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Reality check: 1200 SAT; GPA 3.7, taking ACT Sept (1st time) and SAT again

2019boston2019boston 43 replies36 threads Junior Member
edited July 2019 in Engineering Majors
My son wants to pursue Electrical engineering. He has been in an engineering academy at his hs and has down well but needs to get his SAT up. He has ADHD and has been off meds for a few years. This past month he wanted to go back on and feels he is focusing better during his summer class (Pre-Cal), which he has an A in.
Can he get into an engineering program? I do believe his scores will go up especially being back on meds.
He likes: Drexel, RIT, RPI, Pitt. Rowan is on list but right now not his favorite. (we live 10 minutes from there) . Wants to revisit UDel. Others on list to see are Stony Brook, Northeastern, WPI, UMass and Stevens. Maybe's: Penn State, VA Tech, UMaryland, and Purdue.

Thank you.
edited July 2019
13 replies
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Replies to: Reality check: 1200 SAT; GPA 3.7, taking ACT Sept (1st time) and SAT again

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9220 replies93 threads Senior Member
    He needs to get the SAT up. Math above 700, but many schools like to see a balanced score, even for engineering, so he should be shooting for at least 1400+. Course rigor is also very important for some of the schools on the list, as well as ECs.

    I'd also encourage you to consider the supports for students with ADHD when creating the list. RIT is supposed to be great.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5747 replies124 threads Senior Member
    There are SAT/ACT diagnostic tests he can take online. Often students have a proclivity for one or the other because they test differently. ACT tends to emphasize speed reading and comprehension even in the math and science sections more than the SAT. This tends to disadvantage students who might have concentration challenges. If he takes the diagnostic and finds that one is vastly superior to the other, there's no reason to continue down the path of both. He can concentrate on prepping for one only and plan on taking it one or more times.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9332 replies83 threads Senior Member
    "engineering academy at his hs" - Can you explain that more? You mention pre-calc... what year is he?
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1086 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    There are colleges/universities where a 3.7 GPA, 1200 SAT student is likely to be admitted for engineering. Unfortunately, not likely at the schools you've mentioned. With those stats, he should be targeting schools a notch or two down: for example, Penn State Harrisburg, Pitt Johnstown, York College of PA, Widener, Wilkes, maybe Scranton or Messiah or West Virginia (the latter requires a 660 math SAT to place into calculus). Probably some of the midwest, mountain states, or southern universities, but not the northeast/mid-Atlantic flagships or more elite private universities.
    edited July 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81181 replies728 threads Senior Member
    kidzncatz wrote: »
    There are colleges/universities where a 3.7 GPA, 1200 SAT student is likely to be admitted for engineering. Unfortunately, not likely at the schools you've mentioned.

    There are probably many public universities in the south and mountain west which will admit a student with these stats into an engineering major.

    Within New Jersey, the in-state publics with EE are NJIT, Rowan, Rutgers, and TCNJ. However, their ASEE profiles suggest that the SAT_M middle 50% is at least from the low 600s to low 700s.
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  • Nutella544Nutella544 26 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My daughter had a similar situation a few years ago. Scranton and York rejected. She was accepted at Penn State-Harrisburg, Widener, Catholic University and Thomas Jefferson-East Falls (formerly Philadelphia University). We were advised that Rowan and Drexel's engineering were very selective and didn't apply.
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  • blossomblossom 10245 replies9 threads Senior Member
    with an engineer you need to worry about getting in AND getting out.

    Take a look at his HS's naviance results... that's going to be a better indicator than some strangers on the internet who don't know your HS and don't know how rigorous the math and science track is.

    Purdue attracts some VERY hard core, intense math/ science kids. I don't know that I'd view it as a terrifically supportive place for a kid who might need support (although it is terrific, and has a wonderful reputation with employers.) Northeastern has a well regarded Coop program, so he'd graduate with both work experience and rigorous coursework, but its admissions seem to get harder every year.

    What have his teachers told him about the match between his learning style and EE? That would be telling- especially if they've seen kids successfully launch into EE from the HS into various university programs.

    Does he have Plan B?
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5747 replies124 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    I agree that getting OUT is the important thing. I'm not sure though that Naviance will be very valuable in assessing that potential. Rather, I'd do what @ucbalumnus recommends when students ask whether they should use their AP credit or not. Get old syllabi tests.

    In his specific case, I'd find the math classes that correspond to the most recent classes he's finished (probably pre-calc) and have him take the tests, timed. He'll get a quick idea of how his specific foundation compares to what each school is expecting.

    Depending on what he like about "engineering" (in quotes because he hasn't actually done any real engineering, even though he goes to an engineering magnate) he might want to consider a tech program. Many confuse engineering with the fun tinkering they get to do in things like FIRST. There can be some of that for engineers, especially in things like mechatronics, but the bulk of engineering is applied mathematics.

    Good luck.
    edited August 2019
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  • txstellatxstella 1124 replies7 threads Senior Member
    Take a look at Iowa State. ISU admits using a formula. The engineering school will definitely warrant a visit from us before decision day.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5747 replies124 threads Senior Member
    Iowa State is a good school, certainly worth a look. According to the latest ASEE data (which isn't always correct) 1200 is just below the 25th percentile for admitted engineering students. That would likely make it a stretch unless test scores rise.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6197 replies26 threads Senior Member
    If you can muster extra time or extended time on the Sat/Act I would be fighting for that. If he had accommodations prior in high school that would be helpful.
    As far as tinkering, when my son was young and I was rebuilding some computers and asked him to join me he looked at me like I was insane.
    He is currently overseas at a known company on the Project Management team with his industrial engineering background (junior in college). His boss is an industrial engineer and others in other departments of the R&D sector there. He was tasked with evaluating some software purchases for the company and had to give a report presentation on costs savings to the company etc. He learned certain business software programs for this industry. After being given a MacBook day one. He has been at a desk or the like most days doing "engineering".
    The business climate for this very young company is t-shirts and jeans /shirts. This includes the all of higher management.
    I could go on but he loves it!
    School BTW - is very hard. He tells me even the "easy" classes are hard.. Lol...
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  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1736 replies10 threads Senior Member
    My slow processing son did receive extra time on the ACT but you need to begin the process rather early to ensure that it’s in place. He is a bright student and a good test taker. Maybe just a tad slower than peers. His score was very high, pretty high gpa, and he received 4s and 5s on ap physics and calc (ab). Even with that..he opted to enroll where we knew he could be successful. Although he’s likely at the top of the heap stats-wise, he’s at Wentworth in Boston. We are very close to WPI but the condensed are not a good fit for students with processing challenges. He did well in the admissions game but went for fit.
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