State/Location of residency: Los Angeles, California
Type of high school: public
Gender/Race/Ethnicity: female, Taiwanese-American
Other special factors: nah lol
Biology, Biochemistry, or something pre-med related! Public health would be sick as hell too!
GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
Unweighted HS GPA: 3.95
Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): It’s over 4.0, I know that. But, I know that colleges will count some courses and not count others for points so I don’t quite know how weighted GPAs work… help would be appreciated!
Class Rank: School does not do class rank because everyone is too competitive. They got rid of it two years before COVID started.
ACT/SAT Scores: 1520 SAT, did not take ACT
10 total APs if senior year is considered. But if not, then 5 APs.
AP Chem 4, AP Bio 4, APENG Lang 5, AP Calc AB 5, APUSH 3 (we don’t talk about that)
Currently doing AP Calc BC, AP CSP, APENG Lit, AP Physics, AP Comp Gov
I’ve also been in the school orchestra for the entirety of my highschool career.
not much: AP Scholar with Distinction, research volunteer award, piano and cello MTAC awards, csf, tri-m Extracurriculars
am a UCLA research volunteer: I have two published papers and some abstracts
i also volunteered at the lab over the summer
i work as a teacher’s aide and teach english and math to K-8 graders
cello section leader
youth orchestra for 4 years now; played with the LA opera
licensed scuba diver
did not start on commonapp essay yet (I am panicking)
letters of rec: my english teacher is writing me one and I’m on good terms with her, so this one will be pretty good
for my stem letter of rec, both my stem teachers my junior year retired so I’m getting my current calc bc teacher to write me one
I also have my UCLA professor writing me one! Very excited haha.
Cost Constraints / Budget
Unlimited budget apparently. That’s what my parents said. lets just say 60k
Safety: GWU (I love this school), UC Riverside, UCI, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis
Match: Case Western Reserve (EA), Occidental, University of Michigan (EA), UCSB
Reach: MIT (EA), USC (EA), Cornell (ED), Georgetown, UCLA, BU, UC Berkeley, WashU, Pomona
definitely missing some schools, but this is all I can remember rn
im going to apply to Cornell (ED) and a bunch of EAs and all of the UC schools.
Congrats on your achievements! I would move Michigan to the reach category (not because you are not qualified).
Your parents said that you have an unlimited budget and then you indicated $60,000 a year. Many of the schools on your list are approaching $90,000 a year. Will your parents pay that much for college? This does not include medical school or any other degree that you may get.
While it is very possible that your budget is unlimited, I would sit down with them and look at the costs of Cornell before you ED. You can use the NPC.
Some, but not all, of your HS honors courses will be considered UC honors. If they are, they will have a star next to them.
Figure out which of our classes are A-G. PE and some electives may not be A-G and aren’t used in the UC GPA calculation. Use the number of UC honors courses (and APs) from summer after 9th grade until summer after 11th grade. And plug your values into the calculator here GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub
Hi thanks for replying! I did review costs with them and they said we could afford it even without financial aid. Speaking of aid, can I apply for need-based even if I probably don’t qualify? And, how do scholarships work? Is FAFSA required for that?
Yes you can. Each school will make its own determination regarding whether you qualify for any aid.
Barring a couple of exceptions, no. FAFSA and CSS will not be required for non-need based merit aid. The process to qualify for merit aid varies by school so you need to read the rules. At some places it’s automatic, at others there are additional requirements including essays and/or interviews.
And remember for California schools, there are also Cal Grants, the Middle Class Scholarship, etc. They are through this website:
And those exceptions are some of the UCs…I can only speak for UC Berkeley (not sure how the others handle it), but for the Regents scholarship, their primary merit aid scholarship, there is $2,500 baseline grant (totally merit), but then it can go much higher than that based on need (determined by FAFSA). So it is essentially a mixed-type scholarship - awarded based on merit, but final amount awarded is based on need.
Medical school may cost from $70k to $100k per year (and you would be lucky to get one admission, so you are unlikely to be able to choose a cheaper one, so let’s just say $100k per year). Will your parents cover $400k of medical school plus whatever undergraduate costs?
If I’m not mistaken, these are two separate components? The “honorary” Regents Scholarship which is purely merit based and does not require a FAFSA, and then as you mentioned, an additional need-based Regents Scholarship that requires FAFSA.
In other words someone can not submit FAFSA and still receive the $2,500 honorary (merit only) scholarship, right?
It is competitive, but how “top 1-2%” is actually defined by each school is not totally clear. It’s definitely not all about stats as students with relatively lower stats sometimes get the award.
And, for example, our neighbor’s daughter - who was rejected outright by UC Irvine and waitlisted then rejected by UC Berkeley - but got Regents for UCLA. So each campus seems to be looking for something different, and it’s not always clear what (and that goes for both admission in general and Regents).
(Or, for that matter, my D who got Regents at UCB but waitlisted at Santa Clara.)