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Chances of getting into Yale (an Ivy League) or top school?

CatherinaJ10123CatherinaJ10123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
I’m currently a sophomore in high school about to finish the 1st semester. During freshmen year I was in the Double Honors Program (preparation for Junior/ Senior AP classes). I got only 1 B and the extracirriculars I did were 2 Ballet classes a week, Piano once a week, Contemporary Book Club, and The School Newspaper. This year I’m in the IB program so now my classes are PDP.
My extracurricular activities are,

Writers Guild Club (creative writing), Slam Poetry Club (Chicago Poetry), The Librarians Book Club, 4 Ballet classes,
and Piano.

The classes I’m taking is Chemistry PDP, English 2 PDP, Spanish 2 PDP, Pre-Cal-Trig- Alg2 PDP, A.P. US History PDP, Intermiedate Treble Choir, and Drivers Ed/Swimming PE. I currently have 3 B’s and 4 A’s. Let’s say I would end up with 2 B’s or 1 B for the rest of sophomore year? Would those B’s affect my chances of getting into Yale or just a top university?

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Replies to: Chances of getting into Yale (an Ivy League) or top school?

  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,012 Senior Member
    The top schools are not just looking for a bunch of A's and a bunch of EC's. They are looking for people who have potential to accomplish significant things in the future and who will be an asset to the school while attending. There are hundreds of schools that would give you a fantastic education and a great experience. Why are you rejecting the 99% of schools in favor of one that rejects more than 90% of its applicants? There are twice as many valedictorians graduating from US high schools than there are slots in the freshman class of the Ivy Leagues (combined). Are you the most accomplished person of all the people you know who are your age? If not and even if so, it is probably best to focus on doing well and engaging in activities that seem valuable and worthwhile. Also, this blog applies even if you have no interest in MIT or STEM-true for all interested in the very competitive schools. Just insert Yale when it says MIT: https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/
  • RayMantaRayManta Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    edited January 10
    The top schools reject many students with 4.0 GPAs and test scores in the upper 1%. They also accept students with non-perfect grades and lower scores. There are many factors and where the top schools are concerned it's impossible to predict. Just do the best you can, and the chips will fall where they do.

    I'll add two things:

    (1) the IB diploma is universally regarded as the gold standard for rigor. Many schools admit students with IB diplomas at a higher rate than non-IB students. A self-reported study was conducted roughly ten years ago and you can see these differences here: https://www.rjuhsd.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=13340&ViewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f-a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=16706&PageID=7234. Click the link and it is the middle document. As far as I can tell, this is the only place where this study still exists on the web. The numbers are outdated, but you can judge the level of preference by different schools.

    (2) Because you are focused on college so early, you have the ability to really increase your chances at a top school by developing and exhibiting a passion. My understanding is that you don't have to do cancer research to get into a top school--if your interests lie elsewhere, you just have to demonstrate that you are pursuing it. For example, if you write poetry, try to get it published or perform it (are you in Chicago? Go to the Green Mill [if minors are allowed] and introduce yourself to Marc Kelly Smith, the founder of slam poetry, who is an amazing teacher and great guy and might be able to help you, or at least find a spot for you on stage). Form a poetry club at school and arrange for their works to be (self)published in an annual collection. etc. Think ahead and try to find ways to stand out when it's time to complete applications. Again--it doesn't have to be Nobel-prize worthy, you just need to demonstrate how you pursue your passions. Good luck!
  • Darcy123Darcy123 Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I would really, really like to see an update of those numbers @RayManta 10 years seems like a lifetime in college admissions (particularly when I was looking at how far some of those universities acceptance rates have fallen). But it sure made me want to take a second look at Cornell.
  • RayMantaRayManta Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    I would, too! I've searched, and all I've been able to find is a list of about fifteen schools from a few years ago. To me, it isn't robust enough to be very useful.

    I think the best way to use that ten-year-old study is to focus on the relative numbers: did a school greatly prefer IB students, slightly prefer IB students, or show no preference, and assume that the same relative difference exists to their current overall admissions rate today.

    The other problem, of course, is that the numbers are self-reported by students. But, I think it's better than nothing. It's fascinating, for example, to see that the University of Rochester (my alma mater) accepts pretty much every IB diploma candidate, while other schools in its class don't seem to care nearly as much.

