out there. I’d be interested in having someone look over college essays as well.

Congratulations on your achievements.

I can’t chance you, but all those schools are reaches, and the UVA deferral not a great indicator of future outcomes, but of course acceptances don’t always move together. Have you applied to at least one affordable safety?

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I agree. But even if you had a 1600 sat I’d make the same comment. Every year you read horrors of the best of the best getting in nowhere because they only applies to the top 20. They are a stretch for anyone including perfect students.


Yes, yes of course. I’ve gotten into Ohio State, Stony Brook, South Florida, and Florida State. I will likely be attending Stony Brook


Are you in-state at UVA?

Princeton, Penn and Columbia are reaches for most so it’s difficult to predict these. They each accept some valedictorians every year but it’s not guaranteed.

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You try to do the maximum in your environment and that matters! Context is key, you definitely have a shot, depending on your essays and how well-knit the story was! Good luck xx

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Yes, i am

I would be surprised if UVA would not admit an in-state valedictorian. I think the deferral makes no sense.

Lots of high stat, high GPA instate kids. Can’t accept them all.

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You would have had a shot at these schools if you didn’t submit your SAT score. But since you did, I’m not hopeful.

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Yeahhh kind of how I feel to. I simply didn’t know. Not the best excuse but it is what it is. I don’t feel like I have much else to make up for the low sat. I’m a URM and some of my essays are good, but I don’t know how good in retrospect. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts

I completely agree with you. The original poster should have gotten into U Va. It’s not as if his were a tiny private school with 12 kids in a grade. First in his class, reached for every advanced educational opportunity available to him. URM.

Giobrown34, if I were in your shoes, and assuming that you would prefer U Va over Stony Brook, I would go talk to your guidance counselor, and also to the principal at your school. See if the principal can call the admissions office at U Va to lobby on your behalf. He may be able to sing your praises, to convince them to take you in the regular admissions round. He can point out to them that the best predictor of future academic achievement is your past record of academic achievement - which is perfect! You weren’t rejected - you were deferred, so all is not lost. Apparently the leading prep schools do this all the time for their students. The fact is that you will do well wherever you wind up, but I suspect that U Va is the most economical option for you, since you’re in-state. Virginia has 386 public schools. UVa’s average class size is over 4000. It would seem to me that U Va has room to admit EVERY in-state public school valedictorian!

I agree, your chances would have been better had you not submitted that SAT. But I also suspect that you are not benefiting from the same kind of application coaching that some other students receive, or you would have known that. The admissions committee should have been able to see past that. Your extremely high record of academic achievement at your high school and community college predict the same at U Va.

Wishing you the best of luck, wherever you wind up. You will do fine anywhere you go.


Is it known if UVA admits only a small amount of applicants early and defers many?

I’m sure UVA turned someone down for a reason. Admissions is holistic. Maybe the EC were not what the school deemed highly. Being in the NHS, for example, to most schools is meaningless. Starting a STEM club is solid but was it explained? Maybe, to no fault of the students, it was the lack of rigor in school. Maybe his recs. weren’t top notch or his essays weren’t good. None of us could no that - so I don’t think you can make the statement - you should have gotten in. UVA is not a “target” for anyone - in my opinion. It’s a stretch for all. A target for this student might be like Wake Forest or Rochester or Miami or BU. A safety would be VA Tech / JMU for in-state.

In your case, yes OSU, Stony Brook, S. Florida and FSU are all great schools - and congrats on your desire to go to Stony Brook. If UVA comes through, then it’s all gone. But if Stony Brook is a fall back - and they’re probably giving you $$, you’re in good shape either way. It’s a great school.

Although UVA is one of the most difficult publics and would not be considered a safety for most applicants, for in-state applicants, for an in-state valedictorian, wouldn’t it be somewhere in between a safety and a reach?

I still think the above applicant will have a good chance at acceptance.

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Has anyone from your high school have been admitted to UVA previously?

Yes, people less academically strong than me too. If I’m being honest, I don’t like UVA. I have my reasons