Chance Me - CS Asian Male

US domestic
State/Location of residency: WA
Public high school

3.97 UW (2 B’s in Math 11th grade)
No Class Rank
1520 SAT: 750 English 770 Math

AP/IB Dual Enrollment
Math Analysis and Approaches HL (5/7)/Calc AB (Not received) (2nd hardest math course, didnt test into the higher one)
Physics HL (5/7)/Physics 1 (4) Physics C (Not received)
Business Management HL (6/7)
Lang/Lit HL(6/7)/AP Lang (4)
American History HL (6/7)/AP Gov (Not Received) + APUSH (5)
AP World History (5)

One of the Hardest Course loads (I could have done a science instead of business, but took business because I like it)

IB Diploma (37/45)
DECA State Top 10
DECA International Qualifier
FBLA State Top 15
USACO Silver

Coding Club: VP
DECA: President

I’d say that they don’t talk about some amazing victory over an external evil, just talk about me overcoming my own issues and growing in the process

Cost Constraints / Budget
Upper Middle Class (~150k+)

No EA or ED or REA or Legacy or Athletics :sob:

CS Major


University of Maryland
Purdue West Lafayette
UMass Amherst
UC Irvine

UW Seattle
Georgia Tech
UT Austin

Chance me admissions? I’d also like to know about costs, but I’m less worried about those

I will be USACO Gold, AIME Qualifier, and have a 6/7 for IB Math by regular decision round guaranteed, but Im not sure if I should ED to UMD because apparent;y all their applicants get in that round

The only issue that I see is whether or not you should apply ED ?

I cannot chance you other than to say that you appear to be a qualified applicant & that you present yourself in a mature manner.

  1. For UMD you should apply by Nov.1 EA deadline because CS is a limited enrollment program and also scholarships and honors are given priority for EA applicants. Its not a binding ED and would be still ok even if you apply ED somewhere else.
  2. UCLA and Rice are more of a reach than target due to their low acceptance rates.
  3. Look into ASU Barrett Honors if you’re applying to ASU anyway. It’s a separate application.

Your list looks good and you’re a competitive candidate. Just make sure you do EA wherever possible since CS is competitive everywhere. Also , at many of your matches and safeties,EA applications will get priority for scholarships.

Regarding costs, most OOS publics will be over 50k per year COA, with UMICH around 78k.Purdue is around 40k. Merit scholarships are not predictable at most of the ones you’ve listed, except for ASU. I infer from your post that costs may be an issue , so that’s a conversation to have with your parents.

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I agree that UCLA should be in the Reach category for CS since admission rate is around 5-6%.

All the UC’s on your list will be full pay since you are Out of State (OOS) student at $65K/year or $260K for the 4 years. If you do get some merit through Regents, it would anywhere from $2000K-2500K/year depending upon campus. If your family cannot pay this amount, not worth applying.

You can run the Net Price calculator for UCLA to confirm: Net Price Calculator | UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships

All the UC’s are test blind through the 2025 admission cycle, so your competitive SAT will not be considered for admissions but overall you look competitive.

Your biggest stumbling block will be affordability if your budget is limiting.

Best of luck.

UCLA and UCSD should be considered reaches for CS. UCSD may admit some CS applicants to the school but not the CS major (like Washington, UIUC, and some other schools on your list); in that case, changing into the CS major will be unlikely if you enroll.

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It’s interesting that you say cost doesn’t matter - but then you are interested in cost - so cost should matter and in that case you can make adjustments to your list - hello U of Arizona, U of Tennessee, U of Alabama, etc. If costs matter, then why apply to the UCs etc. where you’ll get no aid. So you need to work with your parents and decide what is important to you, what are they willing to spend? Because they will have a # in mind and you should eliminate any schools that won’t make that cut.

That’s the first thing any potential applicant should do - look at budget - and that’s not just what your parents can afford but what do they want to afford?

My only other concern is your extra curriculars. Most say to find two or three things and show depth and you could do that - hopefully you have length of time in them and you can clearly show leadership (and make sure you quantify this).

As for your list, I would move Rutgers to a target. It’s a state school and they protect the state residents. I would add U of A as a safety - better merit than ASU and an Honors dorm that is nicer than my house (brand new) with dining hall at the bottom and a fitness and mental health center next door.

