Please chance my son and Please advise. HELP !!!

<p>Male, junior public HS in Maryland, will apply to University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Purdue West Lafayette, Penn State University Park.
Major: Mechanical Engineer or Computer science as second choice.
Question 1: How is his chance? Working really hard to improve Critical Reading SAT, maybe around 50 to 100. How much minimum improvement of SAT score he must have?
Question 2: If all are reached, which good Engineering Colleges he should apply?</p>

<p>1st SAT: Reading:430, Math:660, Writing:510 = 1600
2nd SAT: Reading:470, Math:680, Writing:630 = 1780
will take on June and maybe October 2010 if needed.
GPA:
To third quarter grade 11: GPA: 3.15 Cumulative WGPA: 3.73
Fourth quarter : straight A, might become GPA: 3.2 Cumulative WGPA: 3.8
Grade 12: GPA might be the same because 3 hard AP classes, cannot be better :-((
Classes:
-English: Hon English 9, 10, 11.
-Math: Algebra1, Hon Geometry, Hon Algebra2, Hon Pre Calc, AP Calculus AB.
-Science: Hon Biology, Hon Chemistry, Hon Physics.
-Social Study: Hon US History, AP GOVPL US NSL, AP World History.
-Fine Arts: Guitar, Ceramic/SCULP.
-Foreign language: Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Hon Spanish 3.
-Physical: CONCNTRD PHYS ED, SPECLTY PHYS ED, Heath.
-CTE/ Technology: DSCVR Programming CON( Visual Basic).
-Elective: SAT Prep, TV Production1, Teacher Aid.
-Grade 12 already registered: AP Lit, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics, TV Production2, Introduction of Engineering, Teacher Aid.
Sport:
-Grade 9, 10 : Junior Varsity Football
-Grade 11 : Varsity Volleyball.
SSL : 80 hours</p>

<p>Unfortunately, most of the colleges that your son is applying to will not look closely at his whole record - they will look at his SAT scores and his GPA. I've only visited PSU Main so won't speak for the others, but here's info from PSU - Student</a> Body and Admissions Statistics - Penn State Undergraduate Admissions </p>

<p>Middle 50% GPA & SAT Range</p>

<p>High School GPA (4.0 scale)</p>

<p>Penn State University Park 3.52-3.97
All other campuses 2.96-3.46</p>

<p>Combined SAT*</p>

<p>Penn State University Park 1750-1990
All other campuses 1470-1720</p>

<p>I'd say he has a shot, but for engineering they are even more selective then other majors.</p>

<p>Maryland parent here.</p>

<p>With your son's GPA and SAT scores (even with some improvement on critical reading), I think that admission to the University of Maryland at College Park is unlikely. Even for students whose math + critical reading scores add up to 1300, admission is not a sure thing.</p>

<p>UMBC is a possibility, but your son may want to check out the less selective Maryland four-year state colleges as well -- Towson, Salisbury, and Frostburg are the ones I know about.</p>

<p>For Penn State, he's more of a candidate for the other campuses than University Park. </p>

<p>Sometimes, Maryland students whose credentials are not good enough for UMCP and who do not want to go to the other Maryland state schools apply to the University of Delaware or some of the Virginia state schools, such as James Madison, George Mason, or Virginia Tech. And some Maryland students, particularly those from the western part of the state (Hagerstown, etc.) have a very positive opinion of West Virginia University, which is not overly selective in terms of admissions, even for out of staters. Your son might want to check out some of those schools as possibilities, but I think he needs a safety school in the Towson/Salisbury/Frostburg selectivity range as well.</p>

<p>If he applies to Penn State the will ask him to list other Penn State Campuses as second choices. If accepted at one of the other campuses he can do the 2+2 program where he starts at the other campus and then transfers to University Park for the final two years. I have a friend who did this and liked the first two years so much that she decided to stay there. She has never regretted it. Be sure to check which of the other Penn State campuses have engineering before choosing those to apply to.</p>

<p>That CR score is going to be an issue at most places. It is below the national average, I believe and very much below the flagship university campuses you list. Any reason that is so much lower than the math? </p>

