Match Me - Electrical Engineering at T50s?

Demographics

Gender: Male

Race/Ethnicity: Black

Residence: California

Income Bracket: 150k+ (Will need FA and have run the net price calculator on most schools).

Type of School: Public

    I think it's a feeder school by some definitions on here? Some data if you could help me understand this.

         - 30 percent acceptance rate to UC Berkely (About 25 kids were sent last year).

         - 16 percent acceptance rate to UCLA (About 20 kids were sent last year).

         - 23 percent acceptance rate to USC.

        - 5 percent acceptance rate to Stanford.

        Sends about 10 kids to Ivies last year (not entirely sure, could be lower or higher).

Hooks (Recruited Athlete, URM, First-Gen, Geographic, Legacy, etc.): URM

Intended Major(s): Electrical Engineering or/and Finance

Academics:

GPA (UW/W): 3.96/4.76

UC Capped: 4.32

Rank (or percentile): School does not rank.

# of Honors/AP/IB/Dual Enrollment/etc.: 5 Honors + 9 APs (This is the most my school allows me to take).

Senior Year Course Load: 6 APs

Standardized Testing:

SAT: Not taken yet, but if I were to guess above 1450.

AP/IB: This is my main weakness. I have two 5s, four 3s, and three 4s. How much of a hindrance is this to my overall chances?

Extracurriculars/Activities

1) Vice President of Health-Based Coalition [Kind of vague for privacy reasons.]

This was a club “founded” by 8 of in conjunction with an actual non-profit that services health-related issues in my local area (run by actual adults with full-time employees). In essence, our job was part of the advocacy campaign for this group and we conducted studies as well as built personal relationships with 6 city mayors and their council members.

Of those 6 cities, one of them has passed a health-related ordinance to our advocacy, while another is currently drafting the language to implement the restrictions. My job was communication/helping on the technical side to push the club forward. Can expand more if needed.

2) Intern at a Defense Company

Thorugh our school we were given the opportunity to intern at a major defense company and shadow various engineers in their work. Can’t elaborate too much on this because of reasons, but it was enjoyable and I learned a lot about the day-to-day work of an engineer.

Got some group positions that were highly sought after and was the editor for the company’s internal magazine.

3) Intern at a Chemical Refrigeration/Oil Refinery Company

Essentially I shadowed and helped engineers on the ground to install screw compressors at major refineries as well as design them in the shop.

The internship ended a little early due to the slow down of oil production with COVID-19, but it was a lot of fun even if it was manual labor.

4) Advocacy Foundation/Lobbying [Very Vague for a reason]

This also has to be very vague because this could be easily searched up. However, I was part of a team that went to the state government to argue (unsuccessfully) for changes to be made to how California’s public school system is funded, specifically our district.

We met with state senators and state house members as well as participated in committee hearings to change certain statutes in CA that were unfairly excluding certain communities for increased funds. As well as talked about the UC system and OOS students (some of the discussion was related to the recent law passed limiting OOS).

6) Spoke at State Education’s Association Event (Again Vague)

I got the opportunity to speak to and connect with several hundred teachers/students at a conference. Spoke about the related health advocacy I wrote about in 1) and was awarded an award for the presentation and work we have been doing.

Answered several hundred questions as well as talked to teacher union heads, parents as well as was invited to be in another seminar with other like-minded students who were advocating for certain ideas (didn’t attend).

7) Student Board Member on the District Board of Education

I have to be very vague here, but similar to 1) we have been working on instituting that advocacy campaign and restrictions district-wide.

8) Science Olympiad Captain - 5 years

Earned a few medals in my division for regionals. I could list them, but they are just 1st and 2nd place medals in 10 events (most of them repeated throughout the 5 years). Never went to state, but it was a fun thing I never really competed for.

9) CSF Board Member + NHS Treasuer

Our school is weird in which the California Scholarship Federation Board and NHS essentially run all the Honor Societies within the school (as you can see I am on both). We get more funding and more “power” essentially than even the ASB and Student President.

The students on the Board (including me) basically have “free reign” to manage the societies, in which we are watched by a teacher “council”. To get on this Board you have to go through two teacher council interviews. My “job” so to speak is to manage the 10k-12k funds we get from the honor society dues. (Yes, our NHS chapter charges 200 dollars a year + like having to make a semi-college application and has a literal scholarship program if needed).

