I am a +2 student and will be applying for the Fall of 2017. Regarding my academics, I got 75.2% in 11 and I predict my grade 12 score to be 80-82%. I can definitely get 1450+ in the SAT but aiming to score much higher. I can get good scores on Subject test as well.
Regarding community services, I don’t have much(hardly anything ) to show. I worked in raising awareness about girls trafficking to school students, done a few blood donations here and there, took part in environmental awareness and cleaning campaigns.
I was the captain of the School Football Team for 2 years, class leader for some years too. I have won Debate and Essays competitions within the school and high school . I have won Inter-school Science Quiz and grabbed third prize in Math Quiz which was organized by one of the top high school in the country. I am planning to do a project that correlates with my application essay.
I think I will get decent recommendations from my teachers(7.5-8/10) and from my high school counselor(8-9/10). I hope to write an amazing essay. The thing that I am most worried about is my class rank. There are nearly 530 students in high school and my HSEB percentage may put me in top 50-55%, which I think is pretty low.
What are my chances of getting into good colleges that provide generous need-based aid? Can I get into Ivy Leagues?
Excellent advice from Sidhant bhai. I will add some more things that come to mind.
You should know that it is practically impossible to say if you have a strong application without seeing the entire or atleast much of your application. You say you hope to write an excellent essay, but make sure that you know what an excellent essay entails. The first year I applied, I thought my essay was excellent. I later found out my entire thought process was incorrect, and my essay was garbage. Seeing how important essays and recommendations are, especially for Ivy League colleges where essays are more important than most, I dont believe anyone can actually say much about your chances without seeing atleast one of them.
All in all, I think this post is the product of anxiety rather than an expectance of a decent answer. I know that the application process is an insecure hellride but please know that any encouraging comments on such profiles do little more than give momentary satisfaction and not much else. The most you can say is if the numbers match you up with the academic ballpark of the college. Your SAT scores sound impressive, good going!
If you ask me, I think class rank matters significantly when it comes to Ivy Leagues and other top notch schools. Given that you are in the top 50-55%, it might surely raise some brows in the admission offices. (This is especially true if you do not come from a very competitive high school where it’s really hard to make it to the top 10%.) But what’s more important is how rigorous your courses were, how much you pushed yourself and how well prepared you are academically for your college. You can demonstrate your academic potential through your SAT scores (both general SAT and Subject Tests). If possible and interested, take some online classes from recognized platforms to demonstrate your academic potential.
It’s good that you are confident about your recommendations and essay. You list a fair amount of extracurriculars above that you participated in. But from your account, I don’t see you being passionate about one or two of the activities you mention above. Read Prabha’s wonderful answer below about passionately taking up extracurriculars: http://collegesodhpuch.com/home/question/what-are-the-key-factors-to-get-placement-at-princeton-university/
Now, given all of this, top notch colleges are looking for students who are a good fit for them. So I would suggest doing good research on such colleges and apply to those that you think are good matches for you. Your academic credentials matter, but beyond a certain point it’s more about who you are and what do you bring to the table. Such traits of you are reflected in your essays and recommendations. So put your sincerest efforts into them as well.
As per you chances, it’s hard to tell. I think Ivy League and other top colleges should still be in sight for you.
For more insights on the application process, especially if your target is a top notch school, please watch the presentation below by Saroj Kandel dai. He is an undergraduate student at Harvard and comes from +2 background.