Mismatch stats looking for recommendations


  • US citizen
  • Residence: NYC, NY
  • Type of high school : large public school (avg sat is ~1400)
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity : non URM male
  • Other special factors: n/a

Intended Major(s)

  • Computer Science

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 2.8-2.9/80-85 (predicted)
  • Weighted HS GPA : n/a
  • Class Rank: n/a
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1490 SAT (780M, 710RW) (plan on retaking for 1500+), 1360 PSAT (700M, 660RW)


  • A’s in mostly first half of the year (~96 UW), dropped to ~70’s during last half due covid/other problems
  • 0 APs, 4 Honors
  • D’s and F’s (would have made my gpa a lot lower but most of these are credited out so they don’t count towards my gpa)
  • 1 AP
  • school i transferred into doesn’t offer honors
  • picked up steam again for first half after returning to in-person school (90’s) but dropped backed to mostly C’s and D’s in this second half
  • 4 APs
  • not here yet but will def be taking at least 3 APs, possibly 4-5
    coursework throughout has been very STEM oriented


  • 2nd place at a poetry contest in 8th grade, yeah big rip here


  • small coding EC during Jr year
  • plan on doing more (hopefully) over the summer


  • I quite honestly don’t know how I’m going to get any LORs (I don’t talk much, if at all, to my teachers), I might consider applying without them or where only one is needed
  • had/have some personal problems which might be able to partially explain bad grades but won’t be enough. i just want to say though that my course load has very little effect on my grades. if i were taking the easiest classes i’d still have about the same grades. my low gpa isn’t because of my inability to absorb the material but mainly just lack of participation and missing a lot of homework
  • looking to sell on potential in my essays (which is why I’m trying to bump my sat), though i know my stats are a big red flag
  • plan on writing about how despite my grades i genuinely enjoy learning and how im interested in many things (mainly cs, math and art related)
  • have done art my whole life, and plan on talking about how ive stuck with that and improved my skills throughout the years

Cost Constraints / Budget

  • because of my less than outstanding college outlook I plan on attending somewhere cheap
  • i don’t know much else about this though, but I’m middle class for NYC standards


  • unsure but I plan on applying to SUNYs (not CUNYs).
  • looking for an urban campus but am open to options (i cant really be a chooser in my situation)
  • any school size but preferably large
  • plan on transferring in one or two years once i get my ■■■■ together
  • only regions/locations that im not open to are NYC (open to rest of state), LA (Louisiana) and AK
  • dont care much about sports/greek life
  • off-brand MIT would be nice (more like a pop up 99 cents store MIT in a sketchy alley with my gpa)
    *willing to attend CC if absolutely recommended but I’d really not want it to come to this

Thanks to anyone willing to help me and my mess of resume out
will be writing another one of these in a year or two hopefully then with a much more promising profile

I would very strongly suggest you consider starting at a community college…take courses there…and get excellent grades. Prove that you have what it takes to be successful taking college courses. Then transfer to a SUNY to complete your degree.

@sybbie719 your thoughts?


OMG - “more like a pop up 99 cents store MIT in a sketchy alley with my gpa” is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

Before you start looking at colleges, have you taken care of the issues that have caused your grades to be so low? If not, my recommendation would be to tackle those first so you can really focus and give it your all when you get there. You don’t want to waste money and rack up more bad grades; you want college to be a chance to prove what you can really do under better circumstances.


Love this characterization.

1 Like

Why are you so set against CUNY? With your aptitude, but low GPA, it would seem the right place for you. They have your major at several of the CUNYs, it’s cheap, and the classes would be at a higher level than at a community college. If you do well, perhaps you could transfer to a SUNY .


Work with your family to figure out your budget first. Self identified Middle class NYC could be an annual family household income of $50,000 to $500,000 depending on a family’s perspective. You will not trigger a ton of merit aid, but you might be surprised be the smaller “likely admit” colleges that see your potential and give you a little.

There are colleges like Wentworth Institute of Tech that may give you the learning environment you are interested in. CUNY and SUNY are also great options to pursue.

