Chance Me Please - NC State, UCLA, PSU, etc

Hoping for some collective assistance with a chance me. I am new to the forum but my brother @jasontaormina who will be attending UCLA in the fall, told me how helpful everyone was in his college acceptance process. Here is my info:

US Citizen
PA resident
Public HS
White Male

Intended Major - Graphic Design

4.62 GPA W/4.265 UW
No class rank given but I know I am in the top 25/450
SAT - 1340

6 AP classes (AP Art, AP Physics, AP Gov, AP Calc are on my senior class schedule) and total of 10 honors classes upon graduation

Distinguished Honor Roll 1-4, Most Improved Player - HS Varsity Soccer 2

Varsity soccer 1-4, Art Show 1-4, Art Club 1-4, Unified Track 3-4, Varsity Wrestling 1-2, Key Club 1-4, NHS 3-4, CVS Cashier 2-4, Premier Club Soccer Captain 1-4

No essays written yet but I have always enjoyed writing so I hope they will be strong. I also feel like my portfolio is high quality.

No cost constraints

Likely - PSU, JMU, UGA
Match - UMD, NC State, Clemson

Thanks so much!!

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UCLA does not consider test scores so won’t matter there, but for schools that do consider test scores, 1340 doesn’t match a 4.62/4.265 GPA… And unweighted GPA should be out of 4.0. Is that 4.265 out of 4.3?

Given your intended major in graphic design, your portfolio and ECs may be more critical than your GPA and test stats.


Agreed. And your SAT score is at the 25th percentile for UMD making it at best a high match for you.


Please provide your unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale (where A=4, B=3, etc… I believe there’s a tool on College Board, if that’s helpful). That will make it easier for posters to chance you.

I’ll make a couple comments on UGA… use the GPA calculator provided on the admissions blog. UGA should not be considered a likely. Perhaps a high match. UGA requires test scores and has a mid of 1330-1480. UGA Admissions is very transparent about their process so I encourage you to read the blog and stats of the past few admissions cycles.

Edit: I agree with the above posters that your interest in graphic design may mean your portfolio will carry more weight than stats.

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I think NC State could be a reach if you’re applying for Design. Their Design school is highly rated and I’m assuming your portfolio will be key. It was one of my favorite visits. Nice campus.

UGA is a match at best. UNC a high reach probably.

South Carolina and FSU might be matches. S21 ended up at FSU. It’s Penn State with palm trees was his comment on our first visit.

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For UCLA and UCSD, what are your 3 UC GPA’s? GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

Since you are OOS, remember only AP classes taken 10-11th grades will be considered for the extra Honors points in the UC GPA calculation. How does your coursework and GPA compare to your Brother’s whom is attending UCLA?

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Agree with other posters that UGA is probably a reach and UNC OOS is a very high reach. For schools that would be likely for admission, you might look at U of Cincinnati and U of Kansas. My daughter considered graphic design for awhile before going a different direction, and she liked the Communication Design programs at these schools. KU has automatic merit awards based on GPA, and Cincinnati has rolling admissions that could allow you to get an early acceptance in the bag.


Admittedly I am not a great test taker so my SAT’s aren’t spectacular, but I appreciate the observation. My UW/W GPA listed is how it is currently displayed on my transcript. I know there is a calculation to find out what it is on a strict 4.0 scale but my school doesn’t provide that and I haven’t figured it out on my own just yet.

Agree my portfolio will likely weigh heavily in the decision, but I am still hoping for feedback generically from this forum to get a sense of where i stand with these schools.

All the same, thank you for your feedback.

I am not my brother, that’s for sure. Our GPA’s were similar, but his test scores were much higher. He is also going to be a bio major, so much different application process I believe.

I appreciate the calculator link. I will look into that.

The UC’s are test blind so GPA will be one of the major factors and if similar, then you are at least in the running.

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Just finished the calculator against my grade history. Comes out as a UW 4.0.

Using the UGA calculator, I come out with a 4.09 GPA. Hope that helps with any feedback.

Thank you for the feedback all. I agree there are lots of different factors in my admission decision, especially for a program in the arts. I appreciate the (sometimes brutally) honest assessments. Posted the GPA calculations using some of the recommended links as follow ups.

