Help for intended CS major, what summer and other activities? Calif based

UCs admit by grades and class rank (they admit by high school, at least in CA, and will rank applicants among their peers). If he does get straight A’s while taking a very rigorous courseload he will be fine. And apply to every single one, with alternate majors. Also, Berkeley is planning to get rid of the declaration for cs process with admission to l&s as undeclared.

UC’s do not admit only based on GPA and class rank (ELC). There are 13 areas of criteria the UC’s use for their application review listed below. Each campus may weigh each area of criteria differently.
-Academic grade point average in all completed A-G courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
-Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum A-G requirements.
-Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
-Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC).
-Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned.
-Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
-Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
-Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
-Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
-Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
-Location of your secondary school and residence.

Thanks for the dose of reality! It is hard to imagine being denied with those stats! Do you mind sharing where you and all your friends with such impressive stats ended up? And do you have any advice for those applying in the future?

Where did you hear that UCB is getting rid of the declaration of CS via L&S undeclared? is there a link to some article? And when would this start?

Thank you, this made me chuckle.
Yes, we are going to look at some community college class. Def don’t want to pay for the pre-college course at an expensive university!

This article mentions a proposal, but without a lot of detail. But it does look like being able to apply for (pre-approval for) the L&S CS major in frosh admission.

Not really in initial readings, according to the Hout report. In final ranking by reading scores, there may be some within-high-school tie-breakers applied.

No problem! I would just like to point out that there were people from my HS that got into UCSC for CS with very high stats but the vast majority of highly qualified applicants got waitlisted. I only know two people that got flat out rejected for CS at UCSC and they were still pretty competitive applicants (4.0W GPA, ~29 ACT). I’m currently committed to UCLA (still in shock that I got in), and most of my friends are heading to either UCI, UCD, or UCSB. Some are going to OOS schools such as UT Austin, UNC-CH, UW-Madison, and CU Boulder. My school’s (pretty much guaranteed to be valedictorian) committed to UCSC the other day for CS.

I don’t want this message to discourage anyone, I just feel like I should let people know that UCSC isn’t a safety school that people can rely on getting in to anymore-especially CS applicants.

With test scores having no impact at UC’s anymore, my biggest piece of advice is to find unique extracurricular activities that relate to CS/STEM. You already mentioned that he is a straight-A student which is amazing, but having strong essays and extracurriculars will greatly increase your chances at getting in. Take a look at the current UC essay prompts that you’ll need to answer and if you feel that you can write solid responses to 4 essay prompts without repeating topics, you’ll be good to go. It really sucks that UC’s are so random. I never would’ve thought that I would study CS at UCLA. I thought I would end up at UCSC or UCSB but I ended up getting waitlisted to both of them. All I can say is your son will have great chances and it will primarily come down to random luck. Good luck with the process!

Thank you! Congratulations to you on UCLA! Such an accomplishment but well-earned! Congrats to all your friends too! I’m glad they all ended up at great schools!

Thanks for the advice. The Extracurriculars (and summer) was precisely what I was seeking advice about–my son is trying to find things related to CS he can do and get ‘real experience’. He has been unable to find research or internship/job opps in the field. Finding something unique is challenging!

Good luck to you at UCLA!