Where do I have a shot at admissions?

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I’ve been up at night for weeks stressing over options and how to fix my situation.

I’m a first generation college student who moved to Illinois from Eastern Europe at an early age.
My parents are self-made and own a successful business. I have an office job there this summer and part time for senior year. I don’t require financial aid, but I wonder if asking for it would have any impact on admissions.

I know my grades are low. They have a downward trend. I have mostly Cs for the end of junior year. I had emotional issues/depressive symptoms sophomore/junior year and everything went downhill. I felt this intense teen angst and started rebelling in various ways which made it worse. It’s nothing I can explain away and there’s no way to verify it. I feel like my future is dismal sometimes. My best option is to get As first semester. Will that improve my chances?


28 Composite
31 english, 26 math, 26 science, 28 reading, 9 for writing

Unweighted: 2.98
Weighted: 3.55
AP Micro-4
AP Macro-4
AP Government- 5
AP U.S. History- not out. I’m thinking a 3.
AP Environmental Science- Not out. I suspect a 4/5
mostly honors classes with the exception of math and english after sophomore year
Schedule for senior year includes AP Stats, AP Bio, and AP Psych

top 35 or 40% of the class


All four years. Placed at regional tournaments regularly.
Freshman- novice state champion and 7th place for speaker points.
Junior- partner and I placed in the top 20 in varsity state.
It’s my passion.

Model UN- not really involved but it’s on there for sophomore year.

I’m starting an Investment club senior year. Currently e-mailing the principal about the plans.

no community service yet.

I want to major in Economics, public policy, or finance. Math is a weak spot for me, but econ is so interesting.
My dream school is NYU, but I know I can’t get into Stern.
I also like Boston University, Northeastern, UCSB, and the University of Washington in Seattle. IU is great for finance but I don’t like the location & student body. I think I’ll have Depaul as a safety, IU, and reach for any good universities on the East/west coast.

Can the college confidential community give me any guidance?

Hey there! As a student just admitted into NYU’s class of 2019, I hope I can help… Yeah your situation is tough… having a 28 on the ACT isn’t ideal but it isn’t terrible… Your GPA, on the other hand, is inexcusably low… especially if you don’t have a good explanation for the drop. Don’t write about the drop in grades in your essay though… Use your essays to be creative and display your voice! You can explain yourself at a different part of the application (many people make this mistake). You NEED community service and you NEED leadership positions… Your AP scores, however, look great! Keep taking those classes if you’re doing well and keep racking up those good AP scores!! Unfortunately, I think NYU looks like a long shot for you… but definitely don’t give up! If it’s your dream school, there’s no harm in applying! You never know! Best of luck!

As an OOS applicant for the California UC’s, you need to calculate your UC GPA using only AP/IB courses for the extra honors points. http://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/
You need a minimum UC GPA of 3.4 to apply to UCSB. If you do not meet the minimum, your application will not be considered. Also it is highly unlikely, any UC will accept you with many C’s on your transcript. Senior grades are not considered for admissions for the California publics.
I wish you luck but you need to look to your in-state options first. Can your family afford your OOS options?

Do not even bother considering Stern. You might have an outside shot at NYU CAS, but that would be a reach for you. Stern is way out of reach. University of Washington is also probably out of reach for you. They waitlisted my son last year. He had a 3.3-3.4 unweighted GPA, but was in a full IB program, and his weighted GPA was over 4.0. He had a 31 ACT, 2060 SAT (1440 CR+M), and a very impressive extracurricular resume. They have become more selective every year. I would focus on your own state colleges. Look at Temple, and some less selective public universities in Midwest, West (not CA), and South. BU and Northeastern will be reaches, also. DePaul is probably a good option. Drexel might be in range. You should also look at Pace. They are a match (if not a safety) for you, with lots of opportunities in NYC financial industry. It is walking distance from Wall Street.

Other schools to look into if you still want to be in nyc would be baruch and fordham. Baruch actually does decently in wall-street recruiting if you perform very well there