Computer Science / Engineering

Daughter is undecided between computer science and engineering.

GPA UW is 3.93, W is 4.36, all A’s, two B’s in Dual Enrollment Physics I and Chemistry.

1500 SAT (770M, 730E), 34 ACT (35M, 35E, 34W, 30S)

URM: female and ethnicity. Solid, atypical Extracurriculars with Leadership and Growth. Tns of Community Service. Homeschooled, 3 AP’s taken in 9th grade with two 4’s on Ap exams, and one (3). Junior and Senior Year are all Dual Enrollment Classes at a State University, including Calc I through III and Linear Algebra with A’s

She wants to stay in GA, TN, NC, SC, basically mid-Southern States. Last resort she’ll go up to the midwest but prefers to stay close to GA. Hates TX and FL.

If her Essays and LORs are good, what are the chances of getting into these schools? Are there any other schools we should be looking at? Any safeties or target schools you can suggest? Should we add in more reaches?

Could you rank the following as target, reach, safety for her?

GA Tech - in state
Vanderbilt - RD
Emory - RD
Clemson (doesn’t seem to give much aid)
U. of Alabama

She has a good work ethic, wants to go to a school where she feels challenged, she’s outgoing and independent and prefers cities to very rural. I thought she could improve her test scores but she refuses to, prefers to spend time on her extracurriculars.

Thank you!

Cost constraints?

At Alabama, her stats would gain an automatic $26k/year scholarship (versus $51k/year out-of-state cost of attendance), so it can be presumed a safety if $25k/year (with buffer for future tuition increases) is affordable.

She’s competitive to her whole list with Vanderbilt and Georgia tech the outliers. How does her school do with these local colleges?

Have you looked at North Carolina State University
Might get 1/2 merit or more and it’s a very good program. She’s competitive for all the known Carolina schools including Duke. But it comes down to cost and some luck ?.

If she gets into GT, game over as far as I am concerned if it is affordable.

Lots of kids really like the engineering program at Alabama and their honors program the last like 5 years or so.

Purdue is great but cost can be an issue but they seem to like females and urm so that might be interesting.

Since you had one Midwestern school check out Michigan State honors program and what they offer. It’s a really great program and you should get merit there like a decent amount. Lol. Depending on your finances if you want a reach then add Michigan. They do give OOS aid depending on your situation. Know several getting close to 1/2 aid.

To be honest, you seem to have a good list of she’s happy with the schools.

GaTech & UGA are in-state so affordable, and so is U of Alabama (with their automatic scholarship). Would need aid for everything else.

I’ve considered suggesting one or two NC schools. She wants to be within driving distance.

Which ones would be affordable on need-based financial aid, based on their net price calculators?

Any college that requires competitive (as opposed to automatic for stats that the student has) merit scholarships to be affordable should be put into the “reach” category, because she needs the scholarship, not just admission, for the college to be an option.

Purdue is not good with aid for OOS applicants. Run the NPC.

Two points about Purdue - students must apply by the EA deadline to be considered for honors college, merit, and they fill most of their class in the EA round.

Secondly, CS in the College of Science is currently more competitive than ECE (electrical and computer engineering) in COE. CS in CoS is a direct admit program. COE admits to a common first year engineering program with a secondary admission process for ECE at the end of freshman year. You can look up the 4 year plan of study for both programs to see how they differ.

PS. Her test scores are just fine!

Thank you, this is very helpful. We put Purdue on the list because a friend with similar stats received significant aid there this year as an OOS student, female URM in STEM.

Vandy- shows we can afford if she gets in. $17k or so after aid. She doesn’t particularly care for it though.

In-state are affordable. Ga Tech is her #1 dream school.

Alabama- affordable with merit

Auburn- seems like a very good chance of merit aid with her stats.

Purdue- a friend received substantial merit aid from them this year.

Clemson - we are unsure if to apply, they don’t seem to give aid to OOS

Looking into NC schools that might give merit aid to minority students with her stats.

Any other suggestions?

