Preparing for College

The Dean Does Not Do "Chances"

Question: I am currently a junior in high school and I am wondering what my chances are of getting into an Ivy League school. I have a 3.7 unweighted GPA and a 4.1 weighted. My SAT scores are all in the 700-800 range with my highest scores in Science and Math. Now that I'm passed the halfway point in my high school career I'm starting to get nervous because I don't have many extracurricular things going on.

“The Dean" does not do “chances" assessments. I would be at it 24/7, if I were to try to respond to all such questions. My inbox is flooded with them and, in most cases, it's irresponsible to make these assessments based on the information that arrives with an “Ask the Dean" question.

If you want a free evaluation of your admission chances at an Ivy League school ... or at any college on your list ... I suggest that you try the College Confidential “Chances" forum. See: Granted, the opinions you receive will be highly unofficial, but CC members do have a good track record when it comes to honing in on both strengths and deficiencies. Of course, take these assessments with a shaker of salt. Don't give up on a dream college just because another CC member tells you that you don't have a prayer.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a paid, professional assessment of your admission odds, consider a College Karma Stats Evaluation. Once you have paid the fee ($150) and completed the Stats Form questionnaire, you will receive a thorough assessment of your admission chances at every college you named on the form along with suggestions on how to improve those chances. You will also get a list of other colleges to consider that should meet your academic profile and preferences. For more information, go to scroll down to where you see “Stats Eval" near the top of the page.

What I can tell you here, however, sounds like something you already know: Ivy League colleges are seeking students who not only excel academically but who also demonstrate passion and achievement outside of the classroom. Successful Ivy applicants need not be involved in extracurricular activities at school. They must, however, have made a significant commitment to something besides schoolwork, whether it's a paid job, a research project, a hobby, a sport, etc. So if this doesn't sound like you, then you may find that your Ivy aspirations are out of reach. But, with your excellent grades and test results, many colleges are sure to roll out the welcome mat for you. So keep an open mind, look for good matches, and don't set your sights on an Ivy alone.

(posted 10/12/2011)