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Match/Safety suggestions to top tier CS schools?

RichInPittRichInPitt 1619 replies25 threads Senior Member
My D is currently thinking that CS is where her interests lie. She still has time, but we’re starting to compile a list to visit/research/etc.

She has a 4.0 UW and maxed out the capped weighted at her school (she actually exceeded it). 1550+ SAT in 8th grade, 800 Math II in 9th, I suspect her science Subject Test will be similar. 7 AP and 3 dual-enrollment classes through Junior year, another 6 AP senior year, etc., Math Prize for Girls participant (top 300), top 500 in her grade AMC/AIME/PUMAC/ARML National etc.

ECs are pretty decent, I won’t bother listing her entire resume...

She has all the usual suspects on her radar - MIT moved to #1 after Splash last month, moving ahead of Stanford. I fear she thinks CMU (3x legacy, her math team is based at CMU, and she’s been in various programs there for 10 years) is her “backup”. Her Naviance interest list is pretty much USNews’ T20.

I don’t think she’ past looking at reputations and rankings, so I’ve been looking for solid match/safety school within a reasonable distance of Pittsburgh to broaden her perspective. Her sister is at Purdue, and Pitt/Penn State are nearby, plus Ohio State and Michigan. Illinois may be a bit far. Any that I’m overlooking?
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Replies to: Match/Safety suggestions to top tier CS schools?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8291 replies70 threads Senior Member
    I'm sure your D will have some great acceptances but you are smart to be sure she has some real match and safeties on the list. CS has become crazy competitive and even with super scores and grades, it's not a no brainer. I've repeated this a million times but D's HS val with perfect stats, super ECs, leadership, volunteering, work experience, etc... was wait listed at Michigan.

    Has your D considered Case Western? They have a very solid CS program and it would be a match. A bit more artsy than her reach schools but convenient to Pittsburgh. She would probably see merit there as well.

    If she's drawn to MIT, CMU type environments, look at RPI in NY. Again, she should see merit $.

    Lehigh may also be worth a look.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5790 replies84 threads Senior Member
    How about Haverford and Swat. Also u Maryland. She might be a candidate for that Uber selective CS program similar to a Jefferson scholar but for tech. Sorry I’m blanking in the program. Sergei Brin was one I believe. Bunch of astronauts etc.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8291 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Banneker/Key @privatebanker?

    UMD is a great suggestion.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5790 replies84 threads Senior Member
    @momofsenior1 exactly right !!
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2658 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Rose Hulman?

    Illinois Institute of Technology would be a direct 2-hour-ish flight. Not sure if you want to keep it to driving distance, though.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79714 replies712 threads Senior Member
    Are there cost constraints?
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1619 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Fortunately, no cost constraints.

    MD and RPI/RIT popped into my head earlier today, plus GA Tech (not close though) as more match than safety.

    Maybe we’ll give Case another look. We weren’t impressed when her older sister visited, and I haven’t seen much mentioned of their CS program.
    edited December 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79714 replies712 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Stony Brook? UMass Amherst? UNC? NCSU? UVA? VT?

    How strict are the distance from Pittsburgh constraints?
    edited December 2019
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 326 replies4 threads Member
    Michigan, Cornell, UMD and Virginia Tech popped into my head although Michigan and Cornell aren't safeties or maybe even matches. I love NC State.
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 264 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    I also suggest UMaryland, College Park; the deadline for its Banneker-Key has passed.
    edited December 2019
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  • Luvmy2kidsLuvmy2kids 13 replies0 threads New Member
    Your daughter sounds pretty extraordinary and sorry for going off topic but has she taken her SAT in high school? Not sure how colleges feel about an SAT score that is 4-5 years old. I ask because my son took his SAT last year as a 7th grader as part of a talent search (which he got accepted to) but plans to take it again this year just to see how much he improves since colleges will never see it. Unless requested in writing, all SAT exams taken prior to high school get deleted from their records. I've read that most colleges won't even look at SAT scores from middle school and curious to know if that's true.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 326 replies4 threads Member
    Just for fun what about Waterloo or U Toronto? Not that far from Pittsburgh. Excellent CS schools.
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  • politepersonpoliteperson 413 replies4 threads Member
    Good suggestions so far. Your daughter is a very strong applicant, obviously. I think I’d send her on a weekend visit to Purdue, given that sis is there. Throw in Pitt, a few Midwest flagships such as Michigan and Wisconsin, plus U of MD, UMass, CWRU, RPI, maybe Northeastern. That’s more than she needs probably, assuming Pitt would be acceptable. I assume most of her focus will be on the highly selective schools and that list is fairly large, as is appropriate.