10) Secretary of Junior Classical League/Certamen Events

Won top 5 in our state at certamen, and got first at regionals. Won 5-7 events 1st places in Latin literature and Classical history. I have two gold medals for the NLE, but can’t get the scholarship because of one silver medal in freshman year.

Set up events with historians like Mary Beard and other classical historians (our Latin teacher is an associate at Harvard).

My job was to log all books and manage finances for the club.

11) CyberPatriot/CTF Tournaments

I was put as a CISCO head for our team, we were top 100 nationally three times in a row, and we were top 20 our state once in the past. Never could get past platinum into the top 12 but it was a bunch of fun.

12) European Neighbourhood Policy And Enlargement Volunteer

Some humanitarian volunteering in my parent’s home country. Still devastated from the war 30 years later . Helped with building homes/roads, food distribution, etc.

Awards/Honors

List all awards and honors submitted on your application.

NLE, 2 gold medals, one silver.

CIF for Cross Country/Won school award/multiple top 5s at meets.

State Seal of Biliteracy in Latin

Defense Company Best Innovative Idea Award (Again, very vague.)

National English Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, National Science Honor Society

One statewide one relating to 1).

Letters of Recommendation

AP Physics 1, 2, and maybe C Teacher - Known for two, and probably three years.

AP Biology Teacher - Known for 4 years (also Science Olympiad Mentor).

Latin Teacher - Known for 4 years.

Defense Company Mentor - Known for 1 Summer.

Counselor, our school mandates him to write one.

Not going to rate these considering they haven’t even been written yet and no one, not even I, will be able to see how they turn out.

Essays

We’ll see. That’s all I have to say on this really, I don’t think anyone can really judge it.


From what I have heard my weaknesses are my AP test scores, my lack of taking an SAT at this point, and not really taking anything directly related to either of the two subjects I am interested in majoring in (something like DECA or ISEF, research, etc.).

My main reaches are Berkely EECS, UCLA EE, and Stanford REA. However, I am looking for some matches here mainly.

I already have a safety school lined up/perfectly willing to go to CC and transfer to UCs if need be so that isn’t an issue.

Based on weighted-capped recalculated HS GPA, here are historical UC admission rates:

Fall 2020 admission rates by campus and HS GPA range from Freshman fall admissions summary | University of California :

Campus 4.20+ 3.80-4.19 3.40-3.79 3.00-3.39
Berkeley 37% 14% 2% 1%
Davis 86% 55% 16% 7%
Irvine 60% 38% 9% 1%
Los Angeles 38% 8% 1% 1%
Merced 98% 97% 95% 88%
Riverside 97% 90% 65% 30%
San Diego 78% 39% 8% 1%
Santa Barbara 81% 40% 9% 2%
Santa Cruz 92% 82% 59% 26%

These are for the whole campus. Different divisions or majors may have different levels selectivity (usually, engineering and computer science majors are more selective).

EE is likely to be moderately to highly more selective than overall at UCs and many other colleges. How much more selective can depend on how much computer science or engineering it includes (e.g. EECS at UCB is highly more selective because it attracts mostly those who focus on CS).

Note that UCs and CSUs do not consider race or ethnicity (or legacy) in admissions. They are also SAT/ACT blind now.

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Your obvious matches are the less selective UCs and CSUs except Cal Poly. For EE, Cal Poly might even be a match. EE isn’t as selective as ME, AE, CS, etc.

There are some WUE schools worth considering as safeties that could offer solid degrees at a price lower than instate UCs. Utah would be the one I’d consider IF you want another safety.

Good luck!

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You have a great GPA and very nice EC’s! If you can break down your AP’s by course, your grade and your score, we can provide you better guidance once we see the rigor of your curriculum. The reach universities evaluate the rigor of the courses you have taken. Most universities will still be test optional for Fall 22 admission. Did you register for SAT or ACT for August or September? Consider adding USC to your reach list. Their engineering school is a bit
smaller and seems to be a more supportive environment than the huge UCB and UCLA. I don’t know how good they are about financial aid though.

If you have financial limitations, then you may need to look for merit as well. How much can your family afford for tuition? Your match and safety schools will need to be affordable AND have a good chance of admission.