    If for no other reason, it's probably a great way to identify "safe" and "target" schools. If you're at the 50th percentile in GPA and test scores among admitted students, focus on the one that showed a preference for IB.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,949 Senior Member
    IB is not a magic ticket to college admissions. However, IB DP students have higher college admission rates than the general college applicant population because the IB DP students tend to be self-selected as the strongest students in their schools, since IB DP is often the most demanding course schedule in many schools.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,949 Senior Member
  • RayMantaRayManta Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    I'm not claiming it is a "magic ticket," just that the odds of admission are often better, but on a school-by-school basis. Some schools seems to show no preference, some a slight preference, and some a large one. Assuming that trends are the same today as they were when the data was collected, it can provide a decent roadmap for which schools to pursue among those where you otherwise are a decent, but not a strong candidate. It's just another data point that IB students should be aware of. I *suspect* that legacy status + IB at a particular school would be a terrific combo if you can pull it off.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,949 Senior Member
    RayManta wrote:
    I'm not claiming it is a "magic ticket," just that the odds of admission are often better, but on a school-by-school basis. Some schools seems to show no preference, some a slight preference, and some a large one.

    Or the difference is simply due to (self-)selection effects at the point of entry to IB DP, which often only get the strongest high school students in their high schools. Naturally, the strongest high school students have the highest admission rates, whether or not the most rigorous high school courses / curriculum that such students choose is IB DP or something else at their high school.
  • Darcy123Darcy123 Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    If you look at the data @ucbalumnus it looks like more than a correlation with strong students. Is it surprising to see Princeton's IB acceptance rate at 17% vs 11% - not at all - as you said, probably just pulling from a stronger pool. But when you see Cornell's 48% vs 27% it's a big enough jump to make you wonder. There were definitely a few outliers - Carnegie Mellon being the other one - 72% acceptance for full diploma candidates versus 38% Where Harvard didn't show any meaningful advantage at all 12% versus 11% Now it could still just be the cross section of applicants at the various schools and the relative depth of the application pool - but there were definitely a few that made me want to dig in deeper as it seemed more likely to be an admission team that has a preference IB diploma candidates.
  • RayMantaRayManta Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Right, we don't have enough of a breakdown to know exactly what caused the differences in admission rates--we are forced to draw assumptions that the raw stats and strength of ECs of both populations are the same, which may not be true. But as Darcy points out, some of the schools show a dramatic enough a difference to give one pause. At any rate, in a world where students are looking for every advantage they can to get into the best school they can, there's no harm in reading the data that way, to try to identify those schools that have a "soft spot" for IB candidates.

    There's no question that getting through the IB program without dropping out is a huge achievement. I see a lot of posters here who seem to discount it because they got through the program with a 3.0 or a 3.5, and if nothing else, the data should give them confidence and faith that to some extent universities will see through that and look at the overall rigor of the curriculum.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    I'm with @lostaccount. Why Yale?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,949 Senior Member
    RayManta wrote:
    Right, we don't have enough of a breakdown to know exactly what caused the differences in admission rates--we are forced to draw assumptions that the raw stats and strength of ECs of both populations are the same, which may not be true.

    Which is almost certainly not true.

    Consider this analogous example: suppose a high school has only two honors courses, AP English literature and AP calculus BC, which are the most rigorous courses in the high school. If you found that students who took both had better college admissions results than other students, would you say that those two AP courses have some sort of magic college admissions effect, or that the students in those two AP courses are generally stronger students to begin with?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 39,480 Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE:
    Right, we don't have enough of a breakdown to know exactly what caused the differences in admission rates-
    Which is almost certainly not true.
    OK, not the OP's question, so let's move on from this debate.
  • CatherinaJ10123CatherinaJ10123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    It’s been my dream college since I was a little kid. I know there are many competent students out there just like me and maybe with an even better application. I just wanted to know if having B’s (1-3 maybe) would affect my chances at a top university or just my dream school (Yale). I’m not just considering that university though. It’s just my #1 on the list.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,944 Senior Member
    Bs in itself would not be the main reason you didn't get in, especially if they're in challenging courses. Do you have any hooks like minority, legacy, first-gen in your family to attend college?
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