3 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is it worth applying?


This is probably a silly question, but at what point should I not apply to a college because my chances are too low? Should I apply to all/most of them? Thanks!

15-20% (MIT, Caltech)

20-25% (Havard, Yale, Stanford)

25-30% (Princeton, Duke, UPenn)

30-35% (Dartmouth, Northwestern, Cornell)


P.S. the chancing simulator was super helpful with understanding the ballpark of such chances! :)


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi there @dev8,

I agree with other users that if you have the time, energy, and financial resources, you should apply to as many schools as you'd like! But if you're looking to narrow down your school list, you should know that a list ranging from 8-12 schools is ideal. At least two of these schools should be safeties, meaning you have a higher chance of getting in than not (~51%). As for your remaining schools, these should be a mix of targets and reaches.

We have a ton of resources on crafting a school list here that you might find useful:




Hope this helps!

3 months ago[edited]

The best answer I can give you is that if you have the time and energy to fill out all the supplemental essays and questions for all these schools then you should go for it. Contrary to what the chancing engine says, no one, even not CV knows exactly what each of these schools is looking for in the Class of 2026. You may have a talent or skill or experience they are looking for that is NOT captured in the chancing profile and you'll never know unless you apply.

However, you should know that MIT and Caltech don't look too promising in my opinion for you. The others are more of a roll of the dice so just be prepared for rejections or waitlists and have some other schools that are Targets and Safeties to hedge your bets with. MIT/Caltech was 46%/50% for me the last cycle. I got rejected from MIT EA but then again the EA admit rate was like 4%. I got into Columbia with a 38% (I think when I applied it was a range like 33-44%).

Just make sure you apply to schools that are a good fit for you, not the other way around because if you are not happy with the culture, environment, teaching style, etc., it will not be a happy 4 years.

Good luck.

2 months ago

Your personal chance of getting in will be affected by the overall acceptance rate, so if the acceptance rate at School A is 10% while the acceptance rate at School B is 70%, that's going to be reflected in your calculated chances. I know it doesn't directly answer you're question; it's just something to consider.


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