Chance me (Cs major)for my targets/ reaches

Demographics: Gender: Male Race: Black, State: Maryland, School Type: Magnet School (top school in my County) , first generation immigrant , middle class

Intended Major: Computer science

ACT/SAT: Not submitting I had a score but it wasn’t in range for any school I wanted to go to)

UW/W GPA and Rank: 3.9(UW) 4.188(W) (4.3 with 1st quarter senior year ) Rank: school dose not report

Coursework: 9th(All honors) All A’s, 10th:(all Honors) All A’s, 11th grade: AP Lang (B and 3) AP world (A and 4) AP Chem (3 and A) (Only other B was in physics(Honors)) 12th grade: AP Art 2d, AP com sci, AP Lit, Ap Calc AB, Dual enrollment. Extra info: Orchestra all 4 years

Will not submit Ap score if I could not get credit at college

Awards: Carson Scholar award (Received all grades ) NHS, Ap scholar

Extracurriculars: Researcher/Internship at UMD with PHD students coding related project, Class Secretary, Adopt-a-Freshman (Founder & President) ,Cross-Country(10th and 11th) No sports this year due to Covid, TRI-M Musical Honor Society (VP), private lessons/ extra recitals (Violinist and Violist), High School Democrats of America (Class Representative) Indoor Track(10, 11)/Outdoor track (10) , Construction Club (9th, 10th) did a summer program for animation at Ringling (summer before 11th)

School I’m applying to (Some seem odd for a CS major but I have a reason ) (Also a high number due to being test optional ):


  • UNC
  • UMD
  • Georgetown
  • UT Austin
  • University of Chicago


  • UCLA
  • UC Berkeley
  • USC
  • Columbia University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • NYU
  • UPenn (DMD Program)
  • Conrnell
  • Dartmouth
  • Brown
  • MIT

@ChangeTheGame and @retiredfarmer maybe able to help with your choices. Many of the schools are hyper competitive and cs is moreso.

My only caveat is to be honest where you are in preparation mathematically. Also financially.

UMD is no door prize in CS. Don’t overlook the hometown advantage.

UC’s do not consider race/ethnicity in their application review. They also use only 10-11th grades and give extra honors weighting for AP/IB courses only if you are OOS.

UC GPA’s? GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

CS is probably one of the most competitive majors at the UC’s. Both will be Reaches and can your family afford $65K/year to attend?

UMD is a great choice for CS, and might be relatively affordable since you are in-state.

The Universities of California are likely to be full pay, which is tough for a “middle class” out of state applicant. UCB is great for CS. Howeer, I would not take on debt to go to UCLA or UCB relative to UMD for CS.

The Ivy League universities are mostly not known for CS, but are known for very good need based financial aid if you qualify for this. I am guessing this is why they are worth an application. I do not think of Gergetown for CS, but I not know Georgetown much at all.

The others are hard to predict, but to me look like they are mostly worth an application.

Make sure that you apply to at least one affordable safety. I do not know whether UMD fits this description for you. Your guidance counselor should know however.

Have you talked to your parents about what they will contribute for college money and run the net price calculator on each college on your list?

Have you considered applying also to UIUC, Purdue and GA Tech for CS? While it’s too late for the EA period, and none of them are safeties, they all also have great CS programs. GA Tech and UIUC are Top 5 in the country. Another one way up there and uber competitive is U Washington. Also consider Wash U.

Unfortunately, you’ve missed the deadline for any of these for merit. But do you also have any safeties because these are all difficult to get into?

You have a huge range of schools there and all vastly different. Carnegie Mellon is amazing for CS but tiny. We loved it when we visited with my oldest a few years ago, but none of my others would apply. UT-Austin is huge, and really hard to get into their CS program, but also difficult for CS majors to get into their classes at times. I have a daughter that is in their Honors Business program and have seen a lot of parents complain about this. UT for OOS is a reach for anyone regardless of stats. This year OOS may have better chances because it’s expected that applications will be down. I have a student at Cornell in CS (also a top ranked program for CS) who loves it. It’s big and very challenging. My beef is the classes can be huge. They did am amazing job with covid, testing everyone 2x/week, few cases, and had in person, hybrid and some remote classes. She said it was so normal. That too is a reach for anyone. It is also going to be very easy for her to get 2 minors. One in Operations Research and one in Business.

If you want CS and can afford it, your goal should be to go to the best school you can possibly get into because the name will get you in the door. If money is an issue then look for scholarships to get you there, but I wouldn’t take loans. If you’re good, you will shine. Too many people I have seen have loans to go to Cornell and I don’t think that’s worth it.

UChicago is not known for CS (we live here) but if you want Econ go for it! It’s also a very difficult school once in. Some others on your list also are not known for CS or just not good for it, so be careful about that. If you end up at one of those, then you’re best not majoring in CS and going for something that you’re stong in. CS companies don’t only care about the name school. Going to Brown is nice, but if their CS program stinks, that won’t get you a tech job. Look up the rankings of the top undergrad programs for CS. Most are on your lists.

You have some great stats, you don’t say what your percentile is if you know it, even though your school doesn’t rank. Your ECs are good. Make sure your essays have great themes that can be pulled out by the reader and not so obvious. If you have a Github page to show your projects that you can then put on your resume and the extra info session on the Common App that would be an extra plus. A school would then see you have some background in CS already.

Hey @thatonemariian. I am not a big Chance me poster, but I can tell you what I have seen recently (That may not matter much as I believe this admission cycle to be unique to past years). My African-American son attended the Carnegie Mellon SAMS summer program after his junior year in high school and about half of his mostly minority STEM based cohort ended up attending top 25 USNWR National Universities. The prospective students who applied as CS and Computer Engineering majors went through the most competitive admissions process, in my opinion. Students who looked almost perfect on paper took some rejections (including my son who had a 3.8 UW GPA, 35 ACT, and pretty good ECs), so having amazing essays and letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors that stand out can make all of the difference. If you were my kid, I would ask for you to throw in one “true” safety school (CS is just so competitive), and I would ask you why on the UCs (they are pretty expensive for OOS students). But do you have a shot at schools on your list? Yes, but it will probably be about your entire application that includes things (essays and recommendations) that no CC poster has evaluated (hence why I tend to stay away from Chance Me threads). Good Luck to you.


anyone chance me for ucla or ucal – OSS - WGPA - 4.8; GPA 4.0, SAT 1450; ton of APs, honors, EC, etc

@A1A1A1. You need to start your own discussion.