Definitely look at course options and gen Ed requirements. What do you want to do in CS? If you want to do programming there are folks doing condensed coding schools and bootcamps and moving onto the work force. A non- traditional path may be great for you.

For the real dollar store MIT version - head to the MIT open source courses. There are some great options - https://ocw.mit.edu/


First of all, I know someone who started off similarly (through what I think was probably all 5 years of high school). Went to a mediocre college, did really, really well, transferred to a very good university, did really, really well, and ended up as a tenured professor at a university that he never could have gotten accepted to straight out of high school. This is possible. It is possible to succeed from where you are today.

One issue is that you need to get your motivation straightened out. Whatever has been distracting you from doing your best needs to be dealt with. Whatever personal problems you have been dealing with need to be straightened out before you start at any college or university.

Then I tend to agree with @thumper1. My guess is that you will probably need to start at community college.

I would not start at community college until you are ready to put in a consistent effort and do your best every day that you are there. When you are ready, then two strong years at community college will allow you to transfer to a good university.

You should take this one day at a time. Do the best that you can do today. Then repeat tomorrow. Then repeat the day after.

Your SAT score, plus the fact that you have taken the time to post your question here and to do a very good and eloquent job of describing your situation, suggests that you can do this.

I do not think that you need to take any AP classes your senior year. However if you make an effort to get consistently good grades your senior year this will make it easier for your to transfer to a good university when the time comes.


I totally agree with those who have said that you need to make sure you are healthy and have successfully tackled any of the issues that have kept you from doing your best academically. Until that happens, there is little hope of academic success.

Community college is an excellent idea. Most community colleges have much smaller classes than at the 4-year universities, so you can get a lot more personalized attention from your instructors. You can still live in a dorm and have the experience of living “away” while attending a community college. Some New York CCs with residential options to consider include:

  • Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie with about 8k students
  • SUNY Broome Community College in Binghamton with 5300 students…particularly if you decide to transfer to SUNY Binghamton after a couple of years (which has roughly 16k students)
  • Monroe Community College in Rochester with about 10k students
  • Onondaga Community College in Syracuse with about 8500 students

If your heart is really set on starting with a 4-year college experience, these are some schools that you might consider. They are sorted according to my guess of what your chances might be at these institutions. These are all residential colleges, primarily in suburban or urban areas, though there are a couple rural ones thrown in. I tried to keep the costs on the lower end as 1) you don’t know your budget yet, and 2) your family may not be willing to spend as much money if they’re not as confident in how you will do in college.

Extremely Likely (80-99+%)

  • Kutztown (PA ): about 6500 undergrads

Likely (60-79%)

  • Rowan (NJ): about 15k undergrads
  • SUNY Oswego: about 6900 undergrads
  • York (PA ): about 3400 undergrads
  • Westfield State (MA): about 3900 undergrads; if you get your GPA up to a 3.0 then you might qualify for the $5k out-of-state scholarship
  • SUNY College of Technology at Alfred: about 3400 undergrads

Toss-Up (40-59%)

  • SUNY Oneonta: about 5400 undergrads
  • U. at Buffalo: about 21k undergrads

Lower Probability (20-40%)

Low Probability (0-19%)

1 Like

Do you have ADHD? You mention missing assignments and lack of participation, which made me wonder bc my son has ADHD and was very much like this before he began seeing a coach and taking medication. It can be difficult to complete school work, particularly in subjects that aren’t of interest. Zoom school was a disaster for him. You seem very sharp and have good test scores—maybe spend some time figuring out your executive functioning in the classroom and your grades will reflect the same thing.

I agree with the others about figuring out how to be successful in a college environment at a CUNY first. You can transfer somewhere else in a couple of years if you want to. Good luck!!

Alfred State is good for Art & Design as well as CS. You’d have a lot of options there, and it’s pretty accessible GPA-wise. It has both 4-year programs and transfer pathways. Maybe a good place to explore your interests and keep your options open.


I would first make sure your mental health is in check and I would rule out ADHD etc.

