a year ago
Admissions Advice

Should I apply to Ivy League schools if I do not have a high SAT score

I am questioning whether I should apply to Ivy League schools and schools of similar academic caliber because my SAT is not particularly strong. I have received awards for AP scores as well, and I believe I fit the criteria for applying to schools with that level of prestige, I am only missing that SAT score. Both my coursework and extracurriculars are also strong.

My unweighted GPA is 4.0 and my weighted GPA is 4.58

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi @DVR55

You should not be deterred from applying to any college you see yourself being a good fit for and vice versa.

For all Ivy League school academics which includes course rigor, GPA, test scores, and evidence of intellectual curiosity (or vitality) are the most important factors. If you are not submitting a test score, it's paramount that your academic narrative is consistent with other admits. For schools like Harvard, this means 4 years of English, 4 years of Math, 4 years of Foreign Langauge, 4 years of Science, and 3 years of history inc. US and Euro. But keep in mind some applicants have 6 years of English or 6 years of Math or 6 years of a language or 2 add'l languages, that's not uncommon.

ECS are tricky because it's a matter of the quality of your ECs, not the quantity that counts. If you are the #2 Fencer or #5 Rock climber in your country, that will be more impressive than getting a varsity letter in 3 sports. Similarly for honors. If you are a US Presidential Scholar, that trumps someone listing 5 mediocre honors like AP Scholar. NHS is not really an award worth putting down on applications these days because like 1 million participate in this.

The biggest bumps for applying to an Ivy are going to be these factors, not SAT or ACT test scores:

-Recruited Athlete

-Legacy if either parent attended as an undergrad

-Child of faculty

-Donor kid of someone who has regularly contributed a lot of $$$$ to the college (s)

-Anyone who is from a marginalized demographic specifically someone black, LatinA , indigenous, physically disabled or LGBTQIA or someone first generation/low income.

I suggest that you carefully watch the following CV videos and see if you understand the criteria better. Keep in mind some of these are 2 years old and now the criteria is even harder than 2 cycles ago.






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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