<p>What about the ACT? Any chance he can take that test.</p>

<p>Re: applying as an engineering major...DD is graduating as an engineering major from a private university in two weeks. Her SAT scores were much higher than your son's...but still...she KNEW she would not get accepted as a freshman engineering major as the criteria for acceptance is actually HIGHER than for arts and sciences. She was a top 5% student in her high school with a very agressive courseload...and great ECs too. Still...her SAT scores (580 CR/650 math) were not in the competitive range for admittance directly to engineering. She matriculated as undeclared arts and sciences...and took the engineering sequences of bio/chem/calc her freshman year and declared her engineering major during her sophomore year which HER school allowed her to do.</p>

<p>DS...his ONLY college rejection was from UMDCP...CR 720/Math 600...High school unweighted GPA 3.4. We never really quite figured out why he didn't get accepted there...</p>

<p>
[quote]
DS...his ONLY college rejection was from UMDCP...CR 720/Math 600...High school unweighted GPA 3.4. We never really quite figured out why he didn't get accepted there...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Just supply and demand, I think. Of course he was qualified to do the work there. But admissions seem to be getting more competitive every year -- to the point where Maryland students may have a better chance of admission to other states' flagship universities (except for Virginia and North Carolina) than their own. </p>

<p>My son got into UMCP six years ago with a 720/640 and a 3.5 unweighted (4.0 weighted) GPA. A student with the same credentials might have difficulty getting admitted now.</p>

<p>Has he thought about taking the ACT? That test might be better suited for him. Is there any particular reason why the Reading Score is so low? Some engineering schools are used to "lopsided" scores, but his seem very low. He might benefit from test prep / study, but it will be hard to raise them enough. But his grades and course load seem well suited for engineering, so there has to be a good fit out there, especially if there is a "story" about not being good at standardized tests.</p>

<p>Has he considered taking the SAT prep class from Kaplan or one of those agencies? My son did, and from his initial practice test to final SAT, he improved about 400 points. Well worth the time and money, though I know it doesn't help everyone.</p>

<p>I think I had a 420 CR (trying to recall my scores, I think I had 420 - CR, 690 - writing, and 730 - math, but I took that way in the beginning of my junior year and hadn't done much trig yet) and I got into Michigan Engineering. Though I think they disregarded my SAT and looked at my ACT, which I had a 29 composite on. </p>

<p>I don't recommend applying for Michigan OOS though, I don't think he'd get in. But I don't think the CR scores are as important as you may think. Though for engineering you might want to try to get him to get his Math score up, that one is very important.</p>

<p>Hi all,
He is an American kid and was born in USA, not like me with broken English.
He went to C2 Education (similar as Huntington, Sylvan..) for a year, spent lot of money( more than 10,000 already).
He will consider ACT if the June 5 SAT next Saturday is still low as you advise.
His GPA 3.2 / 3.8 in the end of 11 grade. That's it , too late for improvement.
He can easily get over 700 in Math, but over 600 in CR is almost a dream. Working hard on CR now for June 5. We are living 10 minutes from UMDCP and 20 minutes from UMDBC, if these 2 colleges are reached, we are willing to pay for out of state engineering colleges, he can do good in Math ,Physics and Programming but a nightmare in English, History, Biology. The worst case is he must attend Community College and it will be a heartbreaking.
Question :Is there any particular reason why the Reading Score is so low?
That is what we want to find out but still do not know ( He took Hon English 9, 10, 11 with grade B). I guess because of Vocabulary, he just fininished 400 words from 2 Direct Hits books today and ready to try on next Saturday . If fail again , do you think he should keep trying on October SAT test or just forget it and take ACT. Someone told me Science in ACT is just an additional Critical Reading.
Purdue and UMDBC are used Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates, IF IF IF he can get 600 on next SAT. Do you think he will get a chance ?
Is it easier to get in colleges with undeclared major , study hard on Engineering required courses in 2 years, and ask for major. I do not know how it works and what is the difference from declared major and undeclared major. Please explain to me.
Thanks all.</p>

<p>I think you need some less competitve engineering schools. Marian listed some schools but I don't think they all have mechanical engineering. I would also recommend not thinking that cc is a disaster. Just make sure the community college has an articulated transfer programs with UMd-CP. </p>

<p>By the way, will you be needing financial aid? Those out of state publics usually aren't very good for fa. </p>

<p>As far as his SAT, I would have him take the ACT this June if possible. I would also have him repeat the SAT in the fall. Personally, I would stop throwing $ at his SATs because they are in line with his gpa. I don't think bumping up his SAT will give him a much greater chance. </p>

<p>Oh, and lots of schools will not allow non-engineering students to take engineering classes their first 2 years. I doubt UMd allows that but you can check.</p>

<p>The courses most students take in their first two years are the prerequisites to the engineering courses...calculus, biology, chemistry, and any core courses their school requires. The thing the OP needs to find out is IF it's possible to switch majors into engineering after the freshman year...my guess is that will be a yes...but it certainly will be easier for the student if they are taking the sequence of science and math required for their engineering degree...NOT THE ENGINEERING COURSES.</p>

<p>Re: Community college....DH is a successful electrical engineer/project manager/designer. He did his first TWO years at a community college and then transfered to a four year school where he completed his engineering courses..and got his bachelors degree. This is not impossible to do.</p>

<p>Re: the courses this student has difficulty with...most schools..even engineering programs...require coure courses in the humanities and English that the student will have to pass. AND even engineers have to do some writing and reading...it's not just all about the math and science.</p>

<p>By the way, based on Naviance, I think he does have a very good chance at UMBC but I'm not sure how much harder it is to get into engineering. I still think you need a safety or two-- but the safety might vary depending on your need for financial aid. I will say this-- if you live near UMd, I think your son should look at schools in the DC area (even if he has to commute) before considering a place like Frostburg. Frostburg is <em>very</em> remote and their mechanical engineering program actually requires watching UMd classes on television.</p>

<p>"Question :Is there any particular reason why the Reading Score is so low?
That is what we want to find out but still do not know ( He took Hon English 9, 10, 11 with grade B). I guess because of Vocabulary"</p>

<p>This doesn't sound like a vocabulary issue to me. If this were my kid, I start by talking to his English teachers and his tutors. After paying $10k on test prep, I'd expect someone to have a very clear explanation of what his CR challenges are. I'd expect them to have analyzed his SAT CR sections to see what kind of mistakes he was making and whether they could discern a pattern. I might also have him tested to see if there is some kind of specific reading-related problem. Lots of smart kids can get good grades by working hard and learning disabilities/ challenges go undiagnosed as a result. Once he's off to college and the volume of reading and writing picks up, he may find himself in trouble.</p>

<p>Another school to consider is Rowan University, which is a less selective public University in NJ which offers engineering.</p>

<p>College</a> Navigator - Rowan University</p>

<p>Their 25-75 enrolled SAT scores are CR 470-570, Math 490-600, Writing 470-570. That is for the school as a whole, not for engineering specifically.</p>

<p>You might want to check out and visit WPI. His math SAT and grades are in line. When we visited, I got the sense that they look at each kid as an individual, and not just the numbers.</p>

<p>I ditto what M Mom said - this looks like there might be a hidden learning disability. Very smart kids can often function at such a high level that the disability goes undetected. Some kids have difficulty not with the vocab, but with the nuances of the questions. Talk to his teachers and/or tutor to explore what could be happening.</p>

<p>How about West Virginia University? Excellent Engineering college and easier admissions. </p>

<p>I think the avg. SAT at WPI is 630-710 for math, which would make it a bit of a reach. If price is a concern, it's also quite a bit more then the State Schools OP is looking at.</p>

<p>University of Hartford has a great engineering program. U Hart is not particularly competitive for admittance in terms of those SAT scores. I do not know whether students applying directly to engineering are held to a higher standard when their admissions decisions are made. It is a private school and will be more expensive than the in state public universities the OP had listed.</p>