He only applied and considered a few UC’s, but not any top CS schools like UCLA or UCB. He is a smart kid but only really excelled in the subjects he liked such as Math and Science.
The best way to determine rigor is a side by side comparison of the curriculum. He only compared UC Riverside to the Cal states curriculum.
He saw a difference in the Math sequence: Both UC’s and Cal states required Calc 1, Calc 2, Linear Algebra and Discrete Math. The UC’s required Multivariable Calculus while the Cal states required Stats.
Some schools started with C++ programming while others started with Java or Python.
CS is a rigorous curriculum regardless of where you study and saw several classmates changing majors after Freshman year.
He was happy at SDSU and with their CS program. He currently lives and works in the San Diego area.