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Accepted to Only 2 Out of 17 Schools - and What I Learned

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Replies to: Accepted to Only 2 Out of 17 Schools - and What I Learned

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,460 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Be aware that UCB L&S CS requires a 3.3 GPA in its prerequisites to declare the L&S CS major:
    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/csugrad/#petitioning

    (Physics, math, and applied math just need a 2.0 GPA and/or C grades in the prerequisites to declare.)
  • mademoiselle2308mademoiselle2308 Registered User Posts: 404 Member
    @OnlyBerkeley2020 - Congratulations on getting accepted to two excellent schools! I think it was very kind of you to put the lessons that you learned here in writing for future students, but I also think that you should be extremely proud of all that you have accomplished and not give a second thought as to the "could have, should have, or would have". Best of luck to you!
  • SeekingPamSeekingPam Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    I agree with #3 and sort of with #1. I do think excellent natural writers have an advantage.

    Sometimes, as was recommended on another thread, when a student intends to submit something negative that he has been told is great by a parent or English teacher, you need a referee. Or something hackneyed like yet another essay about how you want to be a a doctor every since you fell off your skateboard in 3rd grade and broke your arm or how your losing team won the pennant or about your OCD (while many incredibly successful people have it, not a subject MOST people should highlight in their essay.) Good consultant can stop that trainwreck. A really good one can do that but keep your authentic voice.

    Not sure the other things mattered in your case. I think teachers are supposed to know the top students. Perhaps knowing them better helps. I think #2 is not applicable. I think you improved plenty. It is about as realistic as believing a 2350 v 2380 matters.

    Interest is important but I do not think you have to stalk colleges.

    I feel like there have been more of these threads this year, wonder if it was a rougher year. Congratulations on your acceptances.
  • Zeppelin7Zeppelin7 Registered User Posts: 408 Member
    As someone who went through the process at the same time you did and (sort of) in the same position you are, I can say that your tips are spot on. The only difference between us is that I decided to apply to more safety schools--which to an extent seem to be a waste as I would not want to go some of them (I also had just a smidge more luck than you with top schools, but got rejected from many too). But again, whatever problems you saw with your app are the same I retrospectively saw in mine too. So Class of 2021 and beyond, take note.
  • bfedwardsbfedwards Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Hello, You are correct about the essays. Admissions can tell the difference. They see 10k a year . I assume you officially visited all campuses and made followup email contact thanking them . If not, you were in error. Frequently the director of admissions is part of the official tour. You should have contacted previous graduates from your HS who attended your choices to see what they think they did that got them accepted. Sometimes is just luck of the draw of not having someone from that zip code for a while. Sometimes you are unfortunate to be applying to a school when the last person from that zip code did not work out as well as anticipated.Sometimes its the major you listed. Sometimes....it just depends. Progressive advancement applies to those who failed to excel in their initial efforts. Sometimes they like to see recovery from a stumble. Some who never stumble in HS and do so in college do not have the where- with- all to recover and have a melt down crisis. Those who have a personal crisis in HS and still excel have survived a trial by fire. It all goes in the mix.
  • LjtjroseLjtjrose Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    OnlyBerkeley2020, it is not the number of schools that reject you which will define you. What matters is whether some schools say yes and whether one of those schools is a good school for you. In your case, two very good schools said yes and one of those two is nationally respected. When you put your resume together, you only list the school you attended and hopefully graduate from. No one cares or even knows about the places you didn't get accepted to. Good luck and have a fabulous experience in college.
  • pastwisepastwise Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    OP, your analysis is very good, and your maturity to perform the analysis is even better.

    Really there is a long road ahead of anyone who just finishes high school. The two schools you got into are good enough such that where you go to college doesn't really matter if you can outperform others there. After 4 years, you should have plenty of opportunities.
  • ChemistryManChemistryMan Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Onlyberkeley2020 -what is your nationality? That might be the problem.
  • momcincomomcinco Registered User Posts: 986 Member
    OP, another congrats here! Your maturity -- and you willingness to come and post about your experience in order to help others -- are real standouts. You will "succeed" in life not only bc of your stats but also bc of your personal qualities, which shine thru in this thread. Best of luck to you at Berkeley!
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 1,714 Senior Member
    I'm guessing that since you had a private counselor, your family would be a full pay family, along with your impressive stats and ec's i am confused by your rejections. If someone like you didn't get into most of these schools, then who is? If you are not a minority or first generation or a star athlete what on earth do you need to do/bring to the table? Maybe it was the essays, but are they really that important at all of these schools? Davis? Really?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,460 Senior Member
    OP did apply to more selective majors at UCLA and UCD than at UCB, where s/he applied to L&S which does not admit by major. It does seem like the OP got lucky with the admissions readings at UCB (to get Regents' scholarship) and UCSD (to get into CSE instead of undeclared).

    Increasing population and probably increasing high school grade inflation may be compressing the admissible GPA ranges and therefore making other factors like essays more important.
  • SeekingPamSeekingPam Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    @bfedwards I am not sure I completely understood your comment about "I assume you officially visited all campuses and made followup email contact thanking them . If not, you were in error. Frequently the director of admissions is part of the official tour."

    Obviously taking an official tour is recommended although many ivies do not track interest. What I did not understand is about sending a thank you email. If you are one of 50 or 500 people sitting in a room listening to Cornell's or Princeton's director of admissions or one of their staff talk about their school you should send a follow up email thanking them????? Who do you send it to? The director? The staff member? The 20 year old student that is your group leader on your tour who probably would not want you contacting them since they have no idea who you are?

    I think it should always be done after one on one contact, such as an interview or if you personally spent time with them but after a tour?

    Also, for most schools it is your regional representative who will (if they choose) advocate for you, the director of admissions is too remote. I could see sending an email after they visit your school.
  • dblazerdblazer Registered User Posts: 2,187 Senior Member
    It seems like things have changed quite a bit, even within the past few years. Activities like research and starting non-profits that were once considered very impressive are now simply main stream. These are no longer viewed as unique/intriguing, which is the quality it appears these top schools are looking for more than ever (vs. pure achievement).

    @OnlyBerkeley2020 I'm sorry about the rough admissions cycle, but your attitude and insights are awesome.
  • uclaparent9uclaparent9 Registered User Posts: 1,234 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    You should be very grateful to be accepted with Regents to UCB. Many forgo top Ivies to go there with Regents, instead! That alone makes up for all other (seemingly) failures you had with other schools! Perhaps what caused rejection to so many "elite" schools were your GPA of 4.4, which though was great, but perhaps not as glorious as your other stats.
  • delurk1delurk1 Registered User Posts: 223 Junior Member
    Very good post and I bet you're right about your essays. It still stinks that you didn't get into more schools but you're lucky to at least have two great options.
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