Chance my kid (CS, Math, Statistics)

Canada domestic (Canada citizen)
State/Location of residency: British Columbia
Type of high school: public high school, gifted program
Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Asian male

Intended Major(s)
Computer science, math statistics

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4/4
  • Class Rank: 2%
  • SAT Scores: 1570

2 honors, 4-5 APs (AP Stat, AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Computer Science, AP Language Arts)

Canada Math Olympic
University of Waterloo Math Contests Honor Roll (Group III and above) every year since Gr 7
Canada Computing Contest (junior) Full Mark
RCM Piano gold medal (BC and Yukon)

Soccer Club Team (Tier 2) since Gr 2
RCM piano ARCT
Volunteer at local hospital
U of Toronto Math Camp (by invitation)
UBC Math Circle (by invitation)

Cost Constraints / Budget
Partial or full scholarship preferred.

Likely - UBC, U of Waterloo, U of Toronto, McMaster
Match - U of Washington, UC Berkeley
Reach - Stanford, CalTech

UC Berkeley should be in the Reach category plus it is test blind so the excellent SAT score will not be considered for admission purposes or merit aid. Also as an International applicant, UCB will be full pay at $67K/year to attend. Merit aid is highly competitive and need-based aid is not available to International applicants.

UCB had an 8% acceptance rate for International applicants last year 2021.

Best of luck to your competitive student.

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Does your son plan to major in CS at University of Washington? If so, he must be admitted directly to the major and only about 17% of the spots are given to international students (representing only about 4% of international applicants). That may put the University of Washington into the “reach” category, too. And UW does not have a reputation for providing much aid.

If he chooses a math major, it could still be a match. I think about 40% of international applicants are admitted to other majors, representing about 15-16% of the total student body.

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Agree that UCB is a reach and will be expensive, competitive, and not a “match” for your son. It is a publicly funded university, so the funds come from the State’s taxpayers. As an international student, admission and costs are extremely limiting. Merit aid wouldn’t come anywhere near the costs of attendance.

As for UW, would also be considered a reach since their CS program is impacted. It is also a popular public university, and, as a non-resident international student, it would be extremely competitive. You would be expected to pay full fees of ~$63K.


I think that your options in Canada are very likely for admissions and great universities. I would think that admissions to UBC is pretty much a safety although your son’s guidance counselor would know better than I.

I understand why you would consider Stanford and Caltech. As a Canadian who graduated with a masters from Stanford decades ago, I think that finding a job in Canada would have been easier with a degree from one of the top Canadian schools (including any of the four you are considering).

My understanding is that Stanford and Caltech meet full need for international students. As such you could run the NPC and see what it says. Your definition of “need” will not necessarily match theirs.

I would be surprised if you would get any financial aid at all from UC Berkeley. I do not think that it is worth three or four times the price of UBC or Toronto unless US$67,000 per year is easy for you. I am not as sure about financial aid from Washington but again I do not see the reason to spend that much more compared to the price of the Canadian universities that you are considering.

I agree with much of the above including ROI for the US vs Canadian schools. Also, UW and UCB are both reaches, UW’s Class of 2025 international acceptance rate was 4%. Freshmen by the numbers | Office of Admissions


Thank you very much for everyone who shared your thoughts here! Tuition and fees for international students is indeed a heavy load, plus the highly competitive application process, especially for computer science. He is in his junior year and I hope he can keep up. We will see how it goes. Probably he will do undergraduate in Canada, and apply for US graduate schools if he wants more research later on. We don’t want him go too far away. Not too many good private schools on the west coast though.

I don’t see why you would rank UW over some of the Canadian schools, especially considering the enormous cost difference. Your student can benefit just as much by going to any of the CAN schools listed, with the possible exception of McMaster.
CalTech is a reach for anyone, as is Stanford, but in your case they(and the Canadian schools) make more sense than Washington or Berkeley.
UBC and Toronto are very good for CS, and Waterloo is about as good as it gets. I haven’t kept up with McMaster (used to live in Hamilton), so I only know of them as being strong in Health Sciences. Funny story, a neighbour who is a dual, was accepted by Yale, and rejected by McMaster. :grinning:
FYI, I am a dual citizen living in the US. S2 wants to do CompE, and is applying to Waterloo. WA, was considered(we used to live in Seattle), and rejected, for a variety of reasons.

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