2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Are my stats good enough for Harvard or Wharton?

'm In a decently large high school with over 2000 students. I want to become an economist or investment analyst, save money, then start my own holding company (think Warren Buffet). These are my stats that are currently/starting:

9/10 AP classes

9 Honors

3 Community College Classes

Top 15% of Class


President of Investment Club

Speech and Debate Captain (semi-prestigious team)

Volunteered (around 200x hours), for my school's special-ed program

Founded a foundation for poverty in Afghanistan

Self-published a book on personal finance for minority groups

Part of my local government's youth commission, (an advising board of teenagers for local "program-makers in my area")

I'm planning to maybe do more stuff, join a couple of competitions, but this is it for now.

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5 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago


I'd need info on your SAT/ACT scores, but other than that it looks like you have a very strong profile. You have competitive grades and an impressive extracurricular list.

The biggest issue you'd probably have is coming up with an application theme. Citing your desire to make large returns on future investments is probably not going to make an admissions officer feel particularly connected to you and your story. So, in your essays, I would instead emphasize entrepreneurship or some social good you think you can accomplish with your work. Then, find a way to connect your various extracurriculars to that goal and write about them as such in your essays. You can learn more about application themes here: https://blog.collegevine.com/what-is-an-application-theme/

Hope that helps! One last thing though: we generally don't approve of students using the forums to ask "chance me" questions. Our Chancing Engine is much better equipped to do that, so if you want more precise answers you can start that here: https://www.collegevine.com/admissions-calculator

Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

2 years ago[edited]

Since you are newbie, you probably didn't read the posting rules of conduct. Asking a chancing questions like can I get into Harvard/Wharton with my list of ECs, Stats, Etc., is not allowed. Nevertheless, I'll be quick with some notes. This post might be taken down so just letting you know.


-I think your ECs and Leadership roles are good, sort of in the middle of the sweet spot. Students who are Student Body Pres./Editor of the Newspaper/Team Captain of a Varsity Sport/Board Member of some City Council would be the next tier of leadership roles.

-96%+ of admits usually are in the top 10% at these schools so top 15% is a bit iffy. I would aim to get a 3.90+ UWGPA and get mostly As in your APs/Honors classes and score 4s/5s getting AP Scholar w/Distinction honor. I'm assuming you have 4 years each of English, Sciences (incl 2 labs), Language, Math and 3 years+ of history (including US and EURO, Harvard reqmts). A new Harvard requirement is they want to see you are skilled at "expository writing".

-Where are your SAT or ACT test scores? Although both schools are test optional approx 75%+ admits have submitted test scores. UPenn prob.cares more about higher 99%+ scores than Harvard.

-There are 2 areas where I'm not sure where you stand which is evidence of intellectual curiosity/vitality and athleticism. Harvard actually gives applicants a score of 1 through 5 on both of these areas. This would be something academic outside of your HS coursework. Things like independent or supervised research projects, academic internships, getting published in some academic journal, taking non-DE college courses that are outside of the HS curriculum. Although you do not have to be a recruited athlete, such applicants have a bit of an edge at both schools.

-Also it's very common, that many Ivy admits have some artistic talent whether that is playing a musical instrument in band/orchestra, dancing (modern or ballet), theater acting, or visual arts.

-If your "Spike" or "Wow factor" is your personal interest in investments, non-profit work and writing that teen book, I would continue developing that so you can talk about some "measurable impact" your work has done.

The best thing you can do right not is to carefully input your stats and personal info and create a CV profile. Then you can use the Chancing Engine and see if these schools are a "hard reach", "reach", or "hard target". Since you haven't disclosed your course rigor and which APs you took, your AP test scores, your SAT/ACT score, your UWGPA, your actual class rank like 330/2100 something like that, your Awards, Commendations, Honors, and your demographic information like race, orientation, zip code, etc, it's hard to know if where you exactly stand. I would say you have some clear gaps in your narrative from what you initially disclosed. The chancing profile will capture your data better and give you an accurate assessment.

Good luck.

2 years ago[edited]


My goodness your extracurriculars are incredible! I’m not sure what grade you are in, but they still are fantastic.

One of the things that caught my eye is your “spike” (finance and advocacy), which is clearly evident in all your activities.

As for Wharton and Harvard, I think your classes are great, your GPA is fine (given that you are in the top 15% - but try to work on getting higher up the scale as this percentile might be too low), and your activities are very good.

All I could maybe say is try to get your foundation for poverty in Afghanistan recognized (if it hasn’t already - I don’t have too much information on it). Maybe reach out to your local newspaper to write about what your foundation does and how others can help (then you can say your organization has been featured/published in newspapers on your college app.).

Another idea is that you could donate some of your books to lower-income schools which, regardless of college, could really make a difference.

One last thing is that, while competitions are awesome to do, try to really strengthen the extracurriculars you already have. You know the saying “quality not quantity”? That is really the best I could describe it.

You have such a strong application and, as long as your essays are strong, I don’t see an obvious reason why you would be rejected.

Best of luck!! :)

2 years ago[edited]

Ranking somewhere around 300 out of 2000+ students would not be good rank for UPenn or Harvard so I would disagree that with accepted answer that you have met the threshold for grades. If your school uses Naviance, look at the scatter plot for the last 5-6 years of applicants from your school for Harvard and UPenn. I would be surprised if there are many admits have have a top 15% GPA or no test scores.

I also disagree that your ECs are amazing. For Ivys, I think they are okay. No SAT/ACT test scores, no athletics, no arts (music, dance, theater). If you put your profile through the chancing engine, you will get a much better answer.

2 years ago

A self-published book is not an achievement for Harvard or Wharton.

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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