You could look at Buffalo State, but I would start at a community college and then transfer. Many community colleges have articulation agreements with a variety of schools, including SUNY.

I was talking to a woman whose daughter graduated HS with a 2.0. She spent two years at our CC and was accepted to Binghamton.

Its the location not really the schools themselves. I’m not really keen on staying in my home city since it’d probably make more sense to commute from home rather than a dorm and I really don’t want to stay at home longer than I have to. Its not a terrible home just not ideal to study in. And renting an apartment is out of the question unless I room with someone. I’m probably going to research more into this though.

1 Like

I noticed you mentioned transferring to SUNYs but it would still be possible, even if very difficult, to transfer to ivy-level schools, right? Because I was thinking of working to transfer into schools like CMU and Cornell. Or should I just wait until grad school to pursue these schools?

As mentioned…you need to deal with whatever it is that is getting in the way of you doing better in your coursework. Then you need to show that you are capable of being successful taking college courses.

Yes, community college students do get accepted (very low acceptance rates) at places like Ivy League school and CMU. But really…why do you think you MUST get your bachelors from one of these colleges?

1 Like

Holy, I didn’t know people who made more than 300,000 considered themselves middle class.
Definitely middle class, though.

I’ve heard of code bootcamps but I know they can be quite expensive. I also want to have the college experience, as I don’t think I’ve really had much of a high school one. I’ve also seen MIT OCW and other free educational resources. I’m not really sure why I haven’t looked more into or really dove into them, though. I’ll probably look more into, thanks for reminding me about it

1 Like

The very top ranked schools in most cases take very few transfer students (Cornell might be an exception, most likely from community colleges in New York State). However, in my experience the graduate programs at top ranked universities accept students who graduated from a very, very wide range of undergraduate universities. I have two close family members who got their bachelor’s degrees at universities that are NOT in the top 100 in the US, but either got or are currently working on a graduate degree from a school at the “Ivy League / top 5 in North America” level.

But again this is a one day at a time and one semester at a time thing. Start doing well today and tomorrow. The top universities are going to still be there for quite a while.


For 7K/yr tuition at CUNY, you can darn well study in the library! But seriously, my kids all studied in the library or other campus buildings, because they conditioned themselves to work in those spaces, and there were too many distractions in the dorms. In fact, my husband and I did the same. I never studied in my dorm room, or dorm common room.

I totally understand wanting to move out of your parents home. But in your situation, starting nearby while living at home, at an inexpensive but respected 4 yr school, is the ideal situation. If I were in your position, heck, I WAS in your position pretty much at one point in college, it is a fantastic way to go. You leave early in the AM, you stay all day at classes and the library or computer lab or whatever place you like to study, you go home at night. No distractions. You get straight A’s in your first year or two, then transfer to the best SUNY program if you want, or just stay right there and finish up at CUNY. Total cost of degree would be 28K at CUNY, all covered by your federal student loan if the family cannot cover the tuition. It’s a fantastic deal.

I’m not saying you have to do this. But make darn sure to apply to the best CUNY program for you that is likely to accept you, because that may wind up being your most sensible option, financially and academically.


I know I can get my bachelor’s from anywhere else and id be fine. Even if I stayed at community college and didn’t transfer id probably be fine as well. But Id want to get my bachelor’s at one of the higher ranked schools for pretty much the same reason I transferred into my current school.
I feel like I’d have a better overall experience at one of these better schools. I feel like I’d get more opportunities and options at a better school. I also think socially I’d be better off at a school like CMU than my community college. Going from a hs ranked bottom 20th percent in the state to a hs ranked top 100 in the country was a huge difference. It’s definitely a lot better here than at my old school. the people here actually care about school and people share more similar interests generally. I’d also be a liar if I didn’t prestige was also a big part of it.
I know it’s pretty elitist but from what I’m going off of going to a better school suits me well.

On a diff account account btw (I didnt know this one existed)

When I was doing well I was doing homework at libraries, and that gave me great results. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to do that everyday and stay out that long. I think it might get exhausting but seeing this I think I’m gonna have to reconsider my decision to not apply to CUNYs.