Chance me to UC's/CMD/Umich/UWashington/UWMadison


  • US citizen
  • California
  • American School in Taiwan
  • Female/Asian

Intended Major(s)

  • UCD: Atmospheric Science, B.S.
  • UCI: Earth System Science, B.S.
  • UCSD: Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, B.S.
  • CMD: Chemistry (Department of School)
  • Umich: Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • UWashington: Atmospheric Sciences
  • UWMadison: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Weighted HS GPA: 3.84
  • Class Rank: n/a
  • SAT Scores: 1310
  • Duolingo: 125


  • 11: AP Human Geo 3, AP Chinese 5
  • 12: AP Bio, APES, AP CalAB


  • 2020 Taiwan Cheerleading Champianships
  • 2021 Taiwan Cheerleading Champianships
  • 2022 Taiwan Cheerleading Champianships
  • 2022 Taiwan Cheerleading Champianships


  • Cheerleading
  • School Students Council (helping crew and art crew)
  • Sustainability School Project
  • Design Thinking Project
  • School Musical
  • School Dungeons and Dragon Club
  • Step by Step Shoes Donation (Co-Head)
  • Yanmingshan National Park (community service)
  • Taipei Astronomical Museum (community service)


  • None

Cost Constraints / Budget

  • Okay for all


  • UC’s deadline
  • EA: UWashington
  • RD: CMD, Umich, UWMadison

Our principal said I have zero chances to get into these top universities and asked me to remove them from my lists. However, I still want to try even I knew I have a weak applications compare to others. I would like to ask for any advice or improvement since there’s still a little bit time before RD (already register dec sat).

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What is your unweighted GPA, core courses only, on a 4 point scale? If your school doesn’t provide that, calculate it yourself.

What are your UC GPAs?

What are your highly likely schools? Your affordable safety/ies?

You might add U Arizona for atmospheric sciences, where they excel.

Is $75K per year at UMichigan affordable?

Don’t listen to your principal. First, I 'm not sure why a principal would be involved in your college list and not a counselor. Second, anyone who would tell a student that they have no chance and not to try is showing a negative attitude that is inappropriate for an educator. Personally, I would write them off.

It is always good advice to add more safeties.

I am not really qualified to “chance you”, but you have are active with ECs (and hopefully can show some leadership there through things like the cheerleading champiOnships).

Your SAT won’t help you, but you don’t need to submit it. I am not sure what your unweighted GPA would be. I am also not familiar with what school CMD refers to. Having several APs shows that you are a good student who is seeking challenges. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to students who have taken all 36 APs (which is not really humanly possible).

The schools on your list may be difficult to get into, but I don’t think they are impossible. With AP Chinese and cheerleading, and more social/community oriented ECs, you will be in a different category of student than the straight A, 1600 SAT, math or robotics prize-winners. But schools want to balance their class with students with varying interests and talents. With your profile, you could be admitted to any of those schools, as long as you are prepared for rejection.

If you are full-pay, out-of-state, that also helps with your admissions chances. These state schools will offer minimal out-of-state aid, so you should be ready to afford it. There may be many private schools that might be more affordable.

If I were you, I would seek out personal advice from someone who knows you who is not your principal. Don’t worry about how you compare to other students, just put your best foot forward and take your shot.

Perhaps try UC Merced also.

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Given the stats you performed, all seem unlikely. UC will not look at your test score (edit) for admission purposes.

If Atmospheric Sciences is your interest, you might add top ranked Oklahoma (an easier in), Texas A&M, and easy to get into U of Arizona. Purdue also has a solid program and is not a difficult admit so you’d have a better chance than those on this list. But OU (target) and U of Arizona (safety) are amongst the top for atmospheric sciences/meteorology in the country.

If you were a domestic student, and not knowing your UC GPA so I’ll not touch those, but while I disagree you should be told no, I agree that you are unlikely and need others - and I’d look at those mentioned.

Good luck.

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You definitely need to calculate your UC GPA’s especially since the UC’s are test blind.

Below is a table of admit rates based on the Capped weighted UC GPA and not major specific. A Capped weighted UC GPA below 4.0 will make the majority of UC’s out of reach. I would add UC Riverside, Merced and Santa Cruz to the list for a better chance at the UC’s vs your current list if your majors of interest are available.

