Published paper good enough (as spike) to get in Stanford / Harvard / MIT etc?

I am currently working in a lab at UC San Diego and have been working on my own project for about 5 months now. We have generated a lot of data, and my boss thinks there is a good chance we could write a paper and get it published before I apply to college (I am currently a junior). We were also thinking of submitting it to a science fair, however in case it does not make it to a high level (such as nationals), would a published paper with my name first be enough to get into Stanford? I have a 4.83 GPA this year (my cumulative is a 4.6 weighted and 4.0 unweighted), and I haven't received my test scores back but i took a practice SAT and got 1490 out of 1600 (before much prep).

Is this enough to get into an ivy league, and if not do you have any recommendations?

Thank you so much,

Angela B.

Yes -- a sufficiently good published paper with sufficient involvement from you is enough to count as a spike.

For example, a Science or Nature article of which you're the primary idea generator or played a major role (besides putting in work) would be a show-stopper and probably could get you in anywhere (even if it's not published yet -- a revise and resubmit would count!).

This is because universities at heart are academic institutions and give special merit to publications.

However, not all published papers qualify. For example, suppose the journal you're going for is "third tier" or below (ranks less than 5-10 in it's field). Suppose also that you did less innovative things for the paper, and you put in just labor, and only a small fraction at that (e.g. you're the middle author in a 20-author paper). This might be more questionable. To measure whether this qualifies -- think about how many other high schoolers around the USA would be in your position. If, say, more than 500 high school students would be in your position, it's probably not difficult enough to be a spike for Stanford.