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Can't decide whether to ED or not

Bobby72Bobby72 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member

SAT - 1480 (Math-800 EBRW-680)
SAT II - Math2 - 800 Physics-710

Asian wanting to Major in CS/Applied Math.

As per my Counselor taking into consideration my GPA, AP's, EC's following is the list drawn up -


There are others on the list but the above are my Top choices.

Unable to decide if I should ED Northwestern. Ideally would prefer Berkeley over NU. But if I don't ED NU I pretty much lose whatever slim chance I have of getting in there.

In terms of location prefer a urban setting hence the above list.

Any thoughts if I should ED NU or any other college or just wait for UC outcome.

Replies to: Can't decide whether to ED or not

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,147 Senior Member
    If you'd prefer Berkeley, I'm not sure why you would apply binding ED somewhere else.
  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 Registered User Posts: 978 Member
    edited July 2018
    You're right, Northwestern fills huge % of its class ED.

    How would you feel tomorrow if you found out for sure you're going to Northwestern? Over the moon excited or some unease that Berkeley is not going to happen.

    Are you a CA resident? What do your think your chances are for Berkeley?
  • Bobby72Bobby72 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Am an International student.

    Would be very happy if I got into NU. However would prefer UCB over NU as NU would be more expensive considering it’s a private college. Also prefer California weather. And prestige as well.

    Don’t think chances at either NU ED or UCB are very good. They’re both high reaches.

    Would be devastated if didn’t get UCB/Ucla and had to go to USC/Other privates and pay similar tuition as NU without having tried NU in ED. As keeping NU as RD is not an option.
  • gandalf78gandalf78 Registered User Posts: 1,876 Senior Member
    If you look at Northwestern's Common Data Set, here, https://enrollment.northwestern.edu/pdf/common-data/2017-18.pdf , you will see that the admit rate for ED applicants was 27%; for non-ED applicants, the admit rate was 7%. So, if you are applying to Northwestern, you should apply ED.

    If you think that Northwestern doesn't have "prestige" then you are mistaken.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,812 Senior Member
    CoA for an international student at UCB/UCLA isn't that much leas than NU is it?
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,630 Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    Is this still the parent posting, as in your previous posts, or has the student begun posting on his/her own behalf?

    You're not disclosing your GPA and EC's, so it's hard to say, but I am concerned that you may be going entirely on the advice of one counselor, and that this counselor's information may be out of date or even unreliable. Are you clear on not only how competitive these schools have gotten, but on how much *more* competitive CS at these schools can be, compared to the school as a whole? And also on how much more competitive *international* admissions can be? Perhaps your transcript and EC's truly stand out as remarkable compared to other highly qualified applicants, but don't count on just one person to assess this.

    Northwestern is pretty suburban, not right in Chicago. And I personally don't see the point of ED'ing to a school that will charge you $76K/year for something that isn't even your first choice.

    As for the UC's, you realize that they won't be all that much cheaper, right? UC will be around $65K/year, vs. 75K+ for NU, USC, etc.

    If you would be "devastated" if you "had to go to USC" then I don't know why you'd even apply. Especially since it's a reach school too. They only accepted 13% last year.

    Why not apply to Rice? It's a top-tier university in the USA's fifth largest city, and it's "sticker price" is lower than what you would pay for UC. It offers total freedom to move among majors, so applying as a math major wouldn't restrict your ability to move toward CS if you decided to. Rice could be a worthy ED choice IMO, as it offers both reputation and value. (ED rate last year was 19% with 11% of those international; overall rate was 11%.) Plus, the weather is far milder than Chicago. But again, your ED school should be *your* first choice.

    I would suggest applying non-binding Early Action to a number of urban universities with strong CS programs and international-friendly admissions, such as Northeastern, Case Western Reserve, and U of Minnesota Twin Cities... and maybe UMass Amherst, which isn't as urban but has EA and is highly ranked for CS. (Maybe try Georgia Tech too, but that's a huge reach. Also UMichigan EA would be worth a shot.) UMinn and UMass are much more affordable than UC. U of Utah is another affordable flagship in a major city, with a great CS department. And there would be at least some hope of merit aid at CWRU and Northeastern - and they're both fantastic places for a CS education. Hopefully, applying to this range of schools EA would give you some solid acceptances earlier in the process... and if you actually do *not* get into your EA schools, then that will give you valuable feedback to help you calibrate your RD target schools.

    As for the UC system... consider the major you apply to carefully. CS in the engineering school is going to be harder to get into than applied math or similar. UCB is a reach, period. For UCSD, getting into the university but not into the CS major is a very common outcome since they admit to the campus first and then to the major. At UCLA, CS is in the engineering school while CS+Linguistics and Applied Math are in A&S.

