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4 months ago
Admissions Advice
[edited]

I submitted my 1470 SAT to schools like Duke and WashU even though this is below the 25th percentile. Was this smart?
Answered

For background, I am Hispanic, South American (white) and have a 3.95 unweighted GPA with moderately strong extra curriculars and 8 APS. I also go to a private school. (Be completely honest please)

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DukeUniversity
rice
Admission
IvyLeague
WashU
SAT
7
16
🎉 First post
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@spacedragons4 months ago

Actually, I would say yes. Because of things going test "optional" (even though it's not really optional if you want a chance), submitting your SAT scores even if they're below the 25th percentile gives you a statistical better chance than not submitting them :)

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Ashl4 months ago

Really? This makes me feel better. Also, I am applying for a unique major (Latin American Studies) Will this help as well?

@BlackDragon440004 months ago

Yes, going for a major that a college doesn't specialize in is a bit easier to get into. It is still difficult, but due to the fact that they have extra space in the major and they need students to fill the classes, they will consider that fact when you apply.

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5 answers

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Accepted Answer
4 months ago[edited]

With what little information you provided, I honestly feel that your "hook" as a Hispanic LatinX applicant give you about 100 pts of leeway with regards to your SAT score. In recent Brookings Institute studies of those scoring about 700 on the Math Portion, only 6% of Hispanic students in that group could hit that score, while 43% were Asians and 45% were Whites in that +700 score group. So getting 1470 as a LatinX applicant is a very high score.

I'm not sure if you are first generation US American college student so perhaps that is another consideration if that is the case.

The last bump you may get is as a Private School applicant. I don't know what kind of Private school you attend, whether it is a Top 20 US Boarding School or a Private Catholic parochial school. But depending on how well your HS's matriculation into top Elites like WashU and Duke will have some bearing on whether you have a good chance of getting in with those stats. The better the Private School you attend the better chances you have.

Also, you didn't mention if you are Legacy, Recruited Athlete so that would also help if you were.

You did the right thing considering your background.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/01/sat-math-scores-mirror-and-maintain-racial-inequity/

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4 months ago

Since it's slightly below the 25th percentile (it's literally only 10 points below the 25th percentile), it may (or may not) have POSSIBLY hurt your application a TINY bit, but it's no use worrying about it now if you've already submitted it - congratulate yourself for getting a great score and successfully completing your application!

If they weren't that compelled by the rest of your application, a higher SAT wasn't going to save you and get you admitted anyways. But if the admissions officer was compelled by your essays, your activities, the qualities you showed, and your story, they'll focus on that rather than on your already pretty good SAT score, especially if you're challenging yourself and doing really well in your classes since they care about that way more. I'm not going to say it doesn't matter at all, since they care about keeping their average scores up too, but there's no way to know how it will individually affect your application, so bottomline - don't stress! You'll be fine no matter what :)

Hope this helped!

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4 months ago

Colleges will not necessarily compare your SAT score to the average of all applicants, but rather, the average of all applicants in your "lane." Applicants are organized into lanes based on many factors, ranging from the stats of other applicants from your high school to demographics. Because of your Hispanic identity, you will be put in a lane where your SAT score is certainly competitive. Even if you did have a lackluster SAT score, remember that applicants are judged holistically. You high GPA and course rigor would make up for your SAT score. Submitting your SAT score was a good idea in your case. Hope this helps!

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4 months ago

Actually, I would say yes. Because of things going test "optional" (even though it's not really optional if you want a chance), submitting your SAT scores even if they're below the 25th percentile gives you a statistical better chance than not submitting them :)

Also, keep in mind that these statistics are coming in after a year or two of things being test optional, so really people only sent scores that were higher than, or about average, with the old SAT 50th percentiles. I'd be willing to bet that the 50th percentile statistics are inflated and not accurate right now.

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4 months ago

I would say probably not, since you fall a decent bit below the average for Duke and WashU (~1500). Although, as the average Hispanic SAT score is a bit lower than average, your race does play slightly into it. You shouldn't be too worried though, as SAT scores are becoming less and less relevant in the college admissions process, and the score itself is not too far off from the average, although I personally would have avoided it.

Good luck!

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