I’m a Junior assembling my college list, and I’m trying to give myself a reality check on which colleges are actually safeties (yes, I know safeties don’t exist for a CS major) and targets. I didn’t include the schools which I know are definitely reaches, but I am applying to reach schools as well.
- US Citizen
- State: New York
- Type of high school: public HS, pretty average
- Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Female, not an URM
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
- Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0
- Weighted HS GPA: Not sure (calculators say around 4.5 but my school uses a 100-point system) but all my classes are taken at the highest level offered
- Class Rank: School doesn’t do this, but I’m definitely near the top
- ACT/SAT Scores: 1590 (800 Math, 790 Verbal)
APs: AP Computer Science A (self-studied), AP World History (5), AP Calculus BC (5), AP Biology (5), currently taking AP US History, AP Physics 1 (school doesn’t offer II or C), AP Language & Composition, will take AP Government, AP Literature, and AP Chemistry next year.
Math: Took AP Calculus BC in sophomore year, continued with Stanford ULO Linear Algebra (earned an A) and AoPS Intermediate Number Theory. I will take more calculus next year.
Language: French IV, school has discontinued the program though
Music: Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, All-State Alternate
National Cyber Scholarship Finalist
Qualified for MathCON Nationals (last year)
Random school awards
FIRST Robotics Competition Dean’s List Semifinalist
Girl Scout Gold Award
Presidential Service Award, Gold
Scholastic Art & Writing Competition Silver Keys in Science Fiction/Fantasy, Short Story, and Poetry
Co-President of the science club (won the team our two regional Science Olympiad medals for our first year of it)
CyberStart (Cybersecurity competition)
FIRST Robotics Competition (programmer)
Metropolitan Youth Orchestra
Random things like Mathletes and Book Club
NHS (I know, it’s meaningless)
Research: Stony Brook CSIRE bioinformatics project (no competitions) in summer of 2021, SSP this coming summer
Probably good LORs—my teachers like me, but aren’t always super experienced with this
Essays—Haven’t written them yet but I love writing and have a lot of experience with personal essays.
I’m trying to determine which of these are actually safeties or targets. Like I said earlier, I do have high reach schools, but I haven’t included these.
- SUNY Stony Brook (in-state)
- SUNY Binghamton (in-state)
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- University of Pittsburgh
- Case Western
- University of Maryland
- Penn State
- UMass Amherst
I suspect, however, that Northeastern and maybe UMD may be reaches and Stony Brook may be a target? How many targets and how many safeties should I be applying to, considering that I also have reaches on my list?