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Decent schools for CS that I can get into ?

krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hey CC, I am a senior interested in computer science. I have researched many schools for CS but am not sure which ones to apply to. I need help with finding schools where I have a reasonable chance of getting in.

I am an Asian male and go to a highly competitive public school in New Jersey with a class size around 750. Rutgers is my in-state college as well as my safety school, but they have become really stingy with merit-based scholarships lately, so there is not too much of a price difference compared to OOS public universities.

SAT - 1540 (770/770/19), only taken once. Got a 740 on Bio-M. Taking Chem and Math II subject tests this October.

GPA - 3.7 Weighted. My school does not calculate UW GPA but I think it is around 3.4-3.5.

PSAT - 1500. I was just announced a National Merit Semifinalist.

I took 10 AP tests so far and am taking 4 more this year. I only took five of these APs in school; I self-studied for the rest. (five 5s, two 4s, and three 3s.). I will have around 50 college credits just from AP tests by the time I start college.

ECs - Summer Research Internship at a Medical School. Helped produce data about cell bio/ neuroscience. My prof. is working on publishing a paper.

Currently at a part-time internship in computer science for the next 3-6 months.

Also part of NJ Science League, Math Honor Society.

My transcript consists of mostly B's but I have had a fairly rigorous courseload. Regardless, I know that this will be my biggest limiting factor, especially as a lot of my peers with the same scores have a 4.2ish GPA. I also have some REALLY good full-ride offers from some state colleges due to my NMSF standing.

Since I have basically no chance at Ivies and elite CS schools (CMU, MIT, Berkeley), I am looking into colleges like Purdue, UIUC, UMich, UMD and Northeastern. I know that these are not exactly matches, but I think there is no point in going much lower as Rutgers already has a solid CS program (26th as per CSRankings.org)

I will probably just end up going to whatever is cheapest and closest to home, BUT assuming that there are no financial or location constraints, what are the BEST schools that I can get into for CS ?
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Replies to: Decent schools for CS that I can get into ?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78204 replies687 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    krosp123 wrote: »
    GPA - 3.7 Weighted. My school does not calculate UW GPA but I think it is around 3.4-3.5.

    Should be a simple math problem to calculate your unweighted GPA.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4060 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The unweighted GPA will probably trip you up at a lot of the top places, and would likely trip you up at Purdue, Michigan and Northeastern also.

    However, schools like UMass-Amherst, UMD, maybe UW-Madison, maybe Penn State, have really good CS programs where you probably have a decent chance of getting in. I think they would all be in the top 25, or really close if not. Stony Brook also, not sure if they would qualify for in-state for you.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3980 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    At UMich, you could apply either to LSA or CoE for CS. Both award CS degrees.

    LSA's admittance would be slightly less competitive, but only slightly. Your SAT score of 1,540 puts you right at the 75%, but your unweighted GPA, of 3.4-3.5 which UMich uses, will probably be a deterrent to admission. The average GPA across the entire Class of 2023 was 3.9 and OOS students will skew at the higher end of the range.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 111 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 12
    Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Clemson, or NC State? Better weather, sports, nice campus, access to Raleigh or Atlanta?
    edited September 12
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  • MWolfMWolf 1438 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You may have a problem with your high SAT and relatively low GPA. Colleges often see the fact that you did so well on your SATs, while doing below their average on your classwork as evidence that you are either lazy, of that you put a lot of effort specifically into doing well on your SAT, and that , therefore, your SAT does not correctly reflect your mastery of the material in the SATs.

    You likely have very slim chances at being accepted to CS at UIUC, Purdue, UMich, UMD or Northeastern.

    While CSrankings are very good for figuring out the research output and capabilities of a CS department, they are not telling you much about the popularity of their undergraduate programs, and therefore, how competitive they are for admissions. Admissions to the CS programs at which you are looking are extremely competitive, and it is unlikely that they will consider you because of your GPA.

    Unfortunately, for admissions, the AP scores do not count.

    I would advise you to apply to one of the colleges which is offering you merit aid based on your NMSF status, possible NMF status (don't forget to apply). There are a number of lists of the colleges which offer full tuition scholarships to NMSFs and NMFs.

    PS. Hopefully you will advance to NMF status, but if your UW GPA is below 3.5 that may be a problem, though with your load of honors and AP courses, and a recommendation from your principle, it may not be too large of a problem.
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 163 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Your GPA will most likely keep you out of the top CS programs, so I'd recommend chasing the National Merit Scholarship money. UF, UCF, UT Dallas come to mind. Maybe Arizona State.
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  • krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all the responses. I realize that my chances are not very good at the mentioned colleges, so they will be my reach schools. The colleges that offer national merit scholarships are my safeties.

    So what should my match colleges be ? I am open to all suggestions.
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 163 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Rutgers would be a match.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5490 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I am wondering whether Rutgers is a safety or a match. Depending upon what your unweighted GPA is, given that computer science is a competitive major at most schools, I am not sure but "match" might be my guess.

    U.Mass Amherst is very good for CS. My guess is that it is probably also a match.

