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Chance Me - University of Pennsylvania & Others (ASIAN AMERICAN)

ad28lt21rbad28lt21rb 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
Really curious as I need to start visiting schools! I am a current Junior (APPLYING TO CS PROGRAMS)
My High School: Not very competitive but it is a rich PUBLIC district with some smart kids. 400 in my class.
GPA UW: 3.757 (may go up with Junior year)
Class Rank: Top 5-7%
Faults: C in H Chem (Sophomore year) a couple Bs in classes like English and Spanish, History
SAT Super Score (2 sittings): 1560 (800 Math, 760 R/W) Essay 24/24
Extra-Curriculurs (this is where I tend to be good):
- Member of the Elected Student Government (running for president of school end of this year)
- Research with a professor (lowkey my dad) at a small college (Co-author of a published computer science paper)
- Research Intern at the University of Pennsylvania Med School (Biochemistry) (sophomore summer)
- President and Founder of a comp sci club (placing at local and regional competitions, lots of members, great essay topic of how i changed my school's computer science atmosphere)
- I have taken/ am taking a very rigorous course load (9 APs by end of Junior year, 1 freshman year)
- Huge ambassador for a small school for the underprivileged back home ($2000 raised, working with them for a while)
- Will get decent rec's, assume I can write a decent essay

I AM MOST WORRIED about my GPA / the Bs and Cs I have received
What are chances for CS Programs / Engineering colleges at:
- University of Pennsylvania (EARLY DECISION)
- University of Michigan
- Duke University
- Boston College
- Northeastern
- Penn State SCHREYERS (I am from Pennsylvania)
- University of Maryland Honors
- University of Southern California
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Replies to: Chance Me - University of Pennsylvania & Others (ASIAN AMERICAN)

  • Burrito12Burrito12 216 replies48 threads Junior Member
    If I didn't know your grades, I'd say that you were a good fit for all these schools. But with a C, I think Penn and Duke are far out of reach. USC and UMich are reaches. The rest are matches/low reaches.
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  • ad28lt21rbad28lt21rb 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for your feedback. Does class rank of top 10% and high sat not make up for a C of sophomore year, even if i get all A's junior year?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83901 replies744 threads Senior Member
    Cost constraints? If your parents will not pay full price, you and they need to check each school's net price calculator.
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  • amy456789amy456789 4 replies0 threads New Member
    A guy from my school (Philadelphia, public) with a similar transcript and lower SAT scores got in to UPenn ED last year with a C! However, he applied into Penn's CAS, which I've heard is marginally easier to get in to.
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  • amNotarobotamNotarobot 264 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Why not computer science at Carnegie Mellon University or University of Pittsburgh? They are both big time schools in PA.One has top CS program in the nation with top 25 ranking school, and the other give in state (PA) student a big discount. So I am seeing you look at some out of state schools either with similar prestige or competitive programs with no actual benefit than these two in-state schools that you did not included. I am wondering why? BTW, as long as you are taking challenge classes, some C and B here and there won't really diminish your chance to get into top schools. Actually prefect students make some schools nervous these days (the students make themselves too much pressure). My daughter got C in AP Calculus and couple Bs in AP Chemistry and maybe a few more in other math classes, but her GPA was still very high. She got into one of the top 15 school, still. We are Asian American too.
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  • ad28lt21rbad28lt21rb 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus it is quite affordable as it is ivy league. My older brother goes there with general financial aid. As for the other schools, I will go if I feel the program is worth it.
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  • ad28lt21rbad28lt21rb 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @amNotarobot thankyou for your helpful response. If you dont mind me asking, what school did your D apply to and what is she studying? These are also major factors that determine admission chances. Also, did she have some amazing extra curriculurs? Also, I am considering Pitt but Carnegie's Comp Sci program does not seem like a place I would fit into, which is quite important if you are gonna study at a top 5 cs program.
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  • amNotarobotamNotarobot 264 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @ad28lt21rb Vandy. She applied as chem major/undecided. The college allows the admitted students to switch between majors or even the undergraduate schools easily in order for them to explore/discover their true passion (was one of its selling points that the school presented during our visit), so the major was not a major factor for her.
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    To the OP, that C will be a killer for Ivies, especially for Asian applicants. For better or for worse Ivies hold Asians to higher standards-your typical Asian applicant is going to have a 4.0 UW. And many will get rejected outright. Unfair I know, but that’s the unfortunate reality of college admissions.

    Given that the C is in a STEM class, that will make things worse. A couple of B’s in English/History classes are OK, but the adcom will look at that C and wonder. Had your grades been more like 2/3 A’s and 1/3 B’s, Penn would probably been a reach anyways but not as much.

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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2740 replies36 threads Senior Member
    You might want to try some OOS public schools that have highly rated EESC programs as well. UIUC and Purdue come to mind. UW Seattle is a possibility as well but it’s hard to get accepted to EECS.
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