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Do I have a somewhat good chance of getting into Cal Poly?

AstroAlpacaAstroAlpaca Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
During my junior year, Im going to be taking advanced classes such as AP calculus, AP US history, AP Physics, and AP English. I've maintained a 4.0 GPA or higher in my first two years of high school. For my extra curriculars I am on the school swim team, Leo's club, and Link Crew (A sort of Freshmen Welcoming program). I'm also a part of the AVID tutoring program. Although I can't say my SAT/ACT scores because I haven't taken them yet, do I have a decent chance of getting into Cal Poly if I wish to major in Computer Sciences?

Replies to: Do I have a somewhat good chance of getting into Cal Poly?

  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 5,015 Senior Member
    You have a great start, but there isn't enough information yet to say with any certainty. it will hinge largely on your test scores. Look up my responses in the "confused about MCA" thread and you'll have a better idea of how Poly ranks applicants. Good luck!
  • palm715palm715 Registered User Posts: 825 Member
    When we went on the tour and info session last fall, they made it very clear it is major specific and stats driven. ECs are "considered," not "very important" or "important" and no essays or recommendations are used (per common data set). They use their calculation of your GPA plus standardized test scores. Then, they rank you compared to everyone else who applied for that specific major. On their website, they don't have computer science broken out, but the Freshman profile for Engineering Fall 2015 was:

    Applied: 16,118
    Accepted: 3,469
    GPA: 4.13
    ACT: 32
    SAT (Math & Reading): 1419

    Good luck & aloha
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 25,071 Forum Champion
    CS has about a 10% acceptance rate so if you are at or above the Engineering school average you have a good shot. Consider applying ED if SLO is your #1 choice.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 5,015 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    @palm715, ECs carry minimal weight in to algorithm, 7% to be exact, but they can be VERY powerful, especially in majors where it's hypercompetitive.

    Poly does not assess the quality of ECs or work. Being the quarterback of the state championship team counts the same as being the team manager of a team that didn't win a game. Likewise, working for NASA counts the same as mowing lawns. That's why we all get into the habit of saying they don't matter. In majors though where nearly everyone who gets in has high grades and high test scores (unless they get extra algorithm points for service area, parents' education, etc.), non-academic points can and do make the difference. Understanding how they work is important.

    For every 5 hours a week that you spend working and/or doing an EC, you get extra algorithm points (20 and 30 respectively). Fourteen hours a week between Soccer practice, games and trombone nets 90 points. Four hours mowing lawns, 20 points. Those points are no different than scoring that many points higher on the SAT/ACT.

    Where it gets powerful is when you can check the boxes "leadership" and "major related." A leadership role in ANY EC will net an extra 60 points. It doesn't matter if you're captain of a varsity team or secretary in the Spanish Club. These are free points, because many of those roles are very easy to get. Again, that's the same as raising your SAT from 680 to 740. Major related work experience adds 50 points and for CS that's also pretty easy. You don't have to have a published app. You just have to work with computers. One hour a week entering data nets 20 points for the job, but 50 points for it being major related. Again, if you know, low hanging fruit.

    Unlike holistic admission schools where a spectacular EC might make up for a mediocre GPA, it won't at Poly. At the margins of a major like CS, ME or BME, where the MCA cutoff might be 4550, it very well could.
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