what are my chances at vassar/ wesleyan/ oberlin? also how good is IR at these schools?

hi! i’m planning on applying ED this fall- i’m thinking vassar, but wes, oberlin, and bryn mawr are also high on my list

-white, female, upper class. i go to a large and diverse public high school in the midwest

-3.88 UW GPA, 4.61 W-- i got a 4.0/ 5.0 W junior year. my grades have been on a steep upward slope since a rough freshman year.

-IB diploma candidate

-APHG (5), AP chem (2) (yikes), AP world (4, self-studied in 9th grade), self studied AP gov this year- i have no idea how i did.

-33 ACT (36 R, 35 W, 32 S, 27 M). i am BAD at math… planning on studying and retaking the math section this fall, aiming for a superscore of 34

-i am tight with my latin teacher. i think he will write me a very good letter of rec

-i’ve done policy debate since 7th grade. i am not that good at it per-say, but I am dedicated. next year, i will be the team captain. won a 2nd place state-wide award freshman year (have not been able to top that- i peaked young!).

-notable: i won an annual comedic debate award that is highly coveted in my debate community. this is the only “”’’“major”’’"" award i have won outside of, like, regular debate tournament awards and one academic school level latin award

-other ECs:

  • i spent all of junior year tutoring at my local library for 2 hours/ week. this is not super special, but i am planning on mentioning how my volunteer work is important to me because i am a socialist and felt a need to help immigrants and refugees especially after trump was elected (almost all the people at the library were 1st or 2nd gen immigrants)
  • i did model UN in 10th grade, and model assembly in 11th

-i coach a middle school debate team- taught some youngsters about political theory, very fun!

-i was also on the speech team, although i was never that into it and didn’t win any awards or anything

-amnesty international club, since its establishment this year.

-i feel like my ECs are sorely lacking, so i have started a Medium blog where i am writing about politics and music. these are two things i am genuinely passionate about so i wanted something to show for it- is this a good use of my time? will admission officers be wowed by my poor attempts of emulating noam chomsky and pitchfork?

-i collect animal skulls. i’m learning arabic on duolingo. i have carefully cultivated my personality to please LAC admissions officers.

-i am a legacy at wesleyan- my mom went there

-i am planning on studying politics, philosophy, history, and international relations. what is the comparative quality of these programs at these schools?

sorry that this is super long! whew i’m a bit stressed about all this lol so thank you if u can help <3

All 4 are great colleges. It is hard to go wrong with any of them. Of the 4, I am most familiar with Vassar and Wesleyan (they were my daughter’s #1 and #2 choices). They are very similar and attract a common set of students. My daughter applied ED at Vassar.

Daughter is rising Sophomore at Vassar, majoring in Political Science with a double major/minor in either History or Media Studies or something else in the Social Sciences. Political Science and History at Vassar are fantastic. Very strong departments with great professors ! Other very strong departments (in the Humanities/Social Sciences) are English, Theater, Philosophy, Economics. Vassar does not not have International Relations, but they do have a International Studies major - the pages on their website for International Studies have a lot of information. The International Studies major is quite customizable to fit your interests. One thing that sets Vassar apart is that a lot of courses at Vassar will be inter-disciplinary in nature - certain courses in Political Science will draw heavily from Women’s Issues, Immigration etc. And they offer the traditional courses in political theory and government as well.

My daughter has been very happy at Vassar socially. It has a very open, accepting student population. The students generally lean well left of center (this was something my daughter was looking for), the reputation of them being “artsy” is not off the mark - lot of students involved in things like improv, standup, sketch comedy, music. Daughter made a lot of friends very quickly. It has just been a wonderful experience all round for her so far. She can’t wait to go back in August.

Impossible to reply to “chance me” questions. But your stats seem in the ballpark for all 4 colleges, it would help if you could improve your ACT score a bit obviously. Vassar acceptance rates are lower for women (but you know that already). Applying ED would definitely improve your chances, and would make your senior year stress free once you hear back in December (ED1) or Jan (EDII). Both Vassar and Wesleyan offer ED1 and 2. If those are your top 2, you could apply to one ED1 and the other ED2 (my daughter’s plan).

How is a 33- equivalent to being bad at math?
I was a previous Wesleyan student- have now transferred to a comparable LAC-
but I feel like saying you got a 33 and you are bad at math feels both self-gratifying and self-inflating…

Honestly please don’t even bother, its beyond offensive to students of color who have not had the economic/ social resources that white females such as yourself have had. Regardless or not of if you had test prep resources there are so many factors as to why certain students have a historical advantage over students of color when it comes to higher ed and standardized tests

Don’t listen to the naysayers here. Your stats and accomplishments look great. Being legacy will give you a huge boost. Wes would seem to be the logical choice for ED1. I’d be very surprised if you didn’t get in.

Why not save Vassar or others for ED2?

@leafraindcollege Poster got a 27 on math. Hopes to study and retake and improve the math score.

I agree - apply ED to Wes. Your GPA and test scores are well within the mid 50% for Vassar , and your ECs are absolutely fine.

While 27 is not as high as the rest of your ACT scores, it is not bad. Bad would mean “far below average”. since the average score on math ACT is 20.5, a 27 would place you at the 88th percentile. So doing better at the math ACTs than 88% of the students who too the ACTs is not “bad at math” by any conceivable metric.

and a 27 isn’t that “bad”!! I understand what she means, it may be —comparatively speaking—, and I hold myself to really high standards as well, but saying that is bad really just characterizes how insensitive people on this forum are to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sorry for the negative initial responses. You seem like a great applicant.

I was just pointing out how tone-deaf people can be on this site and how they don’t realize how privileged they are


it’s okay! i understand your criticism, but saying “you can’t be academically insecure because there are tons of poor non white people who could only hope to do as well as you on the ACT” isn’t as woke or insightful as you think it is, imo.

Um. I don’t know where to start. Some of these comments barely pass the TOS sniff test. Bottom line: your ACT score is not going to sink your chances at any LAC these days. Concentrate on your essays and make sure you have a financial and “fit” safety.

i got a 33 on ACT math not 32

What happened to UPS (reply #123 below)? Did you decide not to go there?