What schools should I apply to?

Basic Info.
Planning to study computer science / computer engineering in US
Asian Female int’l student.

GPA (unweighted): 3.89, (top 20%)
ACT: 33 (Math: 36, Science: 35, English: 31, Reading: 31)
APs: 4 taken, AP computer science (5), AP psychology (5), APUSH (4), AP Lit (4)
Toefl: 110


  1. Contest rating = 1473, ranked “specialist” on a competitive programming website, Codeforces
  2. Made websites and apps for charity clubs
  3. Founder of School ensemble (a capella): we had performances in National Concert Hall & competitions abroad)
  4. President of community service club: organized English camps for elementary students
  5. Co-founder of another charity organization: playing music for people with disabilities
  6. Won the 1st place in a National Debate Tournament
  7. Various int’l awards for choir
  8. Currently working on an AI competition…

School Preferences

  1. No financial requirements
  2. No preference on location / type
  3. More than 5,000 students
  4. High flexibility on courses to take (ex: Brown’s Open Curriculum)
  5. Many internship / job opportunities (co-op is great too)
  6. Has choir / a capella groups

Thank you!

I like the fact that as a potential CS major your math score on the ACT is so high. This suggests that you are strong in math, which matters in CS. Your TOEFL score of course takes English off the table as a thing to worry about – native English speakers would probably do about the same.

There are a lot of universities in the US that would be worth applying to with your stats and interests.

One school that you should probably consider is the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. It has a very good CS program. Also, there are quite a few CS jobs in Massachusetts, and you will find plenty of hiring managers who themselves are U.Mass alumni.

The really top schools (MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, CMU, Stanford) are of course all reaches. The Universities of Wisconsin and Washington are both very good for CS. So is the University of Michigan. These are also probably reaches for you, but perhaps realistic reaches.

Your biggest problem is probably that there are at least 40 or 50 schools and probably more that would be worth considering.

University of a Rochester ticks a lot of boxes. Open curriculum, more than 5000 students, a capella groups, good CS, large number of internationals. Downside: expensive

I’m definitely biased b/c I go to Brown, but if you like Brown’s Open Curriculum, they I highly, highly recommend that you apply to Brown ED. However, you should only do so if ALL of the following are true:

  1. You LOVE Brown and would 110% attend if admitted.
  2. You're extremely confident that you can present a well thought out and crafted application by the ED deadline of November 1st.
  3. You and your family can afford Brown if admitted (as you state in your post this isn't a worry, but still run the financial aid calculators--you might be surprised!)

URochester does offer merit scholarships, but is highly, highly competitive for their full-tuition scholarships (like 10-20 per year.) There are some partial tuition scholarships though.

CWRU offers multiple partial tuition scholarships. Tulane as well, and it’s free to apply to (make sure you apply EA and interview if possible b/c they accept less people RD.)

Hope this helps! Good luck with admissions!