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Chance me / Recommend Schools (Computer Science)

fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
I am starting to get into this stressful process of college applications. In fact, I am writing my college applications right now. I would like some of your suggestions on what colleges I should look into. I have an interest in computer science.
GPA My unweighted GPA is 4.0 My weighed GPA is 5.048 Not sure of my class ranking, but I am assuming I must be in the top 5%.

*Course load

I will not bore you with all my classes. I don't know if it even matters, but it might be worth mentioning if my class is not AP, it is an honors class. Some classes worth mentioning:

AP World History (Freshmen year) (AP Score: 4) (A)
AP Human Geography (Sophomore year) (AP Score: 5) (A)
AP World History (Junior year) (AP Score: 5) (A)
AP Language and composition (Junior year) (AP Score: 5) (A)

Currently taking:
AP Computer Science (Senior year) AP Calculus AB (Senior year) AP Physics (Senior year)
Demographics I am a hispanic. I have been in the country since I was in 6th grade (don't know if it matters)


I have taken only the SAT. However, I plan to take both the SAT and the ACT possibly one more time. I plan to take subject tests after that, but at the moment, I have not taken subject tests.

SAT (March) = 1400 (640 reading, 760 math)
SAT (June) = 1450 (710 reading, 740 math)


- Robotics Industry Certified by REC Foundation
- AutoCAD user certification
- Extensive participation in FBLA competitions: 2nd place on Business Math FBLA District Competition (2015), 3rd place on Business Calculations FBLA District Competition (2016), 3rd place on Cyber Security FBLA State Competition (2017)
- I volunteer as an instructor to a local middle school engineering club, aiding middle school students with robotics and programming projects. I have more than 50 community hours doing this. (2016-2017)
- Developed an invoice system for the proper tracking of online sales for a company's (I can provide the name on the application) sales department. Software was developed according to their specific needs and requirement to store data remotely.
- Intern at a programming summer camp for kids (can also provide the name on application). I helped with both programming instructing and robotics.
- Published an application on the AppStore, currently working along a partner to launch another two applications.
- I do have experience with HTML, CSS, MySQL, but I don't know if it is relevant to just state some skills.
Technology Student Association (TSA) president (or vice-president, not completely sure yet) (2017-2018)
- I also have belonged to national honor society and math honor society for a couple years, but I don't think it is that significant since I am just a member.

I love doing programs and applications. It is my passion to program, so I want to major in computer science. What do you guys is a realistic goal for me? Please be harsh and let me know what I have to improve. Appreciate your time. Thank you.

Replies to: Chance me / Recommend Schools (Computer Science)

  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    edited August 26
    I have looked into Georgia Tech, University of Florida, and Carneige Mellon. I am not sure if I meet the requirements realistically.


    Junior year, I took AP US History, on which I got a 5 and A. I wrote AP World History twice.
  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Bump. Would appreciate any feedback :)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,973 Senior Member
    edited August 28
    Others may be able to help you better if you note your cost constraints and state of residency.
  • 1qwertyuiop191qwertyuiop19 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    You have very impressive cs/tech extracurriculars, as well as strong GPA. Don't take this the wrong way - but despitre your lower SAT score, the fact that you are Hispanic/Latino helps a HUGE deal since they are not only underrepresented in higher education, but especially so in the tech industry. I'd say see if you can raise your SAT score for the October SAT and you're an insta-admit for top colleges.
  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    edited August 29
    @ucbalumnus Thanks for the suggestion. Cost constraints are a big deal for me; I am paying my own college so I was told to keep debt as comparable to a car loan.

    Now, my state of residency is Florida. Thus, it is University of Florida is one of my options as well.

    @1qwertyuiop19 I took the SAT this last weekend. Hopefully, I can raise it up 50 points but I am not sure. I don't know about October and November, since I am thinking of taking the subject tests on these dates. But thank you for the comment; I didn't know my ethnicity helped that much.
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Registered User Posts: 2,989 Senior Member
    edited August 29
    Have you run Net Price Calculators (NPC's) at a few schools? You may qualify for a good deal of financial aid.

    UF would be a perfectly fine option and I would keep that in the back of your mind through this. It's hard to beat the price of that option, and it's plenty good for CS.

    I would run NPC's at some high up CS schools and see if any of them come out affordable. Look to see if you can get application / test score fee waivers if your qualify, and send out a lot of applications in the hopes that some schools can offer you a great FA package.

    CMU may be a pretty big reach, but all things considered, if you run the NPC and it's possible to attend, I think it's well worth the hail mary application in your case.

    Many public schools will not offer FA to OOS applicants, so you should probably focus on private schools for your reach applications.