    You mention close to home, but I assume if accepted to Stanford she’d attend? If so you might explore Rice and UW Seattle just to give her a taste of options. Those two aren’t safeties but worth consideration if you’re looking to stretch her gaze a bit beyond the usual suspects. Seattle would be a fun family trip in the summer.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2964 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Lots of good suggestions, adding Miami Ohio and U Dayton...both highly likely with her profile.

    She will have good options, look forward to hearing about her journey!
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  • racereerracereer 302 replies1 threads Member
    edited December 2019
    I don't think GT can be considered a safety or even maybe a match from OOS. Maybe high match or a low reach. The OOS acceptance rate for CS was ~12% last year at GT. Go back and look at GoBears2023 chance me CS thread from last year. He was an extremely high stat kid that got accepted for CS to MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Princeton, UCB, and others but was rejected by GT, Cornell, UMich(w/l), UDub, UT Austin, CMU SCS (but was accepted for Statistics and Machine learning). Point is some of these top OOS state schools can't be considered slam dunks for even the highest stat kid.

    Now don't get me wrong, I still would be kind of surprised if she didn't get accepted to GT.
    edited December 2019
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1160 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Not much to add given the geographical constraints. I do agree with not considering GT a safety as an OOS applicant. Our S was not accepted to GT but was accepted at Stanford (attending), CMU (SCS and DC), Cal, UWash, UT Austin, Princeton, and a few others. Is GT protecting yield??? Just seems a little strange, but in all honesty I must say that he treated his GT application as a "safety" application which might have been visible to the admissions people.
    edited December 2019
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  • hs2020dadhs2020dad 162 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I am a little confused about the current grade of OP's DD - is she a Junior?
    Excellent suggestions already - but a few logistics to think about for OP: SAT in 8th grade - may have to be repeated (son took SAT in 7th/8th, scored well but we opted not to save them as GC suggested many universities look for a recent or high-school score). She may easily repeat that score but something to think about. Same thing with subject sats taken in 9th - CMU especially "suggests" to have subject SAT's in soph/junior years - some people mentioned that CMU may still accept early scores but their official/online policy suggestion is to wait till sophomore year.
    Something to get clarified and plan accordingly.
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  • comomx3comomx3 5 replies0 threads New Member
    You should definitely check out GT! I've been very impressed, my son is a 2nd year there. Although it is an urban school it feels like it's in its own world when you are on campus. I'm not sure what placement for internships students get at other top tier CS programs but there have been so many opportunities for my son and Atlanta is a great city.
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils 4029 replies31 threadsForum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Forum Champion
    For me personally, echoing many others here on some:

    For safeties, UMass, WPI and RIT

    For matches, GT, Waterloo, UToronto, Northeastern and UMichigan

    Possible reaches that may have fallen off the radar for prestige: Rice, Brown
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1619 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Thanks all - some good ideas to explore and introduce to the list.

    quote="Luvmy2kids;c-22481630"]Your daughter sounds pretty extraordinary and sorry for going off topic but has she taken her SAT in high school? Not sure how colleges feel about an SAT score that is 4-5 years old. I ask because my son took his SAT last year as a 7th grader as part of a talent search (which he got accepted to) but plans to take it again this year just to see how much he improves since colleges will never see it. Unless requested in writing, all SAT exams taken prior to high school get deleted from their records. I've read that most colleges won't even look at SAT scores from middle school and curious to know if that's true.[/quote]

    No, she hasn’t. There’s an entire thread here on the topic, which I started, that collects a lot of opinions on the topic. She took it in 7th and 8th for CTY and the 8th score was high enough that we asked that it be retained.

    CMU is the only one that says anything on their web site about the age of tests. I plan to ask when I get some 1:1 time with adcomms - it not really a question to ask in a big audience Q&A session. I’ll post answers that I receive in that thread when we start serious college research.

    Given NMF requirements for a supporting score, the current plan is to take it again fall of Junior year (Nov. 2020). She scored high enough on the recent PSAT that I’m not as concerned that the score was a fluke.
    edited December 2019
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