After so many years of lurking, it seems only fair to finally fill this out.
Type of Undergrad: Top-50-ish private school
Undergrad GPA: 3.85
Type of Grad: NA
Grad GPA: NA
Math Courses: Three semesters of calculus (A,A,A) linear algebra (A), ODE (A-), Intro to Proofs (A), Real Analysis (A), Graph Theory (A), plus many statistics classes (all A)
Econ Courses: Principles of Micro/Macro (A, A), Intermediate Micro/Macro (A,A), Financial Econ (A), Law and Econ (A), Int' Trade (A), Game Theory (A), Labor (A), Econometrics (A), Proseminar (A)
Letters of Recommendation: Three economists I RA'ed for.
Research Experience: Two years as a full-time RA in macro
Teaching Experience: Some tutoring in undergrad, not much.
Research Interests: Macro
Acceptances: Penn ($$), Columbia ($$), UCLA ($$)
Rejections: Harvard, HBS, MIT, Stanford, Chicago, Booth, Princeton, Berkeley, Michigan, Northwestern, Yale
What would you have done differently?
All things considered, I'm happy with how it shook out. I had a steep hole to climb out of, having not attended a prestigious undergrad with a well-known econ program. I would definitely recommend others in my situation to also take on a full-time RA position, as I'm certain I wouldn't have placed as well without it.
How accurate were others' predictions of your range of admissions?
My letter writers were surprised that I didn't place better, but I'm very happy with the outcome.