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Academically, are my stats good enough for universities like WashU,Stanford, UCLA, UPenn , Cornell?

ioniz1908ioniz1908 13 replies5 threads Junior Member
I know there is way moreeee to college admission than just academics, but assuming my extracurriculars, LOR's, and essay are good, will my academics have much impact on me? I'm just a little worried about my UW GPA

UW GPA: 3.8
Weighted:4.4
ACT:36
SAT:1580
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Replies to: Academically, are my stats good enough for universities like WashU,Stanford, UCLA, UPenn , Cornell?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80236 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Unweighted 3.8 would not be an instant reject, but it is on the low side for unhooked applicants to super selective colleges.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2830 replies65 threads Senior Member
    I think an UW 3.8 is perfectly fine. They will, of course, look at which classes you took and the rigor of those classes, but your GPA is in the ballpark.

    A 3.8 in AP Calc, AP Chem, AP Physics C will be stronger than a 3.8 with just AP HUGE, AP Psych, and APES on the transcript.
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  • IvyCentralIvyCentral 9 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi ioniz1908,

    Your stats look great for all the schools you want to go for. But there are thousands of others who have similar and better stats than you. Simply put; grades are not the only thing that gets you accepted. And really depends if these grades came from tough coursework or the ezpz workload. What have you done to stand out? Answer that question?
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15290 replies1035 threads Senior Member
    Are you a CA resident? If not there is no financial aid for OOS students there. Can you afford to be full pay there?
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1956 replies32 threads Senior Member
    I think an UW 3.8 is perfectly fine.

    Stanford’s average admitted student GPA is 3.95 with 96% at 3.75 or higher, per their CDS. I suspect that Wash, Penn, Cornell are similar. I agree with ucbalumnus that 3.8 is low for a typical admitted student, rather than perfectly fine. A vast majority of those students will have BC, Physics C, etc.

    ACT/SAT are above 75th percentile for those schools. Grades are the top criteria, so you would need very strong EC, essays, etc.

    These are already single digit admission schools, so there’s very little leeway. And 4.0\1600s get rejected too.
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  • ioniz1908ioniz1908 13 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @Groundwork2022 @IvyCentral @RichInPitt I took the hardest course load at my high school. Such classes are AP Physics C,AP Physics 2, AP Chem and bio, AP Calc BC, and a lot more other honors/AP courses. Will my SAT and ACT be a good substitute for my UW GPA?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80236 replies720 threads Senior Member
    ioniz1908 wrote: »
    Will my SAT and ACT be a good substitute for my UW GPA?

    The super-selective schools want both top end GPA (in hard courses) and top end test scores, not one or the other.

    UCLA is a bit below that level in selectivity, but it tends to emphasize GPA more than test scores (its cross-town rival USC tends to emphasize test scores more than GPA, so it would probably have been a better fit for admission probability for you than UCLA).
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 528 replies2 threads Member
    As the mathematicians say, 3.8 is necessary but not sufficient. You're not disqualified yet, but the next hurdles are ECs, letters and the rest of your package. Who are you other than the bare academics? What differentiates you from the other 96% of 3.75+ kids with great test scores? What do you want to study? What else do you bring to the class?

    What makes it hard to get into these schools is not the basic academics, but the difficulty in making your parents into famous people or outrageously rich donors, or deciding to become an all-state athlete or artist, or winning national science scholarships, or simply writing the essay that'll find its way to the top of the pile. There's some magic to it for many applicants, as most people applying to these places are merely outstanding. If there was an answer that fit in this little box everyone would be doing it already.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2830 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Personally I am not comfortable thinking in terms of "one high score make up for another lower one" on the application. While a lot of applicants hope that is the case, the tippy tops don't have to settle for that imbalance (although they may choose to, if there is a compelling enough reason).

    I don't dispute other posters talking about average GPA, but an average is just that: there are bound to be students higher and students lower (15% of UPenn students have lower than 3.75 GPA, although all in that cohort are probably hooked). I feel your stats and rigor are sufficiently strong enough that admissions officers will give your entire app a serious read. At that point it is the "everything else" on your application that will get you admitted or not (but OP, you didn't ask us to chance that part).

    As others have also pointed out, if an applicant comes up lacking in the "everything else" department, even perfect stats won't save them from the reject pile.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27147 replies177 threads Senior Member
    Without class rank, the 3.8 is almost meaningless. It sounds high, but may not even be top decile. And of course, the high school itself matters. Is that 3.8 from a national powerhouse like TJ, or just a fine suburban school?

    Reinforce what others have posted: UC's love OOS money so they are expensive (and IMO, not worth the OOS cost); USC & WashU would appreciate that test score.
    Will my SAT and ACT be a good substitute for my UW GPA?

    Almost never (at these schools) unless you are a hooked applicant. You can boost your chances with ED (assuming not a Senior already).
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2653 replies7 threads Senior Member
    You're as good as any other applicant. The biggest issue is cost, which is your number 1 criteria in choosing a college.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9640 replies121 threads Senior Member
    Agree that your GPA of 3.80 needs to be viewed in the context of your class rank & academic rigor of classes taken.
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