My chances with falling GPA and medium ACT

I maintained 4.9 weighted gpa till 10th but dropped to 4.525 in junior. ACT is at 29 and going to retry in July. What are my chances in TX for computer science or engineering?

A drop in marks in grade 11 is not uncommon: the combination of increasing difficulty and higher expectations in your ECs often takes a toll.

Your school GC will be able to answer your question better than anybody here.

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Also you may be able to apply to test optional schools if you are not happy with your scores, though sometimes merit aid depends on scores. This list is comprehensive and includes top schools: FairTest | The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Note that COVID caused more schools to be test-optional and it remains to be seen which ones remain that way. But many top and excellent schools were on this list pre-COVID too.

I think it is probably worth it to try again with the ACT but at some point the stress isn’t worth it and you probably can spend your time and energy better on EC’s that you enjoy vs test prep.

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A 29 ACT is very good btw - no it’s not elite - but we are reading about top students on the CC. It’s 91st percentile - so no shame. Is it Rice or Austin - no.

What is your weighting system - not on a 4 point because no way you’d have a 4.9 that early…so on a 5 point.

If you are looking for a public school, you’ll be fine - like a Texas State or UT Arlington for example.


In Texas, admission to a university is based on class rank, admission to a major within that university is based on academic background.
So, what’s your class rank, what university are you aiming for, and what majors?

Major was Cs or engineering Gotta rink there are schools like TTU where they are fine.

Class rank also dropped to 33%. I’m looking for a public university

The problem is that Texas public universities admit based on rank.
Not being top 10 or top 20% limits your choices among these, whereas private universities will be able to be more holistic.

Anyway, here are possibilities:
-Your ACT means automatic qualifications for TTU (you’re above the required class rank+ ACT score combination already). Run the NPC: if it’s affordable, you have a safety. You can apply through ApplyTexas on July1.
-You"re also assured admission (class rank+ score) at UHouston for CS as long as you meet their subject requirements, which I assume you do. You’d also have a shot at Honors College.
-UTD for CS is going to be a reach and you wouldn’t qualify for merit scholarships, however the program is highly sought after by employers so it may be worth applying.
-UT-SA is a safety, guaranteed admission even for CS and great shot at Honors College and Distinguished Scholarship (despite the discrepancy between class rank and score, I think it’s a good bet and at UT-SA it really helps). Good program in cybersecurity.

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Thanks a lot for your time to go in detail. What is NPC?
Also hearing about Honors college for the first time.

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net price calculator
Each college decides how much your family must by using their very own unique system. As a result, your EFC (“minimum your family will pay for college”) may be, say, $5,000 but one college will give you a merit scholarship, another will expect you to pay just that, and another one will expect $8,000! (Or substitute the numbers: 15K/5k/18K…)
It used to be there was no way to know. On the other hand, public college used to be dirt cheap back when we/your parents went to college.
Therefore, by law since the Obama era (a reason many parents don’t know about it), you no longer have to guess: you can enter information in an anonymous calculator that calculates in the same way the college does and it spits out the number it’ll expect your family to pay. If they ask for GPA, class rank, test scores, it means they’re considering you for scholarships; if they don’t, look at the college’s “freshman scholarships” page to see what they offer in the “automatic” and “competitive” categories.

Honors colleges provide you with a better learning environment: interactive classes rather than straight lectures, an opportunity to meet professors, a more personalized education, and often a scholarship.

Although it’s far from Texas, run the NPC on a well-known college, WPI, and if it seems affordable, look into it. Its philosophy is great for STEM and CS.

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Many Texas public universities have automatic admission criteria that may include top >33% class rank (perhaps in combination with sufficient test scores). For example:

And a full ride scholarship if your unweighted GPA >= 3.5:

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