right arrow
PARENTS4PARENTS is a new initiative aimed at highlighting the vast expertise of our parents community while helping other parents better navigate the college admissions process. aggies1989 is a UC alumnus and parent of two UC college kids. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: fintech3753 is a current student at the Wharton School. Majoring in finance, he is hoping to pursue a career at the intersection of finance and technology. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our August Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

Chance Me Please! Barnard and More!

aligreyaligrey 5 replies3 threads New Member
Hi, I'm currently going into my senior year in high school this fall and was wondering if someone could please chance me for schools on the list below that they know more about and tell me what schools are reaches, target, and safeties. Thank you!

Barnard College (ED)
London School of Economics
American University
Wellesley College
Boston University
George Washington University
King's College London
New York University
Tufts University
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Santa Barbara
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Wesleyan College
Smith College
Mount Holyoke College
Connecticut College
Fordham University
Vassar College
Bryn Mawr College
University of Toronto

Barnard is my first choice and where I am planning on applying ED to.

Background info:
-Biracial female (east-indian/white)
-daughter of an immigrant
- queer
-from Los Angeles
-go to a public independent charter in an affluent area
-affluent background
-both parents are alive and together and are my legal guardians
- 2 siblings

Educational interests:
I've been involved in the youth activist community for a really long time which has lead me to pursue a major in Political Science and potentially human rights (maybe double major) with a potential minor in film and media studies.

Future Aspirations:
Will definitely get a masters and potentially doctorate. Hoping to work on the campaign trail and eventually become a chief of staff for a politician and potentially run for office myself but not sure yet as I am better at the behind the scenes work. However I might want to work for an NGO or direct human rights centered documentaries. So as you can tell I am extremely confused...

Unweighted GPA: 3.875
Weighted GPA: 4.075
UC GPA: 4.2174

APs taken and scores:

Freshman Year: none (we aren't allowed to), however I did take an Intro to Psych course at a local community college

Sophomore Year: European History - 5

Junior Year: English Language -
Environmental Science -
US History -
Calc AB - didn't take exam
Senior Year: Human Geography
US Government and Politics
English Literature
Macroeconomics (self studying)

***I will update what scores I get on my junior year AP exams when they come out on July 15th, I am predicting at least 4s for all of them but a 5 on Lang and us history potentially.


I never had the chance to take it with Covid but plan on taking it in August. I got a 1430 on my practice with a little studying but with more dedicated studying I believe I could get somewhere between a 1450-1480.


Girls Learn International - Secretary

Pali Liberals - Debate Director

Gender Equity Alliance

Democratic Socialists of America

Film Club

Political and Activism Work:

March for Our Lives - West Los Angeles Chapter Lead

I work on writing up policy analysis on local firearm laws as well as revamping my schools active shooter drills, lobbying new bills to politicians, meeting with local politicians to discuss gun reform, as well as running meetings with my chapter. I have biweekly calls between all of the state chapters along with members of our state board. This is one of two political/activist positions that I consider the most significant work I do.

Grassroots Democrats Headquarters - Fellow

As a fellow I work on campaigns anywhere from senate seats in Arizona to representative elections in North Carolina, to national elections for POTUS. This means training and recruiting volunteers, phone banking and text banking, behind the scenes admin work, canvassing, and communicating between our organization and the campaigns whom we work with. This is the other political/activist position which I find most important and extremely rewarding because as someone who can't yet vote it is the closest way I can have an impact on voters as well as holding campaigns accountable with their voters.

US Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles - March Organizer
I work on organizing permits and other such means as a way for climate strikes to be held in a safe manner. Additionally I have weekly calls to discuss where the organization is going in the future and new environmental bills to be lobbied to politicians.

Sunrise Movement

Member of Sunrise Movement where I've attended local hub meetings, beach cleanups, and sit-ins. We also do a lot of art installations related to environmental issues which is something I find really interesting.


Mock Trial - Captain

Simulated criminal trial where school teams compete against each other. My first year I was a witness and now I am a lawyer. My team has been in the top 16 in LA County and I have received the MVP award.

Youth and Government

Mock California State Government. Three conferences per year where delegations across the state meet and simulate the state government. Weekly meetings include debate and political discourse as well as delegation bonding.

Community Service:

Tutoring at local elementary school

*Most of my community service hours are from political work rather than what is typically thought of as community service


ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute

Basically a meet-up of youth activists all over the country with lectures and seminars by experienced activists and those working in politics and human rights law.

All the activist work mentioned above

Co-directed a short film about child neglect (submitting to the young arts festival)

Concerns: I took math online my sophomore and junior year because math at my school is notoriously terrible which lead to me having to take a sort of light in school course load. For example two PE classes first semester of my sophomore year which I would've had to take eventually anyways but I'm not sure how bad that looks. Also this past year I took both a Guitar and Ceramics class because of taking math online. Additionally I took regular spanish 3 after receiving an A in honors spanish 2 the year before and now I am not taking a final year of foreign language. I could take spanish 4 if I talk to my counselor but I really hate it. Please let me know what I should do, I am willing to take it if you think it will push me over the edge to get into Barnard.

