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Projected Software Engineering Acceptance Rate for OOS students in the next few years?

IvyBoy123IvyBoy123 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
I'm a sophomore in high school and I really like what Cal Poly's SE program has to offer. Any ideas if it will be harder or easier to get into in the future? Obviously opinions will be mostly hypothetical but I just want to know what you all are thinking. Also, I have seen some threads on the MCA score and it looks like that is the primary way that Cal Poly considers admission, any ideas on how I can increase my MCA considering factors like being OOS, location, etc. (I Live in Missouri if that helps). Thanks for your opinion!

Replies to: Projected Software Engineering Acceptance Rate for OOS students in the next few years?

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,489 Forum Champion
    edited February 21
    I think SLO will continue to raise the bar in getting an acceptance especially for the in-demand majors such as STEM.

    This link shows the average GPA/Test score stats for all First time Freshman from 2012-2016 and you can see an increase in each subsequent year.

    And Here is the Freshman profile by college for 2017 Freshman:

    https://admissions.calpoly.edu/prospective/profile.html

    https://content-calpoly-edu.s3.amazonaws.com/ir/1/images/Student_Achievement/Enrolled First-Time Freshmen Entrance Measures.pdf

    The best way to increase your MCA points is to max out your CP GPA (cap of 4.2), have competitive test scores SAT of 1400+ ACT 32+ and maximize your course rigor points especially in Science/Math by taking the recommended # of semesters for each these courses listed below:
    Being OOS from Missouri will not give you an advantage other than you will be a full pay applicant and CSU’s do like “cash cows”.


    Course recommendations by # of semesters:
    English: 10
    Algebra: 4
    Geometry: 2
    Advanced Math: 4
    Language Other than English: 8
    Lab Science
    (Must include 1 year of a Biological Science and 1 year of a Physical Science): 8
    Social Sciences
    (Must include 1 year of US History or US History and Government): 4
    Visual Performing Arts: 4
    Electives: 2

    As an OOS applicant, my understanding is that you will be evaluated in a separate applicant pool than in-state which could be to your advantage or disadvantage depending upon the qualifications of these applicants.

    Also be aware the SLO has an initiative to increase OOS rates for the 2018 in-coming Freshman so expect costs to be another $8000 over the next 4 years.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/cal-poly-san-luis-obispo/2055709-proposed-fee-increase-notice-for-oos-applicants-to-cal-poly-slo.html#latest

    Lastly, since SE is slightly less selective than CS, many applicants may focus on this major which would in turn may it more competitive in another 2 years when you apply.

    Just do your best and make sure you start formulating your college list with a couple of safeties that are affordable.

  • IvyBoy123IvyBoy123 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    @Gumbymom Thanks for your reply. A couple more questions. Do you think more people will start to apply OOS to Cal Poly? Money is not a problem for me which I am thankful for. Also what classifies as "Advanced Math"? Finally, I have 2 semester Bs and am planning to take around 6 semesters worth of AP courses in grades 9-11, is it still possible for me to reach that GPA cap? Thanks for your help.
  • IvyBoy123IvyBoy123 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    *Correction, 12 semesters.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,489 Forum Champion
    If the tuition increase for OOS students gets ratified, I think it will hurt the OOS admissions since SLO is still a pretty good deal in comparison to the California UC’s for many OOS students. Only time will tell.

    SLO uses only a-g courses from 9-11th grades ( they did include grades for foreign language and Math taken in middle school but not sure if these are included anymore in the GPA) in their GPA calculation and will cap the weighted honors points at 8 semesters of AP credit for classes taken 10-11th. 2 B’s vs the rest A’s for 9-11th with the honors cap will put you around a CP GPA of 4.3 or 4.2 for the MCA calculation.

    Advanced Math would beyond Algebra 2 so Pre-Calc, Calc etc...
  • IvyBoy123IvyBoy123 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Got it. Thanks very much.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    I'm a sophomore in high school and I really like what Cal Poly's SE program has to offer. Any ideas if it will be harder or easier to get into in the future? Obviously opinions will be mostly hypothetical but I just want to know what you all are thinking.
    In 2008 (10 years age), Cal Poly got 39,026 applications. That was a record high.
    In 2010, they broke that record. Then they broke it again in 2012.
    Another record was set in 2013. Then there were new records again in 2014 and 2015 and 2016.
    For 2017, there was a new record high of 65,507 applications.
    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/education/article190099069.html

    So the number of applications has soared by 68% over the past 10 years, with new records for application volume being set for the last six years in a row. Do you see a pattern here?

    One factor that could affect the numbers: Cal Poly is considering a significant increase in the fees charged to add-of-state students. It's possible that this could reduce the number of OOS students that apply, thereby reducing the OOS competition.
    https://calpolynews.calpoly.edu/news_releases/2018/february/cpog

    Missouri S&T also has a very good reputation and would cost much less for a Missouri resident than Cal Poly. Just sayin.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    If you are from OOS and feel that you have to study CS or engineering in California, your best bet might be a private school, rather than a state school like Cal Poly or the UCs.

    The private schools don't offer state-subsidized tuition to California residents. So they obviously cost more for CA residents, which means that they don't get the incredibly huge (and growing) volume of in-state applicants that you see at Cal Poly or UCs.

    But this also means that the privates have more room for OOS students. Furthermore, they aren't required to cap OOS enrollment or charge higher OOS tuition. They are also free to offer OOS financial aid. In other words, they are more OOS-friendly in every way.