    Do you have any preferences when it comes to schools? Size, class sizes, location (city/suburban/rural), region, weather, etc?

    Some general schools to check out in your range as reaches/matches (given your extracurriculars): USC, Northeastern, Brown (reach but I think worth the shot)

    Some tech schools well regarded for CS, if you are interested in the type of school: RIT, WPI, RPI

    Good luck!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,973 Senior Member
    If you are paying for your own college, is it because your parents are low income (i.e. you could get need based financial aid at Florida public schools and some private schools), or because they have high income but will not pay (i.e. you need merit scholarships )?
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,076 Senior Member
    As a Hispanic kid who has very solid and improving test scores, with great grades in a wide range of challenging courses, you will be an attractive candidate to the Ivies, who provide fantastic financial aid - quite often better than state schools.

    I would looks at the "full-needs-met" schools, perhaps other than Harvard, Princeton, or Stanford. CMU is a reach but I would still suggest applying, especially if you get your Oct SAT up a bit. Williams and Amherst might be a tough nut, but they strongly value diversity and I am told they value grades more than test scores.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 5,417 Senior Member
    edited August 29
    I have looked into Georgia Tech, University of Florida, and Carneige Mellon.
    Last year, DS17 applied to GT and UF.

    With GT, you likely do need to raise your GPA, as it's gotten very competitive for OOS students. Otherwise the challange is the OOS tuition cost. They do offer some scholarships that waive the OOS tuition, so you do want to raise your SAT score!

    Apply to GT by the October 15th date (Early Action) to qualify for the most competitive scholarships.

    GT also offers a dedicated Hispanic scholarship, via the Goizueta Foundation Scholars and Fellows program. If you get accepted, they will then ask that you apply for the scholarship (which is also very competitive).


    With UF, make sure you meet all of the Bright Future scholarship requirements. It's currently paying 100% tuition +$300 a semester for books. UF also offers some very nice, but competitive scholarships.


    If you're a first generation student, look into the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship program.


    Other than these competitive scholarship, UF gives little else in merit aid (but you would still be getting Bright Futures!). They are good about need based aid, so if you would qualify for a Pell Grant, UF would also likely award you need based aid.
  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    @PengsPhils thank you for your help. Yes, I have run the NPC and I don't get much since my parents do make a good amount of money. I don't have any preference. I do like college towns a lot though; really liked UF when I visited, but I wanted to try some reaches. Thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely look into them.

    I am paying because I can't ask my parents to pay 40k a year after they have helped me all my life. That is why I think financial aid is important for me.

    CMU is not one of these "full-needs-met"schools? I really like Standford as well but I don't know if I can accomplish that with my test scores. I would like to take it again October, but I am facing the issue that I have to take my subject tests on that date.

    I thought my GPA was actually quite high? The only way I could raise it even more is by taking dual-enrollment classes I think. I didn't know bright futures was so generous! I already meet the requirements. Thank you
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 5,417 Senior Member
    edited August 29
    Sorry! Should have said SAT test score and not GPA. :)

    Your GPA is fine.
  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    @Gator88NE I took it this last weekend. Hoping for a 1500, but very unlikely. I can superscore to a 1470, but I understand this is still low. I was thinking of taking subject tests October, so I would have the chance to take another SAT november.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,973 Senior Member
    fontseeker wrote:
    I am paying because I can't ask my parents to pay 40k a year after they have helped me all my life. That is why I think financial aid is important for me.

    Whether you get need based financial aid depends on how much income and assets they have, rather than how much they are willing to contribute or you are willing to accept from them. I.e. if they have high income and/or assets, you are less likely to get enough need based financial aid. If that is the case, then your college list must be merit-scholarship-seeking.

    As has been suggested, go to each college's web site and find the net price calculator. Use it to estimate need based financial aid to see if it will be sufficient at that college. You need to make an informed decision regarding the availability of financial aid, rather than relying on assumptions of getting it.
  • fontseekerfontseeker Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    @ucbalumnus Thank you. I have used the net price calculator and I don't get much help due to my parents' high income and assets. I will be looking into merit-schoolarship-seeking colleges. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,973 Senior Member
    Large merit scholarship lists:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/20798968/#Comment_20798968 (automatic for stats, could be safeties if you qualify)
    http://competitivefulltuition.yolasite.com/ (usually reaches for the scholarships, even if admission is match or safety)
    http://nmfscholarships.yolasite.com/ (if you have National Merit status based on your 11th grade PSAT score)

    Check college web sites to verify, since some have changed their scholarships since these lists were collected.

    In addition, your state's public universities may offer large merit scholarships or better financial aid for in-state residents only.
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