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Discouraged Yale Applicant - Chance Me?

SellHillSellHill 3 replies2 threads New Member
Hello, I have been looking around the forum and feeling more and more helpless about my chances at an elite school. It seems like everyone who gets into Yale has independent businesses or charities. Yale has been my dream school every since I toured there in September, but it feels more and more out of reach. A little background, I am a White male applying to Yale SCEA. I come from two legacies, my two grandfathers, one of which is a significantly notable alumnus. I did not mention this in my essays, but it is included in the family section. I currently attend a public boarding school for academically inclined juniors and seniors, so my extracurriculars and grades should be taken in the context of a college-like environment. My intended areas of focus are the humanities and chemistry, as I hope to be a scientific journalist.

Gpa: 4.0 UW/ 4.953W
ACT: 36 ( 36E 36R 35M 35S)
Sat 2 Subject Tests
Chem - 750
Math II - 800
Chemistry: 4
Calculus BC: 5
Statistics: 5
World History: 4
Psychology: 5
Class Rank: School does not rank, but using past statistics, my GPA is somewhere in the top 5-7%

Extracurriculars (are a little segmented because I changed schools between 10th and 11th grade)

School Paper: Editor-in-Chief - 2 Years

Student Government: Senator and Chair of a Standing Committee - 2 Years
Led a town hall and met with state senators to advocate for additional school funding and support

Beta Club Sophmore Officer - 1 year
Spearheaded a community service collaboration between my school and Meals on Wheels America

Student Researcher: 2 years
As part of my schools intensive research program, I have spent two years producing and independent chemistry research project. Final report and presentation are being edited at this moment.

Volunteer Coach for a local middle school's Science Olympiad team: 2 years

Volunteer at a local children's museum: 60 Hours

Cross Country JV Runner: 2 years

Photography: I dabble in photography and am awaiting publication results of my schools arts publication


Harvard Book Award

School Writing Competition 3rd Place Essay

MLK Day Keynote Speaker at my school

National Merit Semifinalist

National French Contest Level III Bronze Medal

A+ : My American Studies teacher who known the familial struggles that I have endured
A-: My chemistry research mentor who gave me that rating himself
A: My school counselor with whom I have a good relationship

Essay - I am very critical of my own writing and have a hard time rating it. My common app is about how my first time flying a plane has parallels in my personal endeavours. My "why Yale" essay was I think my weakest point, I didn't mention specific programs, just my philosophy on learning and how the shopping period is aligned with it. Short anwers were poignant - A+. Other essays were written about my engagement with civil rights and my connection to psychology. Overall, I would say A-.

I am sorry if this seems paranoid or neurotic. I have many voices telling me not to worry but I can't help compare myself to others. Please be honest, and thank you for reading this far.
18 replies
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Replies to: Discouraged Yale Applicant - Chance Me?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6933 replies60 threads Senior Member
    1) There is nothing neurotic about being worried about your chances: 95% of applicants are turned down, and probably 80% (made up number- but a very big proportion) are fully credible candidates.

    2) Your current school will give you the best objective info as to how you stack up, both officially (your GC), stats-wise (Naviance) and your own reading of who got in where last year (you know those students- how do you stack up?)

    3) Your application is in, so there is nothing more to do. So, you can either a) worry and fret or b) do something productive with all that nervous energy. Top choices for (b) include doing something physical, doing something that is useful to somebody else, and researching Plan B options: there is always more than 1 college that you can love. And, most of all: get off CC & stay off until you get a result (then come back & we will either cheer for you, or offer you metaphorical ice cream & moral support, plus help with Plan B). Seriously.

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  • tgl2023tgl2023 203 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Your stats are good; your ECs are not segmented but complement your aspirations in journalism, chemistry, as well as engagements in civic duties and personal interests. I think that you have a good chance with or without the boost your legacy status might offer. Do try to enjoy your senior year.
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  • blossomblossom 9962 replies9 threads Senior Member
    OP- time to start falling in love with a few more colleges. If you get into Yale- no harm, no foul. And if you don't, you've got your applications to Vassar and Skidmore and Northwestern and Vanderbilt and Haverford ready to go. Win win!

    Yale is fabulous- and so are another 50 or so colleges with slightly easier admit rates where you could thrive and become your best self.
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  • liska21liska21 663 replies10 threads Member
    Time for chancing is over. Submit your SCEA application and then start working on your other applications. You don't want to be trying to write those while feeling glum about a Yale rejection, should that happen. What do you like about Yale? Apply to other schools that have those qualities. Make sure that some of these schools are (much) easier to get into than Yale. You need some safeties and matches.
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1681 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I thought you have excellent stats and your chance of getting into Yale is as good (or bad) as any other competitive applicants. This chance post might have made some other applicants felt “discouraged”
    Good luck and have match/safety ready.
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  • SellHillSellHill 3 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks! I definitely have my fair share of safeties and matches, and I am also, to a slightly lesser degree, enamored by Northwestern. I know that no one ends up with 0 options, but sometimes this whole things feels so impossible. Thanks for the responses!
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  • worriestoomuchworriestoomuch 182 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @Sellhill - As you know, your stats listed above clearly put you into the basket of "competitive candidates" for admission at Yale. But your Chemistry Subject test score and your AP Chemistry score don't by themselves make the case that you would be a successful Chemistry major at Yale, where classes - in all academic areas - are far, far, more challenging than anything you have encountered in high school.

