So I was told to go for more match schools considering I was going for UC Berkeley and Georgia Tech… So I was thinking is Cal Poly a good match school. I am a female with a ACT score of 29 (31 E/ 30 M/ 26R/ 27S). My scores aren’t that high considering my friend with a 31 just got rejected from slo. I have a lot of leadership and community service roles with a 4.32 gpa weighted and 3.94 unweighted. I’m taking AP Calc as a junior, and would be applying engineering, preferably materials or biomed (I noticed there was no chemE). Does this college still seem like a reach for me, or is it more of a match?
Cal Poly admits competitively to every major. As such, an applicant could be a safety in one major and an extreme long shot reach in another. With that said, it’s likely that you’re a match for materials, but a reach for BME (or ME, CE, CS or Aero).
My D was recently accepted to Cal Poly for BME. As far as what is a reach and what is a match - I would apply to the major that you will want to pursue and be passionate about. She had similar GPA and ACT score and also wondered if she would be accepted. We could estimate from the posted statistics on enrollment projections that BME acceptance seems to be 10-13% and one of the hardest majors for acceptance at the school. It was a gamble but she made it.
Cal Poly application appears simple as there are no essays, but it is tricky and many applicants get rejected due to errors completing the application and not due to any shortcomings with test scores or grades. For instance - failing to list applicable classes taken in MIDDLE SCHOOL can be fatal. My D had her school counselor help her to make sure classes were listed correctly on the application including listing 7th grade algebra and 8th grade geometry. The counselor told her that every year kids get rejected for not listing some required classes or by doing it incorrectly. In addition to grades the school looks at class rigor / difficulty of your high school courses. My D took APs and dual enrollment courses where possible. And that helps with applying to any engineering program.
Research what an MCA is and how it’s calculated. You’ll want to get your GPA calculated correctly (Cal Poly uses 9-11th grades and only for A-G courses so no PE for example). google rogerhub gpa calculator and use that for Cal Poly and for UC schools (same but UCs use 10-11th grades only).
Good luck with the process! My D also wants to do ChemE and applied to many other schools for that major as well.
The thing that we never know about Cal Poly is what the relationship between percentage accepted and difficulty of admission is. Aerospace for example accepts more than BME, but their applicant pool as a whole might be stronger. It’s very possible that a major that has a higher acceptance rate might also have a higher MCA cutoff.
Your GPA looks competitive, but your ACT score (eng/math) is an avg of 30.5, which is below the avg engineering admit. Use this summer and really study and bring up that math score. Since Cal Poly superscores E/M sections of the ACT/SAT.
My D had a 32C on the ACT, but a 29M on the first try (and math was her highest score in all the practice tests she took). On the 2nd try she concentrated on the math section and scored a 34. So you see it can be done. I bet if you up your avg E/M ACT score to a 32 or above, you’ll be a very competitive candidate.
You might also try taking the SAT and see which test suits you better. But you best hurry because there’s not many test dates left before you’re busy with applications.
I just want to add that I agree on both points made by others here. And regarding ACT score even though she also had a 29C she had 35M/29E for a 32 super super score. Perhaps the 35M is favorable for engineering too? Yes, bringing that even higher can only help your chances.