What are my chances for CS at good schools

I think you should look at Vanderbilt and their scholarships programs. One of them gives full tuition if you get it.

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I’ll check it out! Thanks!

If you’re going to have UCI and UCSC on the list, I’d certainly add Cal Poly. It’s a better program, arguably, depending on who you ask, the best in the state, different, but opportunities on par with Stanford and UCB, and it’s cheaper.


For the UC’s, a capped weighted GPA of 4.37 will make you competitive but they also look at the your unweighted and fully weighted UC GPA.

What is your actual college budget per year? The UC’s will be around $65K/year to attend with little to no financial aid as an non California resident.

Cal Poly SLO as suggested would be around $42K/year so you need to finalize your budget before making a list of safety and match schools.

Cal Poly SLO also uses 9-11th grades in their GPA calculation and caps the honors points to 8 semesters of AP/IB courses for 10-11th grades. OOS Honors does not get the extra weighting.

CS will have a lower acceptance rate for all the UC’s and it is direct admit for most of the UC’s.

UCSC requires you apply as a CS major and you cannot change into the major later if accepted.

UCI admits into the University first and then into the major so they consider your 1st and alternate major choices. It is possible to switch into CS later if not admitted directly, but not guaranteed.

UCB offers CS in the College of Letters and Sciences (non direct admit which could change this admission cycle) and also EECS. EECS is a tougher admit than CS L&S.


OOS does get weighting, but only for AP/IB and not for honors.

If $15,000 really is the max your parents will pay annually for college, I would suggest you start with University of Alabama, University of New Mexico, and Arizona. It’s very possible you will get sufficient merit aid at those to make the schools affordable.

I would suggest you read through this thread. Like you, the family had a firm price limit and was looking for merit aid as they didn’t qualify for need based aid. This student wanted engineering, IIRC. But you can check some of the recommendations to see if CS is offered.

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If your parents have a combined income of 600k why are they only contributing 15k to your college tuition?

Just saying, for that kind of income, 15k seems incredibly low. That’s like a drop in the bucket for them. I would highly recommend you sit your parents down and have a talk about how much they are willing to contribute because their high income + low contribution is really screwing you right now in terms of finances. My parents don’t make nearly that much and have to support me and my brothers and are still offering to contribute the same amount. Walk them thru the reasons you want to pursue your career and convince them that you won’t just waste their money.

George Mason seems like a safety imo. However, I have talked wit some engineers who have cited that some of the smartest people they have ever worked with have come from George Mason so maybe their CS/Engineering programs have low acceptance rates? idk.

Honestly, you’re competitive at all of these schools. Like, how the hell did you take Calc as a freshie? My school doesn’t even offer that course to you unless you are at least a junior.

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I agree (assuming there isn’t something in the FAFSA that reduces their EFC), but every family has different views on this. The problem is, it will put the OP in a bind. They will not be eligible for any need based aid and essentially locked out of every school on their list for financial reasons.

This poster needs to hunt for merit aid…that won’t consider family income and assets. That is why I linked the thread from @KevinFromOC . He also had a $15,000 price point over year…but didn’t really qualify for need based aid. His daughter applied to and got accepted with great merit awards at a number of places.

This poster should read that thread from beginning to end.

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Indeed! It will greatly contract their list though as $15k gets eaten pretty quickly by room and board.

There are full rides out there for some students. This kid needs to get the numbers squared away with parents first.

I also found it hard to understand what this line means. Do you mean that your parents earn $600,000 per year, but will only contribute a total of $15,000 per year towards your education expenses? Alternately I might not be understanding what this means.

If you need to get the budget down to $15,000 per year without any need based aid, then the budget is going to be a big constraint. Fortunately…

This might help, but is something that I am not familiar with.


Hey! Thank you guys for all of your help! My parents DO make a combined income of 600k but its still taxed and comes out to about 115k thanks to housing and other things and my grandparents live with us too. The reason I’m only getting 15k per year is because I wanted only this. I want college to be something that I chose for MYSELF and not was paid for by my parents. Hope this helps!

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I’m going to be blunt here, a $600k income is not reduced to $115,000 by taxes (I am familiar with this from personal experience). It may be almost halved to $300k or so (depending on how good - or not - your accountant is) but it isn’t going to be that little. That being said, with a $15k budget ($20k if you add in what you can borrow in student loans) your college choices will be limited to places where you can get substantial merit aid. That rules out most top 20 schools which almost always award $$ based on need - and you won’t get any need- based aid with parental income that high. Unless UVA offers merit $$, it won’t be affordable for you even in-state as tuition alone will gobble up most of your budget (unless you live within commuting distance and would be willing to do that). All the UC schools are out as they don’t give $$ to out of state students, although USC is worth a look as they give merit and you are a legacy. I’d check out the recommendations of other posters who have pointed out schools that give big merit. You look like a fantastic student so you should be competitive for merit aid but you’ll need to be aggressive in seeking out the best awards and apply early to maximize your chances. I’d also suggest a sit down with your folks to discuss finances and see if there is any wiggle room there.


Not just taxes though. I still can afford some of it. I do stock trading and have done well with it.

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If you want to maximize the advice here you should provide a complete budget. On top of the $15k from your folks and the $5k you can borrow what additional funds do you have for college? Is your total budget closer to $30k (or more) per year? Because you won’t qualify for any need based aid you’ll want to identify programs with strong merit but that really varies. If your budget is more than $20k that will open up more possibilities because there aren’t that many schools that will come in at that number and the competition is fierce.

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Everyone is doing well with that right now. If you’re short term trading I wouldn’t count on that to continue on the path you’ve been on. No one, and I mean NO ONE, beats the market in the long run after fees (including hidden ones like high bid/ask). Everyone reverts to the mean or below given enough time.


These young adults are probably going to learn the hard way (our 23 and 24 year old business school graduates are thrilled right now, fortunately they didn’t start with much).


Ok, so my budget is 70k per year (15k from teachers and the rest from me). You’re right about merit scholarships being what I should be relying on. Would this be considerd full pay then?

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So on top of the $15k from your parents, you have $55k PER YEAR year of your own $$ to contribute ($220,000 total)? If that is the reality (meaning cash in hand, not “I think I can make that in trading”) you will be able to cover the cost of attendance at most colleges even without merit. That puts most schools back in play and, of course, if you can be admitted UVA would be affordable.