Chance Me for UC's, CSU's and USC for CS


  • US domestic (US citizen or permanent resident) or international student
  • State/Location of residency: (state is important if you apply to any state universities)
  • Type of high school (current college for transfers):
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional):
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.):
    White, Male, Legacy at USC (Both Mom and Dad)
    Intended Major(s)
    Computer Science with a concentration/emphasis in Game programming and design
    GPA, Rank, and Test Scores
    My weighted and Capped UC GPA is a 4.42 (I knew that @Gumbymom would ask :see_no_evil: )
  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0 GPA
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.83 W GPA (AP’s and some honors are weighted at a .1 boost)
  • College GPA (for transfers): N/A
  • Class Rank: N/A My School doesn’t rank students
  • ACT/SAT Scores:
    36 ACT
    1,470 PSAT
    1,590 SAT

(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; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))
Do I need to list all of it? Please comment below about this
National Merit Semifinalist (Currently)

(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)
Lead my school’s FRC Robotics team to the finals almost every year (Cancelled last year due to COVID)
Future Student Body President of Next school year (3,000+ students)
Varsity Basketball (Non Recruited because I stink)
20 hours per week in the summers at my dad’s tech startup as a paid software engineering intern.
Volunteer at my church on Sundays and occasionally Wednesdays

(Optionally, guess how strong these are and include any other relevant information or circumstances.)
Strong from Math, CS, Science, and English teachers
Cost Constraints / Budget
(High school students: please get a budget from your parents and use the Net Price Calculators on the web sites of colleges of interest.)
Taxed income per year is 140k
Parents agreed to pay up to 50k per year. They’ve been saving for a few years
(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 (certain admission and affordability)
    Chapman Univ
  • Likely (would be possible, but very unlikely or surprising, for it not to admit or be affordable)
  • Match
  • Reach
    Cal Poly SLO

What are my chances! Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and finding the school that will fit me the best!

I’d love to hear from @Gumbymom and @CADREAMIN and anyone else who would love to chime in! Thanks!

You should note affordability of your reaches. Have you run the NPC at USC? My guess is you would need one of the ultra-competitive scholarships in order to afford USC. You would obviously be competitive in terms of stats, but the real test would be your application — essays, ECs and recommendations.

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Thanks for being the first to respond! For USC’s NPC without Scholarships and my parent’s helping out, it would be 50k per year. My dad was a trustee scholar at USC for CS 20 years ago so I may have a slight chance at receiving it because I’ve gotten my essays reviewed by college admission officers already because we know some of them who are UC staff and they say that the essays I wrote are VERY strong. I think we should be able to afford USC if I can get some sort of scholarship whether its Merit or for something else.

Are you a US domestic student who is a California resident? (the first two demographic questions, which you did not answer)

CSU-recalculated HS GPA is the same as UC weighted-capped, unless you took college courses. CSU counts a semester college course as two courses with two grades, but UC counts it as one course with one grade.

Be aware that frosh admission for CS at SJSU for fall 2021 effectively required a HS GPA of 4.25 for those without bonus points for local area (+0.25) and such. Thresholds could change every year…

On the other hand, SFSU is a non-impacted CSU where CS is not an impacted major, so meeting baseline CSU requirements should be enough.

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Are you sure the gpa needed for SJSU is 4.25?

On their website it says the threshold is only 3400.

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That index is calculated by HS GPA * 800.

4.25 * 800 = 3400.

CS is not a major that adds the math GPA * 400.


You look like a competitive applicant and unfortunately the UC’s and SLO are test blind for the 2022 admission cycle but your GPA is great. I would put UCSC in the likely category but not safety since many top applicants were waitlisted this admission cycle. Chapman or SCU would be a safety if affordable without merit aid so again I would put in them in the likely but not safety category.

Overall you have a good list, but since you are applying to the UC’s, I would add in either UCSD, UCSB or UCD since I think you need more target schools. Although they do not offer an emphasis in Game Design/Programming, it is not a requirement to get a job in that industry. A solid CS background will take you far.

Best of luck.

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I live in Palo Alto, CA.

You will get bonus points equivalent to +0.25 HS GPA at SJSU if you will graduate from a high school in Santa Clara County.

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Possible match or likely could be University of Utah. It checks the game design box, you are a likely admittance, but I don’t know the oos tuition or merrit aid possibilities. At least it’s worth exploring.

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Ok! Will do!

Yeah! I have heard that! I’m at One of the Palo Alto high schools. I won’t say which one for privacy reasons

That makes sense! I’ll add them to the list! Do I have a good shot with just the gpa? I know that it’s unusual ply high.

@ucbalumnus Yes and yes. Sorry about not stating that! I live in Pal Alto and was born and raised in the L.A area.

You have a perfect unweighted GPA and if you have good HS course rigor, your chances are very good but the UC’s tend to be unpredictable so no one can give you any guarantees. You college list is balanced so you will have several options.

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I’m glad to hear this from an expert at UC’s! Thank you so much! I
What UC has the overall best Game Design and CS program? I like Irvine’s and SC

From a $ POV (in case USC or the others don’t work out), you might throw in Arizona. They have a game design major - you’re 100% in and you’ll get free tuition.

Not saying you should go - but with the Cal Poly’s of the world that are difficult and the Chapman’s or Santa Clara’s that are expensive - it might be worth having as a - just in case we don’t want to spend. Utah, someone mentioned, is high ranked - normally I’d say you’re a gimme - but are you in that major where they are one of the tops I don’t know. Your test scores in CA are not relevant.

Good luck.

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The best program is up to the individual. If USC and UCI are your top choices then you have your answer. School fit academically, socially and financially are all important in choosing a program that best suits your interests.

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Thanks so much! I’ll apply there!