Potential Ideas for essays:
-Is it possible to be ashamed of parts of your identity but also proud? going to talk about internalized racism and homophobia while also being so proud of who i am.
- what it means to never fit in a box and how that impacts mental health, self-image, and how I see the world. going to talk about being biracial and bisexual and also loving two different disciplines (politics and film)
-Youth activist spaces. going to talk about whether youth activist organizations actually work and why they may both harm and help from my perspective and experience in them.

6 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Chance Me Please! Barnard and More!

  • MWolfMWolf 2802 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Your GPA is solid, though slightly below the average, however, your EC activities are extremely interesting, and IMO, outstanding (but I'm biased, since they match my daughter's activism over the years - she was a leader in the March for Our Lives in 2019, was the leader in her HS's GSA, and is now active in Sunrise - she's a rising sophomore at Midd).

    Make sure that you have 4 years of foreign language - that is really important for the colleges on your list. So yes, having 4 years of a foreign language is a must for Barnard.

    Make sure that you get those online courses on your transcript. If they are not, you may have an issue, since most colleges require a few years of math.

    Check that you have all of the course requirements for all of the colleges on the list, otherwise there may be an issues with being accepted.

    While it is easy to figure out the boost that standard academic ECs with awards and rankings will provide, it is more difficult with ones like yours. My guess is that some AOs will be really impressed, because of the depth and breadth of your activism and activities, while others may not be as impressed.

    So I would say that you have a good chance of having your application stand out, in a good way, in some cases, while in others, less so.

    I will hazard that your application may very well garner more positive attention that what one would predict from your stats.

    Before I go on to chances, I will recommend that you choose a different theme for your essays. Your essay should show something which is not on your application and not of your LoRs. It should show them who you are, and why you will be a great addition to the college. With those essays your run the risk of writing an essay which tells them something which you think is important, but doesn't show them anything about yourself except for your political opinions, which are pretty obvious from your activism. Show, don't tell, and the way you are presenting those topics, it seems that you are telling.

    Chances (though you should check your high schools' Naviance - it may give a more accurate picture):

    Barnard College (ED) - a reach, but your activism may really get you noticed

    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - reach, and they may not be as interested in your ECs as colleges with a more liberal arts bend

    Wellesley College - solid reach

    Boston University - solid reach

    Tufts University - reach

    New York University - reach, it's the most unpredictable regarding profile, sats, etc.

    Wesleyan College - solid, possibly low reach

    Vassar College - solid reach (low reach?)

    Smith College - low reach

    Bryn Mawr College - low reach

    American University - high match/low reach

    University of California-Berkeley - low reach/high match

    Connecticut College - Low reach/high match

    George Washington University - likely a match

    Mount Holyoke College - match

    Fordham University - low match (safety?)

    University of California-Santa Barbara - Low match/safety

    In general, as I wrote above, at the LACs on your list, at Tufts, an at Barnard, there is, IMO a good chance that your activism could attract some positive attention.

    I think that you are likely to get a number of acceptances, including from the reaches, but see C below.

    All of that is assuming that you have all the course requirements for each of these colleges.

    A. why those colleges in particular?
    B. can your parents afford these colleges? UCs for OOS are also just as expensive as any private college, and they provide less financial aid.
    C. you probably need a 100% safety

    PS. you should see if you can still be nominated for Posse, though I don't know whether it's too late.
    · Reply · Share
  • aligreyaligrey 5 replies3 threads New Member

    This was so detailed thank you!!! I already have the online courses on my transcript. Also just realized what I listed as my weighted GPA is actually my unweighted because my school has these things called bonus points. Super cool to hear that your daughter was involved in MFOL and Sunrise as well! I will also look into safety schools and thanks for the essay advice!
    · Reply · Share
  • aligreyaligrey 5 replies3 threads New Member
    edited July 15
    ***Hello, just as an update, for my junior year APs I received a 4 on both the AP Lang and Enviro exams as well as a 5 on the APUSH exam.
    edited July 15
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    LSE is a very long shot. You need 5 AP scores of 5, and you have 2, which means that IF you got an offer it would be conditional on achieving 3 more 5s in your Senior year APs. Kings will only ask for 3 5's, BUT they get to pick which APs they are, and they can choose from any of your achieved or predicted scores.

    · Reply · Share
  • aligreyaligrey 5 replies3 threads New Member
    So King's would be slightly easier if they pick a AP exam that is more in my wheelhouse?
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    In theory, that could happen- they could take the US & Euro marks and ask for (say) US Gov. Just be aware that they *can* ask for any 3 they like of your senior year APs. KCL will also mix & match APs and SAT subject tests- you would need a 700+ on the subject test(s), and duplicative ones won't count!

    For KCL (and all UK colleges), be sure to read the course descriptions *carefully*.(you will find a year by year listing of required and optional courses on their website). The same course name (eg, "Politics") can have surprisingly different requirements, and in most programs there are few- if any- options in year 1, and options in years 2 & 3 tend to be from. prescribed list.,
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity