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Chance me please?

daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I’m definitely applying to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, Cornell, and RPI, but I’d also like to know my chances at MIT, Caltech, and Stanford to see if I should try. I do have safeties in place.

Intended Major: Computer Science / Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
State (if domestic applicant): California
School Type: All-girls, Catholic, private
Gender: Female

SAT: 800M, 780RW
Unweighted GPA: 4.0
Weighted GPA: 4.83
Weighted and Capped UC GPA: 4.67
Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): 1/192
AP (All 5s so far, this list includes AP classes for junior year and my senior year schedule): Computer Principles, Computer Science A, World History, US History, US Gov, Calc AB, CalcBC, Statistics, Spanish Lang, English Lang, English Lit, Phys1, PhysC Mechanics, Chem, Bio

Extracurriculars
- VEX Robotics Troop (President): We went to nationals for the first time the year I became president and ranked in the top 20. I was a member for 3 years, and captain of a subteam (4 teams in the troop) for 2 years.
- FRC Robotics Team (Software Lead) - We went to worlds for both of the years I was a member and are likely to qualify again my senior year.
- Math Team (President)
- Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Chair) - Won two tournaments, medaled in nearly all
- Independent Science Research - Competed in Synopsis, won first in the region once and second once
- ASB Homeroom Rep
- CSF (President)
- NHS member
- Advanced Choir

Job/Work Experience:
- Math grader and substitute teacher at a local math school

Volunteer/Community service:
- 250+ hours at my community center

Summer Activities:
- UC Cosmos
- Took AP Stats and AP PhysC at a community college
- Did research for a college CS Professor

Awards
- Rensselaer Medal
- Presidential Gold Award for Service
- Synopsis regional winner

Letters of recommendation: Calc BC teacher, PhysC teacher

I really appreciate any feedback you give!
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Replies to: Chance me please?

  • GumbymomGumbymom 27825 replies155 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    Maximum Capped weighted UC GPA is 4.4. 4.67 must be your Fully weighted UC GPA. You are competitive for all the schools on your list but many have very low acceptance rates for CS but your profile should get you into the UC’s. As long as you have some solid safety schools, you are set.
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you @Gumbymom. Yes, I didn't input my junior year grades to RogerHub since my final transcript wasn't in yet, and the added courses brought it down to a 4.4.

    Also, should I prioritize the Synopsis contest or research for the professor in my app? I know the contest is usually the go-to, but I've been hearing a lot that research is really important, so should I devote an essay to that instead? I learned a lot doing both and forged bonds with fellow students and teachers alike, and I'm not sure which will carry more weight.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom 27825 replies155 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    For the UC’s, you have 4 essays to write so I would write about both if they fit two different prompts. For the Common application, you can also select different essay prompts which you could incorporate both accomplishments.

    You have space for 10 EC’s and awards so I do not see an issue on prioritizing one over the other. The accomplishments that carry the most weight would probably up to the discretion of the application reviewer.
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  • drowforgdcdrowforgdc 22 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hello fellow vexer . What team are you on? We might have played you in turning point at states
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm on 1868. We qualified to Nats via Google Signature, so we didn't go to states.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5501 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "I do have safeties in place."

    This is important, and saves me from making what is probably my most common comment!

    With this, I think that if you want to attend "MIT, Caltech, and Stanford" then it is worth applying. All three are reaches. However, your stats are great, I like your ECs, and I think that your chances are good enough to be worth applying. It is difficult to guess how your chances compare to the acceptance rate at all three. Being a woman probably helps you (since women are scarce in CS and high tech), being a CS major does not help but at least for MIT will not matter, your SAT is great. It looks to me as if you have done the ECs that you wanted to do, and did them well. This is exactly what I think that a high school student should do.

    Be aware that MIT, Caltech, and most or all of the other schools you mentioned will be a lot of work. However, I think that you are up to it and that you are likely to do well wherever you end up.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4064 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    I think your profile is fantastic. You should get into a lot of schools, but do remember that pretty much all the schools on your list have very low admissions rates so don’t be surprised if you get rejections also. Add CMU to your list if you want. Your safeties can be the second tier UCs. Maybe they might do some yield protection but I can’t imagine all of them would. Make sure to write great essays.

