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computer science --- matches?

seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member

intended major: computer science
unweighted GPA 4.0
rank: 1/250
SAT: 1530
SAT II: 800(math), 740(Chem)
Washington resident (asian female)
Running start (taking courses in college) with college courses
in computer science (two programming courses and a data structure course), math (Calc III and discrete math), chem (2 courses), econ, etc. All A's.
EC's: pretty normal -- president of key club, CS intern at a software company, etc.

She has applied CS major (not IT, not MIS, not computer engineering) at the following schools:
CMU, UW, Cornell, UPenn, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, UCB (eecs), UCSB, Harvard.

I know all of the above ones are the reaches (with some chance?). So now, I plan to have some matches before deadlines
are over:

UMaryland, UMichigan, UMinisota, PennState, UIUC (I know this is a reach), Ohio State and Arizona State,
all computer science major.

Our true target is UW direct admit, but who knows.

Which schools my daughter most likely to get in? I never thought computer science is so hard to get in.
Post edited by vonlost on

Replies to: computer science --- matches?

  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    I don't think that UCSB is a reach, but UMichigan may be a reach. Based on basic stats, UIUC may not be a reach (the average engineering GPA last year was 3.7-4.0, and SATs were 1430-1530), especially since she's a woman. Overall, she looks competitive for some of of those departments you listed as "reaches", however, even "competitive" is often just another word for "reach", considering how few are accepted to those schools even with excellent stats.

    Overall, though, being a woman in CS is a good hook, so your daughter may be in a better place than you realize.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,950 Senior Member
    edited January 5
    https://admission.asu.edu/freshman/apply says that Arizona State will admit a frosh applicant with the listed high school courses and one of the following:

    * top 25% in high school graduating class
    * 3.00 GPA in competency courses (4.00 = "A")
    * ACT: 22 (24 nonresidents)
    * SAT: 1120 (1180 nonresidents)

    https://webapp4.asu.edu/programs/t5/majorinfo/ASU00/ESCSEBS/undergrad/false says that the CS major at Arizona State (main campus in Tempe) requires:

    * minimum 1210 SAT combined evidence-based reading and writing plus math score (or 1140 if taken prior to March 5, 2016) or minimum 24 ACT combined score or 3.00 minimum ABOR GPA or class ranking in top 25 percent of high school class, and
    * no high school math or science competency deficiencies

    Assuming that she has all of the listed high school courses completed, it looks like Arizona State should be a safety for admission. If it is affordable, then it should be a safety.

    Arizona State's list price is $42,820 for non-residents. Note that WUE discount is only for majors at campuses other than the main campus in Tempe.

    Arizona State's scholarship estimator at https://scholarships.asu.edu/estimator suggests that your stats may get you a scholarship that brings the net price down to $27,320, or $15,202 if you have National Merit Finalist. There is also an honors program if your are interested in that: https://barretthonors.asu.edu/admissions/freshman
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,950 Senior Member
    edited January 5
    Note that Minnesota, Penn State, and Ohio State admit to the engineering division rather than major, but there is a secondary admission process based on college GPA to get into the major after enrolling. She should be aware of what college GPA is needed at each school to get into the CS major if she is admitted and considers enrolling at these schools.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 1,976 Senior Member
    I would be pretty confident about UCSB. UCB EECS will probably be 50/50, her GPA is fine, her SAT is slightly below average. Not sure about how things work with UW instate. The rest are probably slight reaches, but possible.

    UIUC she should have a decent shot at, even for CS. Maryland she should be able to get in. Both have really good top CS schools.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,062 Senior Member
    Can you afford to be full pay for the out-of-state public schools?
  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    we can afford OOS full pay, barely. Enough cash saved over the years.
  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    I have re-ordered my daughter's applications (computer science major):

    (reaches) CMU, UW, Cornell, UPenn, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, UCB (eecs), Harvard, UMichigan.

    (close reach) UIUC

    (matches) UMaryland, UMinisota, PennState, Ohio State

    (safety) Arizona State.

    It looks much better.