    If what you really want is a big name urban university with good CS at an affordable price, don't overlook the Canadian schools. Toronto, McGill, UBC, Waterloo - their reputation rivals the top US public U's, but the cost is quite a bit less.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,385 Forum Champion
    Have you looked at the % of international students in each of those universities?
  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 2,366 Senior Member
    If what you really want is a big name urban university with good CS at an affordable price, don't overlook the Canadian schools. Toronto, McGill, UBC, Waterloo - their reputation rivals the top US public U's, but the cost is quite a bit less.
    Canadian tuition for international students has risen substantially at U of T and Waterloo at least. Tuition for computer science is higher than for other programs, and CS tuition increases substantially after the first year. Current tuition alone for international students at U of T for CS is $54K CAD and at Waterloo, it's up to $43K. Add in room and board of about $16K at U of T and $13K at Waterloo plus another $7K or so for any extras like travel expenses, books, clothes etc. Double check the affordability of any college or university you apply for.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,495 Senior Member
    I think @aquapt makes a good case for Rice.

    One thing to consider about ED is that the advantage isn't equally great for all kinds of students. I don't know about Northwestern in particular, but at many highly selective schools, the biggest boost apparently goes to recruited athletes and legacies. I wonder how big a boost it gives to international students.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 14,699 Senior Member
    @bouders Starting Fall, 2019 tuition at McGill will be deregulated and all programs will be in the C$40,000 to C$45,000 range too.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 2,342 Senior Member
    I am no college counselor. And want to congratulate you on your hard work.

    But realistically, (only based on the barest of information and your scores) would tell me that every school on your list is a reach. And mostly high reaches as an international applicant. Meaning in my book the chance of a rejection is higher than an acceptance by a wide margin.

    Your ecs and gpa and life story may be compelling. And you could certainly be a strong candidate.

    But I would really take some time to find a broad range of schools to consider. You are considering some of the most prestigious and selective schools on the planet. They all reject statistically stronger candidates with a lot going for them each year.
  • momprof9904momprof9904 Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    Consider NYU, Boston U , and Northeastern. They love full pay international students and have well respected programs. Others have already given you ideas as well.

    Also, CS is an impacted major at many universities, so even the so called safeties are competitive, like UMass Amherst. Also look into the Canadian universities, although I am sure the good ones there are just as competitive.
  • Bobby72Bobby72 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    @gandalf78 have seen the NU CDS. In fact 55% of their freshman class is admitted ED.

    @collegemom3717 COA diff b/w UC and NU would be around 10K which is a big enough amount to consider over 4 years.

    @privatebanker @momprof9904 My bad that mentioned only the upper range of the list. There are NYU, BU, NE and still more on the list.
  • Bobby72Bobby72 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    @aquapt thanks very much for taking the time for this detailed reply.

    You're right I'm still the parent. But to be fair to DD she's just gotten off one set of exams, has her TOEFL this weekend plus the Essays. She is only partly involved with the college list as of now.

    We're fully aware of the double whammy of International and CS. Reason not putting out the GPA is we have letter grades in our school with 70 being an A- so it can be misleading to convert to a GPA. But she has all A's throughout her HS. They're not ranked but she would be in the 3rd decile or so. EC there is no hook but she has done Internship, Community service, summer school program, etc. Also is a AP Scholar with distinction with a 4 on Calculus BC. So we're hoping to save cost on a few courses with her AP credits.

    There are whole lot of EA's on our list.
    GTech, UMich both high reaches. Even UWash Seattle.
    Even U Virginia, UNC, U Maryland are there for EA.

    Northeastern and CWR are on the list but hadn't thought that would get merit aid there. Definitely will check that out.

    However without aid they would be similar in cost to NU/USC. Its not that USC is not to our liking. Just that if one is to spend similar amount at all these privates one would have wanted to try an ED at one of the Top20.

    Will be applying to U of Toronto for sure.

    Aware of the UC college system. Also UCSD CS being a capped major. Will navigate that in detail now that the application has opened today.

    Rice had come for consideration but was left out cause isn't it more for BME? Will take a serious relook. However Rice would be 65K against around 62-64K for UC. So similar in cost. And being on the west coast would be better for her Major. Unfortunately no ED's in California.

    Any more thoughts would be most helpful.
  • momprof9904momprof9904 Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    edited August 2018
    @Bobby72 if you are the parent, please state so at the beginning of the post. I was unaware until aquapt brought it up. Lots of parents come here for advice, so I am not sure why you feel the need to pose as the student.
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