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tomtomtomtom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited November 2007 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Applying to mechanical engineering/general engineering
3.6 Weighted GPA
700 math 740 verbal
IB diploma candidate
Enough extracurriculars to get by, ive heard its all a numbers game anyways.

My only problem is my math scores havent been top notch. B and a C in Alg. 2 sophomore year, C in precalc at community college Jr. Year. In math studies IB right now.

I also have a question regarding your major choices on the csumentor. It has the area for first and second major choice. Do you automatically get evaluated for both choices in admissions? EG, if I had mechanical engineering as first and poli sci as second, will the engineering dept. and the Liberal Arts dept. both be sent my application, or will the liberal arts only get it if I'm denied to engineering.

And as a last question, are any of the engineering majors easier to get into than others? if so which are tougher/easier.
Post edited by tomtom on

Replies to: Chances

  • Charlie's WorldCharlie's World Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    Do you think you can handle an engineering program w/ weak math skills?
  • tomtomtomtom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Traditionally, my math hasnt been my problem. Freshman year I aced geometry at an honors level and Im currently doing the same in my IB math class. The main problem is that the only two math classes that have ever given me trouble happen to be the only two years used for selection.

    Im by no means a math wiz, and I know that it will for sure be a challenging proposition, but I also like a challenge. if any current or past engineering students think I should reconsider otherwise please speak up so I can get an opinion!
  • collegemom16collegemom16 Registered User Posts: 4,257 Senior Member
    You have a 700 for your SAT score which is quite good. Is your school known for tough grading?
  • tomtomtomtom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    To a degree, but not overly so. National Blue Ribbon School in 2007, so I'm hoping that will help. My questions regarding whether I'll get in or not is to what extent they look at your course load, grades, and test scores. I know my grades are less than expected of them, but my courseload is good (IB diploma) and my SAT's are 200pts higher than their average. I guess it's all wait and see now, though I'll probably apply for summer term as well to be sure.
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Do you have any AP courses or tests? Try the less popular Industrial Engineering as your choice of major rather than ME or CE. Without a doubt, apply for summer even if you haven't heard back from the Fall admissions office yet. They usually time it so that you either have 1 or 2 days to apply for summer after your denial letter, or the summer registration has already closed. Don't let them make that play on you. It's strictly a numbers game at Cal Poly. Your numbers look ok for Industrial Engineering, but not ME. What about your special SAT tests (Math I Math II, Physics A, B and C?)
    As to your question about if your application will be submitted to the Liberal Arts college if you are denied to the Engineering Department, call the admissions office (12:00 - 4:00) and ask them that question. Also, make friends with the student on the other side of the phone. Tell them that Cal Poly is your dream school (hey, whatever works), and you really really want to get in. Ask them for pointers and specifically ask them the best route to get in (should you apply to the Liberal Arts college rather than Engineering college). If you get an older, wiser mom/dad aged person, hang up and try again for a student. You won't get any helpful info from the older folks, they are well trained to give the standard Cal Poly answers, like "we don't want you to be admitted for a major you don't intend to stay with." Good luck. Once you get in, make finding housing your priority. Housing fills up at the end of April. No lie - its harder to find housing than it is to get in to SLO.
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Also - tomtom - as a comparision, an Industrial Engineering major was admitted with the following scores: SAT Math 720; Verbal 700; Written 550; SAT Math I - 730; SAT Math II - 720; AP Calc AB - 5; AP Physics B - 3; AP Physics C Mech - 4; AP Physics C E&M 3; AP Econ Mic- 3; AP Statistics 3; AP Econ Mac - 3, AP Calc B - 5; AP Calc BC - 4 and AP Comp Sci 3. He then aced all of his AP classes in all Math and Physics classes. His GPA was 3.6. Denied for fall admission, granted summer admission. No EC activities worth mentioning.
  • collegemom16collegemom16 Registered User Posts: 4,257 Senior Member
    CPSLOmom Cal Poly doesn't even ask for SAT 11's on their application.

    Freshman applicants compete to be selected only against other freshman applicants applying for the same major through a point-based evaluation of three academic categories and one non-academic category. The four categories are weighted differently for different colleges/majors and combine to provide a final result used in conjunction with other applicants applying for that major.
    >> Section one - College prep GPA
    Calculated by Cal Poly for 9th -11th grade coursework designated on the application (with honors points granted for courses designated as "honors" on a high school transcript, for up to eight semesters.)
    >> Section two - CSU required coursework taken during 9th to 11th grades, and in progress or planned during 12th grade
    Electives can be taken in 9-12 grades, but must fall within the following subject areas (above): Visual and Performing Arts, History, Social Science, English, Advanced Mathematics, Science and languages other than English.
    >> Section three - ACT or SAT I test scores
    Please note
    1. Only ACT or SAT I scores are used in the selection process. (more information)
    2. If you are applying for the Fall Quarter, scores from ACT and SAT tests taken after November are not guaranteed to be used in the selection process.
    >> Section four - Work experience and extra-curricular activity participation
    This information is taken from four questions only.
    1. Average number of hours worked per week over the most recent 12 months?
    2. Was more than 25% of your work related to your Cal Poly choice of major? (yes or no)
    3. Average number of hours per week involved in community service, arts, clubs, and other extra-curricular activities during the last 12 months?
    4. Do you hold or have you held any leadership positions in the activities from question #3 (examples include Senior Class President, Yearbook Editor, etc.)?

