Any chance at top tier engineering schools? (Will chance back)

Hello all.

I’d first like to preface this by saying that I understand for ultra-competitive schools, there is no such thing as “probably going to get in”. I know admissions is very subjective and that chances often are completely inaccurate.

That said. Please chance me for Stanford, CalTech, MIT, CMU, UCB, UCLA, UCSB, UCSD as a computer engineer.

Academics: 3.65-3.7ish UW, 4.02W, around the 25% mark in my class. Half As and Bs freshman and sophomore years, but (really close to) straight As junior year. Straight As senior year so my GPA will be a bit higher (4.2ish) after I submit those mid-year reports. I have taken a very rigorous schedule. UC GPA is ~4.0

Test Scores: 36 ACT, Math 2 and Physics are both 800

-Attended selective MIT launch program and co-started a company with an App in the app store.
-Interned at a highly respected and well-known software company that is involved in almost all aspects of STEM
-Apple WWDC Scholar
-App in the app store with ~1000 downloads
-President of schools robotics club, done all 4 years
-President of schools physics club, featured on local news
-President of math club
-Serve on a team that introduces technology to student body, selected by school administration to take part
-A few other somewhat selective camps

I have a really good essay topic IMO.

I know nothing can make up for grades, but do I have a chance at the first 3 colleges listed? I appreciate the time.

Post a link and I’ll chance back!


It seems like you are a competitive applicant, and it seems like you understand that it’s really hard to predict. Nice ECs!

I didn’t think Caltech offered Comp Engineering.
Your ACT is good. Your UW GPA is not that great. Sorry.
In for the mid tier UC’s.

@bitensky Thanks!
@“aunt bea” Thanks. The major was mainly for the UCs, since schools like MIT and CalTec don’t let you declare a major until after a few semesters.

@“aunt bea” I would argue that @csumit still has a shot at the upper tier schools (including UCLA and UCB) because of his excellent test scores and ECs, especially considering those schools are holistic. Not saying they’re in, but I certainly don’t think he’s out sole based on grades.

@bitensky: Here is the Berkeley admitted student profile
Here is UCLA:

The UC’s place a lot of emphasis on GPA. The problem is that there are lots of students with great GPA’s and great SAT’s, so if he’s not instate, there are no guarantees on admission.

@“aunt bea” I’m in state if that makes a difference.

It does!

@“aunt bea” Really? How do? What do you think it would affect my chances at the upper UCs?

grade point is too low for any of the above

@csumit, the UC’s are under political pressure to admit more instate, homegrown California kids. Berkeley is kinda quirky with how they admit. If they see your SAT score and your GPA, they may overlook the GPA and accept you based on your ACT and EC’s.

With LA, they will look at your EC’s and your transcript if they have a question about maintaining class grades at UCLA.

Stanford, MIT and Caltech are crapshoots and will be very picky about that GPA, anything to reduce the number of applications they have to rifle through.

@gphi777 thanks!
@“aunt bea” thank you for the really great reply! Could you elaborate on the transcript and class grades part?

Also in terms of Stanford, Caltech, and MIT, would you say it’s worth it to apply or are my chances literally zero?

Apply to the elites^, you never know what mood the adcoms are in.

RE your transcript: This full sheet of courses generally lists which courses you took together each semester. They (adcoms) know your junior year is impacted by test-taking, leadership activities and competitive sports.

If you took a crazy boatload of difficult courses involving, say, a new offering, CC class, or had extenuating circumstances, they will take that into consideration. They weigh future coursework pressures, like how time may impact you: e.g. UCs are on the quarter system, so you only have 10 weeks to prove yourself. Some professors only have 1-2 tests. If your GPA is on the lower end, they are concerned because if heavy coursework affects your grades, they don’t want to admit you only to have you fail. They WANT you to pass your college courses. Does that make sense?

Seems like you have a pretty good shot. Could you chance me?

@“aunt bea” Thank you. I was under the impression that UCs didn’t see your transcript, but I guess I was wrong. I did in fact take Calc 1, 2, and 3 during my junior and first half of my senior years, so hopefully that will help. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain all this to me.

@koolkemi Done

I think you have a great chance at the UCs, especially since your UC GPA is much higher and your ECs are stellar. However, I also think that you shouldn’t count yourself out for the other schools you’ve applied to, of course, GPA is important but your test scores will gain you a second look and your ECs certainly are stellar! Depending on your essay/rec letter strength, I think you have a good shot. I assume you wrote about STEM (yay stem buddies), but it may have (in case you did) wrote about a humanity/something other than all the robotics you do and tied it in with STEM, to show your breadth (if this is making any sense). But a topic on STEM would also be very strong! Also, if you wouldn’t mind chancing me I’d really appreciate it! (thanks!)

@csumit, your self report your grades. They confirm them later.

@lurkertoposter Thank you! Chanced you back

again, like everybody comment’s, your Ec’s are great but gpa is low. Your scores are immaculate but you should mention in “additional comments” why you got lower grades. if it was because you were adjusting to hs, then dont. but if you have a legit reason, let colleges know that the perfect scoring, president of his club(s) applicant is capable of being admitted to UCB and MIt.

dont be so scared about the gpa. I think your scores balance it. But write a killer essay and forsure, you will go to Sd at least.

chance me please?