Match me for Asian male CS major with mediocre stats


  • International citizen
  • State/Location of residency: Washington resident
    *Public HS
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity *Asian male

Intended Major(s)
Computer Science

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.8
  • SAT Scores: 1460

*7 APs (3-5s)
Took AP CS A and got a B+ in both semesters because teacher hated me but got a 5 on the test.


Nothing special. Joined robotics and CS honors club for 3 years. Volunteered to create a summer camp for middle schoolers to learn to code. NHS junior year. Varsity tennis in junior year. JV for freshman and sophomore years.


Cost Constraints / Budget
Not too big a factor


  • Reach
    UW seattle (very hard)

Looking for matches and reaches.

ECs: Nothing special. Joined robotics and CS honors club for 3 years. Volunteered to create a summer camp for middle schoolers to learn to code. NHS junior year. Varsity tennis in junior year. JV for freshman and sophomore years.

Leadership: No positions in school clubs. I led a summer camp for middle schoolers to learn to code.

Looking for colleges I can go where I can major in Computer Science. I have UW on my list even though it is a very high reach and WSU for safety.

I want to get a big college experience and prefer Washington and California (But other states are good too). I don’t have much of a preference otherwise except for it being a college with a good STEM program. Just want suggestions right now.

College culture: parties are not too important but I’m not a nerd/geek either

What is your college budget/year?

Budget: parents will pay upto 150k of tuition rest is on me.

Do the words I put in bold indicate you have a trust fund or $100K+ in a savings account in your own name?

I ask because if your parents have a budget for your college education of $37,500/yr, then your actual budget may be lower than you assume. Students are allowed to borrow in your own name an approximate maximum of $5,500 in your first year of college.

Add that to what your parents have budgeted and that gives you a total budget of approximately $43K/yr. That is more than enough for in-state tuition+R&B+fees at any public university in Washington, but not nearly enough for OOS tuition+R&B+fees in some other states.

For instance, OOS costs at UC-Irvine would be approximately $60K/yr. The total at a private university like Colorado College can top $70K/yr. Even at a private university where you might receive some merit-aid like at Whitman, your COA might be somewhat more than your budget.

Looking at this list of Best Computer Science Programs In the West, Oregon State U is the 5th best program. At an approximate COA of $42,500/yr for OOS students, OSU falls just within your budget. And starting this year, OSU begins participating in the WUE tuition alliance which will drop your COA to approximately $30K/yr.

Several states participate in the WUE, so you will have several very good options at public universities out of state. However, in CA only one UC (Merced) participates - the good news is 11 Cal-States participate.

If you’re interested in private universities, you should run the Net Price Calculator at each school’s website to see what your estimated COA will be. For instance searching for “Harvey Mudd NPC” yields a #1 link for this page which includes a link to Harvey Mudd’s Net Price Calculator. You can do that for any school you’re interested in, and receive a generally accurate estimate of your yearly COA.

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Purdue and UMD would be right around your max budget too.

WWU and WSU are low matches, not straight safeties, due to the higher selectivity of all CS majors and your status (international) plus the B+ in CS A although the 5 on the test may mitigate that.
You may do better if you apply to CS-adjacent majors (Bioinformatics, Data Science, Computing, HCI, Cybersecurity…)

150K budget = ~35K/year budget, very generous from your parents but low for private universities or OOS. Should cover all in-state public universities. For private and OOS, you’d depend on merit scholarships, to which you can add 5.5K in loans (loans are limited).
In California, that limits you to CSUs. You could apply to CPP, Cal Poly SLO, SJSU.
Oregon State with WUE, UOregon with a merit scholarship would be doable.
Mediocre recommendations and ECs will make private universities dicey.

UMD CP and Purdue would be close to 50K, right? Probably out out of budget, but run the NPC. Add UWisconsin and UMass Amherst in case it might be within budget with a possible scholarship.


Purdue OOS COA is $40-42K/year depending on housing selection. UMD may be closer to $45K but they are a bit more generous with merit.

Editing to add - OP - are you an international student or domestic student? I’m unclear since there was an implication that you are in state for WA.

If international, than Purdue will be $45K/year as there are some extra fees for international students. Unsure about UMD.

Washington residency for tuition purposes is described here:

Some international students may be eligible for Washington residency based on the linked page.

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My understanding is that OP is a resident for tuition purpose in the State of WA but international everywhere else.
@collegeKid2390 : can you let us know?

Yes, it’s important to confirm that you’re a WA resident for tuition purposes. From what I can see on the WICHE site, the only requirement to qualify for WUE reciprocity rates is that you qualify for in-state tuition in a participating state. So, WUE schools would broaden your list of affordable schools considerably. Consider U of Nevada, Reno as a California-adjacent option; Reno is less than 20 miles from the California border, near Lake Tahoe and the Northern Sierra ski resorts. UNR has a very reputable CS program, and I think you would qualify for their Honors College. The costs with the WUE discount would be well within your parents’ budget, and with your stats you could expect additional merit.

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Yes this is correct. I am a Washington resident and am elligible for in state tuition but have international citizenship

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What nation are you a citizen of?

Do you have permanent resident status?

India and no

Permanent resident status doesn’t matter, what matters for WUE is the fact Washington considers you a resident. Since you’re a resident for tuition purpose 1° all in state universities should be on your list 2° you can apply to WUE and have the same benefits as any WA resident. That gives you a decent list of universities within budget.
You could add UBC and Simon Fraser since they basically won’t care much about your ECs or LORs.


Utah is an obvious option for CS. Offers WUE and is a great campus for PAC-12 sports that’s in a much better location than WSU.

I would be nervous about going to Canada if you haven’t yet got a green card and hope stay in the US long term. Do you expect to age out before getting permanent resident status?

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