Admissions

How Does a Near-Perfect Student Get Denied Almost Everywhere?

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I am the mother of a high school senior who got denied almost everywhere. I am not trying to say he's perfect, but I am trying to figure how what could have gone wrong with his applications. He was denied or waitlisted from all of the following: Columbia, Princeton, Duke, Michigan, UNC, Vanderbilt and Northwestern. He got into our state schools (UVA and William & Mary) and I assume he will go to one of those if he doesn't get off a waitlist. But he has a 1600 SAT, perfect Math 2 and Physics SAT scores, he created an app that is now available in the iTunes store, he has never gotten a B (or even an A-) and had 12 APs. He has won engineering competitions and owns his own landscaping business in the summer. He's got a lot of leadership both in school and outside of it. So I am just flummoxed about how this could have happened. I'm not trying to appeal the denials or anything, just looking for insight.

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