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Got into UC Berkeley, UCLA, GT, USC. Should You Consider a Public University? ASK ME ANYTHING!

CCadmin_SorinCCadmin_Sorin 2727 replies290 threads Community Manager
Lily Wuerth is a high school senior in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although she was focused on her academics and college applications, she always made sure to walk her dog in the woods each day. She has a 4.0 GPA, 1550 on the SAT, state and national titles in various academic competitions, and a very happy German shepherd.

@macroraptor applied to nine colleges and got acceptances to UC Berkeley, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Rice, NC State, and USC where she was named a presidential scholar.

After considering cost, program quality, and location, she decided to attend Georgia Tech this fall, where she will be majoring in chemical engineering.

Lily is our Guest Student of the Week, so make sure to ask her all your questions!
edited May 18
32 replies
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Replies to: Got into UC Berkeley, UCLA, GT, USC. Should You Consider a Public University? ASK ME ANYTHING!

  • dyasdfdyasdf 3 replies7 threads New Member
    @macroraptor
    How does Georgia Tech recalculate High School GPA?
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @dyasdf
    dyasdf wrote: »
    @macroraptor
    How does Georgia Tech recalculate High School GPA?
    From my experience, it seems that it uses the weighted GPA from your school. However, it uses an unweighted GPA to calculate eligibility. You need an unweighted GPA greater than 3.3 to apply for CS and engineering and a 3.0 for liberal arts.
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  • saddoughnut27saddoughnut27 44 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations on your acceptance! I am currently a high school freshman and I know that I want to pursue engineering in the future, but I am not sure which type. How did you decide on chemical engineering?
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Congratulations on your acceptance! I am currently a high school freshman and I know that I want to pursue engineering in the future, but I am not sure which type. How did you decide on chemical engineering?

    My main reason: Math and chemistry are cool!
    What I tell people: It's an extremely versatile degree. You can do anything from developing fuels to food processing to pharmaceuticals. ChemE majors also have very good med school and law school placement.
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  • apcookieapcookie 10 replies3 threads New Member
    First of all, congratulations on your acceptances!

    What did you write your essays about (specifically UC)? I'm struggling to find a topic to write about because there's nothing outstanding about me; I haven't won any national awards or competitions.
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  • mathcsbmathcsb 54 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Why did you choose GT? If given the choice between UMICH, NYU and GT, which would you choose?
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  • Khalid55Khalid55 4 replies1 threads New Member
    @marcoraptor
    Hi, I'm new to this site and was hoping to get some advice on the transfer process and maybe some positive feedback on my chances on getting into USC Marshall.
    I'm an older applicant, I went to college back in 2010-2013, had some personal issues and decided to join the Marine Corps. My grades during HS and early years of college were not the best. I did some schooling in the Marine Corps and received all A's. I believe there was definitely a maturity issue on my part, which I obtained while I served. Once I got out I enrolled at SMC and completed my fall semester with all A's, most we GE classes. I then enrolled in the winter semester and got a B in a GE. I submitted my application and got an SGR request in early May.
    I was just curious if my chances are favorable or if I should done more.
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited May 18
    mathcsb wrote: »
    Why did you choose GT? If given the choice between UMICH, NYU and GT, which would you choose?

    @mathcsb GT has an amazing engineering school and its chemical engineering program is usually ranked between #2 and #3 in the country. For me, it is also a lot more affordable than NYU or UMICH. For these reasons, GT is my top choice.
    edited May 18
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Khalid55 wrote: »
    @marcoraptor
    Hi, I'm new to this site and was hoping to get some advice on the transfer process and maybe some positive feedback on my chances on getting into USC Marshall.
    I'm an older applicant, I went to college back in 2010-2013, had some personal issues and decided to join the Marine Corps. My grades during HS and early years of college were not the best. I did some schooling in the Marine Corps and received all A's. I believe there was definitely a maturity issue on my part, which I obtained while I served. Once I got out I enrolled at SMC and completed my fall semester with all A's, most we GE classes. I then enrolled in the winter semester and got a B in a GE. I submitted my application and got an SGR request in early May.
    I was just curious if my chances are favorable or if I should done more.

    @Khalid55 I have very little experience with transfers, so I can't answer your questions. I think your journey is really admirable and I wish you the best of luck:)
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  • queenofalgebraqueenofalgebra 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Do you have any tips for taking honors biology and honors chemistry in my freshman year of high school? I am kind of reviewing past material from middle school over the summer.

    Thanks! :smile:
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Do you have any tips for taking honors biology and honors chemistry in my freshman year of high school? I am kind of reviewing past material from middle school over the summer.

    Thanks! :smile:

    @queenofalgebra As long as you listen in class and keep up with the work, you'll be okay. However, don't be afraid to ask your teacher if you need help; they're one of your best resources. Chemistry is pretty math-heavy, so if you're worried about tests and quizzes, I would recommend doing practice problems and calculations.
    Good luck in high school:)
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  • jakekillertagjakekillertag 6 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi, I’m committed to GT as a chemical engineering freshman. One of my biggest concerns is about Tech’s prestige (comparing to schools like Cal, UCLA, UMich and others). I’ve heard it is a school that’s only valued on southern states. Could you give some insight regarding that? Also, congratulations on all your acceptances!
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Hi, I’m committed to GT as a chemical engineering freshman. One of my biggest concerns is about Tech’s prestige (comparing to schools like Cal, UCLA, UMich and others). I’ve heard it is a school that’s only valued on southern states. Could you give some insight regarding that? Also, congratulations on all your acceptances!

