So currently I am a high school senior and thinking about college applications and I am wondering if it would be beneficial or harmful to focus on my dual-enrollment in my University of California applications (Berkeley, UCLA, San Diego, and Santa Cruz, with the main focus on Berkeley), I am applying to be an Electrical Engineer/Computer Science Major with a possibility of a double majoring with Applied Mathematics. Currently, I have a 4.105 weighted GPA (3.75 UW). So with my dual-enrollment, my focus in those have been mathematics classes, and by the end of my senior year, I will have taken AP Calculus AB (this isn’t a dual-enrollment class, but wanted to add it here), Differential Calculus (Calc 1), Integral Calculus (Calc 2), Multi-variable Calculus (Vector Calculus or Calc 3), Statistics, Multi-variable Calculus (Linear Algebra and Diff Eq), A Bridge to a Higher Mathematics (Its a mathematical proofs class), and Advanced Differential Equations. So a total of 7 college math classes (semesters). Mathematics has been a big part of my high school career (like I’ve spent like every semester and summer doing some math related studies), but I haven’t been in any like mathematics extracurricular like a mathematics honor society or anything, even tho I have looked to be a part of some math-related thing outside my classes, but my school didn’t offer it and when I looked to start something COVID happened. So I only have my dual-enrollment classes to add anything to me being involved in math, but is it something that I should focus on, or just leave it at just listing that I took the classes in high school. Also having taken 7 advanced math classes beyond what my school offered, would that help in getting into EECS at Berkeley, I have heard that its the most competitive major at Berkeley?

Will they help? Yes (as long as you get an A or B, no Fs or Passes.) Will they guarantee you direct admission to EECS? No. Applying to selective programs at already selective schools like Berkeley makes the admissions process that many times more competitive, and these schools tend to practice holistic admissions: they’re definitely looking for students who have excelled academically, but they also want to see that you’ve excelled outside of school and explored your chosen interest (through clubs, competitions, volunteering, internships etc.) For most applicants, except those with major Apply broadly (safeties, matches, and reaches,) and hope for the best.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Yeah thanks, also with my dual-enrollment classes I haven’t gotten less than an A-. Hopefully that doesn’t change, the material in Linear Algebra is getting real difficult.

I was given a 3.93 on the calculator for unweighted; Weighted as 4.52, and Weighted and Capped GPA: 4.22

Taking 7 Math classes is a lot for a HS student. What other core (a-g courses) are you sacrificing to fit all these Math classes in? Will you have a Biology/Chemistry and Physics course completed by Senior year? How about 3 years of a foreign language, a minimum 1 year for a Visual/ performing arts class etc…

What do you do outside the classroom? Excelling academically is very important but schools do not want academic drones. What makes you stand out beyond the academics?

2019 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted and not major specific:

UCB: 38%

UCLA: 35%

UCSD: 71%

UCSB: 73%

UCD: 84%

UCI: 55%

UCSC: 85%

UCR: 97%

UCM: 98%

2020 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:

UCB: 4.22 (4.13-4.30)

UCLA: 4.25 (4.18-4.31)

UCSD: 4.18(4.04-4.28)

UCSB: 4.17 (4.03-4.27)

UCI: 4.11 (3.96-4.26)

UCD: 4.11 (3.97-4.25)

UCSC: 3.94 (3.71-4.16)

UCR: 3.88 (3.65-4.11)

UCM: 3.68 (3.40-3.96)

The dual enrollment classes show that you can handle the rigor of a college course. You ask if it will improve your chances and, personally, I think the fact that you took multiple advanced classes looks good.

It would be beneficial to list them. However, the admissions officers won’t stop after reading after the coursework section of your application. Look at your 20 activities and 4 PIQ. What are you saying about yourself in those? It would be harmful if your essays and activities showed that all you did was take math classes.

You can choose to write about math and why it is your favorite subject in PIQ 6. From the UC application, “Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?”

yes - but UCB admit rate well below 50% even for well qualified students

https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/infocenter/freshman-admissions-summary

that will give you the admit rate by GPA band for each of the UCs,

Admitted Freshman profile here

https://admissions.berkeley.edu/student-profile

Summary of stats of median admit.

Unweighted GPA 3.86-4.00

Weighted GPA 4.27-4.62

ACT* 29-35

SAT* 1330-1530

Add to that the SAT shift and a backlog of deferrals and gap years and next year is going to be tough, especially at the competitive UCs.

Apply broadly, I’d include UCSC, UCR, SDSU, CPP, CPSLO - as well as USD, LMU and Santa Clara as they might offer you significant merit money.

good luck

No I am not sacrificing any core classes with my the math classes that I’ve taken. I’ve taken all the requirements that I need, Biology, Chemistry, Government, World History, US History, English (9-12), Health, Art, Economics, etc. Mostly I’ve just given up the opportunity to take extracurricular classes like CAD, or Intro Engineering HS Class, or stuff like that. Using both my math hour and an extracurricular class.

