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09/04/2019

Would colleges view a B student from an elite prep school differently than a B student from a regular school?

QUESTION
Would colleges view a B student from an elite prep school differently than a B student from a regular school?
Lets say you have a student who goes to an elite prep school like a difficult magnet school which is ranked top 5 in the state consistently, the student has a 3.3 GPA but a competitive SAT score, is ranked in the top 40 percent of his class, has an upward GPA and has taken nothing but honors classes and 4 AP classes ever since he entered high school. The student also has great extra curricular activities and outstanding essay writing skills. Here are the questions:

1. Would that student have a chance at a top 25 University or a place like Boston College, NYU and Tufts? Why or why not?

2. Is a student better off going to a regular public school, taking a lot of APs and graduating in the top 5 percent there rather than staying at a competitive magnet school and only graduating in the top 25 percent at best?

** I have a friend who recently sent in his application to NYU. He has been accepted into Mercer ($14,000 merit scholarship) and a lot of other mediocre colleges. The best college he has been accepted into is UGA.

ANSWER
1. Yes, mainly because of the coursework. His school has provided him with the difficult courses like honors and AP ever since he started so his weighted GPA may end up being high as compared to someone who went to a regular school whose weighted GPA may not be as high. Of course if the person took more APs then colleges will look at that.

2. In most cases yes, a valedictorian from a public school will have a better chance of getting into Yale or Harvard than a person ranked 15th from a competitive magnet school (exception being Stuyvesant High in NYC). Although the student will still have a chance at a lot of the top schools, Yale and Harvard would still be out of reach while a student from a public school won’t have to worry so much. It is the sad reality but a high school transcript with ALL A’s no matter what type of high school you are from looks better than a high school transcript with As, Bs and Cs. I tried to tell my brother the same thing, to send his child to a public school and let him excel there rather than hinder his success at a difficult magnet school.