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Rejected from all my colleges with very high grades

VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
I was rejected from all my colleges, even my safeties.

For some introduction, I moved to the US from Vietnam when I was 16. My grade is entirely in the A - B+ range. My SAT is 1540, and I have very good extra curricular.

Because of my good grade/SAT/ec, I decided to apply to UCSD and UCI as my safeties, with some bigger schools as reaches.

I was rejected from every single one.

I am very confused now. My hypothesis is that there is some problem with my application since I moved so late in my high school career, but I cannot say for sure.

My mom had been encouraging me to take a gap year, get a consultant, and apply again. But I'm not sure if that will increases my chances.

Thank you for reading, and I will greatly appreciate your thought.
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Replies to: Rejected from all my colleges with very high grades

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5362 replies91 threads Senior Member
    edited March 31
    Are you a US citizen/permanent resident, or did you apply as an international student?

    I am sorry you don't have any acceptances yet, but UCSD and UCI were not safeties. (safeties by definition are affordable and admission is virtually guaranteed based on stats)

    There are schools still accepting applications...if you post your uw GPA and budget posters can help you. Do you live in California?

    edited March 31
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  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 710 replies6 threads Member
    If you got rejected from UCI and UCSD, they weren’t safety schools. What is your UWGPA?
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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    Hello, I believe my UWGPA to be 4.25. Thanks for replying.
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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    I applied as a permanent resident living in California
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5362 replies91 threads Senior Member
    edited March 31
    VietLong11 wrote: »
    Hello, I believe my UWGPA to be 4.25. Thanks for replying.

    Unweighted gpa is based on a 4.0 scale (A+/- = 4, B+/- = 3 and so on) in core courses only (english, math, SS, science, FL). Did you (or your current HS) send colleges your transcript from Vietnam HS as well?

    What is your budget? Major? Local cal state school? Local CC?
    edited March 31
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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    Oops, sorry for the confusion. I believe my normal GPA to be 3.8.

    My budget is in the UC's 20k range. I live in San Diego and major in Computer Science.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5362 replies91 threads Senior Member
    @gumbymom Thoughts for OP wrt california schools and computer science? CC? CSU?

    @MYOS1634 any recommendations?

    OP, what is your FAFSA EFC? Were you in the top 9% of your HS class?

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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    Is my EFC relevant to my admission chances? I don't have that information right away.

    I'm definitely in the top 10% of my HS class.

    Thanks for your commitment to help @Mwfan1921, I highly appreciate it.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5362 replies91 threads Senior Member
    VietLong11 wrote: »
    Is my EFC relevant to my admission chances? I don't have that information right away.

    I'm definitely in the top 10% of my HS class.

    Thanks for your commitment to help @Mwfan1921, I highly appreciate it.

    Yes your FAFSA EFC is relevant to FAFSA only need aware schools. So, if your EFC is around the $20K your family can pay, that helps target certain schools. But if your EFC is $50K, that's a different story.

    Did you apply to any schools that required the CSS Profile?
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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    I didn't apply to any schools that required CSS. Just checked my EFC and it's 10,000. However, it must be noted that my parent finance is very complicated and they would be able to contribute more than that.

    Do you think that is a determining factor in my admission?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5362 replies91 threads Senior Member
    VietLong11 wrote: »
    I didn't apply to any schools that required CSS. Just checked my EFC and it's 10,000. However, it must be noted that my parent finance is very complicated and they would be able to contribute more than that.

    Do you think that is a determining factor in my admission?

    I think the UCs are all need blind, so I doubt finances played a part in the denials.

