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Chance me, rising senior looking at top tier schools

TrapNumenTrapNumen Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
On the Common App, I currently have safety/mid-tier schools of UVA, UMI, Case Western, and OSU.
My reach schools are Princeton, Penn, UChicago, WashU, and I may add Dartmouth.

ACT: 35 Composite; Reading: 35, English: 36, Science 35, Math: 33, Writing: 7
SAT Subject Tests: Awaiting scores for Math II and US History (I expect mid 700s, 720-780 most likely)
Class Rank: 5th (as of sophomore year, most likely will have improved)
GPA: Unweighted: 3.86 Weighted: 4.20 (As of the end of Junior year, will improve by the end of senior year)
Course Load: Most rigorous path offered at my high school, I have take 3 APs (will take 4 additional my senior year) of 8 possible APs
APs: US History (5), Art History (5), Physics 1 Algebra Based (4)

-Honor Roll (All 4 Years) (School Recognition, easy to achieve)
-WBL All Academic Team (Junior Year; received for having a 3.5+ GPA and 2+ Varsity Letters (varsity letters must be athletic, thus does not include things like band or quizbowl)) (Regional Recognition, 6/220 kids in my grade achieved this)
-National Honors Society (Junior and Senior Years; does not actually meet until Senior Year, so possibility for President/Secretary Positions, but that will most likely be after I submit my application) (School Recognition, about 30/220 kids in my grade achieved this)
-National Merit Scholar Commended (Junior Year; Commended is questionable, I had an index of 218, the cut off last year for Semi-Finalist in OH was 217 so possibility of Semi-Finalist, this will be known in time for application) (National Recognition)
-AP Scholar (Junior Year) (National Recognition)

10 Activities on Common App (In Order):
1. Summer Research- Currently in progress at Ohio Northern University in the pharmacy department, researching substances which disrupt the cell cycle and how to induce apoptosis in melanoma cells without affecting surrounding healthy cells. I will receive a $300 stipend, as well as an award from ONU.
2. Supervisor at Summer Camp- For kids ages 5-9, teach self-defense, public/animal/home/gun safety (125 Hours)
3. Soccer- Varsity Letter sophomore year (JV freshman year)
4. Science Olympiad- CoCaptain, all 4 years of high school, advanced to state and won various medals at the regional level
5. Volunteer Club- Secretary, 3 years of high school; fundraise and organize community events
6. TEAMS- 3 years of high school, unsure of exact results but always 1st or 2nd at regional level
7. Chess League- 3 years of high school, Supervisor/Coach, volunteer to teach chess to kids first Saturday of every month for 3 hours at a time
8. Cross-Country- 2 years (CoCaptain Senior Year), team has won districts every year, 2 Varsity Letters
9. Piano- Took lessons until I was a teen, have been self teaching ever since
10. Spanish Club- 3 years, most likely will be an Officer my Senior year

Additional Info:
I live in a rural Ohio town and attend public school with 220 kids in my grade currently (historically the senior class graduates with about 180 kids, the grade above me who just graduated started the year with 244 and ended with 186 I believe... for approx. class size on the Common App I put 220)
Gender: Male
Race: White and Asian (mixed)
As I said, I've taken the most rigorous course possible at my school (it is impossible to take all 8 APs due to scheduling conflicts), my senior year will be: AP Calc, AP Chem, AP English, AP Spanish, Anatomy, and US gov
As for GPA, I don't know of anyone at my school who has ever graduated with a 4.0 unweighted, my class valedictorian is sitting at about 3.95, which is the usual GPA of the valedictorian
To compensate for my low ACT writing, I'm enrolling in an online class to help improve my writing (that ACT is from the beginning of junior year, and my writing also improved over the course of my junior year)

Will apply Early Action everywhere possible, but will not apply restrictive early action or early decision.

Replies to: Chance me, rising senior looking at top tier schools

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 1,983 Senior Member
    @TrapNumen You have good chances for your reaches. Out of your reaches only Chicago offers EA, but since they have started having ED I/II as well, EA does not give you a significant boost there (the boost lies in their ED now).

    Applying SCEA or ED to your first choice (if you have a first choice by the time you apply), might be a good strategy, it can provide a substantial boost. If you are worried about financial aid, the ED contract is not binding if you get a worse FA package than you have indicated that you needed so you are free to apply to more schools RD. As for SCEA, it is not binding to begin with.
  • Harpguy2022Harpguy2022 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    I would say these schools are in reach, but not garuntees. You fall into the large pool of excellent applicants! That being said, you'll be fine wherever you go! It just might not be the place you "think" is ur best choice
    Chance back?
  • TrapNumenTrapNumen Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    Thank you! I'm trying to decide whether to apply ED to Penn or restrictive EA to Princeton, I think I would have a reasonable chance of getting into Penn (especially with ED), yet I like Princeton the most, and am fearful that if I should apply and get accepted to Penn ED, then I will also get into Princeton regular and be regretful that I am going to Penn over Princeton (not that regretful since Penn is an amazing school, but I would prefer Princeton).
  • glittervineglittervine Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    UVA is NOT a safety for out of state applicants. I'm assuming UMI refers to Michigan, so also not a safety. From what little I know of Case Western, they don't like to be used as a safety, so that's risky too if you don't show interest.

    While your stats are good, the schools you're looking at are very difficult to get into. You should look at some matches and safeties to find one you would enjoy attending if you get rejected from all your reaches (which is possible). Even if you love OSU, it's always nice to have options at the end of admission season.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    The fact is that UVA has a middle 50% ACT range of 27-31, you have a 3.86/35, UVA will accept you. It is a match/safety for you.....so many people defend there alma maters/state schools with ridiculously high esteem. UVA is a great school but if you apply, and you put some effort into your app, you most certainly will be accepted. Having said that I never advocate paying OOS tuition for ANY public school. Not worth it.
  • glittervineglittervine Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    @CU123 I just think the OP should be realistic.

    UVA's OOS acceptance rate was 23% for the class of 2020 (versus 41% for IS), so the claim that OP would "most certainly" be accepted is unreasonable. Yes, he has good stats, but UVA, like many schools, takes a holistic approach. The average ACT range includes in-state students, for whom it's much easier to gain admission. It's a good option and I definitely think OP should apply if he's interested, but it is not a safety.

    Side note, they meet 100% of financial need even for out-of-state students. UVA and UNC-Chapel Hill are the only public universities I know of that do this.
  • Muad_dibMuad_dib Registered User Posts: 547 Member
    I agree with @glittervine , UVA isn't a safety for any OOS student. Maybe a match at best.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,853 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    UVA and Michigan are not safety schools.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    I figured some wouldn't like there favorite school being labeled a safety, but I stand by the idea that this OP would be accepted if they apply with a reasonable amount of effort.

    Again the concept that a school is always a reach, match, or safety is bogus. With a few exceptions it's the applicants profile that determines reach/match/safety.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,853 Senior Member
    I have no attachment to UVA or Michigan, and it's very possible that this student will be accepted. They should not, however, be treated as safety schools.... especially for an OOS student.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 4,211 Senior Member
    edited July 17
    "I think I would have a reasonable chance of getting into Penn (especially with ED), yet I like Princeton the most, and am fearful that if I should apply and get accepted to Penn ED, then I will also get into Princeton regular and be regretful that I am going to Penn over Princeton."

    First, be careful with your expectations. Both are very reachy schools.

    Also, if you are admitted to Penn ED you can't apply to Princeton at all, and if you have submitted your app prior to the ED decision, you are required to withdraw it.

    I also agree that neither UVA nor Michigan are safeties for OOS students, and I have no attachment to either school whatsoever.
  • TrapNumenTrapNumen Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    I've been having trouble on deciding on safety schools or schools that would be slightly above that. Lots of people have been commenting on me saying that UMich and UVA were my safety schools, and I think I failed to explain myself. OSU is my safety school. It's the only one, because I know that I will get in. However, I'm not a huge fan of OSU (should I get rejected from everywhere else I would be content with going there, but if I get in to any other school I will go there over OSU), and schools like UMich and UVA are schools that I believe that I have a high chance to get into, and are schools that should I only get accepted to say UVA and OSU, I would choose UVA. In the same pool with UVA and UMich, I'm thinking about applying to Case Western, UPitt (honors program, multiple kids from my school have gone to UPitt for honors), and a few others of that tier if I can find more I'd be okay with. The idea here is that I'll apply to a few Ivies (Penn and Princeton, both more or less shots in the dark), and then have another tier (WashU and Vanderbilt, where I would be very happy with going), followed by a lower tier (The safety school being OSU and schools like UVA and UMich being schools that I would much rather attend that OSU. I don't care/expect to get accepted to all the schools in the less desired tier, I just have them because the chance that if I apply to say Case, UMich, UVA, and UPitt and not get accepted to any is a lower chance than me getting into both Ivies).

    If anyone is still reading this for the chance me part, I think I'll replace Spanish Club with volunteering at the hospital (even tho it was only for the summer before senior year) mainly because despite holding office in Spanish Club I don't really care about it (it was just for fun) and at the hospital I work in the pathology lab and with the histotechs which I feel would do more to set me apart from other applicants.
  • glittervineglittervine Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    @TrapNumen I hear you. Typically the tier between reaches (the Ivies you're applying to) and safeties (OSU) is called matches. UMich and UVA could be high matches.

    You said that you're "not a huge fan of OSU," which is concerning. You should keep looking for a safety you love. With your stats, you should look into merit aid and see if you can find a school that is more appealing to you.
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