Chance Our Daughter

We had great experience using CC with our oldest daughter’s college admission process…she’s currently a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara. With that said, we are now looking at preparing for college admissions for our middle child.

We’d love to hear chances for her at the following colleges for a B.Arch major:

Cal Poly SLO (Top Choice)
University of Washington
Cal Poly Pomona

In addition, she is interested in the following colleges that DO NOT have B.Arch degree programs but offer degrees in a non-NAAB accredited architecture major that can transfer/lead to a masters on campus or elsewhere:

UC Berkeley
UC Santa Barbara

Her profile is as follows:

Class Rank 1 of 140
Unweighted GPA - 4.0
Cal Poly Capped/Weighted GPA - 4.12 (projected)
UC/CSU Capped/Weighted GPA - 4.14 (projected)
SAT/ACT - Has not taken due to COVID
Attends a High School in Glenn County (far NorCal)

Honors/AP Classes:

Honors English 9
Honors English 10
AP Euro
AP US History
AP Literature


Three Years of Cheer (will 4)
Varsity Cheer Co-Captain (Junior)
JV Cheer Captain (Sophmore)
JV Cheer Co-Captain (Freshman)
(Probably Varsity Cheer Captain senior year)
Three years of Track/Field (will be 4)
JV Basketball (10th Grade)
Cheer Competition Team (9th and 11th)
FNL Club (officer) for three years (will be 4)
Youth Cheer Coach

Family Demographics:

First Generation College Student
Single Income Household
110k Annual Household Income

Any guidance that can be provided would be greatly appreciated!

CPSLO uses an MCA formula. Past MCA is described at , but it is presumably modified due to no longer using SAT/ACT scores.

Biggest bonus points will be for taking more math (through precalculus and calculus; note that all high school math, including that taken in middle school, must have been reported on the application).

Obviously, a 4.0 with sufficient honors points will be helpful.

Previous year frosh profile at CPSLO is shown here:

CPP’s admission index is described here. Note the overweighting of math GPA.

Thank you for the prompt response. We are familiar with the MCA, but I haven’t found any data yet on how to calculate it without the test scores.

Because of her intended major, she will be taking two ‘math’ classes next year…AP Stats and AP Calculus.

Her school offers few AP courses. She will have taken all but 1 offered by the time of graduation. Not sure if this info helps…

With your financials as described, it’s hard to see UW-Seattle out-of-state being affordable unless you have significant college savings for her, relatives helping out, etc. What’s your max budget?

The Cal Poly programs are definitely good targets. Also in the CSU system, Fresno State just launched an Architectural Studies major this year. The UC targets seem good as well. Perhaps look at Enviro Design at Davis also?

If at all possible, I would highly recommend trying to get her into a summer architecture intensive this summer. (Who knows at this point whether these will be able to operate in person, but worth a try.) These can really give a taste of what a studio-based major is like, and either solidify her commitment to a BArch or help her to reconsider before applying. Plus, the work she does in such a program would strengthen her portfolio, for schools that require one.

Have you run the Net Price Calculator for Cornell? This will give a good idea of your net cost for a generous full-need-met school, so you can compare with the in-state options. USC will likely be less generous than Cornell, but run the numbers and compare.

In terms of OOS flagships, check out Arch Studies program at U of Utah. Her strong stats could get her significant merit there (and Honors College), and Utah offers the WUE reciprocity discount OR their one-year path to residency plan. All told it would be far more affordable than UDub.

In terms of full-need-met private options, check out Northeastern (pre-professional architecture but with a very strong studio component), U of Miami (5-year BArch), Lehigh (studio-based arch studies, strong recruiting for URM students including a funded fly-in diversity weekend), and Conn College (nice studio-based arch studies major). Private U’s that don’t guarantee full-need-met aid but might give enough aid and have strong BArch programs include Carnegie Mellon, Tulane, and Syracuse. Also RPI, if she’d be open to a school that heavily STEM-oriented. (If she’s interested in RPI, ask her school to participate in the Rensselaer Medal program - if they award her the Medal as a junior, she’ll be guaranteed 30K/year merit if accepted.)

Good luck with the search!

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Thank you for the great info. Your recommendation regarding summer programs this year is spot on…we are letting her apply to the summer programs at Berkeley and Cal Poly SLO.

In-state is the most affordable option, as she will have tuition waived under the Cal Vet Fee Waiver. We have run the net-price calculator at the various OOS and private schools that have an option to do so, and Cornell was affordable. My union 401k allows educational withdrawals, so we MIGHT consider that in the event she’s lost other options and ends up at somewhere like UW. Doubtful it comes to that, though (fingers crossed).

We will start researching some of the other options you’ve laid out. Thanks again!

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