Chance daughter at Cornell/BU/UW Madison/UGA/TCU


I was wondering if those of you experienced with admissions stats and trends at the following universities could please chance my daughter. She is currently a junior. Also, any additional insights that could help during the application process or before fall would be very helpful.

ACT 34
M 35
E 35
R 34
S 30

4.40 GPA/4.0 scale
AP Stats (5)
AP World History (5)
will take this year:
AP ENG L&C (self studying)
and next year:

4 year varsity tennis athlete (assuming senior year which should happen), MVP, all-conference, captain 2 years

Research on topic of food science, not published

Lots of EC’s with clubs and various community service activities

Student ambassador for admissions

Should have good essays/recommendation letters.

Cornell CALS - Food Science major
BU- Bio/Nutritional Science major
Univ Wisconsin Madison OOS- Food Science major
University of Georgia OOS- Food Science major
TCU- Bio/Nutrition major

Any others she should look at?

Thank you all so much!

U Maryland College Park and UMass Amherst. Both good large flagship state U’s with food science majors.

Is she interested in Nutrition? Food production? Is there some particular aspect of Food Science that she’s interested in?

I think with her stats that she might get into Cornell, and should get in everywhere else, possibly with honors college and merit money.

Which state are you in? Unless money’s no object, she should probably apply to an in-state public school that has her major, just in case she doesn’t get a better offer for same or lower tuition.

Her ACT is very good. That 30 on the science would be really easy for her to improve, because all one has to do for it is a few science sections on retired ACTs, either by getting the Official Guide to the ACT (any of the last few years, doesn’t have to be the latest version), or by searching on the internet for links to legally in the public domain released retired ACT tests. But with a 34, I think that she might only raise her overall score to a 35, so it might not be worth the effort.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. We will look at UMass Amherst. For some reason she ruled at UM College Park but I’ll have to investigate that more. She is interested in food safety and possibly public policy related to food quality and labelling. She is very passionate about food waste and volunteers many hours at food pantries.

I am confused as to how it will work with Cornell because I read the CALS is test blind this upcoming year. How would they evaluate her if her ACT isn’t utilized?

She may take the ACT one more time but she’s so busy with research, volunteering, and keeping her grades up that I dont know if she will have time. Do you think a 35 would make a big difference?

We are in Missouri and she doesn’t want to go anywhere in Missouri so I’m supportive of her going a bit farther away even if we pay more.

Her application is already pretty impressive. I would advise against retaking ACT - a 34 solidly meets the bar for all the schools mentioned and she is better off investing her energy elsewhere.

Seeing as Cornell is probably the top school by far with a food science degree, I would advise she applies ED (if she is sure of her interest). This would boost her chances and, with a stroke of luck, she could be done with the whole application process by December!

Good luck

No, I don’t think it would, so probably not worth the effort.

My kid went to UMass Amherst. It’s a large flagship state U in western Mass, part of the 5 college consortium with 4 other schools, all highly respected small liberal arts colleges. There is a beautiful new honors campus with great dorms, and the food is consistently ranked the best in the country. It’s in a beautiful, safe area. I loved visiting my kid there. I think your daughter would be offered honors college and possibly the max OOS merit aid, currently 16K/yr, bringing overall cost to about 35K/yr.

I really think that she should look at U Md College Park, also. It has an excellent reputation. I would say that overall, as a flagship state U, it’s a notch below UNC, U Mich, and UVa, but it’s still a very good school,and probably overall a bit higher ranked than UMass Amherst.

And I think that you should have her apply to U Missouri, too, as a safety, both financially and academically, that has a good program, even though she wants to go away. The reason is that it’s cheap tuition for her, and they have a good food science department. The fact is, a lot of our nation’s food is produced and processed in the Midwest.

I love to hear about students who have intense interests in fields of importance to the world. Maybe someday she’ll be the head of the USDA Food and Nutrition subsection. BTW, that is another EXCELLENT reason for her to consider College Park, Md. It is on a commuter rail line into Washington, DC, and she is the type of kid who should intern for the USDA’s programs to reduce food waste, both nationally and internationally. She might be able to get a semester internship from another school, but she could possibly get an ongoing internship, one day a week, all through college, at the USDA in Washington, DC. I’m sure that would be just as much an education as school would be. In terms of proximity to DC, George Washington U has Nutrition Science, but it sounds more about nutrition, than about food science.

Illinois Urbana Champaign pops up at the top of the list for Food Science on a number of lists.

Thank you so much!! I’m thinking she definitely needs to focus on Food Science more than Nutrition so I think these schools/programs you are recommending are very helpful.

If she were to apply ED to Cornell, how would the fact the CALS is test blind impact her having her 34 not considered in her application? Should she apply to the CAS instead? But then she wouldn’t be in the college with food science…any thoughts?

She should apply to the school that has her major, so her test score won’t help at Cornell. Definitely research how difficult it might be to transfer to food science, but I don’t think it’s easy, and too much risk to take just to make sure they see the 34.

Ok thank you so much.

I’m really wanting to get insights now into the score free/test blind stuff. I guess Cornell CALS is definitely score free for upcoming year. How will they evaluate kids? Any idea how competitive it is for Food Science at Cornell? Does ED really help?

Thank you all so much!

I think she stands a very good chance at all of the named schools with Cornell and Wisconsin probably being the most competitive. My D is an OOS pursuing a Food Science major and Fermentation Science minor at Purdue University. Lot’s of chemistry and engineering-based coursework, but she loves it. She’s now looking at graduate schools.

Recognize that nutrition and food science are very different fields. Food science is focused largely on product development, quality assurance, food safety, food security, etc. Nutrition from what I’ve read tends be oriented toward people and human wellness. Both great fields. Exciting times and I wish her all the best…… happy provide further insight.

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It isn’t too difficult to transfer from CAS to CALS, but CAS has a significantly lower acceptance rate and with test-optional again this year, a 34 isn’t anything special for them. Your child will be a very competitive candidate for CALS ED, I think.

Have you looked at the program at NYU? Two majors:

  • BS in Global Public Health & Food Studies

  • BS in Nutrition & Food Studies, choice of concentration either in:
    Food Studies or
    Nutrition & Dietetics

NYU’s neighbor in lower Manhattan, The New School, offers both a BA and a BS in Food Studies.

University of Arizona offers 2 degrees:

  • BS in Food Safety
  • BA in Food Studies

Syracuse offers an interesting program in Food Studies

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Auburn, Penn State, UC-Davis, Oregon State, Illinois, CalPoly ?

Thank you for the insights. I think she is definitely interested in food science. She is also looking at ND and Northwestern and Vanderbilt for biochem.

For biochem, consider WashUStl.

I think if she applies ED to Cornell CALS she stands an excellent chance (I have a child just graduated from CALS). Since CALS won’t consider her test scores, GPA, EC’s, essay and recommendations will matter much more - Cornell is truly a school about fit - she should show how her interests/experience make her a good fit for one of their food science programs and what she plans to do with that education in the future (maybe check out the course bulletin of classes offered and identify some that really resonate with her) . BTW Cornell has a community food systems minor which my daughter LOVED - it focused on food waste/insecurity and got her very involved with services in the community. Another school to consider UIUC - I think they might have a robust food science/AG program.