What are my chances? (All CA schools)

Hi all! Back at it again with yet another update!
I’ve finalized all my essays, gotten all my LORs, filled out most of my CSU and UC apps, as well as applied for an EA school. I’m stressing about my chances of getting into these schools, but all the schools on my list are universities that I would feel happy attending!

Financial info: My parents will be contributing up to half the tuition every year, and I will be working a part-time job to cover part of the costs, as well as taking out a loan to cover the rest of the costs.


  • US citizen
  • State/Location of residency: California (Silicon Valley)
  • Type of high school: competitive high school with 500 graduating students each year, not ranked though
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity: Asian female
  • Other special factors: First-gen for UC/CSU, but not first gen for private schools

Intended Major(s)
Depends on each school, but for USFCA (already applied) I chose nursing. Alternate major: accounting
The rest of the schools I will apply to, Biology and Accounting (order is switched for some schools) will be my primary and alternate majors.

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.656
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 3.81
  • Class Rank: N/A
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1390 but not submitting to any school

AP/Honor classes:
10th - AP Spanish Language (Score: 5)
11th - AP Spanish Literature, AP Music Theory (didn’t take & won’t take tests)
12th - Applied Math Honors, English 12 Honors (planning to take)

ABRSM Violin Exam Level 5 passed with Merit


  1. Junior Counselor for summer camp (1 summer)
  2. Violin for 14 years (lessons, symphony)
  3. German Club (Secretary)
  4. Asian Tradition + Culture Club (Secretary)

UC Essays: 8-8.5/10
USFCA Supplementals: 9/10
LOR: Spanish teacher 10/10 (knows me very well, super sweet teacher) + English teacher 9/10 (knows me pretty well, did very well in his class)

Cost Constraints / Budget
Not much constraints, however would like to preferably stay between the range of 10k to 30k (qualify for financial aid most likely for UC, maybe not CSU, but definitely for USFCA)


  • Safety (certain admission and affordability)
    Sonoma State University
    Monterey Bay State University
    Fresno State University
    Sacramento State University
    Stanislaus State University

  • Match
    UC Riverside
    UC Merced
    UC Santa Cruz

  • Reach
    Rest of the UC’s
    Santa Clara University

I know it seems like I have a lot more safety schools than matches, but I really want to be sure that I have a wide selection when it comes to picking out the school I ultimately attend. As I mentioned, I would be happy to attend any of these schools, if they offer me a chance, that is! Let me know what my chances are for these schools :slight_smile: Thank you so much for reading!

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Student loans without a cosigner would be limited to $5,500 first year. Part time student jobs are usually assumed to earn about $3,000-$5,000 per year. If your parents will pay only half of your tuition, how will you cover the other half of tuition plus living or commuting expenses on $8,500 to $10,500 per year?

UC GPA’s: GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

For the CSU’s, you are local to CSUEB? What is your CSU capped weighted GPA?

Did you calculate your Impaction index for SJSU and are you above the Biology Threshold or Accounting Threshold?

Fresno state is another impacted campus so did you calculate your admission index for Biology?

I think SCU is a match, not a reach and that you should submit your test score. Per the Common Data set the range is 1300 to 1420 but only 42% submitted and 50% of accepted submitted. So this helps you and I think puts you squarely on the radar.

U suspect you are right on the others but not sure how to evaluate.

If money is an issue why not look at WUE schools or others like New Mexico, Utah, ASU etc just as cost savers.

Or private schools that offer big merit like Bradley or Hofstra…not sure if going close to home is for cost or you want to be close.

I’ll most likely be attending a CSU (local is SJSU) that’ll allow me to live at home, so I probably won’t have to worry about the dorm costs. As for commuting, I’ll be driving my mom’s car & paying for gas from time to time.

UC GPA is 4.07. Local CSU is SJSU. CSU capped is 4.04.
I’m above the bio & accounting threshold for SJSU!
Thx for ur help!!

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Thanks so much! It’s so nice to hear that SCU might be a match. I’ll definitely submit my test scores seeing as they’re in the average range. Going out of state isn’t exactly possible because my parents really want me to live at home (not only to save $$ but also to “watch over me” and make sure that I’m safe and all.

I’m curious about the “biology or accounting” plan - those are very different career paths, with bio almost certainly requiring some kind of graduate study to get into a major-related career.

If you end up at SJSU, you might want to take a look at the Packaging major. It’s easy to overlook, because the name doesn’t scream “interesting major!” But it actually is, and it combines science and business perhaps better than any other SJSU major, with small classes and a project-based approach. Graduates are in great demand for interesting and high-paying jobs. Just something to consider: https://catalog.sjsu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=12&poid=3960&returnto=4146

I’m hoping to apply to the CLS program (at SJSU or SFSU) after I graduate from my Bio major. If it doesn’t work out, then I would like to pursue a master’s in Accounting and work in the finance department of kaiser, VA, the police department, etc.
Another alternative is to major in accounting (Bachelor’s) and to take classes that fulfill the prerequisites for the CLS program so that I can apply once I graduate.
I checked out the packaging major, and the classes are actually really interesting! I do think it is a great mix of stem + business, although I prefer larger classes over smaller ones. However, I will definitely keep looking for more info on this major.
Thanks so much for your advice!

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Do you want to live home? I get that there’s a monetary factor and we all worry for our children’s safety, but part of going to college, a huge part, is the residential part - living on campus, gaining independence, late night study hours, meals with friends. The dorm is where a lot of this is created. If you’re going to be a commuting student, you might look at CC - because you’d be missing a lot of what you’re paying for. But if it’s not your choice to live home, you might explain to your parents why it’s important you live on campus. It’s hard for us parents to embrace the fact that our children are growing up (far too quickly)!!

As for SCU, you’re SAT is not average - it’s closer to the 25th percentile - and given that only 42% even submitted it, you’re really likely much higher than that!! Your test is strong for SCU!! While I said it’s a match, I’m pretty confident you’ll get in!!

Also, SCU requires all Freshman and Sophomore to live on campus. You can get an exception for living within 30 miles but I don’t know how easy that is to get. So unless you qualify for need based aid, that might impact your decision making. You might call and inquire how hard it is to get this exception (if you haven’t already). I love the move by SCU in that - again, to spend to attend a wonderful school like that, if you’re simply going to class, you’re missing out on so much - and perhaps if you went to a CC and lived home, your parents could afford or would be willing to cover more of your expense after you transferred to a 4-year school - just a thought.

Good luck to you.

Hello! I asked my parents (practically begged and compromised) and they said that they’d be comfortable with me living on campus as long as it is an in-state school and it’s in NorCal! I’ve been looking forward to living in a dorm for a good chunk of my life, so if all goes well and I get into my desired major (Accounting) for SCU and I decide to attend SCU, hopefully, the financial aid can help cover a portion of the costs.
I visited SCU over the summer and although it’s a small school, I really think I’ll be able to grow, and as you mentioned, gain independence through dorming!
Thanks so much for your help!!