Chance-me for architecture. Really want to go to Vtech or UVA [NoVA, 3.86 UW, 29 ACT, <$40k]


  • US citizen
  • State/Location of residency: Northern Virginia
  • Type of high school: Large public 9-12 HS
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Mixed (White & Asian) male

*Intended Major: Architecture

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.862
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.175 (4.5 Honors, 5.0 AP/DE)
  • Class Rank: Decile (top 10%)
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 29 ACT (26 math, 31 science, 25 english, 33 reading), also took ACT on 9/9 which I probably did better in

*(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives)

  • AP World History (5)

  • AP Computer Science P (3)

  • AP Lang (4)

  • APUSH (4)

  • AP Physics I (2 - not reporting)

  • AP Calc AB (2 - not reporting)

  • Finished electives: Spanish 3, robotics, electronic systems, engineering explorations, accounting, art

  • Senior year courses:

  • AP Gov

  • AP Statistics

  • AP Physics II

  • DE College Composition

  • Technical Drawing

  • ADV Architecture and Design


  • A-B Honor Roll every year
  • Don’t think I’ve received any other awards but I should graduate with advanced and STEM diploma


  • Interned at local architecture firm for 1 week
  • Asian American & Pacific Islander Student Union (2 years, currently Vice President)
  • Robotics (2 years) + Team made it to National Championship
  • Church volunteering throughout freshman year
  • Worked as grocery store cashier in junior year (~20 hours a week)
  • Created Youtube videos documenting EV roadtripping (just a hobby, not super successful)
  • Volunteered doing Robotics Summer Camps for middle schoolers (1 summer)
  • Recently started working at ice cream shop (~15 hours a week)
  • Recently started working at after school program as assistant group leader teaching robotics/STEM to elementary schoolers (~4 hours a week)
  • Garden Club (2 years)
  • Track and field (1 year)
  • Technology Students Association (1 year)


  • Teacher #1: AP Lang teacher, 7/10. Did good in the class but nothing extraordinary, really enjoyed some of my presentations
  • Teacher #2: AP Calc AB teacher, 7/10. Did good in the class, was very friendly with the teacher, still likes me.
  • Counselor LOR: Really likes me, probably 9/10.
  • Personal statement is about the importance of Sims 4 in my life, relates to architecture. With some editing I think I can make the essay good, probably 8/10.

Cost Constraints / Budget

  • Complicated but preferably $40k or less

(List of colleges by your initial chance estimate; designate if applying ED/EA/RD; if a scholarship is necessary for affordability, indicate that you are aiming for a scholarship and use the scholarship chance to estimate it into the appropriate group below)


  • Safety
    University of Arizona
    University of Oregon
    University of Minnesota
  • Match
    University of Washington - Seattle
    University of Miami
    University of Florida
  • Reach
    Virginia Tech*
    Cal Poly - SLO
    UC Berkeley

*I considered VTech and UVA as reaches because architecture is highly competitive especially from Northern VA, hopefully I’m wrong.

I think University of Washington is a reach also…and University of Florida. I’m also not sure whether your price point can be met at these schools.

UVA is a reach regardless of your major.

Berkeley will not reach your or price point. It’s $74,000 a year and no need based aid is provided to OOS students, and very very small merit awards that are highly competitive ($2000-$3000 range which you might not even get).

You will most likely be full pay at Cal Poly as well, so make sure that cost works for your family.

But I like most of your list. It’s varied, and you have some sure things as well as ones less sure.

University of Arizona BArch program auto-admits if you meet general admission requirements and have a 3.5 GPA: Undergraduate Admissions | College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture

Types of Aid: Incoming First-Year and Transfer Tuition Scholarship Awards | Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid indicates that you would receive a $20k scholarship if your GPA as calculated by University of Arizona is 3.75-3.899. Taken off the $57k non-resident cost listed at Cost: Current Undergraduate Students | Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid , this gives a net price of $37k, a bit below your $40k limit. So you can count it as a safety if your GPA gets that scholarship or better.


Miami and Florida and Washington (all your matches) are all reaches.

Not sure if Architecture requires extra - so that can change the Calculus too.

Arizona and Oregon are safeties. Auburn is likely but not a safety and UMN a match.

Good luck.

I missed the $40K. Where is UTK? It might work (will be close) and it’s a fine program.

Arizona will be in the money. Auburn may be in the money - if you get the $11K on the competitive merit table.

None of the other OOS will - unless you have demonstrated need, then Northeastern and Miami work but the likelihood of getting in is low.

Your list isn’t good for your budget - unless you’re ok with Auburn and it’s not an assured admit.

Good luck.

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Have you looked to see which schools require a portfolio to be accepted into the architecture major? For those that require a portfolio, there is no meaningful way to chance you. For those that do not require a portfolio, you should look at the requirements to being fully accepted into the major. Many schools might allow students to be pre-architecture majors, but then after the first year or so there will be a secondary admission to be accepted into the regular major. Make sure you look into those various details. Also, paging @momrath and @bgbg4us who might have additional insight to provide.

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It’s difficult to estimate chances at these specific schools but I can offer a few comments:

First, and most important, run the net price calculators for all to get an idea of how much financial aid you may be eligible for. If it’s not enough, scratch those schools from your list. If you lose a few due to financial fall-out I would suggest that you look at UofKansas, UofCincinnati, Washington University in St. Louis, Clemson.

You may be aware that some of the schools on your list offer the 5 year Bachelor of Architecture and some offer a 4 year Bachelor of Science in architecture, followed (if you wish) by a 2 year Master of Architecture.

BArch and MArch programs are regulated by the architecture board and follow similar curriculums. BS programs are not regulated and vary more from school to school. It’s important to study the BS course plans and to understand any restrictions to continuing on to an MArch at the same school.

Either way you’ll need to make sure that you have funding to cover the entire span of 5 or 6 years. Co-op plans like Northeastern’s may help you defer some costs. (Cincinnati also has a co-op program.)

Your grades, course load and demonstrated interest in design and architecture will be a plus. Make sure your essays, statements and recommendations reinforce your exposure to architecture design and practice. (My son, who is an architect, also appreciated the Sims :blush:)

If your test scores are borderline, take advantage of “test optional” if offered.

Because you’ve taken art and design courses, you should be able to submit a solid portfolio which demonstrates both skill and creativity. At schools that require (or recommend) a portfolio this will be very important.

Because the BArch has a high dropout rate schools of architecture are usually willing to devote time to make sure that prospective students understand what they’re getting into. Visit if you can. If it’s not possible to get there in person, then participate in available on-line admissions events.


If, as an alternative for this stage of your education, you might be interested in architectural studies, look into Hobart and William Smith.


Your application is solid so VTech is a low reach (still a reach but reachable).
Your list would be good if you had unlimited funds but like 95% people you have a budget and your choices don’t work.
Run the NPCs but I imagine UCs, Cal Poly Slo, UWash Seattle, UOregon, UF.
Private colleges may meet need - what so the NPCs for Tulane, UMiami, and Northeastern indicate? Under 40k? Full pay?
UMN MAY be okay if you earn a scholarship but it’s not a sure thing at all so, although it’s an academic match, it becomes a financial reach.

Seconding UCincinnati, H&WS.

For another safety, I think Kent State has a solid architecture program; you’d likely get scholarships and Honors program.

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