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%

Is this correct? UCs are test blind, not GPA blind.

Also, if you reside in Taiwan, do your parents reside in CA? There are some circumstances where an expat would qualify as a resident of CA, but many many many residing abroad do not.



Duh I’ll edit. Meant to say test score. Thx

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Hi! By the link you provided, here is my UC’s GPAs (without senior year):
Unweighted GPA: 3.66
Weighted GPA: 3.70
Weighted and Capped GPA: 3.70

hmm… I think yes, affordable
CMD, UCI and UWashington are my highly likely schools.

What is CMD?

UC’s are test blind so GPA becomes an even greater factor when reviewing the applications. How is your HS course rigor since this is considered very important along with the PIQ’s?

UC’s use 13 areas of criteria to review applicants: How applications are reviewed | UC Admissions

Regarding UC tuition/residency, here is a link to the UC residency policies:

Parents and students must be physically present in California 366 days prior to the assessment of residency to receive in-state tuition. You must show documentation of physical presence and your plan to make California your permanent home. More information is listed on the link.

Some more information regarding admit rates for the UC campuses below:
Earth Systems Science 2022 UCI admit rate is pretty high at 73.2% so it could be a possibility but your Capped weighted UC GPA of 3.70 is well below the range posted so not a highly likely school. GPA of middle 25%-75% students:
Capped weighted High School GPA 4.08 - 4.29

Did you select an alternate major for UCI? They admit into the University first and then into the major so they will consider an alternate major or you could be admitted as Undeclared.

There is no specific major admit data for UCD or UCSD but here are their overall admit rates and GPA ranges for 2022.

UCD: Overall admit rate of 37.5%. GPA of middle 25%-75% students: Capped weighted High School GPA 4.06 - 4.30

UCSD: Overall admit rate of 23.7%. GPA of middle 25%-75%students: Capped weighted High School GPA 4.12-4.30

UC Santa Cruz has a Environmental Science major concentration of Earth Sciences with a 50.9% admit rate for 2021 and their Earth Science major had a 60.6% admit rate.

GPA of middle 25%-75% students:

Capped Weighted High School GPA 3.94-4.25

UC Riverside’s Environmental Science admit rate of 2022 was 76% and Earth sciences was 65%.

GPA of middle 25%-75% students:

Capped Weighted High School GPA 3.81 - 4.20

I suggest you add UCR and UCSC to your list for better chances if you want to study in California.


Carnegie Mellon University. Sorry for the typo.

Okay. CMU is going to be a reach.

Go ahead and apply to the reach schools that inspire you (as long as they are within your budget). I told my own kid that it’s good to have the experience of reaching for the stars and feeling inspired by the possibilities out there. However, you also need some schools on your list that are going to be much more realistically likely, and that you would be happy to attend. I’m sure people can suggest some that are good for atmospheric science!


We do still need your unweighted GPA. CMU and U Washington are not highly likelies. CMU is likely a reach, U Wash could be a target but need to know your uw GPA. U wash is test blind for most students.

Thank you for all the information. I really appreciate it! :bowing_woman:t2:
I put aerospace engineering as my alternative major, but now it seems even more impossible.

I’m not sure that you are realistic in your chancing. Have you looked at the student profile or gpa / test range for each?

Carnegie Mellon low range of the SAT is well over 1400 with 93.7% of kids last year over 1400 and nearly half the class a 4.0 and top class rigor.

You will not get into CMU (my opinion) - not even close.

Yes apply but your entire list is a reach which is why I mentioned OU and Arizona…higher ranked in your area of interest and much easier admits.

Good luck.

Ohh btw, those schools mentioned in the post are not even half of my school list. I just selected some really top schools and I would like to know more information and my chances to get in so I come here. Yes, OU is definitely on my school list and now I will consider Arizona. Thank you!

Well you said CMU, UCI and U Washington are highly likely.

I wish you luck but I would say (and it’s just an opinion) that none of the three are likely. And not sure the major at CMU fits with the majors at other schools. Their earth science is non traditional.

Good luck.

I thought it means my favorite selections, so… :sweat_smile:
Okay I will do more research. Thank you!

These are some schools my kid considered, maybe some of these programs might appeal to you:
Oregon State
University of Utah
CU Boulder Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences | University of Colorado Boulder
Ohio State
Iowa State
University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment | University of Delaware