    I would think that you could estimate your unweighted GPA quite easily by just counting your A's and counting your B's and counting your C's (which hopefully are not too common) and doing a very quick math problem.
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  • krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I just calculated my unweighted GPA and it is exactly a 3.4 lol. My UW GPA actually went down from 3.52 to 3.49 to 3.19 over 3 years so I'm not exactly in a good position.

    Does this mean that all the good colleges like UIUC, UMich, Purdue,etc. are ruled out regardless of my SAT and NMSF + good essays?
    I know I have absolutely no chance at Ivy leagues and UCs, but if there is nothing in the top 25 of CSRankings that I can get into, then the best choice would be going to Rutgers.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4060 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You might want to try Northeastern as an ED. Unlikely but might be worth a try. My D got in there with a 3.6uw and a 34 ACT, but that was 4 years ago and things probably are more tight now. But you never know. They value interest a lot.

    UMD as I mentioned before is a possibility. I follow the school a little bit each year with the acceptances and they have students with 3.3 and 3.4 and 3.5 unweighted who get in, though they are usually in-state. CS becomes an LEP program next year so chances are that will hurt you though.

    I think if you try for an ED and EA for some schools, that might help, such as NEU. Doing some reaches knowing that you’ll probably get into Rutgers, that’s not too bad of a strategy. Or you could chase merit aid instead and forget about ranked CS schools, as others have pointed out.
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  • krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the response. I am pretty much guaranteed to get into Rutgers as its in-state. I've seen people with far worse stats get in from my HS and I am deep into the green zone on the Naviance scattergrams. What is not guaranteed however is merit aid at Rutgers, which is getting harder to get every year.
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  • 57special57special 587 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    I don't see Wisconsin being a match, either.
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 163 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    krosp123 wrote: »
    I just calculated my unweighted GPA and it is exactly a 3.4 lol. My UW GPA actually went down from 3.52 to 3.49 to 3.19 over 3 years so I'm not exactly in a good position.

    Does this mean that all the good colleges like UIUC, UMich, Purdue,etc. are ruled out regardless of my SAT and NMSF + good essays?
    I know I have absolutely no chance at Ivy leagues and UCs, but if there is nothing in the top 25 of CSRankings that I can get into, then the best choice would be going to Rutgers.

    You can look at accepted students GPA by searching the schools name and common data set. Sections C11 and C12 are GPA. Schools are supposed to submit UW GPA, but sometimes it's weighted. Generally you can tell by looking at C12 to see if the average is above 4.0.

    Here is UofM's: https://obp.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/pubdata/cds/cds_2018-2019_umaa.pdf

    The GPAs are UW and 1.7% of their admitted applicants have a GPA below 3.5, so there is a chance but it's a slim one.

    You mentioned in another post trying to get merit aid at Rutgers. What is your budget?

    btw, you don't have to go to a top 25 CS school to find a great job.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3351 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    U of Maine at Orono is ABET accredited and offers matching tuition. That's a safety school for you.
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  • NJEngineerDadNJEngineerDad 114 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @krosp123 In my opinion the first step towards making a college list is knowing your budget.

    Do you know your FAFSA EFC (to get a sense of how much public schools will expect you to pay) and do you know what your parents are ready to contribute (which might be quite different from your FAFSA EFC)?
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  • krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Exact GPA numbers from my school counselor : 3.41 Unweighted, 3.68 Weighted. So where does this put me now ?

    I've dropped UMich, Cornell, CMU, GTech and Princeton from my list which were reaches but with that GPA, it's close to a 0% chance. My essay is the only good part of my application because its a unique story and stands out (or so I hope).

    I am applying to all the colleges with full rides for NMSF as well as some more for which I have fee waivers(NJIT, RIT, UMD). Most of these colleges are either at par or worse than my in-state flagship, Rutgers University (guaranteed admit).

    I am looking for colleges that are BETTER than Rutgers for Computer Science that I could get into. Cost is not really a factor for my parents and if I get in, we will consider later if it is worth it or not, depending on the college. If I don't get into any of these reaches, it is either Rutgers (most likely) or one of the full ride colleges (UCF, ASU, UTD).

    I still have UIUC, Purdue, UWash and Northeastern as reaches on my list. I am not applying to UCs. Should I drop any of these ?

    Which ones should I add to my list? Should I add some back from the ones I dropped already ? Please suggest reach colleges better than Rutgers only, THANKS !
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7242 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are looking for merit scholarships, Purdue is notoriously stingy.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78204 replies687 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    krosp123 wrote: »
    I still have UIUC, Purdue, UWash and Northeastern as reaches on my list. I am not applying to UCs. Should I drop any of these ?

    UIUC CS, Purdue CS, and Washington CS are much more competitive for admission than their schools overall. If you do get into the school but not into the CS major, it will be very different to enter the CS major (requires very high grades/GPA to enter a highly competitive process). So, with a 3.41 GPA, these should be considered extreme reaches at best.
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  • krosp123krosp123 16 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus ok..... so if even those are "extreme" what colleges should I be looking at ?
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