Chance Him Please

My son is a rising senior in a competitive California high school. His unweighted GPA is 4.0 and UC capped weighted 4.36. He has taken 4 AP classes and will have 1 IB and AP class Senior year. Unable to take SAT so far due to COVID. He is a 2 sport varsity athlete and has held a leadership role on the team. He has been involved in Boys Team Charity for 6 years and enjoys volunteering in our community. He is unsure of what he wants to do so is thinking of a business major. I would like him to stay in CA but AZ is an option too as his sister is studying nursing at ASU. Watching sports is important to him so a school with football/basketball would be preferred as is greek system. He is a smart kid and takes academics seriously but doesn’t want to study all day every day. However, he wants a school with a good academic reputation. Thinking of applying at:
CAL (Dad is a legacy) sports are great but the academic rigor might be too much plus difficulty of getting into Haas
UCLA - academic rigor challenging
UCD - he thinks too close to home
Cal Poly - direct admit business school but sports are not especially popular
UCSB - great campus vibe but no sports
SDSU - apply to honors college -good academic reputation?
ASU - apply to honors college - good academic reputation?
UArizona - apply to honors college-good academic reputation?

We have visited Cal, SDSU, ASU and will do drive by’s at Cal Poly and UCSB this summer.

I know with the test optional situation in CA admissions will be different this year and realize CA schools are difficult to get into in normal circumstances but would appreciate any input and if we should add more safety schools to the list.


UC’s do not consider legacy in their admission decisions so no bump there.

Since test scores are optional for the UC’s and not a consideration for the CSU’s, his chances are competitive for all the schools on the list. Of course, UCB and UCLA will be definite Reaches regardless of this qualifications. If ASU is affordable as an OOS applicant, then it will make a good Safety without Barrett.

With Barrett, a good Match school and the honors college has a great reputation. You might want to PM @sbdad12 about Barrett.

SDSU looks like a Match school and he will be competitive for the Weber’s Honor College with his GPA. Weber also has a very good reputation and they offer a few merit scholarships for high stat applicants so it makes it a very affordable choice if he wins that scholarship.

I personally would look for one more safety school in-state just so he has some options. UC Riverside might be an option which has only one of the three UC Business schools unfortunately not the sports. UCI’s Business program is also well respected but one of the more difficult admits.

I also believe that next admission cycles will be very competitive due to some students taking gap years and reapplying after things have hopefully settled from the Corona virus pandemic.

Some UC admission data for reference:

2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted and not major specific:
UCB: 38%
UCLA: 35%
UCSD: 71%
UCSB: 73%
UCD: 84%
UCI: 55%
UCSC: 85%
UCR: 97%
UCM: 98%

2019 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:
UCB: 4.23 (4.15-4.30)
UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.32)
UCSD: 4.16 (4.03-4.28)
UCSB: 4.16 (4.04-4.28)
UCI: 4.13 (4.00-4.25)
UCD: 4.13 (4.00-4.26)
UCSC: 3.96 (3.76-4.16)
UCR: 3.90 (3.69-4.11)
UCM: 3.73 (3.45-4.00)

2019 Data:
25th - 75th percentiles for SAT totals:
UCB: 1340-1540

UCLA: 1330-1550
UCSD: 1300-1520
UCSB: 1280-1520
UCD: 1230-1490
UCI: 1250-1510
UCSC: 1200-1450
UCR: 1130-1400
UCM: 1020-1290

25th - 75th percentiles for ACT composite + language arts
UCB: 28-35
UCLA: 29-35
UCSD: 26-34
UCSB: 26-34
UCD: 24-33
UCI: 24-34
UCSC: 24-32
UCR: 21-30
UCM: 18-26

he looks competitive for all of them but, next year is going to be nuts due to all of the gap year carry overs from this year. Keep an open mind and apply really broadly. I’d add a couple of privates, LMU and USD are both worth a look.

Thanks @Gumbymom and @NCalRent for the input. We will definitely look at adding a few other safe options. The challenge with LMU and USD are the fact that they don’t have football and are considerably higher cost than state schools, UCs or the AZ schools. Trying to keep tuition and housing under $30K since we already have one in college.

