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Chance Me: Computer Science/Engineering| Any chance at Top 20's or 30's Early Decision/Early Action?

markd1markd1 1 replies7 threads New Member
Major: Computer Science/General Engineering if required

Schools: Do I have a chance at any top 20's or even 30's. ED or EA

My current list:

Target: Virginia Tech
Reaches: UVA, Michigan, USC, Northeastern, Boston University
Safety: George Mason


Male - African-American - Low Income EFC 0 - First Generation - Have an IEP (Special Education Plan/Disability) - Separated Parents

Weighted GPA: 3.75 Unweighted: 3.52

ACT: 34

SAT: 1470 (Taken Again Haven't received)

Math Section: 770 Reading and Writing: 700

Had Bad Grades in 9th Grade, 4 D+'s- due to parent situation, took summer school courses over years to replace 3 of them GPA wise, but the original grades still show up on transcript, along with the retaken grades. The only D+ not replaced is a Piano Course and a D in Health.

9th Grade: Biology: D+ (Summer School: A) |English 9 Int: D+ (Summer School A)|Algebra II: D+ (Summer School A)| World History: C (Summer School A)|Music: D+|French III: C|Health (Half Year) D |PE (Half Year) A|

Freshman GPA: 3.14


(AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment) + Normal Courses:

Sophomore Courses:

AP Government- A

Normal Courses:

Trigonometry- B

Chemistry- A

Computer Graphics- A

English 10- A

Health/PE- A

Instructional Studies- A

Sophomore Unweighted GPA: 3.86

Sophomore Weighted GPA: 4.0


Junior Courses:

Dual Enrollment Precalculus- C+

AP US History- A,

IB Business Management SL- B,

IB Design Technology (Engineering) SL Pt 1- A,

IB Language and Literature SL Part 1: B

Normal Courses:

Physics: A

Instructional Studies A

Junior Unweighted GPA: 3.5

Junior Weighted GPA: 4.2


Senior Courses currently taking:

IB Language and Literature Pt II

IB Design Technology (Engineering) Pt II

AP Calculus AB

AP Computer Science Principles

AP European History


Participated in Virginia Tech Pathways for Future Engineers

Participated in Virginia Tech Black College Institute

Technology Student Association- Reporter

Part of National Society of High School Scholars

Played Recreational Basketball- 4 Years

Work as A Basketball Referee- 2 Years

Work as A Soccer Referee- 1 Year

Worked at Old Navy

Volunteered at Clinic for Month

Volunteered at Summer Program for Children- 2 Years

Essays: Good

Letters of Rec: Above Average
4 replies
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Replies to: Chance Me: Computer Science/Engineering| Any chance at Top 20's or 30's Early Decision/Early Action?

  • tdy123tdy123 881 replies16 threads Member
    Top STEM programs are looking not only for aptitude (which your standardized test scores indicate you have) but also evidence that you can translate your aptitude into achievement. A C+ in precalc (and a B in Trig) are not what the most selective schools are looking for in a STEM major.

    How much the boost for URM, first gen and low income will help is unclear. I'd add a lot more to your "safety" list.

    Have you looked at Questbridge?
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  • EconPopEconPop 350 replies6 threads Member
    edited October 14
    @markd1 , congrats on your fine work in class and on the tests. You have a lot to be proud of. Don't tie your pride of self into which "Top 30" schools you get into. There are many great schools beyond that measure that will give your a great chance to succeed.

    I think VT is a good match for your stats. GMU is a good safety school for you.

    I have a friend whose niece started at UVA this year with stats very much like yours, but a lower SAT -- her brother just graduated from UVA and was admitted four years ago with lower stats all around. I would guess you have a decent chance at getting into UVA, but a school like that is never a certainty.

    From what I've heard/read, the others are probably reaches. Probably a better shot at NE than the others, but no lock. They all receive so many apps that any applicant is facing long odds from the numbers alone, especially for an OOS applicant at a school like UMi.

    Aside from the schools, take a longer look at whether or not you really want to pursue CS or Engineering. Your Trig and Pre-C grades probably should have been A's if you have the fire in the belly for CS or Engineering. It's easy to get convinced by others that your stats indicate you should pursue those majors because "that's where the money is."

    Yes, it is important to make sure you major will deliver a degree in a field where you can earn the type of living you desire, but do not be mislead by others into thinking only CS or Engineering can provide that. Take a good look at your interests and ask yourself if you really know what you want to major in.

    All that said, I'd cast your search beyond the top 30 toward the next 30-40 schools on most lists. I think you'll be admitted to a good percentage of the schools where you apply. My focus would be making sure you choose the major that most fits your personality + aptitude, moreso that choosing a school mostly because of its ranking.

    If you haven't done so, take a tour of George Washington U. It has many of the advantages of the other schools you mentioned, but is not as difficult to get into. Go see U of Richmond to see if a smaller campus suits you. You will have plenty of options.

    Good luck!
    edited October 14
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  • Yall19ieYall19ie 17 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Essays: Good
    Make them great, personal and captivating. The power of essays is usually underestimated but they make the difference between a good application and a great application. You have a strong profile. My advice is work as hard as possible on your essays and, trust me, anything can happen; I would know.
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  • racereerracereer 244 replies1 threads Junior Member
    If you are happy with George Mason as a safety, I don't see a need to add any more as it has an acceptance rate of over 80% but you could add VCU as it has a similar acceptance rate and with good engineering and CS. I would look at some more targets as your are on the low end GPA wise for VT engineering and while you should be ok, I do expect them to be more selective this year as they were way over enrolled last year. Have you considered RPI as another low reach school? UMich OOS is a very high reach for Engineering /CS. There were plenty of higher stat kids that were rejected last year.
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