UCLA is 100% not a target - it’s a high reach. You are AWESOME but it’s a UC school and you are out of state. The same for UCSD. Maryland and Purdue are both reaches. UMASS is tough in comp sci but you’ll get in. UC I - ok, I’ll go match there. Rice - 100% a reach - it’s a reach for EVERYONE - but they want geographic diversity so that helps. Have you run their net price calculator? Again, do your parents want to send you if it’s full pay? Purdue - likely in - but not as easy as you think.

When you say I’m not sure if I should ED to UMD because everyone gets in, then of course you shouldn’t. You ED where you are 100% sold. But lucky for you, UMD doesn’t have ED. It has EA - and yes, if you don’t apply by the EA deadline, your chance of getting in goes down to near 0%. You only use ED for two things:

  1. You absolutely know you want to go there.
  2. You’ve run the NPC and you absolutely know you are willing to pay for it - as it’s binding.

So put your list on hold - because most/all these schools will cost you a ton and have your parents pick 3-5 schools and run the net price calculator.

If Columbia accepts you, are they willing to pay $80K a year (assuming the NPC says no aid). If the answer is no, take them off the list.

You’re a great prospect - but you need a slight overhaul of your list. Money discussion first and then see what fits.

Good luck.

CS is becoming increasingly difficult for Asian males. I wonder if it would be a good idea to apply to another major to schools where you can switch major after you got there.

As a parent with two CS kids in college, the warning signs for me are 1. 2Bs in Math. 2. 770 in math. 770 is a great score, but not for Asian males who want to be CS major. 3. How can you expect to be an AIME qualifier? Sorry if I am blunt, but getting Bs in 11th grade math is not a path to get AIME qualified.

Best of luck!


Great advice! @tsbna44

OP: Just noticed that you took Ap calc AB, because you didn’t test into Calc BC? Along with the B’s in math class, math rigor is not looking as strong relative to your university list. You’re in a highly competitive demographic for CS. The AIME qualifier seems puzzling to me too.

I suggest you add Univ of AZ as suggested earlier. Also suggest that you add some of other Washington state universities as financial backups.

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Where CS is a more competitive major for frosh admission, it will have another admission process to get into the major if a student enrolls at the school but not in the major. For example, at UIUC, a student who wants to change into CS needs to earn a 3.75 college GPA and then enter a competitive admission process (the 3.75 college GPA does not automatically mean admission to the CS major).

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I’m general why try and game the system. If you want to be in CS, go to a school where you 100% can. You don’t want your life trajectory to change because you are following the ‘perception’ of pedigree. That’s what happens when you find yourself in business or bio bcuz you were consumed by prestige. There’s no shortage of great AND affordable schools out there for the OP.

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UMD is Early Action by Nov. 1, not ED. Not binding.

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Have you ever tried AMC 10 or 12? You just don’t qualify for AIME suddenly. The kids qualified usually start at 10th grade and kids can’t most likely still can’t even you go to 11th or 12th grade.

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I’ve been prepping all year, and looking at my performance at old tests, I am confident in my assessment

I’ve been prepping all year, and looking at my performance at AIME old tests, I am confident in my assessment about that. I agree that my math rigor is low, which was my main worry, I will be trying to bring that up with AIME and the IB Math retake

I will def see about the financial backups though

Thanks for being blunt

  1. I def agree with this point, it is the core of ny worry
  2. I will be retaking
  3. as said above, this is based on my practice test results, i started late in comp math, but generally i am not too bad, i lost the grade due to a paper in the class, i aced most tests

Thanks for the detailed answer. I was more curious than worried abt financials, as college is very important to me, and I am not afraid to pay a lot, and my parents have been reassuring in the financial sense. I was just curious to see what this would look like, so I added that bit. Thanks for the enlightening response

Just because you or your parents can spend alot doesn’t mean they need to. U of A and ASU are great schools. Purdue if you get in. Pitt is another reasonably priced in comparison to others.

Why not add Wash State. I know it’s not UW but tell the College Factual website. It rates it higher than UW and as in-state you’ll save a ton.

In that major - you needn’t break the bank financially - because you’ll have a great job no matter where you go.

Good luck.


That first sentence really did the trick for me, thanks for helping me think about it in that way

I wrote two tuition checks today.

One for my son - engineering - $2K for the semester OOS at Alabama. That’s just tuition - his apartment is separate.

The other was for $4K for College of Charleston - that included Room & Board - she’s majoring in a liberal art. Also OOS.

To say I got lucky is an understatement - lots of merit aid.

My point is - it sounds easy to say, i’ll spend $200K or $300K…but it’s definitely not - not for your family. That money could find a good use otherwise!!!