    Where else did you apply besides UCSD and UCI?
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  • VietLong11VietLong11 7 replies1 threads New Member
    In hindsight, I made a mistake. I didn't apply to any lower school because I thought that I had a great chance for UCI and SD. I applied to those plus a few other T20. If this is the case, I think my best course of action is to take a gap year and reapply with a more diverse platter of colleges?
    My only worry is that colleges will automatically reject me if they see I had applied and been rejected before. Plus I do not know if I had some hidden problem in my application.
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  • digiflipdigiflip 54 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I don't live in California, so I don't know much about this, but isn't there some sort of program in California where you have a guaranteed transfer program from community college to certain UCs or something provided you meet GPA requirements?
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2705 replies14 threads Senior Member
    VietLong11 wrote: »
    In hindsight, I made a mistake. I didn't apply to any lower school because I thought that I had a great chance for UCI and SD. I applied to those plus a few other T20. If this is the case, I think my best course of action is to take a gap year and reapply with a more diverse platter of colleges?
    My only worry is that colleges will automatically reject me if they see I had applied and been rejected before. Plus I do not know if I had some hidden problem in my application.

    It seems to me that you did not have good counseling on how to choose safeties, matches and reaches. In that sense, your mom’s suggestion of a gap year and using a counselor will probably help - it won’t get you accepted places you weren’t before (I have a caveat here) but if it helps you find a good fit that you are happy with, then it will definitely help. You will also need to find something useful and constructive to do with your gap year - for your own growth, but you may even find that what you might end up doing would also help with college applications.
    The caveat above - it’s possible that your essays could have used significant improvement, and a counselor might be able to help you improve on those. Better essays and a productive gap year might - might - improve your chances at one of the colleges you were turned down at.

    The CC to UC route is also an option ( @Gumbymom i think will be best placed here also to talk about that), if you don’t mind missing out on a “full freshman experience” (though I understand some CCs are trying to replicate that with dorms etc). The other advantage of this route is, of course, cost. A number of students from my daughter’s (highly regarded public) high school have gone this route.

    We are also immigrants. Although my daughter had a bit of an advantage over you in that she moved just before high school so at least had a full high school record here, I can completely sympathize with how difficult it is to get to grips with a college application system that seems so different from elsewhere in the world. We did hire a counselor to help us navigate it, and it really helped us. Best of luck with what you choose going forward.
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  • NJCityNJCity 109 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Try NJIT, they have rolling admissions and good scholarships.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2705 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited March 31
    VietLong11 wrote: »
    I didn't apply to any schools that required CSS.

    Also, this just caught my eye. If you applied to T20 schools that didn’t require CSS, those must have all or mostly been state flagships? Admit rates for out of state students at those colleges are very low (and typically even lower for CS, and many don’t give aid to OOS). Again, this makes me wonder about the advice you received on how to choose colleges.

    edited March 31
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43231 replies471 threads Senior Member
    You have four choices, which you can pursue one after the other:
    - you're likely top 9% statewide and you could go to UC Merced. Contact your guidance counselor. Upside: within budget, it's a UC, & you start in the Fall. Downside: probably not your peer group.

    - apply to colleges still accepting apps and on the NACAC list. Some are truly excellent but simply didn't meet their enrollment goals yet. Some miscalculated yield. Upside: you start college in the Fall; downside: not sure about the financial aid if your EFC is 10k. However, it's worth a try - at worst, they wouldn't give you enough nd you could move to plan B.

    - take a gap year and reapply to a lot more UC's as well as a variety of colleges, including those where you can apply to any major and switch easily (national LACs, Case Western, URochester...)
    CS is SUPER COMPETITIVE about everywhere, and especially in California.
    UCSC CS would likely be a match (even though the school is a clear safety for you) and CPP CS as well as UCM CS would likely be safeties. If you can afford housing in the area, SJSU is notorious for its CS program + Humanities Honors (to cover lower-division gen eds in small classes) + Advanced Honors (to cover upper level gen eds) make for a thorough, respected program. Upside: you have enough time to craft a good list. Downside: you have to take gap year, plan well, not waste it.... and there's no guarantee you'll get into the colleges you want. (You can't "reapply" to the colleges you applied to).

    - go to community college as Gumbymom explained, and TAG to a UC in 2 years. Upside: you start right away and you keep your chances for a UC. Downside: you lose the traditional "college experience".

    College confidential can help you whatever you choose. :)
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