Targets seem to be too far of a stretch for me what are the good semi targets to break into IB

Currently a senior in high school looking at where I want to apply and looking at my grades I think the targets are a bit too much of a stretch for me so I wont even bother applying to them yet what the lower semi targets that can break me into IB, considering both east and west coast. Non-targets with good programs like rutgers rtws are also a possibility. Also let me know about my list. My HS GPA is a 3.4 as of end of my junior year I know its terrible, freshman I slacked off and junior and sophomore years I turned around and tried my best to make the best of it.

Current List


Texas A&M


Michigan State


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Comments (23)

Aug 5, 2021 - 5:39pm

Finally my people I think transferring after first year from state school and keeping your grades up first year so you can transfer to a target might be better option though.

Aug 6, 2021 - 1:07am

I am looking into that option but state schools only and no community colleges as I don't want to take that risk of not being able to transfer to where I want to and get stuck in a community college. I am from Canada and I'm not too sure going from a Canadian top uni to an American top uni would be as easy as state school to American top uni, so I would be going to America my first year anyways wether I would go straight to a semi target or state school but I feel like straight to semi target would be much easier.

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Aug 6, 2021 - 1:15am

By end of senior year ( end of this upcoming school year) I do expect a 3.5 or 3.6 GPA which isn't too terrible. I have many good extracurriculars that make up for the low gpa. The thought of "nothing is a stretch" helps a lot. Thank you brother. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2021 - 1:32am

Just incase you didn't know - you apply to American universities during the summer/fall of your senior year with your transcript up to junior year. So it doesn't really matter if you get your gpa up a bit senior year. Just start working on your apps and good luck!

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2021 - 1:27am

You're naming schools that with a 3.4 G.P.A, OP has almost 0 chance to get into. UT and WashU are two of the most competitive state schools in the country. Not to mention you're suggesting Cornell and UChicago. Think OP should apply to low semi/non targets that have some sort of presence.

ex: IU, PSU, A&M, Fordham, BYU

Most Helpful
Oct 10, 2021 - 1:29pm

Agree with you on the Uchicago part but I had a 3.4 unweighted GPA in high school and got into UT and a few of these other listed schools too. If you have a well rounded profile that can makeup for it with good essays/a good story that can incorporate your extra curriculars into it you'll have a shot at many of these competitive state schools as well.If you're not interested in transferring from an easy state school to a target then some of these should definitely be on your list :UT, A&M, SMU, IU, Illinois I guess but IU better, UMICH, NYU, UNC, UVA, BU. Some may be harder than others but i think this is a good starter list to work with and reconcile based on your location preferences and budget, add in a good amount of backups/lower tiers , + maybe 1-2 high level target for a total of 18-20 applications.Really depends on your story/extra circulars if your GPA is going to be 'uncompetitive' compared to your peers so find ways to stand out like a highlighter.

Aug 13, 2021 - 8:50am

Fortunately colleges are more lenient when looking at freshman year grades. As long as you made up for it strongly in your sophomore and junior years, you should still be competitive at many schools. 

Oct 1, 2021 - 12:58am

If I were in your position, I'd go to a community college or easy school (Baruch, Rutgers, Penn State, etc), get a baller gpa and extracurriculars, transfer to a target. Ideally, you're able to transfer to a solid target after just a year so you have more time to network with target alumni and take advantage of on-campus recruiting

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Oct 1, 2021 - 7:31am

Also there's nothing wrong with going to a top Canadian school. Ivey/Western Ontario sends a ton of kids to GS.

Transferring is also tougher than getting in freshman year from a statistics perspective so you need to make sure your college freshman year materially ups your profile and candidacy. You fucked up early in your young adulthood and you need to work 4-5x harder to make up for that fuck up. That's how it always works, similar to time value of money, time value of effort

  • Analyst 1 in Research - Other
Oct 8, 2021 - 1:07pm

Ivey is extremely competitive though. More so than most of the schools suggested by others in this thread. I doubt OP has a chane.

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Oct 9, 2021 - 2:17pm

Yeah I have zero clue how competitive Canadian colleges are but I have a different perspective on competitive. I gunned basically only for HYPSM 11 years ago and even then the rates for those guys were <10% and Stanford was 5% at the time. When I see that Penn State is like 70%+ I just can't comprehend that because there are smart Penn State kids that I used to work with in banking and I have no idea how those two facts computed. 

Oct 10, 2021 - 1:49pm

Yeah, you should drop the notion of Ivey HBA/Queens Comm if you don't have at least a 92 average minimum.

UBC Sauder is the worst because everyone is at Sauder and trying to get into IB; but, the best chance is through their Portfolio Wealth Management program which accepts 7 kids out of 2000 applications. Still, it's the only program that's comparable to an Ivy.

Oct 1, 2021 - 7:44am

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