    But when you write above that "It seems like everyone who gets into Yale has independent businesses or charities" - a claim that is demonstrably false - then I wonder whether you really know very much about Yale and the kinds of students that get admitted. Yale has an immensely diverse student body - artists, scientists, musicians, historians, dancers, activists, etc., etc., - many of whom participate in extracurriculars, clubs, research activity and community service - but who don't have their own businesses or charities, since they are full time students, which is what consumes the majority of students' time and effort at Yale. Best of luck!
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  • keepyourPOVkeepyourPOV 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Dear SellHill, your post has made me sadder than any I have seen on here - though I just signed up and haven't seen that many yet ;). You're obviously an outstanding candidate. You're an incredible student and you test very well. You have real interests. You are even the grandson of a big legacy. But you think you need to start a 501 or already have your tech start-up going. This is absurd. You're a brilliant young man, from your stats you have a great chance of beating the Yale odds and getting in, and even more importantly, you can surely succeed at the longer game of life with all you have going for you. But it sounds like you're in a toxic environment of Success, Success, Success, defined in a narrow way, marinated with anxiety. I get how tough this process is but you are in fantastic shape. Take a deep breath and realize Yale would be lucky to have you, and if you don't win this lottery you have enough going for you to make your life awesome with or without Yale. And good luck!
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  • SellHillSellHill 3 replies2 threads New Member
    Hello, no need to be sad! But you are very correct, this isn't the right way to look at the process, and everyone here has done a great job of making me realize that. I am reminded of the quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy." A lot of this process involves comparing yourself to others and it absolutely has that effect. I am sure that we all have our paths and, while it would be wonderful, I know that mine does not necessarily have to pass through Yale. Have a nice day, and good luck to you, too :)
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29670 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Of course, you are getting nervous. Chances are small you get accepted. Look at Yale’s accept rate. If your grandfather has a live contact that could advocate, it could tip the scales. Legacy is no longer a string hook these days.

    You’ve done as well as one could, academically, so you are definitely in the consideration zone. The rest comes down to chance. Hopefully, you are not just focusing on Yake and have some other good choices on your list. Take is not a match or cinch for anyone.
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  • compmomcompmom 10926 replies77 threads Senior Member
    If you are in the habit of comparing yourself to others, Yale and other Ivies may not be the best environments for you. Honestly, if you are surrounded by very smart and talented peers, it may continue to make you feel "helpless." This is a problem for many who attend these schools. You might do better as the big fish in a small pond, so to speak.
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  • worriestoomuchworriestoomuch 182 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @guysbeingdudes - If you are a high school student, then kudos for your satirical writing skills! Any college would be lucky to have a student like you who can so incisively skewer literal minded, humorless, overly-sincere, posts on CC. "Chance Me" threads are especially easy targets. But the intentions of folks posting above (many of whom, like me, have first hand knowledge of Yale) are good because they try to inject some facts into the often confusing and even misleading discussions found on these threads. While there is no fact checking on CC, applicants like @SellHill assume that people who respond to their posts want to provide information that will be helpful. So, the best piece of advice I can give @Sellhill, or any other applicant to Yale, is to really learn, in as much granular detail as possible, about the academic and non-academic aspects of Yale that interest them to ensure that they are a good "fit" for Yale; to convey that familiarity and conviction to the AOs in their short answer responses and essays; and to explain, through compelling writing and a coherent narrative, how the applicant's academic and non-academic background will contribute to the Yale community.
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  • apparently22apparently22 60 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Comparisons are odious There will be those that get in early, those that are deferred and those that are rejected. On paper many who get in early will look a lot like many who get deferred. You've submitted your application. That's all that can be done now. You are more than your stats as are the others applying. Don't compare - just prepare.
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  • CIEE83CIEE83 724 replies10 threads Member
    I have posted this before — it’s a blog piece that nicely sums up the admissions situation at Yale and other elite schools:

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  • MWolfMWolf 1805 replies13 threads Senior Member
    CIEE83 wrote: »
    I have posted this before — it’s a blog piece that nicely sums up the admissions situation at Yale and other elite schools:


    That's a great post - every kid who is applying to any of the selective colleges with holistic admissions practices and their parents should read it.
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