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need to cut down/edit college list for engineering/CS

smitchell8smitchell8 12 replies1 threads New Member
Hi all, I'm a rising senior this year and need to edit my college list for the upcoming application season. I'm looking to major in either CS or aerospace/mechanical engineering. As for location I'd rather have a more urban setting but I'm ok with wherever, regarding student body size I would prefer a larger school with at least some sort of social life. Anyways here is a brief profile and current college list, I would love any school suggestions/edits (especially for safety schools) but I definitely need to shorten my list.
Asian/Caucasian female
Washington state
GPA: 3.98 unweighted (one B+) idk weighted
11 APs: World history (5), chem (5), lang (5), calc AB (5), comp sci A (4), biology (5), physics C mechanics (4), and gov/calc BC/lit/environmental sci senior year
SAT: 1520 (790 math, 730 reading)
ACT: 35 (35 reading/writing, 36 science, 33 math lol)
Main ECs: Soccer (varsity and club), robotics (only last 2 years), ski instructor for special needs kids, Girls who code summer immersion, looking to start a GWC code club at school next year, a couple other things like coding projects/piano/other sports etc.
College list:
Georgia Tech
U Michigan
University of Southern California
UT Austin
University of Washington
Stanford and MIT are definitely my super reaches and I have little to no chance of getting in, should I even apply?
I appreciate any input anyone has!
edited June 26
13 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: need to cut down/edit college list for engineering/CS

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83775 replies743 threads Senior Member
    Cost constraints?

    Seem like most of these are reaches for engineering (often much harder to get into than the school in general), even before the cost constraints are brought into the picture.
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  • smitchell8smitchell8 12 replies1 threads New Member
    Likely won't get too much need based aid from any schools based on my parents income, so I would have to rely on merit based scholarships. I do have a pretty solid college savings account though.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83775 replies743 threads Senior Member
    Have you and your parents figured out what the actual price limit is? Do that before applying. You can check each college's net price calculator to see if any financial aid may come.

    Your list does not appear to be one where large merit scholarships are anything but super-reach (some do not have merit scholarships at all).
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10388 replies122 threads Senior Member
    If you are hunting for merit money, you need to rethink your list. OOS publics are not likely to give you merit money, especially for engineering. And as noted above, some of these schools only offer need based aid.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2732 replies14 threads Senior Member
    As @ucbalumnus wrote, all of these are reaches for anybody - I do not think that any have higher than a 15%-20% acceptance rate for CS. I would recommend that you decide on four of these at most, and find some targets and a safety.

    Of this list, I suggest that you drop Vanderbilt, since it is very selective, but its CS program is not nearly at the caliber of the rest of your list. For that reason I would also drop Duke. Then decide how many smaller private colleges you want on your reach list, and how many large public universities. Next, check which ones you would be able to afford. As I wrote, i think that you should include more than four of these reaches, and I recommend that one of them should be U Washington.

    But most importantly, go back to searching, and find colleges with higher acceptance rates for CS/Engineering. If you apply to this list alone, it is very likely that you will end up without a single acceptance.
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  • kayakingmomkayakingmom 32 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Illinois Institute of Technology could be a great safety for you, and you would likely receive an invitation for the full tuition scholarships they offer. Great school, great city.
    If you want the Washington D.C. area, University of Maryland has great engineering and cs programs. Easy metro to D.C. Large school, very social. Your scores could place you in honors and eligible for merit.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2423 replies58 threads Senior Member
    I want to add one comment. First, I agree with everything that's been said. However, don't interpret the comments to mean you aren't a strong applicant. You are. You have the qualifications needed to be successful at each of the schools you are interested in. The schools you mentioned are selective however because so many students of your caliber apply. I for one believe that while your list can be culled you must also add to your list schools that you will stand out at. The less selective the school the more likely your application will stand out. Note that schools like Purdue and UIUC while less selective over all can be more selective for engineering and CS. You would definitely be a match for both but so many students apply that there is a chance you could get denied and even greater chance you wouldn't get merit aid. As for culling your list perhaps consider either Purdue or UIUC as they are both similar. Purdue would be the cheaper of two as their tuition room and board are about $10k per year less expensive. Find your safety, cull your list then relax. Good luck.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 775 replies6 threads Member
    Those are all reaches especially if out of state. Maybe UT Dallas, WPI, Pitt, Case, or NC State. If you really want Aero maybe US Air Force Academy.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 690 replies1 threads Member
    edited July 2019
    For safety, consider Univ. Alabama Huntsville "Rocket City". You're eligible for full tuition scholarship.

    Mech & aero engineering booming, lol. https://www.uah.edu/eng/departments/mae
    edited July 2019
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3497 replies80 threads Senior Member
    I would consider all of these to be reach schools for CS or engineering. Run the Net Price Calculator (NPC) or have your parents do it, since affordability alone may take some off your list. You definitely need more match and likely schools. As one poster said, Illinois Institute of Technology is a great choice, as is Rose Hulman or Milwaukee School of Engineering (who is in the process of building a brand new CS building!). However, as good as those are, you can probably find schools of similar caliber closer to home, which also happens to be closer to Microsoft and Silicon Valley.
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  • mamag2855mamag2855 842 replies2 threads Member
    UDelaware has excellent engineering programs, nice college campus and town, would probably offer some merit$.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6643 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Since we live way east of you I don't know UW well enough to know whether it is a safety for you. Your guidance counselor should know. However, it is a great university with a great CS program and hopefully being in-state should help you out. I don't know its engineering quite as well but my impression is that this is excellent also.

    I would talk to your guidance counselor about whether to add Washington State University as a safety.

    I think that MIT and Stanford are worth an application as long as you are fine with being only an average student at a university that requires that you work very hard to keep up.

    The rest of your list are great schools. It is not obvious whether any of them would be worth the additional cost relative to U.Washington. In general they do not look like safeties for an out of state student for either engineering or CS.

    Since you are from Washington, have you considered looking north of the border at one of the schools in BC?
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  • smitchell8smitchell8 12 replies1 threads New Member
    @DadTwoGirls My high school is one of the most prominent feeder schools into UW so I'd say it's a safety school overall for me if not for the comp sci/engineering direct admit. As for Washington State, that's not exactly a school I would want to attend mostly because of the environment and people who go there... but I might still apply for a practically guaranteed admit. I have looked at schools in Canada but most of them offer zero financial aid for international students so it wouldn't be ideal.
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