HS senior denied by every instate school. What do I do next?

70% of CA CC students fail to graduate or transfer and 60% out of those intending to transfer never do.

The difference between CC and normal schools is the majority of CC students do not care and end up failing and it creates a horrible environment for those of us who are really dedicated to pushing. Full-stop.

I was literally even having a convo with the shift lead engineer at my job who said this exact same thing happened to him and all of my fellow engineers and techs in my lab have seen countless of their CC peers go nowhere.

Students have to drop out of school for a number of reasons. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. I was reading an article today, in Time, I think, that said finances and family responsibilities are major roadblocks that prevent many students from completing their education.

Community colleges are normal schools. I’m sorry you found it so difficult to do well there. If OP ends up starting at a cc I’m sure he’ll do fine.

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A lot of students drop out of “normal” schools too. It depends a lot on family finances, academic preparedness, dedication, and college resources (though CC’s would have smaller classes and UCs are not known for hand-holding).

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Common reasons for dropping out of college:

  1. Money issues – cannot afford cost of college and/or need work more to earn money to support oneself and/or family.
  2. Academic difficulty – generally students with weaker high school backgrounds and/or weaker academic motivation are more likely to drop out for this reason.

With respect to colleges, most of the above depends on the students that they get – if a college gets academically weaker students from poorer families, it is likely to have higher dropout rates. That is why graduation rates tend to be proxies for admission selectivity and the wealth of the students’ families. Colleges have some influence at the margins:

  1. Lower cost / better financial aid for students with less money can help some of them stay until graduation (or transfer for community colleges).
  2. Better academic support services may make the difference for some students at the academic margins.

A college that does well on the above may have somewhat higher graduation rates than would be expected from its student profile (based on previous academic record and family money).

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I am a CS hiring manager. Don’t worry about the school. Don’t think CA is the only place because it doesn’t matter where you go. It only matters what you do while you’re getting the degree. Get your degree in Nevada, Arizona, or New Mexico for a discount and do some side projects to set yourself apart. Don’t just do coursework. Do some research with a professor, create open source software projects, get extra cyber certifications. Do things to show that you are not the stereotypical anti-social CS person. Join Toastmasters. Get summer internships. You will have plenty of job offers before you graduate.

I would suggest to avoid the UNM CS department, but their EE/CE department is good if you want a computer engineering degree. I know people who have had poor experiences. NM Tech CS is a good choice. Very well respected school. ASU Engineering is also ranking higher these days.


Update #2

So, some interesting news has come upon me and I would like some advice once again on what I should do.

2 days ago UCM emailed me saying they would offer me admission this fall via their “Count me in program” even though I did not apply there.

CC wise, I have decided to go with my local CC which would be Palomar college as the next closest colleges for CC are hours away. (was accepted last night)

On a side note, I recently found a small 4 year named “WoodBurry college” in burbank. I applied there and am waiting to here back. its a small school focused on stem and price is reasonable.

So my question is, what do you guys think is the best option if I get into Woodburry as well
My options are
Local CC - then transfer to 4 year after GED’s
Woodburry (if i get in)

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UCM :slight_smile: as long as it’s affordable. Ey it’s a UC!!! And it may actually allow you to enjoy both smaller classes in CS than elsewhere AND flourish without having to worry about transferring.
Have you received your FA package?
In any case: Congratulations!


For the local CC option, take a look at http://www.assist.org to see how well it covers the lower division courses for the CS major at various UCs and CSUs that you may later want to transfer to.

UC Merced CS courses are listed at Courses | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science .

Woodbury does not have a true CS major. The CS-adjacent majors are “computer science data analytics” (whose courses appear to be mostly database courses in Microsoft environments) and “applied computer science media arts” (whose courses appear to be focused on computing for art). If you want to study CS, you probably want do it in a more complete CS department like UC Merced or other UC or CSU.


Merced if you can swing it.
With more UCs stopping TAG for CS, you may end up at Merced even after CC.


I would agree with everyone. I trust the UC systems. They will give you very good education. I also hear good things about Merced too.

So you are around San Diego then. My son took some CS courses and Japanese classes at Palomar last year or before. My son goes to one of the PUSD high schools.


If Merced is affordable, go for it and don’t look back! You’ll get a quality UC CS education, and as others have said, get more individual attention and less competition for resources than at the larger UC campuses. Transferring is tougher in CS than in other majors. If you can get started with direct entry to your major, you can get deeper into your major in the first two years than you could at a CC, and repurpose the considerable energy you’d have had to put into the transfer process, using it instead to get involved in campus organizations, research, projects, etc. (For example, build your portfolio by doing pro bono work with the CS club: Computer Science Club – Merced College ) Hit the ground running and you’ll find great opportunities. Congrats!


Don’t walk . . . . run to Merced! Put that deposit in ASAP!


Update #3

Going over pros and cons with my parents (mom & stepdad) I have decided to go to my local CC then transfer to a 4 year.
Riverside city college

Though UCM is a UC 4 year, the cons out weighed the pros.

Thank you everyone for the tips and advice!
Side note: We are in the midst of streaking a deal with local landlord for me to have possible housing at RCC with some friends that are going to UCR (schools are 10 mins apart)


i’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned this in the comments… but what about international universities? UK schools are internationally recognized and can be much more affordable than out-of-state/private tuition in the US

Wrong tax bracket for lilfruch’s mom & stepdad.