Chance Me and Help Find Safeties

Current Junior


  • US permanent resident)
  • State/Location of residency: CA
  • Type of high school: public
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.): none

Intended Major(s): biology/premed

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.95
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.6
  • College GPA (for transfers): 3.96 (dual enrollment w/ associate degree by graduation)
  • Class Rank: N/A (top 10% maybe)
  • ACT Score: 34 (hoping to get it up to 35)


  • AP World History (4), AP Calculus AB, AP Biology (taken)
  • AP Environmental Science, AP French, AP Calculus BC (next year)
  • AP Lang, AP Lit, APUSH, AP Stats, AP Gov, AP Econ (dual enrollment transferred onto high school transcript)
    Will have over 60 dual enrollment credits

Placed at HOSA International Level


  • Science Olympiad – since 9th grade
  • HOSA – since 9th grade
  • Tutored high school students – since 9th grade – 100 hrs
  • 10th - Virtual Shadowing – 100 hrs
  • 10th - Founded a club (president) – donated over 100 items to local homeless shelters
  • 10th - Summer Internship (shadowing) at UCSF – 3 weeks
  • 11th - Currently working on an anesthetics review paper with a Stanford professor (most likely be published before college apps)
  • 11th - Volunteering at Sutter – will have around 100 hours
  • 11th - NTHS
  • 3 Leadership Positions at various clubs

UC Berkeley
UC Santa Cruz
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC Santa Barbara
UC Merced
Johns Hopkins

Please suggest some matches/safeties

Suggest additional ? you already have safeties.- at least three.

Does cost matter? If so, you can add Arizona and apply to the Honors college.

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Thanks for your response… Cost isn’t a major factor.
What are my chances to these colleges?

For the UCs, can you share your UC GPAs? You can calculate them here: GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

Make sure you check which of your high school honors courses receive a UC GPA bump and which don’t. You can look up the specifics for your high school here. University of California A-G Course List

Is there a reason you didn’t include UCR? If you are serious about premed, you might look at their Thomas Haider Program.

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Since you want to know - you’ll get into UCM and UCSC and Purdue. The rest - well your UC GPA will tell you about UCI a and UCSB. Where’s UCSD?

The others - unlikely -but not impossible.

Thank you for your responses!

Here is my UC GPA:
Unweighted GPA: 3.92
Weighted GPA: 4.58
Weighted and Capped GPA: 4.08

CWRS (Match)
Pitt (Safety) : rolling admission

Will you be applying as a transfer student?

A first time freshman, but yes transfer.

thank you

You will be a first time Frehsman with college credit, not a transfer.

2021 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific:

UCB: 13%

UCLA: 4%

UCSD: 25%

UCSB: 25%

UCD: 44%

UCI: 16%

UCSC: 79%

UCR: 93%

UCM: 98%

If you are the top 9% of your HS class (ELC Eligible), UC Merced is a safety and you really do not need to apply since you will be automatically referred if you do not get accepted into of your choice UC’s. Disclaimer: If UC Merced has room.

I would substitute UCR for UCM and agree with @lkg4answers to look at the Thomas Haider program.

What is your local Cal state? That would be a safety for you.

Also remember Medical school is very expensive so you want to keep your Undergrad costs low. What is your backup plan if you do not get into Medical school? Biology grads are a dime a dozen so you might want to reconsider your intended major. Biostats/Stats, Data Science, Chemistry might be better options.


What kind of experience are you hoping to get out of college? What kind of feel/vibe do you want from the university and its surroundings? Are there particular extracurriculars you would like to pursue in college? How do you feel about Greek life or intercollegiate athletics? Apart from knowing that you plan on being premed, I don’t have a great idea of what it is you want. (You have big schools and small/medium; big cities and smaller towns; east coast, west coast, south…etc.)

Has your family run the NFC to see how much the colleges are expecting your family to pay? If so, does your family agree with that number (in which case schools that meet need will work), or does your family have a lower number than what colleges anticipate for the expected family contribution (in which case, you will need merit aid). So what budget does your family want you to stay within?

Also, for chancing purposes, what were your other AP scores besides AP World History?

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Another vote for Pitt as a safety - it has a solid pre-med program and you would have a good shot at the Honors college. They’ve been giving out $15k+ merit this year to students with similar profiles to yours to eliminate the out-of-state tuition difference. Just apply early.

Be advised that according to their CDSs, outside of Purdue and many of the UCs, the chances of getting into any of the other schools you listed when outside of the top 10% of your high school class is minimal. Even the top 5-10% at a public HS is usually a far reach without stellar ECs and awesome standardized tests (including APs).

If cost isn’t a major factor, I’d look into adding some colleges in the T25-T50 range. Tulane, NYU, and the Bostons (BU, BC, Northeastern & Tufts) all have good pre-med programs, last I checked.

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I am taking them this year so I haven’t taken the AP Exams yet, but hoping for 5s…

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Can someone please classify the colleges as safety, match, target, reach, etc as well please?

UC Merced and Santa Cruz are safety. Purdue is a likely.

The rest are reaches.

I’m not equipped to judge the other UCs.

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If there’s one school you love above all others you could ED.

Applying to 2-3 safeties and all reaches is a viable strategy. As long as you’re ok with your safeties.

Pitt and Case could be options. Miami?

Agree with Pitt as a very likely school for you - but apply early!! Son was waitlisted and it is probably because he didn’t apply early enough (you are a stronger student, but better safe than sorry). They are strong in the sciences and due to location would offer volunteer opportunities that you’ll need for a successful medical school application. With the exception of Purdue all the private schools on your list are very unlikely for all students so your chances there are small (not because you aren’t great, but because the competition is insane). In terms of the UCs you can look on-line and see how students from your HS have fared in terms of admission - clearly UCB and UCLA will be tough as they are for all students - don’t know enough about the others to speculate. You may want to look at some more schools in the T25-75 range where chances of acceptance are much higher and where you may get some merit. As others have mentioned, med school is very expensive so you won’t want to rack up any debt for undergrad if it isn’t necessary. You should have a talk with your parents about budget specifics if you haven’t already - some are shocked when they see the price of private school or OOS publics.

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My fallible sense of your chances is below. As others have indicated, most of the colleges are unlikely because there are way more qualified candidates than there are spaces. If you let us know your budget and what it is you’re interested in getting from your college experience, we can help you find some likelier options to consider.

Guaranteed 100%

Extremely Likely (90+%)

  • UC Merced

Likely (60-90%)

  • Purdue
  • UC Santa Cruz

Possible (25-55%)

  • UC Davis
  • UC Santa Barbara

Unlikely (less than 25%)

  • UCLA
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Irvine
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Brown
  • Stanford
  • U. Penn
  • Emory
  • Rice
  • Cornell
  • Columbia