Q&A: What are my chances of getting into UPenn or Cornell Early Decision?

Question by : What are my chances of getting into UPenn or Cornell Early Decision?
I am a Hispanic junior from northern New Mexico, where I go to a fairly competitive school and I am in the top 10% of my class with my class rank being 7th/140. I maintain an UW GPA of 3.85 and a weighted GPA of 4.4. I am a first generation student in terms of my biological family, who are a bunch of drug addicts. However, if one considers my adoptive family my father went to UPenn.

My current class schedule; Culinary Arts (Dual Credit), AP Calc AB, AP US History, AP Biology, English III (H), Psychology (H), Spanish III (H), Speech and Debate II (H).

My class schedule for my senior year will be: AP Calculus BC, AP Lit, AP Gov, AP Physics, AP Chem, Spanish IV Honors, Pro-Start 2 (3rd year of Culinary class), Speech III Honors.

I got a 2240 on the SAT in December (800 M, 720 CR, and 720 W). My PSAT’s were high 60’s across the board.

In the extra curricular department I am the President of our local high school’s Gay Straight Alliance, which I founded as well. I help connect our GSA with local gay friendly businesses and other organizations, so I am the student representative to our local PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter. I am the captain of the Speech team. I am captain of one of the competitive Culinary Arts teams at our school. I will be co-captain of the chess team, who took 3rd at Nationals last year. I am in National Honors Society. I have been in all these clubs since I was a freshman, except for National Honors Society which I joined as a sophomore.

In the community/volunteer department, I have gone to and spoken at several anti-drug, anti-violence, and other types of marches. I volunteer at the animal shelter in the summer and have amassed about 150 hours of volunteer service. I have volunteered at the local soup kitchen as well for the past couple of years, especially during the holidays. I have helped to restore the clubhouse out by the golf course near where I live as well. Lastly I have been going to elementary school classrooms and teaching kids chess since the 8th grade.

Best answer:

Answer by Ashley
Your GPA, SAT, course rigor and extra curriculars are comparable to many students who are admitted to UPenn and Cornell. Being Hispanic and a legacy are both great hooks, too. I think you have an excellent chance at both schools! Just keep in mind that “chance” is the key word here. With highly selective schools like these, with admission rates around 20%, it’s never a sure thing and nobody accurately predict who will get in. There are students with even more impressive stats and hooks who get rejected, and students with less impressive stats and no hooks who are accepted. It sometimes seems to make no sense, and no one but the admissions committee who reviews the applications can say why someone got in and someone else didn’t. Once you’ve reached a certain threshold of “acceptability” (which you have), it’s a bit like playing the lottery with schools like these. Just keep on doing what you’re doing… be thinking about some teachers who will write glowing recommendations for you… make sure your essays are honest, sincere and show your ture passions… and keep positive! You will definitely have a lot of great options!

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