@LollieW your son resembles exactly my current junior son, who has 4.0 UGPA and 4.35 uncapped WGPA with 4 APs so far from CA. Much much interested into sports, played JV soccer last semester. He is pretty much deciding even to apply to particular college based on their football/soccer/basket ball teams ? Academically a very bright kid but doesn’t want to study the whole day (infact he likes to watch sports after school and is more productive only at nights). Has a job too year around. Not yet decided what he wants to study…Let’s see what is in the hold for these boys ? he has given once SAT last year and got 1470 but we think he can get more, waiting for tests to open soon.

@Suave123 I am sure they will both find their place. Hard when they don’t know what they want to do or where they want to go to school. Good luck to your son!

Though LMU focuses on Basketball, I know USD has a D1 football program ( a neighbor played there on a scholarship and made it to an NFL practice squad)

@NCalRent did realize that USD had football. Will check it out. thanks!

Hi @LollieW , your son sounds like a great student and person.

@Gumbymom mentioned PMing me.

Daughter is now a freshman at ASU Barrett. Received a full tuition ride due to being a National Hispanic Recognition Program recipient. In WP Carey Business, potentially studying Supply Chain Management (#3 ranked program according to US News).

She was accepted to Michigan, Wisconsin, Cal Poly SLO, UCSB, UCSD, SDSU (Webers Honors), ASU (Barrett Honors), and rejected at UCB and UCLA. She only really liked UCSB, SDSU, and ASU.

I’ve been hearing a lot about SDSU and how they are treating students this year with the COVID reporting requirements. I would be livid if I were a parent.

So far, so good, even with COVID. She had a lot of kids attending from our local and neighboring high schools, so she had instant friends. But she has made friends with her suitemates, and is now pledging a sorority.

Like your son, she wanted a school with big time athletics. UCSB would have been the exception, because it’s UCSB…Daughter was a varsity lacrosse player, so with sports and Greek life, plus the same attitude to academics (important, but won’t be the center of her life), they sound similar.

We really liked ASU Barrett, maybe the most of all the tours. And the price for us is really attractive (all in for $20-$22K/year).

I realize this thread is from May 2020, but PM me for any questions.

@sbdad12 thank you for getting back to me. Our kids do sound a lot alike. So far my son has been accepted to:
ASU (Honors)
UA (Honors)
Utah (Biz Scholars, Honors pending)
SDSU (early acceptance, Honors pending)
Univ of Redlands (DIII football opportunity)
Univ of Puget Sound (DIII football opportunity)

Waiting for:
UCB, UCLA, Chapman, UCD, Cal Poly SLO - the challenging ones

So glad to hear your daughter is doing well at ASU. My daughter loves it there but is a Sophomore and is in an apt and has a friend group. She is in a sorority as well. I worry about the dorm life with all of the rules, glad your daughter likes her suite mates and has made friends. We visited in the Fall and though not many kids on campus did see a fair amount around Barrett and they looked happy to be there.
Son likes ASU/Barrett and likes that his sister is there. Since he wasn’t NMF, UofA is coming in cheaper for us. Sister just can’t imagine him as a rival though.
Does your daughter have an unperson classes? My daughter does have one science class on Phoenix campus.

Those are all really good options! I’m personally a big fan in California of Cal Poly SLO and UCSB, but it doesn’t look like your son applied to UCSB. Also, I really liked SDSU and WHC, but the more I am reading about their treatment of students during COVID, the more I would steer away from it. I can clarify if you need this later. I also like UCD a lot, but more daughter thought it was too rural for her taste. With regards to Utah, you may want to reach out to @twoin18.

What is the difference in cost between U of A and ASU? If it’s significant, then maybe U of A is the better option for him?

Daughter has one in person class, and she goes, but there are only 15 students showing up. The rest are online.

I would think that in regards to COVID, we could be back to semi normal in the fall, and kids could get back to being kids in college.


Yes he applied to UCSB, how could I forget. I love that school as well. He received $35.5 annually for UofA, $36K is OOS tuition and guarantee of now hike in cost. Direct Admit into Finance program too. So almost full tuition. ASU gave $15.5 but applied for a WP Carey scholarship that hasn’t been awarded yet. I hate to hear about SDSU and how they are treating kids during COVID. I really do hope we are semi normal in the fall or I might have to rule out all CA schools.

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Yeah, in that case, I would definitely consider U of A over ASU. That’s more than $80K less over 4 years. Money he could use for grad school, a home, etc.

But I would definitely consider UCSB if he gets in. Terrific school!