  • eandesmomeandesmom Registered User Posts: 3,673 Senior Member
    With this years changes to CS direct admit at UW, I’d put it in the close reach bucket. Hard to say as it’s the first year but I’d think she has a solid shot.
  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    This is what my wife told me last week. Months before, I thought going into UW CS would be a sure thing --- never even thought it is so difficult until now. UW would be ideal since daughter needs only a little more than two years to graduate and during which she can find a decent internship in the summers. She has a software engineer intership now, making four thousands a month in the summer. The company pays her as a CS undergraduate at the time she was taking the first computer science programming class at college. Her boss said she is better than most CS graduates that they have. I guess girls have a natural advantage in programming (more careful in coding, like to listen to others, more patience, etc.), but sadly, not too many girls in the country choose to do it.
    If you look at most computer science programs' senior classes, most would have a round 20% or even 10% females. This is just wrong!
  • bogeyorparbogeyorpar Registered User Posts: 768 Member
    @seattleUW2 , I think your daughter has a great chance for UW CS. As a female, she has good chance for Cornell, UPenn, Johns Hopkins as well. Harvard and CMU are a little random.

    A few more high match schools with good CS programs to think about: USC (if she's NMF she got automatic half tuition scholarship), Georgia Tech (excellent CS program, friendly to Washington State applicant because very few people apply from here), UCSD (less than UCB but better than all others UCs in CS), Cal Poly (affordable OOS tuition rate and great employment outlook).

    My son, who is also a Washington state student with similar stats, applied to all the above and was admitted, so your daughter should have an even better chance of being admitted. Of course, he chose UW CS at the end, but if he's not direct admitted to UW CS, he'll probably go to Georgia Tech, Cal Poly, UCSD, or USC.

  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    What an encouragement! Thank you. I guess in this process of college application, parents are actually more nervous than kids.
  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    The reason that we choose UCSB over UCSD is we have many close friends in Santa Barbara and daughter likes the
    mid-sized city and campus. Yes, UCSD is definitely is better school in particular for computer science.
  • seattleUW2seattleUW2 Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    edited January 6
    For those of you who are not familiar with computer science, I would like to share a few words.
    There are two kinds of students in computer science: (1). who want to go to top tech companies like
    facebook and google and amazon etc right after undergraduate studies. Average pay rate would
    be anywhere from 120K to 180K yearly for entry level. Most students in top 80 computer science programs
    can find good summer internships that pay really well (4000--7000 monthly). The nation has a serious shortage
    of software engineers. (2). who want to continue with a graduate degree (like PhD in computer science) and
    later would go to academia. These are super smart kids and are future professors to teach our future generations.

    For (1), actually almost any top 80 computer science program in the nation will be decent. A top 50% undergraduate
    in such a program will easily land a high pay job and actually, I can't see any difference between an average Stanford or CMU or UCB or Princeton or UW CS student and a top 5% student from each of those top 80 computer science programs, assuming that the program has more than 100 undergraduate students to graduate each year. These top
    5% students can easily go to google, amazon, intel, facebook, microsoft, microsoft research, etc., no doubt about it.

    For (2), a top computer science program (which is research intensive) is always a winner, also no doubt about it.

    So, if we treat education as an investment and the kid has decided on computer science major, going to a local university (with more than 100 students in its computer science program) is really not a bad idea or,
    it is a most efficient way to invest.

    But, we all want a diploma from a top school hanging on the wall.

    One more thing: CS major is very very different from Information Technology (IT), Management Information System (MIS), and Computer Engineering.
    Post edited by vonlost on
  • CS_ParentCS_Parent Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Rutgers-NB is a great choice for CS!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,950 Senior Member
    seattleUW2 wrote:
    The reason that we choose UCSB over UCSD is we have many close friends in Santa Barbara and daughter likes the
    mid-sized city and campus. Yes, UCSD is definitely is better school in particular for computer science.

    However, UCSD has a similar situation as Washington in terms of its CS department being heavily overloaded, so that students admitted to the school but not the major do not have much chance of getting into the major later. UCSB CS is also overloaded.
    seattleUW2 wrote:
    Average pay rate would be anywhere from 120K to 180K yearly for entry level.

    Entry-level with BA/BS in CS is not $120k to $180k, according to career surveys at UCB, MIT, CMU.
    https://www.cmu.edu/career/documents/2017_one_pagers/scs/BS_SCS_One_Pager_2017_ rev.1.18.pdf
    Yes, $105k to $110k with BA/BS in CS is nice, but it is not $120k to $180k.
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