Reverse Chance for CS

GPA: 3.8-3.9 I don’t have the exact numbers yet

Course Rigor: Did not take the AP Test for all classes but I will have 11 by the end of senior year otherwise all Pre-AP except for required classes. Top 10 public school in the state

ACT:34 E35 M33 R34 S32

Plan on taking SAT Math Subject 2 Test

Race and Gender:Asian/Indian Male

Income: Middle to Upper Class

Residency: Missouri


-Robotics for 4 years: will be Treasurer for Senior Year, on programming team

-Technology Student Association for 2 years: Competed in International Rocketry Challenge and Glider Challenge sponsored by Boeing at Wash U

-NHS 3 years

-Viking Leadership Council: 50 students selected across the school to advise Activities director on ways to make the school a better place

-Boeing Explorer Post: Won 1st place out of 4 teams as Chief Systems Engineer, teams were made up of about 200 people across the STL Bi-State Area, possible Boeing summer internship lined up for the next summer

-Summer Camps: Invited to Leadership in Practice camp at Westminster College in MO; attended Space Exploration camp at Missouri S&T, was the Schematics lead

-3 years of Varsity Tennis, went to Districts 2 times, have 1 1st place medal 3 2nd place medals and 3 3rd place medals for Conference championships

-Volunteer Hours should be at local hospital and pet shelter 100+

-Volunteer at middle school lego robotics club and help with competition design and technical difficulties

-Mu Alpha Theta for 3 years, tutor students on math

Possible hook?: First person in family to attend US college

-Worked as a dishwasher at local restaurant over summer

My list currently consists of EA Purdue, EA UIUC (FAT reach) and Missouri S&T (as an in-state/ safety school). Can you tell me if these three are a good start as well as other colleges I may want to look at. Money is not that big of a problem for me but I don’t want to pay more than I should. Thanks

UIUC and Missouri S&T make sense. As potential additions along a tech-oriented theme, consider RPI and Lehigh. If you’d like a reach, consider Rice. For public universities strong in CS, look into UMass, UMichigan, UWashington.

I haven’t heard much about UMass. I was looking at UMichigan and UWashington but they look like reaches for me. Is that true or not? Also, what do you think about UWisconsin Madison and UCSD? Would UCSD be too expensive? Sorry if that’s a lot but I really appreciate the response.

UCSD as an OOS applicant would cost you around $65K/year to attend. UC’s give little to no financial aid to OOS students either need-based or merit based. If $260K for 4 years is in your budget, then definitely apply. Always run the Net Price Calculators on any schools of interest to confirm.

Some schools (and it seems many or most public universities) admit by major. This can create a challenge with respect to estimating your chances. Based on your profile, I wouldn’t rule out too many schools because of this though. I’d recommend you continue to look widely – Northwestern, IIT, TAMU, Georgia Tech, Harvey Mudd, UC–Riverside – it may be too early to say what type of school will resonate with you. Also, If you might like to study CS in the context of varied offerings in the arts and sciences, look into a few colleges with balanced and generally accessible curricula (which may offer the added benefit of allowing you to choose your major at your sole discretion).

Regarding finances, you may want to explore highly selective private and public school options with respect to their actual costs: This might be one of my main recommendations to you at this time.

“Middle to Upper Class” is vague. Maybe that means your family income is around $200K, in which case you’d get no aid at OOS public schools, but possibly a little need-based aid at selective private schools such as Wash U St. L. or Rice. If it means $300K, forget about n-b aid. If it means $150K and you have siblings, well then places like Rice and WUSTL might give you lower net prices than some OOS public universities.

So you need to run the online net price calculators on any schools that interest you.