College List for IB 2

After reading some of the feedback on my last post, I have updated my college list for IB: 

  • University of Michigan - Ross (Out of State)
  • Duke University - College of Arts and Sciences - Econ with finance concentration
  • UPenn - Wharton
  • Cornell - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • UVA - College of Arts and Sciences (Out of State)
  • Northwestern University - College of Arts and Sciences
  • UChicago - College of Arts and Sciences
  • Georgetown University - McDonough
  • Vanderbilt - College of Arts and Sciences
  • NYU - Stern 
  • University of Notre Dame - Mendoza
  • UT Austin - McCombs and Business Honors Program (Out of State)
  • BC - Carroll
  • IU - Kelley (Out of State)
  • UIUC - Geis (Out of State)
  • UMass Amherst - Isenberg (In-State)

Here are my stats again:

  • 1560 SAT - 790 Math, 770 EBRW
  • ~4.0 UW GPA(A+ is a 4.3 at my school)
  • ~4.45 W GPA(A+ is a 4.3 at my school)
  • ~20 Honors classes by the time I graduate
  • Accelerated Precaclulus(AP Level), AP Calculus BC, and AP Microeconomics by the time I graduate
  • Varsity Baseball and Hockey
  • Strong Volunteering EC's
  • White male
  • Not applying for financial aid

I am being told that applying to some of the newly added schools(Duke, UChicago, UT Austin) is a waste of my time because nobody from my high school has ever gotten in. Is this true? Do some colleges not accept people from certain high schools? Also, very few people from my school have gotten into Vanderbilt and Northwestern. 

Does anybody have any more school recommendations for me? Should I apply ED to any of the schools on my list and risk lowering my admissions chances to Georgetown and Notre Dame?

Thanks for the help

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Comments (34)

Aug 1, 2021 - 4:51pm

Also, I didn't want to apply to any UC schools given their test-blind admissions process this year. I think my SAT is the strongest part of my application so I don't think my chances at UCLA or UCB would be that great. 

Aug 2, 2021 - 6:24pm

Probably true. The UC's have also raised standards for out of state admissions over the last 5 or so years. They got a lot of blowback around 2015 for letting in loads of out of state kids to collect the extra tuition.

Also UCLA is one of the worst schools for finance in terms of admissions/academic difficulty vs placement success. It is definitely doable, but there's much less interest in finance than at the east coast schools you listed. The school places a lot of emphasis on research and prepping students for grad degrees rather than recruiting. I assume UCB has a bit of this dynamic even though Haas makes it much more of a target than UCLA.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 1, 2021 - 5:04pm

I would add UNC. It's solid, especially if you get one of their full rides

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Aug 1, 2021 - 5:22pm

For Georgetown you won't be at a disadvantage not applying early - most people get deferred early action 

Edit: would also add UW Madison and UGA to your list. Anecdotally know a number of people from both schools 

Aug 1, 2021 - 8:39pm

Unless someone in your school previously reneged on ED, you shouldn't be blacklisted. I think blacklisting is supremely uncommon in college apps.

I would also apply to maybe one or two "target" type schools. With your stats, there's really only safeties and reaches, but applying to some schools in the 30-50 range in the rankings where you'd be happy is advisable. There's too many stories of people striking out at the ivies/T20s and going to a school where they won't be super happy.

Find a school that your stats are in the top quintile or decile for, fall in love with it and add it to your list. That way if you get unlucky, you end up at a school you're still happy with. I advise looking at UF, UNC, UCLA, fun schools that still place decently well for IB and you should be relatively well-positioned to get into. Maybe even some mid-tier NESCACs or other liberal arts schools. Can't hurt to add some schools like that to the list.

I love talking college admissions, I was super active on the applying to college subreddit in my day. If you want to talk more, shoot me a PM. Always happy to help.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 1, 2021 - 8:41pm

Personal opinion, I would personally go for IU and get into IBW. I went to a strong target listed above and work at an EB with a lot of IU presence. They know their stuff and they paid really less for college compared to what I did and recruiting wasn't that hard as well given that you get into IBW. Just a thing to consider.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 1, 2021 - 9:16pm

I think college admissions are going to be crazy this year because so many schools are test optional. I would add a couple more safety/low match schools because who knows what's going to happen this year. I'd also apply to all the ivies because money isn't an issue so why not?

What's your gpa if you make all the A+s count as 4.0 instead of 4.3? And what do you estimate your class rank to be? (Asking because I went to a school with crazy grade deflation (think average gpa 3.4, average ACT 33) and my brother went to a school with crazy inflation (average gpa 3.9, ACT 25) and your gpa doesn't mean anything if everyone else has the same)

Aug 1, 2021 - 9:48pm

My unweighted GPA on the 4.0(A+ is the same as an A) scale is a 3.92. I don't know about my weighted. My school doesn't do class rank. However, every year there are about 10-15 kids that graduate with a weighted gpa above a 4.5. There are ~290 students in my class. Given that I have a ~4.45, I would assume that I am at least in the top 10%.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 2, 2021 - 12:03am

Since you have a 3.92 UW, are in the top 10%, and aren't applying for financial aid, I'd consider apply to every ivy you would be happy attending (hey, maybe you'll get in), everything on your list, maybe add WashU and Emory. 

I'd also drop an application (if you would be happy attending) at Colby, Middlebury, and Wesleyan just because they don't require supplemental essays and your stats make it a coin flip. I'd also apply to Amherst since it's part of the 5 college consortium with Umass and will let you experience the big college feel (I went to one of the 5 colleges).

Aug 2, 2021 - 6:32pm

I think it's reasonable to not apply to Duke, UChicago, Vandy and Northwestern.

If the admissions departments don't know your school, I think only having 2 AP's will be a big knock and would outweigh your strong SAT. If your school offers very few AP's and/or is in a poor area, it may not be a big issue though.

If you're dead set on a finance career, I think NYU is the best school on your list. Your profile would definitely be competitive there, and NYU punches above its weight in recruiting from what I've seen. A decent number of people from my high school went there, and I doubt many of them had a better SAT or class rank than you.

Aug 5, 2021 - 11:13am

What really hurts is that your school doesn't do rank, I know it isn't up to you but in today's pandemic application season, rank will be important as many schools have inflation as well as essays and extracurriculars. Just make sure to put down that you think that you are in the top x% of your class, according to your counselor or dept chair.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 8, 2021 - 3:49am

Sure maybe as a safety. He has a shot at much better schools that would place into NY or SF IB with little effort. I doubt his goal is Houston/Dallas IB coming from the NE with his stats. 

Aug 8, 2021 - 4:48am

Speaking as someone who is entering a target next year, and I can't say this enough to my younger peers, apply to a healthy amount of schools. I have a similar academic profile to you (34 ACT, valedictorian, All-State athlete, captain/president of numerous clubs, white male) and I had a tough admissions process. However, I am fortunate in the end to be ending a top 10-12 university. Honestly with yield protection, test optional, and the increase in applications nothing is truly a target or safety as I was waitlisted/denied to significantly ranked schools than I was accepted. Apply to at least 12 schools you would be comfortable at, and don't beat yourself up too hard as the results come in. I'm attending one of the schools you claimed no one has ever gotten in from your high school, and one of my teachers told me that I was the first student in the last twenty years to get accepted to said school, so there's always a chance.

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