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Ahhh, thank you for the table!

EE is likely to be moderately to highly more selective than overall at UCs and many other colleges. How much more selective can depend on how much computer science or engineering it includes (e.g. EECS at UCB is highly more selective because it attracts mostly those who focus on CS).

Yeah, this was my worry and why I wanted to have more match schools in case it doesn’t pan out. I’ll have to look into other programs, but I think EECS is a special case to Berkely.

For EE, Cal Poly might even be a match. EE isn’t as selective as ME, AE, CS, etc.

This is kind of what I was thinking as well, as I won’t be applying CS to Cal Poly, but wasn’t entirely sure as I have seen tons of qualified applicants get rejected similar to me from Cal Poly as well. Being an EE major definitely helps (even though I think it’s a much better degree than the generic ME, but that’s a debate for some other day).

There are some WUE schools worth considering as safeties that could offer solid degrees at a price lower than instate UCs. Utah would be the one I’d consider IF you want another safety.

Thank you! Something like this was kind of what I was looking for as some backup. Will definitely look into Utah as well!

You have a great GPA and very nice EC’s!

Thanks!

If you can break down your AP’s by course, your grade and your score, we can provide you better guidance once we see the rigor of your curriculum.

Sure:

Freshman Year: AP World History (5), AP Chemistry (Self-Study) 3

Sophomore Year: AP Physics 1 (4), AP Biology (3)

(These are the limit our school allows for the number of APs in Sophomore and Freshman year.)

Junior Year: AP English Langauge (3), AP US History (5), AP Computer Science A (4), AP Physics 2 (3), AP Calculus AB (4)

So as you can see, quite a mixed bag of results. I know AP Scores don’t matter greatly for matters of admissions, but as you said it points to the rigor of the curriculum (also I am not a great test taker).

Did you register for SAT or ACT for August or September?

Yes, I did and will for both months. Currently scoring on practice tests anywhere from 1450 - 1530. Of course, that isn’t indicative of anything, but just as a reference point.

Consider adding USC to your reach list.

Parents are actually a legacy at USC, but I heard their engineering program was not as fleshed out as compared to the UCs? I would like the “small knit” feeling, but being in the school as a whole I don’t know if it would be best fit for me. I am not completely sold on it, but I need to do more research into the Viterbi School of Engineering.

Also their FA… well it is not the greatest.

If you have financial limitations, then you may need to look for merit as well. How much can your family afford for tuition?

Yes, we have run the net price calculator and usually, it ends up around 35k give or take 3k, which we can do. Current safety schools fall well below that price point actually.

So you have 9 APs - that’s not a weakness my friend. You are concerned with your scores - so depending on the school, you may not get credit…and that’s ok…

Go back to recruited athlete - is that D1 or D3 - because that makes all the difference in the word - even at D3. And who is recruiting you - they can get you in.

When you say EE or maybe Finance - that’s a whole different game - and honestly, i would steer you to Alabama because they have the Engineering with MBA degree - and that could work for you. Is it top 50? no. Do they have tons of Ivy level kids and the nicest engineering campus in the country? Yes. Would you go for cheap? Yes.

If you weren’t an athlete, you could apply most anywhere -and I’m not factoring in that you are a URM either - because that helps too - but a Northeastern, Colorado School of Mines, Purdue, Florida, Va Tech, CWRU, BU, Rose Hulman, WPI, RPI, NC State, Ohio State ,Lehigh, and Pitt would be top 50 “engineering” types that would be good for you. CU Boulder and Arizona both also have excellent engineering programs.

Good luck.

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The list looks solid, and the scores are respectable. Will you take Calc BC in senior year? What science in your senior year? Colleges look for rigor in senior year as well.

Yes, we have run the net price calculator and usually, it ends up around 35k give or take 3k, which we can do. Current safety schools fall well below that price point actually.

That’s good to know. You will certainly have some good options then! In addition to Utah, also have a look at ASU and UofA. The second one has a new honors college and merit is based solely on GPA. Both have well regarded engineering schools.

With reference to your EC’s, you may want to think about how to “package” them more concisely for the Common App. You can google helpful tips for doing this. Do not worry about what you don’t have, like ISEf or research paper or whatever. You have an interesting set of EC’s that you can work off of, and perhaps tie to your personal essays so everything seems cohesive.

