UCs and other schools or am I just kidding myself...

<p>Hi :). I've always imagined myself being a pretty good candidate for the middle tier UCs, but now I'm not so sure anymore, especially after my junior year. I attend a nationally ranked high school in Northern California where admittance was based on GPA and test scores.</p>

<p>My UC unweighted GPA is 3.18 and weighted is 3.54
- Geometry Honors in soph. yr but course is not accredited for weighted scaling.
- 3 APs and 2 honors for junior yr 1st semester --> dropped to 1 honors 2nd semester. I recieved a D in PreCalc Honors so I decided to drop to regular in which I received an A. (Am I not allowed to apply to UCs b/c of my D, or did the A in 2nd semester regular override the D? My counselor said it does, but I am not so sure)</p>

<p>SAT: 1950 (cr:640 m:700 w:610)
-took once and will retake this October and maybe November if time permits.</p>

<p>My ECs are nothing amazing, especially compared to everyone else's on cc.
-swam competitively for 6 years outside of school
-volunteered at a hospital one summer
-Doctors Without Borders Club 1 year
-Volunteers Club 1 year (which I will join again for senior year)
-member of California Scholarship Federation
-took part in a summer program that traveled to a third world country where we ultimately planned our own community service project. It was not based on our ability to pay, but was an application process for nominated students and 10-12 students were selected per school. </p>

<p>College List:
UCB and UCLA (probably won't apply)
USC (huge reach? but i have always loved the idea of attending since 8th grade)
University of Washington (again, huge reach?)</p>

<p>Any advice or opinion is greatly appreciated. And does anyone have any college suggestions? Thanks!</p>

<p>The UC's are all reaches in my opinion. Same with USC. In fact, all those schools may be reaches because of your relatively low GPA and SAT. Retake the SAT if possible to at least a 2100 and your chances will be greatly increased. I don't think the second-semester A in Precalculus overrides the first semester D. Grades don't usually work that way. You'll want to apply to some safeties just in case you don't get into any of those schools. Good luck. </p>

<p>If you get the chance,
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/968749-chance-me-hamilton-dartmouth-vanderbilt.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/968749-chance-me-hamilton-dartmouth-vanderbilt.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I hate to burst your bubble but I just want to tell it like it is - someone I know had similar/basically the same stats as yours and was rejected from all of the UCs you listed here (they were in-state too). Thus, USC and University of Washington are reaches as well. </p>

<p>With all things considered, however, it's not like you haven't accomplished great things during high school. So I don't think you should see the UCs as the end-all and be-all. Do you want to attend a public or private school? I would rethink your college choices as a whole. Set apart two reaches, a few matches and two safety schools. I know that there are quality CSUs (Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU San Francisco, CSU San Diego) and smaller private colleges (Occidental, Scripps, Chapman, Pepperdine) in California that would love to have you. What are your general interests? You may not know your exact major just yet but are you geared more to the arts or humanities? After you've decided this, I recommend looking at one of Princeton Review's "Best Colleges for B Students" books in the library or bookstore. You probably don't have to buy it to get an idea but write a few names down. I know this title has been helpful to many people who want to get a respectable education but may not have had the numbers for top colleges. The UC system is extremely competitive and a lot of people were rejected from UCs (at least, at my school) that they were confident about. </p>

<p>Hope this helps. Best of luck!</p>

<p>Thank you so much for your input!</p>

<p>I always thought that the private colleges like Occidental and Claremont Colleges are much more competitive and out of reach for me. I have not yet had time to look at the Princeton Review book, so does anyone have any recommendations? LACs and national universities are both fine. However I was thinking about majoring in biology, so would that make a difference in what colleges I should be looking into?</p>

<p>Also, does anyone know if GPA includes freshman year? I've been looking through stats posted in cc, school websites, naviance, etc for other schools and I wasn't sure because I know UCs don't include it. If freshman year is included, my unweighted gpa would be a bit higher.</p>

<p>I like your college list, especially some of the UCs you picked( UCD is a GREAT school for your intended major, and should be a match if you improve your SATs a bit). Your grade in Precalc Honors though would not be replaced by your second semester Precalc scores though because=> 1. The courses aren't of equivalent level of rigor-one is honors while the other isn't, don't get me wrong though, you deserve recognition for your grade. 2. Getting a lower score the first semester DOESN'T override your grade, although it might allow you to continue on to a higher level course next year.
UCD- Most likely slight reach due to the competitive bio program( although you won't be disappointed if you make it.)
UCI-high match/slight reach
UCSB-high match/slight reach
UCB and UCLA (probably won't apply)-Reaches, but don't think you don't stand a chance
USC (huge reach? but i have always loved the idea of attending since 8th grade)- low reach without financial aid, Reach if requesting it.
University of Washington (again, huge reach?)- same category as above</p>

<p>UCD -in
UCI - most likely in
UCSB - most likely in
UCSC - in
UCB and UCLA - possible, but unlikely with GPA (your SAT score is fine)
USC - idk i hate USC :P
University of Washington -dunno this school well enough</p>

<p>I feel a bit more reassured now, but from what I understand the UCs are still going to be a challenge in getting into. Does anyone have any school suggestions and would liberal arts schools be out of my reach? I am not particularly interested in CSUs (but I will apply). Also, I researched upon the CSUs that would be better for a bio major and they were mostly out of my service area, which I assume would make it harder for me to get in. </p>

<p>^^ that was kind of pointless lol.</p>

<p>SO... my final question is "Does anyone have any school suggestions for safeties and matches, and would liberal arts schools be out of my reach?"</p>

<p>you could always go to community college for 2 years then transfer to a UC! =)</p>

<p>Can you afford to be full pay at private colleges?</p>