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Chance me for these T-20 Universities

benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hi! I'm graduating from high school in 2020 and am applying to a total of 16 schools this year as most of them are reaches.

Early Action:
- University of Michigan (Match I think? Could be a reach since out of state)
- Univeristy of Massachusetts Amherst (State school, safety)
- Princeton University (obviously a reach and my very top choice)

Regular Decision:
- Tufts University (Match? I think)
- Johns Hopkins (Reach, one of my top choices)
- Georgetown (Reach but my interview went really well, one of my top choices)
- Cornell (Reach, one of my top choices)
- UPenn (Reach, one of my top choices)
- Brown (Reach)
- Yale (Reach, one of my top choices)
- William & Mary (Match)
- Fordham University (Safety, free app)
- Boston College (Match)
- Lehigh University (Match I think? I don't know much about it)
- Duke (Reach, I don't know much about it but I'd love to go there)

I'm interested in biology/pre-med with a focus in neuroscience but I also want to continue studying Spanish.

Please chance me for my top schools (Princeton, UPenn, Johns Hopkins especially)

GPA: 4.38 weighted and 4.08 unweighted (my school's GPA is kinda weird so that probably means nothing, mostly As and A+s tho and a few A-s, my GPA my junior year was a 4.47 so I think my freshman year is weighing me down)
SAT: I'm not submitting it, but I took it twice and my highest was a 1420
ACT: 34
SAT Subject Tests: Biology (730), still have to take Math Level II and Literature in November
AP Exams: AP World (5), AP Eng Lang (5), AP Bio (4). This year I'm taking AP Calc BC, AP Eng Lit, AP Spanish, and AP US History

- Wind Ensemble french horn player since the 5th grade, section leader. I've made all of my district concerts and been first chair at those and made All-States last year. Played a solo at Carnegie hall. I've gotten many band awards as well. I've reached out to UPenn, Princeton, and Cornell band directors and they all said they'd love to hear my supplement. Talked on the phone with Cornell band director and it went well, also am playing live for the Princeton horn professor in November at his house
- French horn private lesson teacher
- NHS, Spanish NHS Officer
- Multicultural Club Co President
- Volunteer tutor for children with learning disabilities
- Work at a snack bar 3 days a week
- Work as a model (have walked in Boston Fashion week and Style Week)
- Many different volunteering clubs at my school
- JV Indoor and Outdoor Track (10, 11)
- Varsity Crew (9)
- Two summer service trips

- AP World History and English SUMMA Award (awarded by my teacher for academic excellence, both 10)
- Smith College Book Award (11, given to top 5% in grade)
- High Honor Roll (9,10,11,and on track for 12)
- NHS and SNHS if that counts
- Wind Ensemble Most Valuable Player (11), and Rookie of the Year (9)
- All state french horn as mentioned earlier, Senior Districts (9, 10, 11, and on track for 12), even did Junior districts in middle school and was the first chair in 7 and 8 grade

My essays I think are very strong as I've always been a good writer.
Georgetown interview went really well, but I haven't interviewed anywhere else yet.
Am just hoping my live audition for Princeton will go well.

Let me know where you think I'm at! Especially am curious to see my chances of getting into Princeton as it is my dream. They don't take many from my school either. Thanks!
136 replies
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Replies to: Chance me for these T-20 Universities

  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    *15 not 16 schools.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9254 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Your list is extremely reach heavy (U Mich and Tufts are reaches, not matches).

    This is also a very long list. Why apply to schools that you don't know much about? Hard to craft a good application if you don't know about the school.

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  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I know my list is very reach heavy, but I have not explored many safeties besides my state school because I hope that at least one will accept me? Who knows.

    Many kids with similar/worse stats from my schools have gotten into Tufts so I classified it as a match (as well as UMich). But I guess nowadays all schools are reaches.

    My list is long because there are so many schools I want to go to and I am horrible at committing to anything :/ I research each school as I do the supplement to make sure the application is catered to them.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3668 replies51 threads Senior Member
    Could you please explain a bit more about how you got a live audition with Princeton? Did the admissions department set this up? Or was this your initiative?

    Its a good sign, but I'm not sure what the admissions committee will say about this. The biggest boost will be from a coach with official athletic recruit status. But I've never heard of additional weight given to students with other talents. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but just curious.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3668 replies51 threads Senior Member
    ....also am playing live for the Princeton horn professor in November at his house

    This is also surprising. As a alumni admissions interviewer, we are instructed never to bring students into our homes. Please make sure you bring someone along with you (parent, etc).
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2796 replies8 threads Senior Member
    UMass is a good safety if all else fails. The list is very top-heavy. Remember that even if you get into a reach school, financial aid results might not go as expected. I recommend against choosing a school based on rankings, simply because they're useless. A selective school doesn't mean the classes are better or more rigorous, in fact the opposite is often true. Big research universities hire top researchers and teaching is an afterthought.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35303 replies399 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Please realize that the AP4 in bio could be an issue, as well as the 730. It's a matter of the competition, especially from MA. What science this year, what sciences overall?And no math-sci ECs? Tough for the reaches. How close are you to Boston, where the competition will be hardest?