    This is the only information taken concerning extra-curricular activities and work experience. Personal essays, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose are not used during the admissions selection process.
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Collegemom - they do ask for SAT IIs on the application, its hard to find. Its at the end where they ask for additional classes. Call admissions office to find out how to input the SAT IIs on the application.
  • collegemom16collegemom16 Registered User Posts: 4,257 Senior Member
    1. Only ACT or SAT I scores are used in the selection process. (more information)
    >> SAT-II test scores may be used for additional college prep coursework from high school by subject matter if the test scores meet a minimum established score (refer to the CSUMentor application website for specific information and minimum score requirements.)
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    You are correct that SAT II are not required as part of admission application, but they were used for admissions purposes. Case in point, they put a hold on student's winter registration until we submitted them (accidently forgot to tell collegeboard to send that set of tests). We were informed by admissions office that the tests were relied upon to admit him. Thus, they were used to help admission of student. Also, he received course credit and was able to jump into Calc 4 as freshman student given his SAT II and AP tests/classes. If you are an admissions employee at Cal Poly, perhaps you can explain why this occurred if the SAT II tests were not considered. Reference to the handbook doesn't help if the handbook doesn't describe the behind the scene admissions process accurately.
  • tomtomtomtom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    I thought SAT II's were used to determine placement once admitted. As for me, it's sort of irrelevant because Im not taking them until December. Originally hadnt planned on taking them at all, tbh, as none of the schools Im interested in use them. Eventually decided to take them and submit an app to some UC's though, figured it wouldnt really hurt to try.

    As for AP's, the only ones I've taken have been in humanities. Our IB schedual does not allow for AP physics(it is instead taken junior year at an honors level), and calculus must wait until senior year. Of the ones I've taken, I have a 3 on European History, % on U.S. Gov't and politics, and 4 on US history.

    At the moment, I'm drawn between IE, Manufacturing E. and GE. My secondary major is agricultural engineering. I've heard from some GE students already attending that it tends to be the undeclared of the engineering college. I know it's easier than ME, but do you know offhand if it is easier/tougher than Industrial? Your example getting in gives me some hope for summer term, I'm just wondering if there's a way to get in fall term on an easier engineering major.

    As for my application plans, I will definitely apply for summer term, most likely on one engineering, and chemistry as a secondary major. If nothing else, at least there are other colleges around, I may end up at Cal Maritime for a year or so and then transfer.
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    tomtom - Cal Poly won't let you transfer in until you have earned 60 or more transferable units from another institution. If your plan is to transfer in as a junior, make sure you stick to the required classes listed under your major at Cal Poly. If you plan on transferring, perhaps going to Cuesta, where the counselors are well versed in Cal Poly requirements, may be a better choice. The beauty of Cuesta is that it is in the Cal Poly area, so by the time you get to Cal Poly, you'll have tons of experience living in the area.
  • sdchargerssdchargers Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    cpslomom, is it you goal to have everyone applying to cal poly slo feel they cant get in? im a realist, but you are taking it to an extreme. cal poly slo dont use sat 2, i finished the app and had my counselor look over it and she said it was fine. the engineering school is tough, but the way your putting it, its on the level with mit and its not.
  • CPSLOmomCPSLOmom Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    sdchargers - tomtom wants to know how to get in. I'm giving him pointers that helped us to get in the school. This comes from my experience, as well as the group of friends that we have who have students at Cal Poly. Fortunately, our son was the younget of the group, so I was able to draw from our friends' experience on how to navigate the very impersonal, computer driven selection process of Cal Poly. Perhaps you don't understand the competition to get into the Engineering school. Last year, according to the first rejection letter we received, there were over 30,000 applications sent into Cal Poly (if my old memory serves me right, the actual number was in excess of 34,000). If you look at the history of the number of applications sent in over the years, that number will increase this year. Cal Poly has the best reputation for training ready-to-work engineers in the CSU system. Add to that the very reasonable cost of $4,500 (roughly) for 1 year of tuition, and you have the receipe for some very stiff competition simply because of the law of supply and demand. No, I agree - its not on the level of MIT. But here's something for you to think about - my son was wait-listed for MIT and Rensslaer, Cal Poly outright declined him in the first round. As to your counselor, unless it was a senior admissions counselor at Cal Poly, I wouldn't rely on him or her and unquestionably put my future in their hands without a second opinion. High school counselors in California are very overworked, and do their best, but they make mistakes, and they make them often. If you want accurate advice, you should consult directly with the senior admissions counselor at Cal Poly. They are the ones who know the true ins and outs of the application. If you do get in - great, realize that you were admitted with the best and you will have to work hard to keep up with your fellow classmates.
  • tomtomtomtom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Keep in mind when you say he was wait listed for MIT and outright denied cal poly, that cal poly doesnt wait list. If they did, im sure there would be a large number of students on it.

    As for what im looking for, I mainly want to know what major I should apply under. If somebody wants to give me an idea of whether or not I can get in under that, great. But Im still remembering through this whole process that there are a multitude of other schools that I can go to besides cal poly. Sure, for the money its a great deal, but there are other solutions to the financial issue at other schools.

    CPSLOmom, sdchargers, lets not reduce this thread to bickering. Thanks for all your input, I appreciate you putting your time into helping me a great deal. As for my decision, Im about 60% sure I'm just going to apply to my 2nd choice major, Bioresource and Ag. Engineering. It's in the ag deptartment, so I think i stand a better chance at getting in. As for my engineering future, who knows.
    I was originally considering a double major in mech eng/physics or chem, maybe now Ill just make it mech eng/ag engineering. All i know is that my chances are better in the ag college than engineering.

    I wont completely give up engineering, though. I'll list industrial as my second major, and apply for general engineering and mechanical engineering summer term. At least this way i can have my options open to me.

    Thanks once again for the advice given in this thread, I greatly appreciate everybody's input! And if anybody who has applied to the ag college wants to chance me with my new major, feel free to.
This discussion has been closed.