    You might want to look at Santa Clara University, for example. SCU is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is supposed to be a pretty good location for software (Cal Poly is in a rural area 200 miles away). SCU has become a backup school for people who want to study engineering or CS in the Bay Area, but who can't get into Stanford or Berkeley (i.e. everybody), so they are pulling in students with exceptional test scores. If you care about rankings, SCU is higher than Cal Poly in the US News Regional U West ranking.

    But SCU doesn't discount in-state tuition, so they don't get a flood of California applicants, and so they have a relatively reasonable acceptance rate. SCU relies on enrolling OOS students (i.e. people like you). For OOS students, the privates commonly cost less (after financial aid) than a OOS tuition at a state school (which won't offer OOS financial aid). Check out SCU's class profile here: http://profiles.asee.org/profiles/7791/screen/19
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,713 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    @Corbett, have you ever been to Rolla? :(( That said, it's a good value.

    SCU is generally stingy with aid, and $64k/year for a full EFC family.
  • IvyBoy123IvyBoy123 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks guys. Hey what's wrong with Rolla? Also, I said money wasn't that big of a problem but 64k/year is A LOT. I saw Cal Poly as the number 1 SE school so I assumed it was really good? I see a common trend in more competition for CS majors than SE ones even though they are very similar. I wanted to take advantage of this pattern but I realized a downside to this is not many schools offer SE.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    I said money wasn't that big of a problem but 64k/year is A LOT.
    64k/year is the full "sticker price" for SCU, which assumes that your family has so much $$ that it does not qualify for any financial aid whatsoever. In reality, few students at SCU are going to pay that rate. According to College Navigator, the average net price at SCU was $37,657 for 2015-16. This is lower than the estimated OOS cost of attendance at Cal Poly (assuming no OOS financial aid, which is the norm).
    https://financialaid.calpoly.edu/coa1718.html

    Many private schools have similar, or even higher, sticker prices. For example, if you are from Missouri, then you are probably familiar with Washington University in St. Louis, which currently estimates the total cost of attendance at $74,276. Again, most WUSTL students aren't going to actually pay that much.
    https://sfs.wustl.edu/newlyadmitted/Pages/Tuition-Costs-and-Billing-Information.aspx

    Even state schools in California have comparable "sticker prices" when it comes to OOS students. For example, try the cost calculator for UC Santa Barbara, and select the options for 2017-18, Undergraduate, non-California Resident, and University Residence Halls. Result = $64,194. And UCSB offers zero financial aid to OOS students (with the likely exception of recruited OOS athletes on athletic scholarships)
    https://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/cost-of-attendance

    For most OOS families at SCU, the $64k/year sticker price will come down after financial aid. For most OOS families at UCSB, the $64k/year sticker price won't come down.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,713 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    @Corbett, SCU and WashU are VERY different when it comes to need. According to College Board, WashU meets 100% of unmet need for 99% of their students. SCU meets full need only 31% of the time. At WashU 100% of those judged to have need receive it. At SCU that number is only 81%. That means nearly 20% who the school determines have need, get offered nothing at all. Remember, need based aid includes loans.

    My point isn't that SCU is NEVER a good deal. It's that it is very situational.

    As for Rolla, it's a tiny town in the middle of nowhere that gets very hot and very cold. It's not the vibrant, midwestern college town as typified by Columbia, or Madison, WI or even Iowa City.

    Lastly, SE and CS are different. CS is more theoretical and SE is more applied. Most CS grads though probably end up getting SE jobs.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 22
    My point isn't that SCU is NEVER a good deal. It's that it is very situational.
    I fully agree. But in that case, what kind of situation would be most likely to favor SCU (or other private schools)? I'm just suggesting that the following conditions, in combination, would represent the "best-case" scenario for private schools, i.e. where there would be the highest odds (not necessarily 100%) of a private school financial advantage:

    (1) an OOS applicant, who
    (2) applies to a state school that has high OOS cost of attendance, and where
    (3) the state school offers little or no financial aid to OOS applicants.

    While this is admittedly a "best-case" scenario, it doesn't seem totally unrealistic or hypothetical. On the contrary, it appears to arise with some regularity on the collegeconfidential forums, due to the number of OOS students who are considering state schools in California. If conditions 1 to 3 above are applicable, then maybe it would make sense for those OOS students to consider private schools in California as possible alternatives.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,713 Senior Member
    With Cal Poly fees as they are, the cost of attendance with no aid is the same as a $65K/year school with $100K in aid. With the proposed fee increase, that obviously changes. I agree 100% that the calculus for attending Poly from OOS will change dramatically change if they add the new fee. Poly is not generous with aid of any kind in state or out of state.

    We were full pay and at the time it represented a good value. During his junior year, we had a dramatic change in our financial circumstances (opened a new business). Our EFC dropped below $5K. He was awarded a Pell, and only a Pell. If we didn't have a 529, he wouldn't have been able to afford it.

    The approach you're advocating is spot on. I just don't think SCU should be the poster child of that approach. My son for example chose RPI, WPI and Case, all very solid ME programs with reputations for giving big aid to high stats applicants. His only state schools, besides CP, were WUE schools.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 23
    I just don't think SCU should be the poster child of that approach. My son for example chose RPI, WPI and Case, all very solid ME programs with reputations for giving big aid to high stats applicants. His only state schools, besides CP, were WUE schools.
    Yes, those are all attractive alternatives -- except that they aren't in California. SCU is arguably the best alternative for OOS applicants who are applying to UCs or CSUs because they want to study engineering or CS in California specifically, and who don't have the stats for Stanford, USC, Caltech, or Mudd. My impression, based on collegeconfidential postings, is that this is a surprisingly large group.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,713 Senior Member
    Why anyone from out of California would make being in California a priority for its own sake is beyond me, but as you say, students do.
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