From the UC Site

Unweighted GPA: 4.00
Weighted GPA: 4.50
Weighted and Capped GPA: 4.18

The posted admit data is based on the Capped weighted UC GPA, Not major specific nor broken out by in-state, OOS and International admits. 2022 admit rates for the UC’s should be available at the end of January but the UC website usually lists the updated 2022 capped weighted UC 25th-75th percentiles for admitted students in the Fall.

Campus 4.20+ 3.80-4.19 3.40-3.79 3.00-3.39
Berkeley 30% 11% 2% 1%
Davis 85% 55% 23% 10%
Irvine 60% 31% 14% 1%
Los Angeles 29% 6% 1% 0%
Merced 97% 98% 96% 89%
Riverside 97% 92% 62% 23%
San Diego 75% 35% 5% 1%
Santa Barbara 73% 28% 4% 1%
Santa Cruz 91% 81% 46% 9%

UCLA GPA statistics for admitted Freshman students 2021:
GPA Median Middle 25% - 75%
Weighted GPA 4.54 4.35-4.72
Unweighted GPA 4.00 3.94-4.00
Capped Weighted: 4.19 - 4.32

UCSD GPA stats for admitted Freshman students 2021:
Capped weighted UC GPA: 4.07-4.29


As you say, it’s pretty hard to chance you when your portfolio will likely be a significant factor.

As far as the CA publics, the fact that they are test-blind certainly won’t hurt, since your grades are stronger than your scores. A 4.18 UC GPA won’t take any UC off the table, but as you can see from the stats, the odds for UCLA are under 30% even with a 4.2+, and they drop into the single digits when you’re below a 4.2. Still, if your family is comfortable paying UC OOS tuition x2, there’s no harm in applying; a strong portfolio could help a lot.

You really might want to take a look at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It has just as strong a reputation as many of the UC’s, but is known for its “learn by doing” philosophy, and the OOS cost is much more reasonable. The coastal location is fantastic, and I’ve heard great things about their club soccer program, if that’s of interest. SLO has both a BFA in graphic design Graphic Design Concentration - Art and Design Department - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a BS in graphic communication BS Graphic Communication < California Polytechnic State University
The Graphic Communication Family - YouTube Comparing the two programs could be helpful in refining your application strategy generally - do you want a BFA program, or something more communications-oriented?


As others have stated, UGA will be a low reach. Your SAT is low. I saw somewhere UMDs upcoming class stats. Can’t find it. But if I recall they are similar to a slight reach too although you can go TO there.

If you have a 4.0, straight As, then why the UCs, especially given your major which short of going to a SCAD or RISD likely won’t matter where you go.

You have no cost constraints but your GPA will earn your family a huge break at schools like Auburn, the two Arizona Schools, VCU, Iowa State,etc…six figure savings. Where it won’t earn you- CA schools.

Here’s a list to peruse. Good luck.

Another UC school you may wish to consider is UC Davis. They have an excellent Design major.

I can’t find this on the web but it’s in the UMD message board about incoming stats. Assuming they are accurate, why UMD might not be a match - rather a slight reach.

That you have PSU and JMU on your list - anything else is gravy!!

"Wanted to share this information from the Virtual Admitted Student program we attended on Friday 3/4 - from James Massey, Director of Undergraduate Admissions:

*The incoming Freshman class is “the most talented in the 166 year history” of UMD College Park.
*55,000 applications for a class of 4500 students.
*Average SAT 1390-1530.
*Average ACT 32-35
*Average GPA 4.45

Congratulations to all the amazing future Terps! :clap:"


Before we get too far, the list sort of looks like you were throwing darts at a road atlas. These schools are going to be double/triple the tuition as in-state…especially for CA. It’s going to be around $65,000 a year to go there. There’s seriously no reason to pay that kind of money for a bachelors degree when there are in-state options available for a fraction of the cost.

Every parent has cost constraints. “Cost constraint” doesn’t mean that parents “can” pay for it. It means, “will they?” As a parent, I wouldn’t pay triple triple the tuition when an in-state option is readily available, even if I could afford the more expensive school. You may want to talk to mom and dad to see if that’s REALLY a good list.