Chance me - t20 CS colleges

Ok…I’ll bite. What is yolo?

Your list is very top heavy. And it would be very top heavy if you had a perfect GPA and SAT score.

So…what are your safety and match schools…because you don’t need to go to a T20 college to major in computer science. And some of the great programs aren’t even in the T20.



Calculate your UC GPAs here.GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

The reaches on your list are likely out of reach, so this list needs a rework. Instead of prestige, what qualities in a school are important to you?

Do you have any acceptances yet?

And just to be clear…you say your family is high income, does that mean you are not applying for financial aid and your parents can/will pay $80K per year for college?

What year did your grades drop, and what is the explanation?

Are two of these from core academic teachers?


Are you a junior preparing a list for next year, or a senior who has already applied? I hope it’s the former so you have time to fix this list.

3.6uw GPA, 1450 SAT and statements like (for rigor and essays) “slightly above average” and “almost Eagle scout” don’t indicate a stellar application. What’s “xd”, “total L”, “mid”, etc?
This is an extremely reachy list as the posters above have pointed out. And it’s not even the list of “top 20 CS colleges”. For that, look here (just one example - there are other lists but they are pretty close to this).

You will notice that many of the best CS programs are at public flagship schools. You have none on your list outside the 2 UCs.

You really need to rethink your approach. If you’re a current senior I hope you have applied to at least a couple of schools where you’re likely to get accepted.


@thumper1 yolo is “you only live once”. I take the OP saying yolo to safeties and matches that he isn’t applying to any.


An outside reference who you haven’t spoken to in a year? And a 7/10 on your second academic (I hope it’s a core course teacher)?


Read this thread. Read the whole thing. It’s older but the story is the same. You have no sure things for admission on your list.

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Yeah I’ll say a 1450 SAT or 720 on English - is not low. The 1450 is 96th percent. The 3.6 and 4.1 are also not low - but in this world of grade inflation, many have those #s.

It’s great to have a few reaches but I don’t see you getting into any school on this list. I’m not an AO and perhaps am misinterpreting but.

You can get a fine job in CS not from a top 20 school. Apply to two or three of these and add schools you’d enjoy such as Arizona / Arizona State for a safety. Or a Denver or an LAC for a smaller. Top 20 doesn’t always = better outcome.

For a target maybe a Lehigh or RPI. Or NC State for larger. Or some CSU (likely not CPSLO).

Or for a reach a school like Maryland, UF, or UMASS which is still not likely but it’s not beyond the pale like a Harvard or MIT.

Money doesn’t buy admission into the top schools.

Lastly that’s my impression of what you provided.
Perhaps your guidance counselor can guide someone with your #s to outcomes better than we can.

Good luck.


YOLO is also an exchange traded fund (ETF) focused on the cannabis industry. Unlikely reference but given the odd tone one never knows…

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My guess is that the OP refers to Yolo County near Sacramento and the community college there.


If that’s the case, he could be shut out.

OP, wake up. We advise 4.0/1600/36 kids to put safeties and matches on their lists, just in case. You need them.

Also, your list has some odd characters for someone looking for the top CS schools. I don’t see the U’s of Illinois, Washington, Texas, CMU, Maryland, UW-Madison… T20 or fringe T20 CS schools, and much more likely to admit you in some cases. Heck, I would probably add San Jose State.


SJSU would probably be a reach for CS the OP.

OP’s most likely result with the original list is starting at a community college.


I will only address the UC’s but both UCLA and UCB are Reach schools for CS. The UC’s are test blind so your SAT will only be considered for course placement such as fulfilling the ELWR (Entry Level Writing Requirement). Hopefully you have other schools on your list besides the many Reach schools??

Please calculate all 3 UC GPA’s based on the link posted by @Mwfan1921

Below are the CS admit rates for 2021 and some 2022 data for the UC campuses. You are lucky to have so many wonderful schools in-state so apply widely or you will end up at a community college (if that is your backup).

UCB’s admit rate, If applying for EECS, was 4.5%. CS in the College of Letters and Sciences was 2.9%

UCLA’s CS admit rate for 2021 was 5.4%

UCI CS admit rate for 2021 was 7.1% for 2022 it was 5.8%

No specific CS admit date for UCD, UCSD and UCSB’s historic admit rate has been around 6-8%

UCR 2021 admit rate for CS was 37%. For 2022, it was 36%.

UCSC 2021 admits rate for CS was 71%

UCM 2022 admit rate for CSE was 91% and for 2021 it was 85%

Some of the Cal states CS admit rates:
Cal Poly SLO was around 9% for 2021.
San Diego State was 40.2% for 2022
CSU Long Beach was 53.5% for 2021.

Best of luck.

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I can’t believe you are taking this post seriously.

Well OP, you have a 50% chance at all of these schools. You either get in or not. YOLO.


Because there are two outcomes, it doesn’t mean chances are 50% :-).

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these aren’t the only schools im applying to, i also have several others (cmu, gtech, ucsd, etc.). i’d say both teachers would rate me higher than ‘average’, since i was like top 1% in their classes lol

independent cs work and leadership positions are different, like i have independent cs projects and leadership positions seperately.

online calculators say “25% at ucsd”, like 17% at ucla, 14% at cal or something similar to that. harvard/stanford are 3-4% but you never know.

yolo → if i dont get into colleges well i just drop out and start my business with whatever i had saved for college.

first 2 are core academic teachers (one was last year, another was last year + this year)
third is outside reference but also my neighbor so although we haven’t had a formal convo in a bit we still talk

i mean yolo is just dropping school entirely, so this is more realistic than you think

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Glad you chose additional schools - that are also heavy reaches.

If you want to go to college, then make sure to apply to colleges you will get into.

It’s almost as if you don’t want to go to college, so you’re only applying to schools that are highly likely a no.

So you have less than average stats at the average of schools like a UCLA - which lucky for you are test blind - so if their acceptance rates is 17%, where are you getting 17% from?

It’s CS - my nephew is doing it with a poli sci degree from Arizona - and making $165K + bonus.

If you want to study it, study it. If you don’t want to go to college, just tell your parents now and save the effort…because with your list, that’s unfortunately where you are likely headed…IMHO.