A rather broad question for you all.. please help. (california)


<p>I'm having trouble deciding which schools to apply to. I have a 3.74 unweighted gpa and a 3.84 weighted and a poor SAT score of 1050, but ACT of 27 and SATII of 550 writing - 620 Math II - 620 Chemistry. Right now I have the feeling that I do not want to move away for college (I'm in Sacramento), which is why I'm considering UC Davis. Do I even have a chance at UC Davis? I've already applied to Sacramento State as a safety but do not know where else to apply. For some reason I feel that state schools are inferior and want to avoid going to one, but I do not like the idea of going to a CC then transfering to a UC. (My parents would prefer me to live at home while going to college to save money anyways)</p>

<p>Should I apply to state schools like Cal Poly SLO, SDSU, Chico, etc. just in case I change my mind about wanting to move away for college? </p>

<p>Is it safe going to a CC then transfering to a UC like Berkely? I don't know if I could sit through 2 years of American River College, though.</p>

<p>Also, I'm unsure of what to major in. I'm interested in Chemistry, Mathematics, Computers, possibly Political Science.. Any ideas of good fields of jobs with these subjects?</p>

<p>Overall I'm just really confused and jaded about college decisions. Any and all help would be appreciated. Thank you all</p>

<p>edit: I pretty much figure I have no chance at UCD since I have poor test scores and no extracurriculars. So I'm pretty much stuck at a state school or a CC then UC. This is where I have a problem. I don't want to move away to a state school, but at the same time I don't want to waste 2 years going to a CC. Ugh.</p>

<p>University of Redlands is worth a look and has great merit that you would qualify for. I don't know much about the UC's so I will leave that question to the more knowlegable ones here. Also check out U of San Diego. You may change your mind so it is good to keep your options open.</p>

<p>I try not to get involved in the "what are my chances" for the UCs. With comprehensive review at UCD, there are a lot of other factors that may play a role in whether you would be accepted . Your ACT score of 27 is the equivalent of 1210-1230 SAT I, which is a respectable score. You should report the ACT instead of the SAT I score. Perhaps there are other things that may give you an edge, so if you want to go to UCD be sure to apply and make a good case for yourself on your essays. </p>

<p>On the other hand, you can certainly get a good education at all of the colleges you mention, including community college. </p>

<p>I've known many students over the years that attended American River college and were very pleased with the education they received there. The students received a good foundation for transferring to a UC, and many were very successful. It is a wonderful, and economical, option. There are a lot of positives, such as quality faculty that love to teach and small class sizes, so do not be discouraged, if that is where you end up.</p>

<p>Reporting the ACT instead of the SAT gives you a shot at davis. I would at least try it. Also, I wouldn't blow off some of the cal states. Cal Poly and SDSU are pretty selective. For Cal Poly specifically, you are under the average for both SAT and gpa(1250/3.9) You have a shot, but aren't a shoe-in by any means.</p>

<p>I do think you should leave your options open and apply to another UC or two and another couple of state schools.</p>

<p>What about UC Merced, opening next year? It's only a few hours from Sacramento.</p>

<p>You dont want to move out of state but are willing to move to Southern California? That is pretty far to move to! Honestly, it wouldnt be that much harder to move to another state if you are willing to move to SoCal anyway. Besides, you cannot live at home and attend a school in Southern California. To answer your question though, and assuming you are willing to move down South, you are very fortunate because California has a seemingly infinite number of educational choices. Here are but a few:</p>

<p><a href="http://www.campustours.com/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.campustours.com/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Just select California and that should give you a few choices. </p>

<p>Don’t be discouraged that much by your SAT score. Remember that in order to have an average score of, say 1300, there must be some people with scores lower than 1300. I don’t think you are as bad off as you think. </p>

<p>As far as community colleges go, at least you wont need to transfer your SAT scores if you are a transfer student. That is another factor to consider if you decide on going that rout. The problem is that community college is quite a bit more challenging than high school so you are risking making yourself even worse off. You can always still go to a Cal State though.</p>

<p>By the way, have you forgotten about UCSC? That is a good school that has the benefit of carrying the UC name.</p>

<p>Thank you all for the replies.</p>

<p>shyboy13, I'm definitely not going to move out of state and I'm hesitant (as of right now) to move away from Sacramento. This is why I'm probably going to apply to a few top state schools just incase I decide to move away from Sacramento.</p>

<p>I'd apply to UCs, but I've been trying to figure out what to write for the Open Ended essay for the last month and still have no idea of what to write about. I'm seriously clueless. I'm one of those people who has a hard time getting started on writing but once I get started I usually keep going. (I know it sounds silly that I don't know what to write about when I can write about anything.) Any tips or suggestions for this? I think I have the other two questions covered, or at least an idea of what I'm going to write for them.</p>

<p>If I were to apply to Cal Poly SLO, I'd have to choose a major. Right now I'm unsure of what I want to do, and they don't have undeclared as a major since they have an 'upside-down' curriculum. And also on the UCD application, there are numerous schools within it that I have to choose a major from and I think one or two of them don't have undeclared. So I don't know what to do about those.</p>

<p>Were/Are any of you the same way I am in not being sure if you want to move away to college? I don't really like the idea of living in dorms.</p>

<p>Also, are other state schools better than Sac State? Is it worth going to SDSU or Cal Poly SLO compared to Sac State? </p>

<p>Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.</p>

<p>"Were/Are any of you the same way I am in not being sure if you want to move away to college? I don't really like the idea of living in dorms."</p>

<p>I was accepted to Berkeley but couldnt go because it is too far so I chose UCLA and am very happy wiht my choice.</p>

