What are my sons chances of getting into the Computer Science program at NC State and Clemson as a Freshman

Here are his stats:

NC State Native.
wake county residence
his mom is single, has a protective order against his father

SAT: 760 math, 620 english
GPA: 4.279 weighted; 3.79 unweighted

AP Classes:

Calc AB-A
Calc BC-A
World History-A
Physics !: Algebra Based-A
Physics C: Mechanics-in progress
English Composition-in progress
Computer Science A-in progress


15 honor classes

PLTW Classes:
Introduction to Engineering Design-A
Principal of Engineering-A

4 years swimming with the #1 Ranked Swim team in the country (up to 20 hours a week for 50 weeks out of the year)

Vounteered and Participated in Swim Across America-which helped raised money towards cancer research Part of the money benefited a Cancer Research lab at NC State. He had worked with the NC State Swim Team and Head coach, appeared on a WRAL special with the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Held to help raise money towards cancer research.

9th grade: A honor award
10th and 11th grade: AB honor award
AP scholor Award
12th grade: Principal Award

Congratulations on your S’s achievements.

His GC and Naviance/Scoir (if the HS uses one of those) will be the best source of information on how to categorize these schools. Naviance/Scoir won’t show acceptances by major (and CS typically has a lower acceptance rate than the overall rate), but the GC should be able to add insight.

What was your S’s second choice major? Did he apply EA to NC State? Has he applied yet to Clemson? It’s important to meet Dec 1 priority deadline. Are both schools affordable?


yes he applied EA to NC State and Clemson. It is crazy how hard it has gotten to get in. Just tryong to figure things out. NC State would accually be within 15 minutes from where we live so he would want to commute, which would save money

1 Like

He has a good chance of being accepted at NC State. It will also cost a fraction of Clemson and NC State has more opportunities for CS internships in your local area. If he gets in, but not in his major find out how hard it is to get into CS later.

He may get into Clemson, but it may not be in the major and he will not get enough aid for it to make sense. We were the opposite of you last year - We are in SC, and while D21 was accepted to Enginneering in both, NC State was not able to touch other offers and $200,000 for NC State did not make sense.

1 Like

NC State will be extremely hard EVEN with those stats for CS through EA. Especially, seeing that you are from Wake County with three major feeder schools – Green Hope, Panther Creek and Enloe plus other ones like Cary, Apex, Cary Academy etc. But I am not AO so take what I say with a pinch of salt.
Also, the profile is not complete as provided. What are his AP test scores? Race? Class rank? NC State is a very data driven.
I would look at UNCC and UNCA (2+2). Another side door approach could be the community college partnership route if you are moderate income or URM.
Finally, if he is deferred or waitlisted, do not lose hope. Make sure he reaches out to an AO to get feedback virtually and continue to show interest. They take a lot of waitlisted kids over the summer.


Clemson sweetens the pot big time for high-stat kids that are OOS. One never knows!!

1 Like

what does OOS mean? Also I realize those schools are feeder schools…he is white, but he also does not have a father in his life…he has a protective order against his father till he is 20.

Also Clemson does have a sweet spot for us…my mom awarded them grant money (Bell Labs awards at the time for the EE depatment).

1 Like

OOS = “Out of State”

1 Like

also his volunteer work for Swim Across America directly benefited a cancer research lab at NC State. He had to work with the NC State swim team, head coach, assistant coaches, and Dr Caravaughn research lab. So he does have ties to it. Just in shock how hard it is.

Has he applied to any affordable safety schools?

1 Like

yes He actually looked at Thales College as well as Wake Tech if none of the above doesn’t work.

1 Like

I think that the suggestion by @1dadinNC to look at UNC-Charlotte is a good one; if your son doesn’t get into NCSU, there is a secondary application deadline of Feb. 1 2022 for fall admits to UNC-C.


The pot is not as sweet as it once was. And not that enough to make it less than or close to an in state NC State commuter.


Last year Clemson’s highest merit scholarship for out of state was $12,000. That would make the cost of attendance over $40,000 per year


They do have the National Scholars program. I know one kid from the RDU area that got it.
I think OP’s son should try it.

1 Like

People do not often realize that both our state flagships are top schools – UNC is a top 30 school and NCSU is a top 25 engineering school. Anyway, I do think he has a chance but computer science is very competitive. UNC is more holistic so often, a kid with a good story has a much better shot there versus at NCSU when all things are equal. This is from the website:
Students who have taken and performed well in advanced courses, particularly in math, chemistry, and physics, are best prepared for the academic rigor of the College and are more competitive in the admissions process. Also considered are standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), and lastly, extracurricular activities and leadership experiences. The typical fall 2018 first-year student admitted to the College has an unweighted grade point average ranging from 3.75 – 4.0. Eighty percent of all new engineering freshmen are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. The middle 50 percent of incoming 2018 freshmen have SAT scores in the 1340-1450 range and 30-33 on the ACT.

Remember this is the average for the middle fifty. CS will likely be near the leading edge of these numbers or above.


For NCSU, doesn’t it admit to a first year engineering undeclared status, after which students need to take prerequisite courses and then compete for secondary admission to their majors?

If so, then the chance of getting into CS at NCSU as frosh is zero, since getting into CS is only determined during secondary admission later.

There used to be a calculator that estimated chances of gaining secondary admission to various majors for a given GPA level, but it appears to be not working now: CODA Calculator | College of Engineering


we will try it. I think you have to of been admitted first correct?

My son is such a unusual case…we like both schools really.

Ohh…forgot to mention he attend the NASA aerospace academy during the summer between freshman and sophmore year at Elizabeth City State Universirty.


You are not guaranteed to matriculate into the program but admission requires two stated majors and they will consider you for both. A lot of kids try the exploratory studies route, which is basically undeclared but those kids from what I hear have a harder time getting in. These are also the weaker stat kids that think somehow they will make it and catch up. YMMV.


never saw this before. Thanks!