UGA is affordable (in-state) but not sure about the strength of their CS and Eng. programs. Same with Emory, not sure about the quality of their program, seems to be more $$ than Vanderbilt and other schools on the list. Emory doesn’t have Eng. she would apply as CS.

“Thank you, this is very helpful. We put Purdue on the list because a friend with similar stats received significant aid there this year as an OOS student, female URM in STEM.”

Agree, female URM for CS/Engr with those stats are huge advantages, and you may be able to get merit from some places, that don’t typically get merit, or get a great FA package with mainly grants. Given the geographic limits, your list is good, consider adding Duke or UNC (they have CS, but not engineering).

I thought Emory has like a 5 year program with GT?

Yes, they do. This is an option she is exploring. She’s not sure if she’d go that route at Emory or just pursue CS.

Emory may not be the greatest choice for CS, since its CS department is somewhat smaller, with fewer upper level offerings (probably adequate, but not as many as many of the other schools on your list).

For engineering, Emory only has a non-ABET-accredited engineering science major, or can be a “3” school in a 3+2 program with Georgia Tech. Note that the latter requires an extra year (potential cost implications), and transfer to Georgia Tech requires a 3.3 college GPA technical and overall.

Going directly to Georgia Tech as frosh seems like a better path than going to Emory.

NO question if she can get into GT directly , its the way to go.

I think GT is a no brainer even if she has to go through their Pathways program or even transfer. That said I think she’s competitive but certainly no guarantee.

Auburn, Clemson, and NC State are better known for STEM. Love NC State.

I don’t think UGA is known for CS/Engineering. I think most of their engineering programs just received ABET certification within the last few years which is all you really need. After that Alabama and South Carolina would be about the same I would think.

Not sure a 3/2 program is the way to go. Too many stories of kids changing their minds plus cost of extra year.

Maybe Wake Forest or UNC Charlotte? If she’s open to majoring in Physics that might open up some different doors.

Not sure a 3/2 program is the way to go. Too many stories of kids changing their minds plus cost of extra year.

Maybe Wake Forest or UNC Charlotte? If she’s open to majoring in Physics that might open up some different doors.

I agree. The 3-2 program is interesting. The last two years we would pay in-state tuition at GA Tech, so that brings down the cost. She thinks it would be better to just get the Bachelors, graduate, and then a Masters, than doing a 3-2 where you get two bachelor’s degrees? I tend to agree.

She is not interested in Physics but in the past she has considered Applied Math as a path to a career in Machine Learning/ Data Science. She genuinely loves it.

A CS degree with specialization in this area is a better bet, in terms of internships and more marketability. And I say that as an applied mathematician. I find the math/applied math major at the undergrad level primarily a stepping stone to grad school. That said, female and URM may help, if an applied math major.

Since she has already taken Calc 1-3 and lin algebra w/ all A’s, she is well positioned to obtain a CS major with applied math minor or maybe even a double major, depending on how the programs are designed.

GA tech is in-state for you, and no-brainer if she gets in. You’re so lucky !(says envious out-of-stater). That would be first choice, and I think it would be a target considering in-state, female, STEM, URM. Others have suggested NCSU, and I would also recommend. All the others on your list, except Vandy, are target/safeties.

NC state and Duke are two to add.

NC State has the Parks scholarship that is full ride with added perks, its very competitive though. They also will most likely take her college credits since they have alot of experience with Early college students.

My son will be attending Duke this fall for Electrical and Computer Engineering. They have a more flexible schedule for engineering than other schools he had looked at. Also, if your child changes her mind on major its not that hard to change. I suggest doing Duke’s NPC and seeing if its affordable.


I forgot to add: Is she comfortable to be in Maryland? UMD - great choice for CS/ applied math/ engineering . Different vibe than GA Tech. OOS tuition. May have a decent shot at scholarship.

I just read that GA tech will have priority early action for in state residents. So now it’s a super no brainer.

Thank you for your thoughts! We are hoping GaTech comes through. Even in-state can be difficult to get in.

We talked today and she’s adding Duke, NC State and maybe UNCCH to her list. The NPC for Duke is pushing it. ?

How exciting for your son! I hope everything goes well for him his first year!