Comments/Questions on "John": - "Pretty good recs" from reputable teachers isn't really enough to justify that they wrote a good letter for him personally, and given that he most likely waived his right to see his teacher's recommendation, there's no way to judge the quality of the recommendation. A strong barometer of how good of a recommendation a teacher wrote for you is participation in the classroom and interaction with professors outside of the classroom. - What are his AP scores? 4's and 5's would be a strong indicator of a strong contestant for an admission spot. - The UW 3.43 really kills him when measured against the top-tier schools (esp. Michigan and Cornell). - A more precise definition of "one of the best high schools in MA" would be nice (general range of ranking i.e. top 5, top 10, top 15, etc.) - Did he ask for his PI (primary investigator) for a letter of recommendation? Those can carry a large amount of weight, especially since he did research for 2 years on lung cancer. - Was he good at swimming on his team or was he "just there"? If he was good enough to compete in County championships, then he's somewhere near NCAA Division III. Not that it matters anymore, since rarely will a team have any open spots come time for regular decision (unless you really sweet talk the coach into putting in a good word for you). - Yeah, Northeastern really has stepped up their admissions profile in recent years. - Did he submit his academic paper as a supplement for his application? I know a couple of schools like seeing the fruit of a student's research. - Most importantly, I don't really know the quality of his essays. For some schools, it's a big game changer; for others, it's a facade. That's one factor I can't really help with. Comments on acceptance: Boston University: 66% - Definitely exceeds testing standards, class rank puts everything up in the air. The deferment from Northeastern makes me hesitant to put out a higher percentage. Brown University: 2.8% - Test-wise, he's above the 75th percentile, but given the Cornell rejection, which I'd assume is ED, he doesn't stand too tall in class rank Swarthmore College: 11% - Swarthmore is built on Quaker values, which means they're big on volunteering. However, donating to a food bank =/= volunteering at a food bank. This number is an optimistic estimate. Also, it's a bit hard to find profile data to measure against for you, but it seems like that unweighted GPA is gonna be an anchor for your friend Drexel University: 89% - I'd almost push it to a high 90% chance - Although he's below the avg. unweighted GPA (3.56), he has taken classes that are more rigorous and will be looked upon favorably by admissions. - ACT 35 is practically at the 85th - 95th percentile of Drexel applicants. Oberlin College: 42% - His UW GPA is well under Oberlin's average (3.7), but his AP courseload and mastery in subject tests should help him in admissions. Also, the avg. weighted GPA of Oberlin admits is a solid 4.0. If his school does 4.0+ and he has that, then the unweighted situation isn't as big of an issue. - 35 is above middle 50% (30 - 33). - Based on his credentials so far, he seems like a solid middle-of-the-pack applicant to Oberlin. University of Southern California: 37% - UW GPA well below both applicant and admitted GPAs (3.57 and 3.82, respectively) - ACT score a bit above middle 50% (31 - 34) - Your friend is competing against California schools (one of the best public education systems in the U.S.) - Personally, I wouldn't recommend USC because you're paying Ivy League tuition for a curriculum you could get down the road at UCLA (or Boston / Northeastern) - Asian hunnies down at USC are ratchet af (personal experience) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: 39% - ACT is above top end of middle 50% by two points - Frankly speaking, I really don't know how to actually describe UNC since I rarely work with students who apply there (or who think of applying there but end up axing the school from their final pool altogether) - Good portion of admits are at the top 10% of their class (78%). Assuming that 3.43 UW means that he probably isn't, that means that his GPA will be the hole in the armor. Carnegie Mellon University: 32% - Why did he apply to CMU if he's probably going bio track? These assumptions are based off of Mellon College of Science (since most of the college he applied to were for biology) - Above ACT avg. by one point - Well below CMU's unweighted GPA (3.87) - Not a preferred choice imo This is as far as I will go. I know that these percentages seem largely arbitrary, but these are my betting odds based on his admissions, deferments, and rejections. If you want an in-depth estimate similar to the ones above (or more), please PM me Drangonn.