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Which CSU Campuses (with engineering majors) are nice/in nice areas?

philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
edited September 2016 in California Colleges
My brother is applying to CSUs (in-state tuition) and I'm trying to help him, and I'm sure this info could benefit future applicants as well. He's hoping to end up majoring in engineering, but his gpa is only around a 3.0 unweighted so more difficult CSUs like SLO, Pomona, SDSU, CSULB, and most UCs are off the board. He's looking at:
Chico
Sonoma
SFSU
CSUEB
SJSU
CSULA
Dominguez Hills
Sacramento
Fresno
Bakersfield
Northridge
Fullerton
(also UCR and UCM)

We are from the SF Bay area, so we know that SFSU is in a relatively nice area, and so is Sonoma State, and CSUEB sucks (But CSUEB is probably guaranteed admission so still on the board). We are hoping to figure out for the rest of them, whether the area is nice & if there's anything to do. Personally, I don't like Sacramento, Fresno, and Bakersfield just as cities. I guess a lot of other people feel the same way though, because those have higher admittance rates. I also figure that there's plenty to do at CSULA since it's in LA. In any case, what are the areas around: Chico, LA, SJSU, DH, Sac, Bakersfield, Fresno, Northridge, and Fullerton like?

Thanks in advance
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Replies to: Which CSU Campuses (with engineering majors) are nice/in nice areas?

  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,233 Senior Member
    Chico is a very nice small city. Kind of remote, but a nice town.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    That's what I've heard. I know it has a reputation of being a party school but I hear it's pretty, there's outdoor stuff to do, and people who go to Chico get pretty good job placement (which I found surprising)
  • NCalRentNCalRent Registered User Posts: 5,682 Senior Member
    Chico is a nice town but, with a 3.0, your brother would need about 1300 SAT to make it in. UCM, Fullerton and Northridge are about the same (selectivity wise). UCR will probably be reach regardless of SAT.

    Sonoma is a nice, small campus that should be in range.

    The other schools on your list are commuter heavy but, have other merits - Sac has the state capitol and fairly affordable housing. SJ and SF have the tech heavy Bay area. Fresno and Bakersfield have Ag and Oil...

    I'd suggest he apply to a bunch of them then tour, tour, tour...
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    We are going to a CSU fair tonight as well, which will be helpful. I just wanted to compile info beforehand if possible. He takes the ACT, and I believe he got a 24 composite on his first try a few months ago. I'm advocating for him to go to SJ & SF over central CA. He knows he likes the bay area, and SFSU *should* be a guarantee since we live in Alameda county. UC Riverside has a 66.2 freshman acceptance rate though. That's higher than Chico, and higher than a fair amount of the CSUs even. Merced is 73.7 which is pretty high as well.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,149 Forum Champion
    UCR does have a high acceptance rate overall, but Engineering will be much lower and the same for UCM. What is your brother's CSU/UC GPA and test scores?
    For Engineering, you want stats at or above the 50th percentile for a solid chance.

    UCR's Freshman profile:
    GPA and test scores of middle 25%-75% students

    High School GPA UC GPA: 3.52 - 4.00
    ACT Composite Score: 22 - 29
    SAT Critical Reading: 490 - 620
    SAT Mathematics: 510 - 670

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    UCM's Freshman profile:
    GPA and test scores of middle 25%-75% students

    High School UC GPA: 3.37 - 3.88
    ACT Composite Score: 19 - 27
    SAT Critical Reading: 450 - 580
    SAT Mathematics: 470 - 620


    All the CSU's except SLO use the eligibility index to rank applicants by major:
    (CSU GPA x800) + (SAT Math + CR) or (CSU GPA x200) + (ACT comp x10).

    What is his EI?
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    That is something I did not know at all (I never really applied to state schools). I'll have him look into it but he's in school right now (hopefully paying attention >:| )

    I see you said things about UCM & R's engineering but do you think that at some of the less prestigious state schools the engineering acceptance rate will be more or less the same as the other schools? We both think he will do better at school when he moves out of my parents house. That's definitely what happened to me (2.8 in high school, 3.7 in college). And either way, any of the large state schools will have back up majors that he can go for if needed.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,149 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    No, Engineering is competitive at all the UC's even UCR/UCM so you really cannot go by overall acceptance rates.
    For competitive majors at the UC's, being at least at the 50th percentile is a target, but the 75th percentile is even better.

    You also need to check which Cal States are impacted for Engineering majors since their admission requirements will be higher. SDSU/CSUF/CSULB are impacted campus wide, meaning there are more applicants than spots, so going to a large school is an advantage with many majors to choose but a disadvantage since the competitive majors are difficult to get into. Definitely have your brother calculate his CSU GPA and eligibility index.

    https://www.calstate.edu/sas/documents/impactedprogramsmatrix.pdf

    SJSU is the only CSU that publishes their EI cutoffs for all the majors, so you can see how his EI compares to SJSU.
    Here is the link for 2016 EI cutoffs:
    http://www.sjsu.edu/admissions/impaction/impactionresultsfreshmen/index.html

    The more competitive the major, the higher the EI is needed.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    Well he *already* isn't competitive considering the general competitiveness of CSULB and SDSU so if it's impacted within those schools as well then I'm sure he won't make it into engineering within those schools. I'll tell him to look into the rest though.
    When you said CSUF which "F" did you mean?
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,149 Forum Champion
    CSU Fullerton not Fresno.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,149 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    Well if both campuses are now impacted for Engineering, then he should concentrate on the non-impacted campuses for the best chances. Fresno must be newly added this year. CSUF is probably a Reach if he is interested in the campus, it still worth a try.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    I'm of the opinion he should focus on Chico, SFSU, Northridge, Los Angeles, Sonoma, and SJSU. Maybe Sacramento because at least it has a variety of engineering majors. If he does well he can always transfer to engineering at a better/nicer school. But like I said, I don't know where he falls on the UC/CSU GPA index among other things.
  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC Posts: 23,149 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    Your plan sounds good except CSULA (not a nice area and not a good reputation for Engineering). I think he would be better off at Sac state instead. If he is willing to put the time into the UC essays and can afford the application fees, it cannot hurt to apply to at least UCM/UCR. Always good to have a broad list of schools including some reaches.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    I think considering he's going to get in-state tuition, my parents are more than willing to pay for a few extra application fees. I do think he should apply to UCM and UCR as well. Applying to the CSUs is relatively simple and short so he will have time to apply to a few other schools that require more work.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,996 Senior Member
    In response to your edit, he really doesn't like sacramento but he will consider it
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