If your wondering I’m currently taking

- AP Chem
- AP Physics
- AP Lang and Comp
- Linear Algebra and Diff EQ
- Expository Writing

& Next Semester - AP Chem
- AP Physics
- AP Lang and Comp
- Bridge to A Higher Mathematics
- Advanced Diff EQ
- Speech

Foreign Language?

Yeah, I took Spanish 1 and 2. I probably should explain some more information.

I am a bit worried as I am an out-of-state applicant (I live in Michigan). I’m kinda concerned because I don’t have any grandiose extracurriculars. I only started being apart of things in my 11th grade (10th grade was my first year at the school i am at currently, was kinda hesitant to join stuff cause I didn’t know the school that well and came from a school that didn’t offer much extracurriculars outside of sports which I wasn’t interested in (I did soccer tho)), so most of my peers already held the main leadership positions by the time I entered the extracurriculars. So the list of stuff I was in last year (which is the same stuff I am in now): Robotics, Quizbowl, My youth group leadership team (which is called CIA), and Youth in Government. I also now in the National Honors Society, and I am in my City’s Youth Advisory Boards (The Board that makes decisions for the program known as Teen Court, I also volunteer through the city through here.)

I know that Berkeley excludes freshman grades from GPA calculation, but do they consider them in anywhere in the application, do they even care what you get in your freshman year. During my Freshman year I was going through major depression and trying different medications, kinda messed me up (nothing illegal or anything like that, just stuff I was being prescribed to see if it would “fix” me), also I was in a new school, which was private (which was new to me), and I ended up transferring the next year. Should I explain this stuff in my application?

I didn’t do horrible, I got two C’s, 3 B’s, and 7 A’s that year. I changed it around my 10th and 11th grade and standing with 2 B’s and 25 A’s (The two B’s being in 10th grade).

Im concerned as I am applying to EECS (Berkeley’s most prestigious major) + Applied Mathematics. And Im feeling most of the students applying (to EECS) have had straight A’s throughout their entire High School Career. That’s why I am hoping that my 7 advanced math courses that (I will have finished, if all goes well, which I think it will happen) beyond the basic curriculum: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and AP Calculus, will improve my chance while competing with those who have a greater advantage of getting into Berkeley EECS (Being a Cali Student and having straight A’s). Not to say that I am any lower, I am in the top 5% of my class even with my 9th grade grades weighing my gpa down.

Can you afford to be full pay at the UCs? As an OOS student there is not much, if any, FA for OOS students.

Your GC should cover any reason for lower grades in their LoR.

Make sure that you have some more matches and at least one affordable safety on your list.

UCB’s LOR’s are by invitation only at least for the last few application cycles so it is not a given an LOR can be submitted.

Freshman grades will be reviewed to determine if you have passed and completed all a-g course requirements. You look like a competitive applicant, just make sure UCB is affordable since the majority of OOS should consider being full pay.

Why did you take both AP calculus AB and college calculus 1?

Courses and grades from 9th grade will be visible to UC application readers.

So I actually was originally in Calculus 2 my first semester of 11th grade, and was in there for a month. But I actually failed the first exam, (Most people did in that class) and so I opted to take Calculus 1 (As my grade in the class would be calculated into my HS GPA) to get a feeling of how college was (different for me than just an AP course), I actually am glad I did cause I ended up getting a A- in calc 1 (even tho I got an A in both semesters of AP Calc), and then got an A in Calc 2 in the following semester. I actually had two friends who stayed in Calc 2, and I believe I heard from them that the class average was around C-D. My 1st friend actaully failed Calc 2 that semester, and my other friend got a D+ i believe.

You have not answered any questions about affordability. Are your parents willing and able to pay full freight OOS prices for Berkeley?

Make sure you apply to some schools that you know are affordable and will take you. Also, get your applications in early to state schools as some of them roll in admissions and Engineering can fill up early.

Yeah cost is something that I am concerned about, and yes Berkeley is not the only college I am/have applied to. Though the only college I’ve gotten into so far (which was a safety) was Michigan Tech.

If you know cost is an issue, it’s important that you know how much of an issue it is. Ask your parents what they are willing and able to pay. Run the Net Price Calculators for schools you are considering. Also take a good look at what your parents have in terms of income and assets and think about what would be too much of a sacrifice from them even if they are willing.

CA is not generous to OOSers, you know. Your best bets may be your instate schools and you are lucky to have as strong of state Universities as UMich And Mich State. I’m glad you have an affordable option in hand already.