Ahhh thank you!

Go back to recruited athlete - is that D1 or D3 - because that makes all the difference in the word - even at D3. And who is recruiting you - they can get you in.

I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding with the formating, I just took someone else’s template and added my information, but the:

Hooks (Recruited Athlete, URM, First-Gen, Geographic, Legacy, etc.):

is just to list out what type of “hooks” one has. From this list, I am only URM, but thanks for the advice!

When you say EE or maybe Finance - that’s a whole different game - and honestly, i would steer you to Alabama because they have the Engineering with MBA degree - and that could work for you. Is it top 50? no. Do they have tons of Ivy level kids and the nicest engineering campus in the country? Yes. Would you go for cheap? Yes.

I have heard of Alabama, but never quite considered it. Yes, I was eventually looking to get an MBA, but I didn’t know it had an Engineering + MBA program. I’ll have to look into this more, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

a Northeastern, Colorado School of Mines, Purdue, Florida, Va Tech, CWRU, BU, Rose Hulman, WPI, RPI, NC State, Ohio State ,Lehigh, and Pitt would be top 50 “engineering” types that would be good for you.

I had some of these on my list, others not so much. Most of these look like good match schools. Thanks for the advice!

The list looks solid, and the scores are respectable. Will you take Calc BC in senior year? What science in your senior year? Colleges look for rigor in senior year as well.

Yes, I’ll be taking AP Physics C, AP Calc BC, AP English Literature, AP Latin, AP Economics, AP American Government next year. So hopefully that is sufficient course rigor.

That’s good to know. You will certainly have some good options then! In addition to Utah, also have a look at ASU and UofA. The second one has a new honors college and merit is based solely on GPA. Both have well-regarded engineering schools.

Thanks! Interesting on the part of the honors college, didn’t know about that. It seems I have a bit more research to do.

With reference to your EC’s, you may want to think about how to “package” them more concisely for the Common App. You can google helpful tips for doing this. Do not worry about what you don’t have, like ISEf or research paper or whatever. You have an interesting set of EC’s that you can work off of, and perhaps tie to your personal essays so everything seems cohesive.

Yep, this is something I am going to have to work within some respects. I have already outlined a bit of a structure for my ECs, current hardest part is weaving it into my personal essay which kind of deviates a bit from my ECs (though I have something in mind). Thanks for your advice, it is really great!

I also get your point about what you don’t have with ISEF and such completely.

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ooh - i missed that - recruited athlete in the example type. my bad.

Obviously your URM will help. An ACT/SAT will help - but some schools are test blind (hello UC) and others optional and at those schools, a decent amount of their students are getting in without tests. As an example, Wesleyan (not engineering but still top) - 41% of their class was TO. At Trinity and Connecticut College, both solid program (non engineering), 58% - so if you apply to a school that accepts TOs, you’d still have a chance.

STEM Path to the MBA - Manderson Graduate School of Business

btw - the schools i recommended were off the niche top 50 - as us news doesn’t include the non PHD (so Rose Hulman, for example) - and many top 50 schools are not top engineering schools, etc.

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Most engineers would strongly advise against this path unless you are an IE. You won’t get hired to manage without the technical job experience, but it signals that you don’t want to do technical work. Avoid that.

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Forgot to mention that ASU also has an Honors college called Barrett Honors and is well known. They may give some merit as well - although it is not as straightforward as UofA.

Your overall coursework looks excellent and I think you will end up with some very good results. You may want to look into Lehigh for their combined business/engrg program. Now, I do not know how marketable these degrees are, but it looks like something to look into. I know you didn’t ask for reaches, but have a look at the M&T program at Penn Dual Degrees and Special Programs

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For CPSLO, be sure to include all of your pre-high-school foreign language courses, and all math algebra 1 (or integrated math 1) or higher taken prior to high school on the application, since CPSLO gives bonus points for additional semesters completed, but does not assume lower level courses if only the higher level courses are listed (unlike UC and CSU in general when determining a-g requirement completion).

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You have an interesting and diverse background (i.e. not like every other college applicant). Have you considered Rice? Small, great engineering school. A reach for everyone but you have the grades and ECs and hopefully the test scores.