Are all these reaches a waste of effort?

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: August 2004 Archive: Are all these reaches a waste of effort?
By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 11:42 pm: Edit

I will just give very basic stats and I would appreciate if anyone would tell me how unrealistic I am being.

SAT I: 670 M 700 V
SAT II: 630 IIC 660 Wri 750 US

top 10 %

4.2/4.5 GPA

6 AP's next year

EC's are average
hopefully my recs and essay will be good

I will bring my SAT up to over 1420. My SAT IIC will be over 720. I hope I can get that writing score up, and I will take the physics SAT II.

Prospective schools

UMASS- Amherst
Carnegie Mellon

I know I have mostly reaches, but I cant seem to find any good matches. I'm hoping to double major in business/economics and engineering. The way I see it is that I will regret not trying if I dont apply to my dream schools even though I'm not totally qualified.

I would really appreciate your comments no matter how painful.

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit

You're below the average in most of the schools you're applying for in both SAT and SAT II scores.

Your rank is just top 10%, but out of how many people? Top 10% out of 1000 students is more impressive than top 10% out of 50 students.

Your GPA and ECs, as you have verified, are indeed average.

I have only one word of advice. While, it might seem like a good idea to clog your list with reaches, hoping that one of them accept you... It is not.

All of these schools require essays, and even with the commonapp, you need supplements. You are looking at writing about 10 essays right now. UPenn alone requires three essays. Choose about 2-3 schools out of that list, and look for matches. Writing all that essays will drain you creatively and applying to all those schools is not free.

I'd say...

Super reaches
Georgetown, Harvard, Dartmouth, Upenn, Carnegie Mellon,
only a major hook will get you in, like being a URM, recruited athletes or having your parents donate a building. Applying ED and showing passion for one of these schools will also increase your chances significantly.)


Boston College, Boston University, UMass-Amherst

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:26 am: Edit

thanks for the thorough response.

I'm getting a little worried now that I have to write all those essays. How much will my being a URM help in admissions?

By Kfc4u (Kfc4u) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:39 am: Edit

in the end, you can only attend one college, so to save you some work, i'd suggest visiting some of these colleges, especially since u have massed them all up in boston: mit, harvard, bu, bc, northeastern, amherst.

but if u get an early start on apps, then apply to all since u would rather see the rejection than never knowing rite? btw, ive read from a book by a former dartmouth's admission officer that the probability of getting into a dream reach school is if you apply to 10, youll get into one.

and finally, not all of those schools have good engineering/business combos. you mite want to reassess which schools u want to apply to based on your interests and major(s), not the name of the school.

if u boost your scores like you say u will, then half the schools on your list will probably become more like matches instead of reaches.

good luck. especially on the essays, thats going to be killer. good thing usc is a breather. not that im bashing them cuz i go to ucla, but its true. youll see.

oh yea one more thing. you have a buncha privates. lots of interview scheduling can become hectic and conflicting. and if youre a 50-50, theyll want to interview to see if u stand out. so again, my advice, limit your list and up your scores.

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:00 am: Edit

I understand what your saying about the engineering and business combos. Can you be a little more specific in terms of which schools are weak in those areas. I know that Dartmouth doesn't have business, but their economics program and D-plan really attracted me to their school when I visited.

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit

what are some recommended matches for me?

By Malicemizer9 (Malicemizer9) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:15 pm: Edit

Just my guesses. Nothing personal.

Yes-UMASS- Amherst
Very Unlikely-UPENN
Maybe-Carnegie Mellon
Don't Know-USC

Add Michigan, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Emory, Tufts, etc. Those are realistic reaches.

Good luck

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 06:24 pm: Edit

that's what I was thinking in terms of acceptance

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 08:30 pm: Edit

You may want to investigate into Georgetown and maybe cross it off your list. It doesn't offer one of the best business programs, and I don't even think they have a strong engineering program, if they have one at all (which I highly doubt it's large).

By Par72 (Par72) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit

Might want to look at some very goog LAC's like Holy Cross and Colgate-both schools have produced many business leaders.

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 01:15 am: Edit

Harvard and georgetown are off the list.

By 80drofnats (80drofnats) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:01 pm: Edit

are you a URM? what race? you didn't mention it at first, it makes a difference.

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 12:28 pm: Edit

I think you have a good chance at USC. The average SAT I for accepted students for the class of 2008 was about 1370. It will probably be higher next year, but you're in the acceptable range.

Go to the USC thread in the individual colleges forum and read through it. The comments there might give you a better idea about where you stand with USC.

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:30 pm: Edit

Yes, I am a URM. I am Dominican, which would put me in the hispanic group.

By Rhkid005 (Rhkid005) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 08:54 pm: Edit

I really think that you have a nice list of schools. Yes, your reaches are unlikely, but not impossible. Most importantly, though, you have a good list of safeties/matches (you WILL get into Northeastern and UMASS, and you have a pretty good chance at BU and BC). I'd suggest adding Tufts as a reasonable reach, and either Lehigh, Lafayette, and Bucknell as matches (all have good engineering).

By 80drofnats (80drofnats) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit

I think most of these people's comments were made before realizing that you're a URM, which should help some. Are you from a crappy/underprivileged school/neighborhood? Top colleges seem to love that right now.

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 10:37 pm: Edit

yes seeing that your urm, you have a really good chance getting into usc, carnegie, bu, and bc, i personally think these are all matches for you

By Liek0806 (Liek0806) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 10:41 pm: Edit

if you get that 1420 plus, harvard may want you, except that your ecs arent great, mit might be a waste of t

By Adjlad (Adjlad) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

I really appreciate your input. Will my chances greatly increase if I retake and do well on the exams I bombed?

By Dadofsam (Dadofsam) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Adjlad: Not sure what you mean by engineering/business. If you mean that you want to double major in these subjects, be aware that engineering is a very full program compared to many majors, and if you add a business major, you will find yourself taking little else but those two subjects.

Second - from your list, I would look at MIT and UPenn as high reaches even though you are Hispanic, but they have top engineering/business schools. Other possibilities along that line - Lehigh, Lafayette, RPI, and Carnegie-Mellon (another reach). BU and Northeastern may also be worth looking at. USC is a possibility, although I suspect that they many Hispanic applicants. I would drop Harvard, Dartmouth and Georgetown. Don't know much about the others.

If you are looking for engineering management, then there are a few other schools you should check - look for a thread by Anovice on ths question.

By 80drofnats (80drofnats) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 05:05 pm: Edit

Ok, lets see. Duke has a very good combined engineering and business program, and you'd probably get in. MIT is fantastic in business and in engineering,m but they'd like you to have a higher math SAT and math IIC score definitely. U Chicago would be good match/safety (with a higher SAT score and if they give you some URM boost)

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