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need some advice/chance me caltech

nopeidknopeidk 3 replies1 threads New Member
SAT: 1570 (800 math)
subject tests: haven't taken, scoring 770-800 math 2, chem, and physics in practice
gpa: 4.6 weighted, 4.0 unweighted
APs: Physics 1 (5), computer principles (5), Chinese (5) + chem, lang, comp sci, and physics 2 (probably 4s and 5s)
senior courseload: AP lit, AP physics C, AP bio, AP stats, AP calc BC, AP econ

ECs:
- museum docent at local science museum since freshman year with considerable responsibility
- CSF
- school honors society (class of 700, large public magnet school)
- varsity fencing
- girls who code (trying to get a leadership position)
- women in stem founder and president
- baking club treasurer
- misc. quirky hobbies and stem activities

Extras:
- internship at NASA the summer after my sophomore year, planning to get a research recommendation
- awards: AP scholar, book award, NCWIT national certificate of distinction, NCWIT national honorable mention, definitely national merit commended maybe semi-finalist
no AMC or science fairs :(
- I'm applying to RSI and SSP this year and if I don't get those I will work at NASA on the same project again
- female
13 replies
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Replies to: need some advice/chance me caltech

  • nopeidknopeidk 3 replies1 threads New Member
    To add a little more information about my personality, I am very passionate about science and confident that I can express this through my essays. My ECs are not super impressive, but I genuinely want to devote my life to science. I also have some quirky hobbies: lockpicking, cardistry, etc. that I think fit well with the caltech stereotype.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7183 replies69 threads Senior Member
    What is your question? What is your Plan C (not B!)
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 330 replies2 threads Member
    You're a competitive admit, but there are no locks for Caltech.
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  • iusedtobesmartiusedtobesmart 68 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I think you have a great chance, but.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate and tell you this: Your GPA isn't that great- I know freshmen with higher GPAs. Also, your math and science aren't that advanced- I know people that took AP Chem and Calc BC as freshmen.

    I'm just trying to prepare you for the worst- I think that you're certainly a top-tier applicant, but just know that you're not superbly special. You said it yourself- you fit the Caltech stereotype. You're a standard strong applicant, which means that your application will be a bit of a crapshoot.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1637 replies22 threads Senior Member
    I know freshmen with higher GPAs.
    @iusedtobesmart at many schools it is impossible to have above a 4.0 uw GPA. I I think you are looking at weighted GPA which is irrelevant.
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  • iusedtobesmartiusedtobesmart 68 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Eeyore123 wrote: »
    @iusedtobesmart at many schools it is impossible to have above a 4.0 uw GPA. I I think you are looking at weighted GPA which is irrelevant.
    I'm looking a weighted, which is definitely not irrelevant.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5966 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I think that you are a very strong candidate, even for Caltech.

    University admissions will care about your grades, and will care about the rigor of your classes in high school. They will not care about how your high school happens to calculate GPA. At the high schools that my daughters attended, it was not possible to have a GPA over 4.6. Do not be concerned about how your school computes your weighted GPA.

    Also, it is important for Caltech to have a rigorous course load in high school. However it is not a contest to see who could jump ahead in math the fastest. More important is to have very high grades in math. A+'s are better than A's in math classes when you are applying to Caltech or MIT.

    I expect that at least 80% of applicants to Caltech are very strong candidates. They accepted 7% of applicants in a recent year. Your chances are probably better than 7%. It is very much worth an application if you want to go to Caltech and if you want to work very hard for a full four years of university. Of course you need to also apply to match and safety schools as I expect that you know very well.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1824 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited January 13
    I think you have a great chance,
    Almost no one has a “great chance” at a school with a 6.6% acceptance rate.

    OP, you have the objective facts that put you in the range of accepted students. The reality is that probably 40+% of applicants have these statistics, so that means maybe a 15-25% chance once those not meeting the objective criteria have been eliminated. Then it comes down to essays, recommendations, specific needs of the admissions committee, etc.
    I'm looking a weighted, which is definitely not irrelevant.

    Unweighted GPA is meaningless without a weighting scheme, and until all weighting schemes are made the same, which will never happen.

    My D had a 5.12 weighted. Does that mean she’s among the best ever, since most schools don’t allow anything over a 5.0 (Hint: she wasn’t in the top 10% of her class).
    edited January 13
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 330 replies2 threads Member
    ...it is not a contest to see who could jump ahead in math the fastest.

    This.
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  • nopeidknopeidk 3 replies1 threads New Member
    My school doesn’t let freshman take AP classes
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 330 replies2 threads Member
    nopeidk wrote: »
    My school doesn’t let freshman take AP classes

    That's fine. Caltech will take that into account. Your GPA is excellent.
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  • CAEngineerCAEngineer 27 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I think you are a strong candidate. It will depend a lot on your recs and essays - Caltech really cares about those. Getting into RSI will definitely help, but the NASA research will make a difference. Have your mentor/supervisor write a strong rec. Caltech is a different place and either it is a match or it isn't.

    Good luck
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  • bloomfield88bloomfield88 284 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited February 14
    Nice resume regardless of whether you are accepted or not. Great accomplishments. Keep it up.

    Caltech is a reach for every student except Alex on Modern Family.

    It may sound hard, but try not to get too infatuated with one college. Find some others, that you might like about as much.

    Good luck!

    To clarify: Richinpitt obviously had a typo and meant to write "Weighted GPA is meaningless....."
    edited February 14
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