    @jakekillertag Congrats!!!
    I admit it was a little difficult for me to choose GT over Cal and UCLA (I didn't apply to UMich). It helped me to shift my focus from name-brand recognition to program quality and opportunities.
    Keep in mind that the other schools you mentioned have a broader range of programs and are much larger, so people are more likely to recognize them. However, anyone in engineering or CS (in the South or otherwise) will be impressed.
    More importantly, its chemical engineering program is crazy good (usually ranked #2 or #3). With that strength in the field, Tech has amazing employer recognition all over the country.
    Go Jackets!
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  • mathcsbmathcsb 54 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I keep reading about grade deflation and miserable students at Tech. Many sound like they try to view it as a bonding experience, or that it made them better in some way, but it scared me off. Many top engineering programs do not have this vibe or reputation. Do you have any sense of this or worries?
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  • tfisgoingonUSCtfisgoingonUSC 10 replies0 threads New Member
    Hey, how has your experience been with GT so far? I just got accepted for aerospace engineering (which I believe is ranked #2 in the nation) but am torn about the decision. I am still waiting to hear back from USC, which is my top school right now, but have been accepted to five other less prestigious schools (ASU, TAMU, VT, UMD, and UIUC). GT obviously has the best engineering program, but I am worried that I will be surrounded by other engineering students 24/7 and will miss out on a certain social/party atmosphere that my other schools offer.

    Do you think that receiving a degree from GT as opposed to University of Illinois or Arizona State will have a significant impact on my career after graduation? Do employers really care where you get your degree if all of your schools are fairly competitive? And if you have been to GT, can you attest to the atmosphere at all? I've heard that there is a distinct 'nerdy' / awkward to the student body, is there any truth to this?
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  • isla701isla701 118 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Hello! It's great to see someone else from Chapel Hill here!

    Were you tempted to apply to more than nine colleges, or was it relatively easy to come up with your nine and stick with them? I know people who've applied to nearly 20 schools and that just sounds like too many. I've told myself 12 at max, but I'm curious to see how many others have applied to.

    Also, what was your ratio of reach/match/safety schools?

    Thanks again and stay safe!
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    mathcsb wrote: »
    I keep reading about grade deflation and miserable students at Tech. Many sound like they try to view it as a bonding experience, or that it made them better in some way, but it scared me off. Many top engineering programs do not have this vibe or reputation. Do you have any sense of this or worries?

    @mathcsb This also worried me a lot when I was choosing Tech. I've been talking to current students and they all mention that the classes can be challenging. However, the school and the students are very accommodating. There is very little expectation that you get perfect grades and there is no stigma around retaking or dropping classes if you're overwhelmed. While it's true that there is grade deflation, most employers and grad schools are aware of it. I see how this can seem daunting, but the students I have met all seem genuinely happy with Tech and have found their niches.
    That being said, its culture doesn't vibe well everyone and there are tons of amazing schools to choose from.
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Hey, how has your experience been with GT so far? I just got accepted for aerospace engineering (which I believe is ranked #2 in the nation) but am torn about the decision. I am still waiting to hear back from USC, which is my top school right now, but have been accepted to five other less prestigious schools (ASU, TAMU, VT, UMD, and UIUC). GT obviously has the best engineering program, but I am worried that I will be surrounded by other engineering students 24/7 and will miss out on a certain social/party atmosphere that my other schools offer.

    Do you think that receiving a degree from GT as opposed to University of Illinois or Arizona State will have a significant impact on my career after graduation? Do employers really care where you get your degree if all of your schools are fairly competitive? And if you have been to GT, can you attest to the atmosphere at all? I've heard that there is a distinct 'nerdy' / awkward to the student body, is there any truth to this?

    First of all, congrats on your acceptances!
    I've been talking with other admitted students and current students through my living-learning community (global leadership). All the students I met have been really open about their experiences. While you will be surrounded by engineering students most of the time, there's a lot to do on campus besides academics. There's a huge variety of clubs and while I wouldn't call it a party school there's definitely a party scene among the frats.
    While Tech may give you an edge over Arizona State (not as big of one over UIUC) if you think you'd be happier and more successful there, it's worth going there. While they may not have as many opportunities, if you're a top student, you'll have little trouble getting them.
    In my experience the student body is pretty nerdy, but it's very involved both on and off campus. Students pursue their non-academic interests and are active in the community.
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  • macroraptormacroraptor 69 replies6 threads Junior Member
    isla701 wrote: »
    Hello! It's great to see someone else from Chapel Hill here!

    Were you tempted to apply to more than nine colleges, or was it relatively easy to come up with your nine and stick with them? I know people who've applied to nearly 20 schools and that just sounds like too many. I've told myself 12 at max, but I'm curious to see how many others have applied to.

    Also, what was your ratio of reach/match/safety schools?

    Thanks again and stay safe!

    @isla701 Go Tarheels!
    I was originally going to apply to 11, but during my process I cut some because I couldn't see myself in them or because it was too much work to apply. Expect that you'll drop or add a few during the process.
    I agree that 12 is a good max. It's important to keep your essays interesting and unique, so I would recommend dropping colleges if you think their quality is going down. When you make your list, have a few schools that you would be willing to cut if things get overwhelming.
    I must admit that I didn't really know what I was doing when I made my list. Most of the schools I thought were matches I now think of as low reaches. In retrospect, I had one safety (NCSU), four low reaches (GT, UCLA, UCB, USC), and four reaches (Rice, JHU, Cornell, and Princeton). However, if I could have done it again, I would have added more matches and another safety, and cut some of my reaches.
    Good luck and stay safe:)
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