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Chance me for UCB, UCLA, Ivies - also open to recommendations!

aeatheraeather Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
Demographics: Mixed-race female (Pakistani, Indian, white), upper middle class, California, top-40 US private high school

Will not need financial aid

Intended Major: Neuroscience, possibly a minor in economics

GPA: 3.95 UW (school does not weight)

Rank: N/A (but top 5%)

SAT: N/A - 1460 on PSAT, should be commended but definitely not semifinalist

ACT: 34 Composite (35 E, 30 M, 35 R, 35 S, 10 E) on the first try but will retake in June to (hopefully!) bring math score up

SAT II: Have not taken, but will take Spanish, Lit, and Math II

School does not offer APs, but Honors courses should be weighted the same as APs

Honors Taken
(I've taken the hardest classes available & capped my honors all 3 years)
Freshman year: Honors Spanish 2, Honors Geometry

Sophomore year: Honors Spanish 3, Honors Algebra 2

Junior year: Honors English, Honors US History, Honors Precalculus, Honors Biology, Honors Spanish 4

Honors I will take

Senior year: Honors English, (Honors History is not offered), Honors Calculus, Honors Genetics (and I've finished the highest level of language at my school so will be taking an independent study of Spanish instead)

Work at UCSF Neuroscience Lab under Ph.D. student and mentor, aiding her in her project and designing my own research project about a specific enzyme that contributes to the maturation of stem cells in mouse brains. Medical applications for the procedure. Work 10-15 hrs/week during the year, and 40+ hrs/week during summer. Hopefully will get my research written up by August

Varsity Tennis (3 years)

Founder and President of SAME club - South Asian Middle Eastern alliance

Teacher's Assistant (2 semesters) for Metal and Wood Shop - teach students about machinery and aid them in building projects.

Pollworker in general and state elections - aid with ballots, etc.

SPCA - community service, 2 hrs/week at animal shelter helping socialize rescued dogs

I'm also running for treasurer but I may or may not get elected.

Awards: ...none... :/ probably National Merit Commended but that's it. Definitely the weakest part of my application, but I also haven't been involved in any activity (except tennis) that would provide me the opportunity for an award

Legacy: Dad went to Dartmouth undergrad, Columbia and Stanford for master's. Sister went to Georgetown. Mom went to undergrad college in India, master's at Yale and Stanford.

Colleges I'm considering at the moment:

Reach: UCLA, UCB, Harvard, Stanford, UPenn, Dartmouth, Brown, WashU, UChicago, possibly Pomona

Target: BU, UMich, UCSB, UCSD, Wellesley

Match: UC Davis/other UCs.

Preferences: I like cities the size of SF, where I'm from. Not a huge fan of NY or LA. Will def apply to UCLA though. I like Boston and DC the best of other cities. Weather... I don't really care, but I prefer cold over warm because I can't deal with hot weather. I also like snow. I want east coast if possible, although I am possibly looking at WashU in the midwest. Want out of California but still will apply to UC's for sure.

Replies to: Chance me for UCB, UCLA, Ivies - also open to recommendations!

  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,695 Senior Member
    Your stat is within the range for Umich admisssion, however, their OOS admission rate is around 20%.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Registered User Posts: 19,330 Senior Member
    edited May 13
  • aeatheraeather Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    My UC GPA is a 4.2. However, I've taken the hardest classes available to me at all times; my school caps honors for freshman and sophomores at 2, and juniors at 5. So I've taken only 9 honors in all, but have the most rigorous courseload available.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Registered User Posts: 19,330 Senior Member
    As long as you have taken the most rigorous HS schedule, you will not be penalized. Also, UC's only recognize some of the Honors courses for the weighting. Honors Biology is not weighed by the UC's but Honors Pre-Calc is weighted. I suggest you look up the UC approved courses for your HS on this website:


    Regardless, you look like a competitive applicant but UCB/UCLA are always tough admits. Definitely have 1-2 safety schools on your list and best of luck.
  • aeatheraeather Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    All the honors at my school are UC approved, but thanks so much for your help!
  • GumbymomGumbymom Registered User Posts: 19,330 Senior Member
    Wonderful that all Honor's classes are UC approved. I have found for my son's, nieces and nephew's HS's Honors courses that many were not UC approved that is why I sent the link. As long as your Honors courses are listed on that link as UC approved, you are in great shape.

    Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above:

    UCB: 42%
    UCLA: 54%
    UCSD: 87%
    UCSB: 85%
    UCD: 91%
    UCI: 94%
    UCR/UCM: 98%

    Best of luck with your applications.
  • PixelTomatoPixelTomato Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    I think you're a great match for UCLA by looking at your ECs and your GPA is very good too! My friend who got into UCLA says that they like students with lab work done (:
  • RenaissanceMomRenaissanceMom Registered User Posts: 1,041 Senior Member
    If you like Boston, I'd add tufts to your list.
  • ap012199ap012199 Registered User Posts: 1,624 Senior Member
    ^Tufts would be a good option; however, with an average accepted applicant's ACT score being 33, it is a reach for anyone. Their supplements will make or break your appplication.

    I also think you'd have a very strong chance of admission to Dartmouth if you applied ED. But if you enjoy being close to cities similar to SF, I would rule Dartmouth out.

    I visited WashU after being accepted and was not impressed with the surrounding area at all. It's a great school, though.

    I also visited Berkeley after being accepted and while I loved SF and the area around the school, the actual vibe I got on campus wasn't great; the school felt impersonal and much too large.

    Brown and Pomona are great, although not in the best locations.

    I visited Harvard after getting in with a mandatory gap year, and let's just say that it felt more like Disneyland than an actual university (tourists everywhere every day). I would recommend saving Harvard for grad school (they have a much more graduate-focused campus and culture anyway).

    I ended up not applying to Stanford after visiting because of the weird vibe I got while there, but that's just my personal experience.
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