<p>"Also, are other state schools better than Sac State? Is it worth going to SDSU or Cal Poly SLO compared to Sac State?"</p>

<p>SDSU is probably the furthest school in California away from you. If you are going to a Cal State, they are all pretty much equal. The two Cal Polys are probably the best Cal States but not worth traveling for. Since SLO is so close, why dont you just go there. If not, the other Cal States are pretty close substitutes.</p>

<p>I reread your original post and I'm not sure about the financial issue. Do your parents want you to live home so you can save room/board costs-- so they're willing to pop for the CSU tuition/fees, and of course CC fees. Are they willing to pay for room/board at UC in addition to tuition/fees there? </p>

<p>I don't think you should attend American River College. In theory, two years of CC sound smart because you save $$$ and get all those gen ed requirements out of the way. But too many students quit and don't continue to UC or CSU. In general your CC classmates aren't as motivated to get that 4 year degree and their lack of dedication can rub off. It's easy to change your mindset.</p>

<p>Definitely apply to UC-Santa Cruz, Merced, Davis, and a handful of CSUs besides Sac State. At least you'll have options next spring.</p>

<p>You might look into Sonoma State. It is not to far from Sac. and it has a large residential student community unlike many of the state schools. It used to have an awesome duck pond, don't know if it is still there. It has increased its dorm capacity and might be a nice option for you. And it is only 45 minutes to San Francisco so you have the best of two worlds. You could also try it for two years and then try to transfer.</p>

<p>kinshasa, my parents mentioned AR to me so that I could live at home for 2 years and save lots of $ on the GED. But they also think I can live at home if I attend UCD. Pretty much I think they prefer me to go local to save $ but I'm sure they'll let me move away to college if I change my mind. As for UCSC, I've been in Santa Cruz once a year for as long as I can remember and don't find it to be a very exciting place (as in a place I'd like to be for four years). It is for a week or two on vacation but it's pretty much an empty place that doesn't seem like too much fun for that period of time. </p>

<p>So I'm still confused a litle about the differences in state schools. I could just go to Sac State and it'd be pretty much the same thing as going to any other state school. But the thing about going to a state school (minus a few) is that instead of actually working through high school, I could have just done OK instead of trying to get straight As and such. For some reason I feel like I've worked hard all through high school for nothing since I most likely won't get into a UC.</p>

<p>How much of a difference does a UC diploma make compared to a CSU diploma on your resume? Is it really worth going to a UC in the first place?</p>

<p>Besides the $$ issue, how do you feel about going to college away from home? A big part of growing up and becoming independent is living in a dorm. The new friends and experiences should be factored into the equation.<br>
I wouldn't worry about CSU vs. UC reputation. It's easy to apply to several different schools in both systems. I think you'll get into most CSUs and probably one or two UCs. You can visit the schools after you've been accepted and decide then.</p>

<p>Right now I don't really want to move away to college. But that may change come spring time, you never know. When trying to get a job, employers like a UC diploma better, right? How much more do they like it compared to a CSu diploma? Again, I don't even know if I'll apply to UCs because I don't know what to write for the essay and don't consider myself a skilled writer.</p>

<p>Just for information, Sacramento State's chemistry department is pretty good. If you are thinking of majoring in chemistry and applying to graduate school, a good GPA from there will be very helpful.</p>

<p>There's a great thread in the Parents Forum called "Universal Admissions Essay Advice" or similar. It might help to kick start your writer's block.</p>

<p>Or, if you absolutely don't want to go through the UC admissions process, then you should apply to several CSUs besides Sac State just in case you change your mind next spring.</p>

<p>dadofsam, that's good to know. What types of things could I do with a chemistry major?</p>

<p>kinshasa, I believe I looked at that, but it's more of advice on how to correct your paper. I just don't know what to write about.</p>

<p>I'm still curious, how much difference does a UC diploma make compared to a CSU diploma? Salary wise?</p>

<p>The UC essays are short and straightforward. Just answer them straight up. It might help to make a list of the qualities you posess that you want to highlight. Ask friends and parents what are good qualities you have, if you have trouble. Write positively. You come off as a unmotivated sad sack here, and you don't want to do that in an essay. If you are too lazy to do the UC essays, then just go CSU and quit whining about it! Chico has an honors program, it even has it's own dorm--you do all your Gen Req's in one year with your honors class--check if you qualify off your GPA. They also have an awesome comp sci program. My sister graduated from there in comp sci and has been making 6 figures for years now an got there pretty quickly out of school (maybe those days are over, tho.)</p>

<p>bettina, the specific essay question that I don't know what to write for is the Open Ended one. So I can write about anything, and I still have no clue of what to write about. I actually started writing one, but came back a week later and re-read it and it didn't sound like me (and I'm told that you are supposed to be yourself when writing it). And I do come off as an unmotivated sad sack because I am. My parents don't really care about where I go to college and hardly ever talk about it so I guess it kind of rubbed off on me. </p>

<p>The Chico Honors program sounds very interesting. I will definitely be looking into that, but I do have a question about it. Are the Honors courses there the same in work load as say Honors English or History in high school? I didn't take any of the honors english/history classes in high school. I did take AP US History but dropped it since I learned that it was mostly essay writing which I do not care for. I did take AP Chemistry and right now I'm taking AP Calculus AB. They aren't too bad since I'm good at both of those subjects.</p>

<p>Apparently applying for the Chico Honors program is very similar to the UC app. I need awards, extracurriculars and to write 2 essays, one of which is almost exactly the same as the one I don't know what to write for on the UC app. Dangit.</p>