    And, "horrible at committing to anything" is a problem. For your own benefit, review the target list, see how you match what they want, other than stats. We parents easily think this is more than "want." Wanting to try. You should consider dropping some reaches, in order to focus on the best matches. You'll need to nail the app/supps and provide a solid Why Us? (Some ask, specifically. Some look to the supp answers to see what you really know about what matters to them.)

    Would you be thrilled to go to UMass?

    Use this time wisely.
    And don't even hint on the app that you have trouble committing. It's one thing to have dual interests, another to seem to jump around in thinking.
    edited October 2019
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Several of the reaches on OP’s list (Cornell, Hopkins, Princeton) are pretty well-known grade deflators. Which is not ideal for a pre-med.

    Medical school will be expensive as well. UMass-Amherst is quite the underrated school and not a bad option to have.
    edited October 2019
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  • brown2024brown2024 152 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Emory? they will value your band experience.
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  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I got the live audition by emailing the Horn professor and Orchestra director there. The professor said he would be happy to hear me play live (as the director was very busy) and my parent is going with me. I didn't even ask to have an audition, I simply let them know I was interested and said I would be submitting a supplement. He offered, which I guess might mean something.

    But after reading these posts I'm not feeling too confident about any of my reaches. I should have been less hopeful lol. I was very disappointed with my 4 on the AP Bio exam considering I got A+s every term as well as my 730 but it is what it is (I didn't exactly study for the subject test and I took it 3 months after I took the class...bad decision). Also, there aren't any science ECs offered at my school (I know some schools have Science National Honor Society or something like that) and I don't have any flashy research positions I guess. Basically what I've gathered from this is that I am screwed lol. I really don't love UMASS... the campus is not my thing as well as the size. I know it's a great school but it's just not the environment I am looking for.

    I considered Emory, but Georgia is very far from home. Maybe I should reconsider.

    Thanks for the UMich tips! I'm going to rewrite my supplement based on the advice because I am not happy with it.

    Overall, I regret posting this. I have 0 hope now.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    Since it has a good music program, would Rochester fit the bill for pre-med? It is less of a reach and can be targeted. Case Western as well.

    A 4 on the AP Biology test is not a bad score at all. Remember that only about 10% will get a 5 on the test.
    edited October 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35303 replies399 threads Senior Member
    If your school doesn't offer sci ECs or math team, academic bowl, etc, they'll review you in that context. Any of your vol work in the health field?

    About UMass Amherst. Everyone I know who went there, young and older, leads with how big the campus is. But they all then say they enjoyed it.

    And don't forget the amazing consortium, classes at Amherst, Smith. MHC.
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  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    If I were to remove one of the colleges on my list and add the University of Rochester, which would you advise I remove based on my pre-med goals and the fact that I have a ton of reaches already? I was thinking Boston College just because I'm not in love with it?

    Also, I don't think anyone's been brutally honest with me yet. What are my chances for Princeton? I know my ACT is above the average but that means nothing considering that's the case for most that apply. I'm white and upper-middle-class and the only "hook" I have would be my live audition. What really are my chances? I'm not ready to be crushed by a rejection :/
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9254 replies93 threads Senior Member
    The middle ACT scores are 33 - 35. Your 34 puts your square in the middle. https://admission.princeton.edu/how-apply/admission-statistics

    I think you are the average excellent applicant to Princeton. Last year the early action acceptance rate was 13.9%. I don't see your chances better than that.


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  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I guess I'm not the best standardized test taker... but do you think my 34 will hurt my chances? For example at Cornell, they said they look for it to be in a certain range and then they don't care. Obviously can't generalize for every school, but those are my thoughts. I only took the ACT twice (the first time I had a major medical issue in the dead middle of the test...had to leave early and ended up with a 32 somehow). Should I take it again before the regular decision deadline to see if I could raise it to a 35? My reading and writing scores were both 35 and then my math and science were 32... maybe science isn't the career for me. I really don't know at this point.

    Thanks for all the replies! This helps me a lot and really puts everything into perspective.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24104 replies19 threads Senior Member
    If you are happy with UMass, I think it is a good safety and that you will get in. Go for it on the other schools. Whether they are a match or a reach doesn't really matter as they are all hard to get into so even matches aren't all accepted.
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  • benandjerrys101benandjerrys101 138 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the tips. Both my sisters go to UMASS Amherst and Ive been there a lot...I just dont think its for me. If it is the only school I get into, I will not be happy. But I cant seem to find any safeties I love because Im the kind of person that needs to have validation that I am successful (which I would get by going to a T-20 school). Its whats brought me this far...its probably a toxic trait but what can you do. I know that there are soooooo many successful people at non T-20 schools but I feel like if I dont go to one then all of my work will have been for absolutely no reason. Thats why my list is so long and thats why they are basically all reaches (which I just learned).
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