3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Advice on which colleges to even apply to, thanks!

Here are the colleges with the percentages from CollegeVine

University of Maryland, College Park | Maryland - Safety - (87% - 92%)

University of Michigan - Target - (65% - 77%)

Georgetown University - Target - (57% - 69%)

Johns Hopkins University - Hard Target - (41% - 53%)

Northwestern University - Hard Target - (29% – 41%)

University of Pennsylvania | UPenn - Hard Target - (35% – 47%)

Cornell University - Hard Target - (34% – 49%)

Duke University - Hard Target - (32% – 45%)

Brown University - Hard Target - (30% – 40%)

Dartmouth College - Hard Target - (29% – 41%)

Stanford University - Hard Target - (28% – 39%)

Columbia University - Hard Target - (28% – 39%)

Yale University - Hard Target - (27% – 39%)

Princeton University - Hard Target - (23% – 35%)

Harvard University - Hard Target - (22%–36%)

Do I have a chance at the hard targets? I am still a junior and have time, which brings new things to add so helpp (I also write good essays and I think I am set for that)

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2 answers

3 years ago[edited]

I applied to Columbia with a 37-48% and feel very lucky to have gotten in ED. They usually publish total admit rates on Ivy day and from that, you can back out how many students got in ED. This year 6435 applied early and in total, they received 60,600 applications. Last year the overall admit rate was 6.2% (2544/40084) and about 200+ deferred admission from the matriculated 1492 enrollees. So my best guess today is that they admitted 600 ED and will admit 1600 RD accounting for the 200+deferred that want to come back which comes out to 2400 total with a higher yield of 63% because of the bump from deferred admits. RD acceptance rates should be around 3% (1600/54165).

Personally, I think the chancing ranges are over-estimated for this cycle and my guess is that after the RD regular decisions rates come back in 2 weeks, the chancing engine will be tweaked yet again, and it will reflect the paradigm shift that all Ivys and Elites will be 50% harder to get into.

My advice to you and many CV students is not to overlook the 50 or so excellent liberal arts colleges. They may not have the same degree of clout and prestige as the Ivys/Elites but to top recruiters, one is very hireable if you graduate from Pomona, CMC, Wellesley, Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Vassar, Hamilton, etc and grad schools love these types of candidates as well. Since your targets are reaches or hard reaches for most people, I wouldn't bother with UMD, just pick a few more targets instead. After physically visiting 6 out of 8 Ivys, I wouldn't apply to all of them. The best thing you can do this summer is visit as many schools as possible. Even though Princeton is ranked #1, it's in the middle of nowhere fun, just like Cornell and Dartmouth. I didn't like the idea of eating clubs at Princeton. I didn't like that 1/3-1/2 of Cornell/Dartmouth students are in Greek Life. And I thought UPenn was impersonal and huge. So at least for me, the top Ivys were Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia. Since my dad's from NYC and his best friend's daughter just graduated from Columbia Class of '20, it wasn't a hard choice to pick Manhattan. Plus he had lots of Columbia friends his age that all had a great experience there. I can't stress this enough. You need to visit schools in person, talk to people that went there, and consider the dozens and dozens of viable options where you can thrive and love your college experience. For example, I would probably pick a Vassar or Williams over Cornell or Dartmouth.

Good Luck and be flexible because the next 2 admissions cycles are going to be brutal. Remember once COVID-19 is under control, there will be a floodgate open from a pent-up demand of full paying International students that have been waiting patiently to apply. There are literally 10s of thousands of Chinese and Koren and East Indian students cramming right now for future admissions cycles.

3 years ago[edited]


I would definitely apply to some of those hard targets. Looking at your chances of getting in each one, I could see why they might not look too high to you at first glance. However, for highly selective schools like the ones you have listed, I think these chances are fantastic.

While I cannot tell you exactly which ones to apply to as I do not know your major, you should apply to a good chunk of them - odds are, you might just get into a couple! You can also increase this chance by applying early decision, which is binding. If you have a dream school that you know you'd go to if you got in, be apart of the early decision applicants.

I hope this helped. Good luck! :)

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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