What are my chances of getting into these colleges? Indian female from California

I’m currently a junior. Please let me know any ways I can increase my chances of getting into these schools!
Major: Comp sci, engineering

Thinking of applying to:
-UC’s (Berkeley is top choice, LA, Davis, SD)
-Ivies (Cornell is top choice, Columbia)
-UT Austin
-Georgia Tech
-Carnegie Mellon
-Boston University
-Stony Brook
-UT Dallas

Schools I am unsure of my chances (Should I apply?):

  • MIT
  • Caltech
  • Stanford

Schools I will most likely get into:

  • CSU’s
  • lower UC’s

I go to a very competitive public high school. My school doesn’t rank.
ACT: 34 single-sitting, 35 Composite
SAT II: Math II: 780, Physics: 780
GPA: 3.72 UW, 4.28 W
UC GPA: 3.92

Weighted Classes:
Soph: Honors Physics, AP Euro, Honors Pre-calc
Junior: AP Physics, AP Lit, APUSH, AP Computer Science, AP Psych, AP Calc AB
Senior (will be taking): AP Chem, AP Lang, AP Gov, AP Econ, AP Music Theory, AP Calc BC

AP Tests:
Euro: 3
Aiming for all 5’s on my AP Tests this year.
Might self study a couple APs over the summer


  1. Piano (9-present, will continue to 12): Completing all 10 levels of Certificate of Merit Evaluation Exam, received branch honors and qualified for musical convention recital in level 7, 8 and 9, receiving senior award next year (completing 3 levels in HS)
  2. Intern on courses team at a non-profit that teaches kids how to code (10 summer): created an online Java course
  3. Courses Team leader at non-profit (from above) (11 fall): led a team and developed a Linux course
  4. Developers Team leader (from above) (January-present): leading a team that manages the website, coded it from scratch in PHP and JS
  5. Vice President of non-profit (from above) (Jan-present): helps manage the organization and website and communicates with president and interns
  6. Likely PSAT commendation award
  7. CSF (9-present, will continue to 12): Active member of CSF (California Scholarship Federation) for all of high school (10 hours/semester)
  8. Internship at Knodemy (11 summer): will be interning this summer, it has been confirmed
  9. Started a website that helps high school students with their academic needs/test prep (11-present)
  10. Applied for an apprenticeship program with the Department of Defense (research on cybersecurity) (11 Summer): hoping I’ll get in
  11. School Honor Roll (all years, so far)
  12. Will likely be a National AP Scholar with Distinction
  13. PVSA Award (Gold medal)
  14. CSF 100% Member (highest honor)

Hooks: N/A
Ethnicity: Asian Indian
Income: 100,000+

Letter of Recs: 8-9/10 (i have good relations with my teachers)
Essay- 9/10 (i’m a good writer)

Thank you so much!

Your test scores are very competitive, very good EC’s but GPA could be higher for the top UC’s such as UCLA/UCB and UCSD. You also happen to be applying to an Engineering major which are the most selective at the UC’s.

The UC’s are very GPA focused so your GPA will impact your chances. If you check the decision threads from the last few years, you will see High GPA trumps High test scores especially for Engineering majors.

Although the following numbers are only based on GPA, your test scores will have a positive impact along with your EC’s and essays. Apply widely and good luck.

Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19:

UCB: 12%
UCLA: 14%
UCSD: 39%
UCSB: 49%
UCD: 52%
UCI: 57%
UCSC: 83%
UCR: 90%
UCM: 92%

@Gumbymom thank you!! do you know anything about how big the difference in admit rate is for EECS compared to L&S (CS likely) for UCB?

EECS is the most difficult admit at UCB so you would have a better chance with CS in L&S. I suggest you look at some of the stats posted for this year’s and last year’s decision thread for EECS to give you an idea of the competition. You do not have to scroll through all the decisions. If you use the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the thread, you can type in a key word to sort through the decisions.



I would also add that the CS major in EECS is a direct admit, while in L&S it is not.
More information:


Would applying for a major in Physics or Chemistry, etc increase/decrease my chances of getting into any of these universities?

Also, I’m thinking of applying early to all of the colleges I can apply EA to. Will this increase my chances in any way if I were to go for an Engineering major?

For UCD, Physics/Chemistry are in the College of Biological Sciences and they admit by College so it makes no difference which major your select: Chemistry or Physics. All majors in the College of Biological Sciences are considered capped/selective. If you want to pursue CS, UCD offers CS in the College of L&S which admits by division or in the College of Engineering which admits by department (major).

UCSD admits into the University first and then into the major. CS is a capped major at UCSD, but Chemistry/Physics is not so you might have a better chance in these two majors.

Chemistry/Physics at UCLA is in the College of L&S, so it will not matter which major you select but you will have to meet pre-req course requirements to continue in these majors so a slightly easier admit than CS/Engineering.

My advice is always pursue your major of interest. All the UC’s will give an excellent education.

For EA, it can help your chances but again no guarantees.

Formulate a college list that includes 2 financial/academic safeties you are willing to attend, 3-4 match schools and around 3 reach schools. For Engineering, you want your stats above the averages for the best chances.

Agee with @Gumbymom . If you apply to top UCs for the EECS your chances would be slim. Even your good score is only “average” (at best) in that field. You would be better off applying within the school of L&S.

Thank you @Gumbymom @uclaparent9! Do you think I have a good chance at any of the non-UC schools I mentioned?

@calijunior: Just saw you posted an uncapped weighted UC GPA of 4.31 by end of Junior year on your other thread. This definitely will help your chances at the UC’s vs. the 3.92 you have posted. EECS is still a tough admit, but if you want CS, I would apply to L&S. With your ACT score, you stand a decent chance.

Regarding the other non-UC schools, USC is possible. MIT/Stanford and CalTech are Reaches for all applicants. Cannot comment on the rest.

Just make sure you have some academic/financial safeties on your list that you are willing to attend.

Thank you @Gumbymom! Can anyone give me some input on the other schools?

Should I apply to Vanderbilt? Naviance says I have a very high chance of getting in. Does anyone know what their EECS program is like?