POSTING FOR MY CHILD: Chance / Match Me: 3.86 / 1500, Computational Finance / Quantitative Sciences, Canadian



  • Canadian citizen and resident(international student)
  • Type of high school (current college for transfers): Public high school, gifted program
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Male / Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.):

Intended Major(s) - Quantitative Science / Data Science / CS

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.86
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.13 incl. +0.5 for gifted program classes (honors)
  • Class Rank: Not listed
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1,500


  • Gifted program - regional gifted school (top 1.5% are admitted)


  • Conceived, created, leading volunteering province-wide website
  • Conceived, created, leading environmental app
  • Top 10-25% on all available math competitions
  • Certified Lifeguard instructor / lifeguard / swim instructor
  • Grade 10 first class honors music
  • Volunteer hockey coach
  • Provincial figure skater

*Essays will be strong, LORs will be from Math teacher, CS teacher, Economics teacher, hockey coach

Cost Constraints / Budget
*Up to $500k

*ED: Emory
EA: Georgia Tech
ED2: Carnegie Mellon
RD: NYU, Brandeis, USC, UC SB, UC Irvine, UC SD, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UCLA

  • Safety * - Canadian Schools (U Toronto, Waterloo, UBC)
  • Likely * - Hoping for Emory / Georgia Tech / Carnegie Mellon
  • Match - Emory, Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon,
  • Reach - Berkeley?

Looking for realistic assessment please - numbers are just numbers on a page.

These are all reaches with CMU a super reach.

Give them a shot, but you should add more realistic schools. Since you’re full pay, consider adding some more public schools that are highly ranked in CS/Data Science.

What makes Emory a top choice for you?


Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, and GT will be reaches. Why so many GA schools? Not sure if you are instate for GA given that you state you are Canadian and didn’t mention location of high school. If you are instate for GA, your chances will be better at GT.

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Is this $500K for all four years? IOW…$125,000 a year? If so, I think cost isn’t an issue at any college your child applies to.

You have Emory and CMU as both likely and match schools. For CS, I think these are matches…and actually CMU might be a reach. It’s one of the top CS programs in this country.

You have a nicely crafted list with some sure thing safety schools. For those schools that are need aware for admissions for international students, your ability to pay the full cost of attendance will help, I believe.

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Hi there, this to answer yours and DadofJerseyGirl question. We are looking for a friendly environment. The Georgia schools (and Berkeley, which is a reach) seem to fit this. Our child is not a cutthroat “I will seek to lie and cheat and do whatever to beat you” type of kid. We want a nice atmosphere where he can grow and accentuate his strengths without being mugged and/or taken advantage of by other students. Given this, are there other schools you would suggest considering?

I assure you, there are plenty of safe and friendly campuses across the country. Not just in Georgia (I’m curious to know why you think that).

CMU is most definitely a reach, perhaps a high reach as I said above. But beyond that, many students find it a very intense environment, and it sounds like that’s not what your son is looking for. So I recommend researching this school more, especially since you’re considering applying ED(2). Yes, it’s considered the top CS school in the country, but it’s not a good fit for everyone.

Since the student is not looking at schools where the desired majors have highly competitive secondary admission processes (e.g. Texas A&M, NC State), the likelihood of encountering a highly competitive environment is less with respect to the majors.

Another source of competitiveness is highly competitive professional goals, like pre-med. Elite finance employment can also be a highly competitive goal (and is also more college prestige conscious), though general CS or DS employment is not as competitive.

Why Emory?

Hi there!

Thank you for your reply! I forgot to include that our child is also part of JHU’s CTY program, and has been part of Mensa since 6 years old.

Emory seems like a relatively friendly school, respected, however, not one that everyone will kill each other to get into. Our child loves large projects - the bigger the better. As a research (R1 they said?) school, the learning for the purity of learning may suit him. . . .

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You may want to compare the CS and DS offerings at the various schools under consideration to see which schools’ departments have greater or more interesting upper level offerings.

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And also not a place particularly known for CS or DS. Which is why I asked why Emory?

But if you’re convinced that’s your top choice school, that’s fine.

Not sure what this means. There are 146 R1 universities in the U.S. Emory happens to be one of them. You should expand your list.

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Would you like some other options that are well known for these?

If you son chooses to major in data science, it seems that some subfield of economics will be likely to represent his associated focus (in the form of an “applied domain”). For this reason, he may want to research colleges with notably strong economics programs (especially those with an available data science/analytics major):

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UC Davis has always seemed “friendlier” to me than Berkeley, but that is just my opinion. Although Berkeley is better for skating, in my opinion, if that’s something he wants to continue in college.

Is this in Canadian or American dollars?

Also, does he want to continue to figure skate? Or watch his school play hockey? Any other interests or experiences that he’d like to get out of college?


@thumper1 yes please!

@AustenNut is excellent at finding colleges that might be of interest. I’m not a CS expert so I will leave that to the folks who are.

Okay, I’m going with the assumption that the budget is in CAD. As $125K CAD is about $92k USD, that should still cover any U.S. college, but there are schools whose COA is getting close to the limit.

You have smaller, medium, and larger schools on your list, so I will try and provide a variety. Not knowing more about your son’s interests, I noted which schools had varsity ice hockey programs, if that is something that matters to him.


  • Clarkson (NY): About 2700 undergrads, has ice hockey
  • Illinois Institute of Technology: About 3100 undergrads


  • Case Western (OH): About 6k undergrads, has figure skating club
  • Michigan Tech: About 5700 undergrads, has ice hockey & figure skating
  • Missouri U. of Science & Technology: About 5500 undergrads
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic: About 5900 undergrads, has figure skating club
  • U. of Rochester (NY): About 6800 undergrads, has figure skating club


  • Binghamton (NY): About 14k undergrads
  • Northeastern (MA): About 16k undergrads…will want lots of demonstrated interest, has ice hockey and figure skating


  • Arizona State: About 65k undergrads, has ice hockey and figure skating
  • Penn State: About 42k undergrads, has ice hockey and figure skating
  • U. of Maryland: About 30k undergrads, has figure skating club
  • U. of Massachusetts-Amherst: About 24k undergrads, has ice hockey and figure skating
  • U. of Wisconsin-Madison: About 36k undergrads, has ice hockey and figure skating

Edited to indicate schools that have figure skating clubs, per the list provided by @worriedmomucb

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And should figure skating be an interest, here is a list of all US universities that have a collegiate team:

You need to click on it to see the full list.

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If Waterloo is an actual safety then I would be hard pressed to consider any US schools outside the top CS/DS programs.