What are my [physics/applied physics] chances for MIT, Stanford, Caltech & Ivies

US citizen
Household Income $120K

Other special factors
Graduating HS a year early at 17 (skipped 1st grade), 2X TEDx speaker

Intended Major(s)
Physics/Applied Physics

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
Class Rank - #1 (out of 532)
W HS GPA 4.63 (out of 5.0)
SAT 1570 (RW 770/800 Math)
ACT - 35

Public High School
Senior Year
Eng Lit & Comp, AP European Hist, AP Comp Sci A, AP Chemistry, Calc III
Dual Enrollment (State College) Second Year Physics classes (3credits ea.) Foundations of Modern Physics
Introduction to Programming and Scientific Computing (Python)

APs (13 total): AP Calc AB (5) AP Calc BC (5), AP Lang (5), AP Comp (5), AP US Hist (5), AP Physics C (5) AP Physics C: E&M (5), AP Stats (5), AP Human Geo (4), AP Comp Sci Principles (3)
Spanish - 3 yrs

National Merit Semifinalist
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Young Entrepreneur Award
AP Scholar with Distinction
Top 100 Child Prodigy Award - Entrepreneurs (India)

Created (founder/president) non-profit (501(3)(c)) that provides non-profits who support youth entrepreneurship with middle school programing that provides experiential learning in youth entrepreneurship (3yrs)
Founder of startup that the provides neighborhood teens gig economy opportunities for eco-friendly local delivery of packages.
Public Speaker on youth entrepreneurship to over 15,000 over several years, 2X TEDx speaker.
Contracted author (top 20 U.S. publisher) writing book for middle school audience on youth entrepreneurship and creating your own business (Pub date: Spring 2023)
TEDx Club founder/president
Schoolhouse.world Tutor

Reach: MIT, UChicago
Safety: CU Boulder

Reach: Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, John Hopkins, UPenn & Harvey Mudd

Mom - BA/MBA
Dad - HS/Navy Veteran

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You have too much identifying information in this post.

That said, you have a strong profile and will be competitive everywhere. Focus on strong essays. Good luck!


Agree. It’s very easy to find out your real identity from a couple of things you posted. I would strongly suggest you make it more generic.

That being said, you are, without a doubt, extremely competitive.

Good luck!


Thank you. I removed some info.

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Thank you for your reply. I removed some info.

That is quite the impressive HS career. Kudos to you!

Maybe I missed it, but what is your home state? Depending on where you are, you might want to add your state flagship public university as a safety, especially if they have an honors college. I only see one safety on your list (CU Boulder), and I recommend another safety (for example, UIUC is #9 in physics, and is less selective than lower ranked schools on your list). College admissions have become hyper competitive, especially at most of the schools on your list. All those schools will turn away well qualified candidates like you, and you do not want to have no seat when the music stops.

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Thank you for your reply and feedback. Colorado is my home state - that’s why CU Boulder is also has a good Physics program. I’ll look into UIUC. Again, thank you!

I will be shocked if you don’t get in to at least one of your reaches.


Impressive credentials! Agree with another comment about doxxing yourself. I was able to identify you in less than 2 minutes even with info apparently removed. I think you have a solid shot at all your reaches, assuming strong essays and LORs. For your RD applications, I would delete the Child Prodigy thing. A lot of winners are small children and you are now presumably 16. I think the concrete things you’ve done are far more compelling than something that could be seen as an overseas novelty show, and it affects the rest of the application since it looks like recognition hunting rather than following your passion. That’s my suggestion in terms of strategy in crafting the strongest application; your actual accomplishments are very impressive so I’d go with them. In terms of chances, no one’s are good at the top schools, but yours are as good as the best of them assuming that you are doing well in the dual enrolment physics classes, and have strong essays and LORs.


Wow, thank you for the thoughtful response. I didn’t seek the Child Prodigy thing, it came to me, but I see your point and will let it go. Thank you for your perspective, its appreciated.

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Actually,if you are completing HS after taking four years of HS classes, you aren’t graduating “early”. Early would be someone graduating after 11th grade. You are graduating on the younger side. That’s different. I believe.

As you know…you have. Bunch of Reaches and your one safety. As long as you would be happy at CO, go for it. You are a strong applicant. Hoping you have a couple of options to choose from at the end.


Good point! You’re correct, thank you!

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Have you applied for the Boettcher Scholarship that offers a full ride to any colleges and universities in Colorado? With your household income of $120K (and whatever assets), you’d be paying for your college, even your safety CU-Boulder. The Boettcher Scholarship can be your financial safety, which you can always decline should you be admitted to any of your target schools with the financial means to accept the admission offer.


Thank you for your comments and suggestion! Submitted the Boettcher application yesterday! Again, thank you!


Take Berkeley off your list, you will be admitted with no financial aid.
CU is obviously a shoe in
My guess is you will have 1 or 2 admits from the rest of the list depending on how well you write your essays.

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Thank you!

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I think you stand as good a chance as anyone to get into the schools on your list, and would be surprised if you wouldn’t get into any of your reaches. That said, however, the schools on your list are reaches for everyone and there are stellar candidates who don’t gain admission every year. If you were wanting to add an additional layer of likelies into your app (between CU and the others), you might want to consider Carnegie Mellon or U. of Rochester.


Thank you very much for the feedback! It’s appreciated.


You are an impressive candidate. This is a tough group when you list such reach schools but the responses are very positive given the uncertainty of admissions to these schools.

If feels like you are focusing on prestige by applying to your Ivy list instead of focusing on fit. They are not all the same. Have you visited? Or done research on the different physics programs? If you continue on this path you will be successful in life wherever you go. Focus the place you will completely thrive and a little bit less on “reputation” of school.

I thought about recommending CMU, but then looked up physics rankings. The Nerd Farm is not ranked as highly as the schools on his list, and it is notoriously stingy with aid. Now, if the OP were thinking about engineering or comp sci that would be a different story.

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