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How to prepare for college as a senior in high school.

xslash3dxxslash3dx 4 replies1 threads New Member
As the title says, I have just recently started my senior year at my high school. I understand that this is an important year and I am slightly panicked as I have no clue where to began my preparation for college. Most of my friends have already created college lists and writing their essays. My sat score is a decent 1750 and my GPA is 3.6. The problem is I'm not sure where I can get with this. In the future I want to become a security analyst, having looked into this a bit, I'm not exactly sure where to start with this either. I want to play to UCI, but money is really tight and I cant help but wondering if I even have a chance. I am planning to retake the SAT again asap and move on from there. I would really appreciate it, if someone could help me out. What to do, what to make sure I have done, basically a checklist. Thanks in advance.
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Replies to: How to prepare for college as a senior in high school.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83786 replies743 threads Senior Member
    On each college's web site, there is a net price calculator that you can use to estimate its financial aid for your situation. Use these when exploring colleges for your list.

    Be aware of college application deadlines. If you are a California resident, you likely will be applying to UCs and CSUs -- these have early deadlines.

    By "security analyst" do you mean in computer security? A major in CS would be a typical educational background. But be aware that CS is popular these days, so many colleges have limited enrollment and higher admission selectivity for that major.
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  • xslash3dxxslash3dx 4 replies1 threads New Member
    I didnt know of a net price calculator. Thanks for the info!

    Regarding the security analyst, yes computer security. I have already taken my school's AP CS and received a 4 on the test. I'm not sure what major I should be going into and what other knowledge I must have beforehand. Many different websites say I should have different things, so I'm hoping someone who has first hand knowledge of this can help me out.

    Thanks for your help ucbalumnus. Do you have any advice on what I should be doing at the moment? Like checking for colleges, or maybe even websites or things you used when you were preparing for college.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83786 replies743 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    For a CS major, you need good math ability, since the type of thinking one does in CS is similar to what one does in math. Prior programming experience can be helpful, but not required (AP CS A is certainly sufficient in this respect). If the CS major at a given college is engineering-based, it may require additional math and science (typically physics).

    You may want to retry the SAT and ACT, since your score appears to be on the low side compared to your GPA.

    Of course, you should continue to do well in your high school senior year courses.

    If you are a California resident, start looking at the UC and CSU web sites:

    Be sure to start your college list with a safety that you know that you will be admitted to and know that you can afford (of course, it needs to have a decent degree program in your intended major).
    edited August 2015
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  • xslash3dxxslash3dx 4 replies1 threads New Member
    edited August 2015
    Thanks again for the info. This was really helpful. Just one more question from me.

    How do I know what colleges I can and can't get into. I understand that college websites have their requirements but those seem like the minimum. For example UCI's GPA requirement is only a 3.0 but despite that, very little people with a 3.0 seem to even get in. Even people with with 3.7+ have some difficulty getting in. Are there better websites or maybe some infographics about college's requirements so that I can check with my educational career?
    edited August 2015
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  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom 4377 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Does your high school's college counseling office use Naviance?
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  • WoanderingWoandering 2241 replies54 threads Senior Member
    Colleges typically publish average SAT, ACT, and GPA scores. If you are at or above the average in both test and grades, then you should have a strong chance of getting in, in most cases.

    As ucbalumnus has said, you do need to find a school where your statistics are far above the school's averages and where you can definitely afford the sticker value (or guaranteed scholarship).
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  • BrownParentBrownParent 12596 replies179 threads Senior Member
    What does 'play to UCI' mean?

    You should be working on your 2 UC essays if you are going to apply to a UC.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30674 replies438 threads Forum Champion
    edited August 2015
    If you plan to apply to a UC or CSU, calculate your CSU/UC GPA using only a-g course requirements from 10-11th grade. If you check your HS list, it will give you the a-g courses for your HS and here is a link for the UC GPA calculator.


    Knowing your SAT and UC/CSU GPA will help you compare your stats to the average for all the schools of interest.

    Average UC GPA for UCI: 4.03 SAT: 1878
    If you are leaning toward Computer science, you need to have above average stats for the best chances since CS is highly competitive at all the UC's.
    I have attached a spreadsheet of all the average UC stats which I compiled for a friend. As stated above, you also need to start on your UC essays and the deadlines for the UC's along with Cal States is Nov 30.

    https://www.****/s/jj0d3ttxoxw6pwo/uc stats.xlsx?dl=0

    Cal state admissions (except for Cal Poly SLO) is based on your UC/CSU GPA and SAT score. They will calculate your eligibility index based on these stats. The EI is used to rank applicants for each major and then are selected from highest down until the spots are all filled.
    (CSU GPA x800) + (SAT Math + CR). Depending upon which if any Cal states are of interest, predictions of an acceptance can be made based on the EI score. Many schools have thresholds.

    edited August 2015
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9982 replies386 threads Senior Member
    Each school has a Common Data Set that reports, among other things, student GPAs and test scores. Google <college name> Common Data Set. Students have a better chance of being admitted if their SAT/ACT score falls in the upper end of a school's range.
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