2 years ago
Admissions Advice

What are the chances of getting into a top 20 school with reduced academic rigor?

I am a black, Muslim (upper middle class) student that lives just out of Houston and go to a charter school. In my school, I wasn't able to take more APs (took 2 instead of 3) in junior year because of schedule conflicts and my academic rigor reduced from 10th grade to 11th grade even though I still had all As. I am taking 4 APs in senior year, but I wanted to know what are the chances of me getting into a top 20 school (Vanderbilt/UPenn/Duke/Emory/Rice/Brown) when I have this and only an SAT score of 1480, but created a newspaper club in my school, in leadership for 2 clubs, and very involved in my community?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Farfee242 years ago

Also only took 3 APs before senior year

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Farfee242 years ago

Want to major in health-related field

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @Farfee24,

Thanks for your question. It's a tricky one because most Black applicants are not upper middle class. Furthermore, most Black applicants do not attend charter schools nor have high SAT test scores.

Top colleges' #1 concern for the applicants is that they made the absolute most of the opportunities that were presented to them at school, in their community, and at home through the resources provided by their parents. If your school didn't offer many APs and you took most of them, then I would say your lack of APs will not harm your chances. But if your high school offered 15-20 APs and you took 6 (2 that will show up with grades and 4 this upcoming sr. year), then you are on the low side for the types of colleges you are applying to. Also, most admit to having some awards attached to their APs like AP scholars with distinction. Having only taken 2 APs and I'm not sure if you took the exams and what you did on them, you kind of missed out on that 1 standard honor that many people have.

Your leadership also seems a bit of a grey area for someone hoping to attend these prestigious colleges. A newspaper club is not the same thing as being Editor and Chief of the official high school newspaper, and you are sort of vague on the other 3 ECs.

Except perhaps for Emory or Vandy, I think you would have a better chance at schools that offer some form of merit scholarship like Tulane, Northeastern, WashU, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, Davidson, Washington and Jefferson, Oberlin, American, University of Miami, Trinity University SA, Case Western, Santa Clara, SMU, Dickinson, Baylor, RPI.

The Best of Luck to you.

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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