    Stanford and MIT is always a lottery. Do note that for Stanford (and probably other schools) they would prefer you have one techie review, one humanities review. In other words you should get your English or 11th grade social science teacher to do your 2nd review.

    And when it’s all said and done, go to UC-Berkeley (wink, wink)
    edited June 21
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you @DadTwoGirls and @ProfessorPlum168!
    If I manage to get into Berkeley, that's my second choice after MIT (which is likely not happening) so I'll definitely go there. And now I need to build my relationship with that APGov teacher so for her rec, thanks for letting me know early!
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2529 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 22
    Of your reach schools, Cornell is probably more likely than MIT or Stanford.

    Why not Carnegie Mellon? Although the acceptance rate for EECS there is about the same as an Ivy. I would still consider it.

    Harvey Mudd would be a good target school too.
    edited June 22
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3483 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Valedictorian, female STEM, nearly perfect SATs, national level awards. Whats not to like? The only thing I didn't mention of is your race/SE status. Are your parents of wealthy means? What is your race?

    These two questions are important nowadays for many admissions committees. They want to see if your parents had any influence. This will have a bearing on some of the schools on your list (although probably not Caltech and the UCs).

    Are you planning any EA apps (Caltech, MIT)? Or SCEA/ED (Cornell, Stanford)?
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 22
    @Hamturtle: My cousin is currently at CMU doing pre-law, and she doesn't like it much. She says the environment is tense and faculty members often leave for other industry opportunities, and the high tuition is mainly for the prestige. Hence I'm a bit wary of applying there, but I'll put some thought into it and check out its CS programs.

    @sgopal2: I actually don't have any prestigious national-level awards, since National Merit Semifinalist, National AP Scholar, and Presidential Service Award aren't big, Rensselaer Medal is just for the top STEM student per high school, and my robotics teams' accomplishments aren't mine individually to talk about.
    I'm ethnically Asian, and my parents were immigrants but are now US citizens. If possible, since saying Asian is only going to bring down my admission chances, I'll probably put "decline to state" or its equivalent. I'm not sure if that's an option.
    My parents don't have much influence (nothing Sheryl Sandberg-esque), but both work in CS.
    I'm probably applying SCEA Stanford and EA MIT/Caltech, everything else RD. Though apparently EA doesn't do anything for MIT, so I'm not sure where to go there.
    edited June 22
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  • happy1happy1 22851 replies2248 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited June 22
    You cannot apply SCEA (Single Choice Early Action) to Stanford AND EA to MIT/Caltech as you propose above.

    Per Stanford's website:
    Restrictive Early Action Policy -- Applicants do not apply to any other private college/university under their Early Action, Restrictive Early Action, Early Decision or Early Notification program. Applicants may apply to other colleges and universities under their Regular Decision option.
    edited June 22
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4064 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For UCs, race and gender are not considered in applications. Given the schools and the major you are applying for, I highly doubt if putting down Asian is any disadvantage. Especially after what Harvard is going thru.
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Got it, thank you. I learned recently that EA at MIT/Caltech doesn't help much, and that in fact the EA pool for MIT might be harder than RD, so I'll just apply SCEA Stanford and RD the rest.
    For the schools that do care about race, how much is my being female in CS able to outweigh being Asian in CS?
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  • happy1happy1 22851 replies2248 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    Personally I'd apply EA to my top choice school but it is your call.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34102 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Besides debate and choir, what non stem ECs? I'm not including homeroom rep, CSF, NHS.

    Yes, a consistently good record. But all the colleges will have some degree of holistic, most especially Cornell, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford.

    Right now is the time to take a deep look into what those 4 want. Read the MIT blogs.
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    That's true, I see a weakness there. I didn't know how pointy/rounded I had to be for applications, so I did all the things I found fun (robotics, choir) or gratifying (debate, research). I've won a couple local short story writing competitions and one international, but nothing very prestigious, as I did this entirely for fun. Would that count as a non-STEM EC, and can I ask why HR rep, NHS, and CSF don't count?
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  • mileysanchez012mileysanchez012 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    wow, everything about your high school years is so impressive. your gpa, scores, extracurriculars, awards, EVERYTHING is very good. Since UC’s have low acceptance rates it’s very difficult to tell you that you are definitely getting in, but as long as you have a couple of safeties in mind, you should be good! best of luck to you :)
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34102 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    NHS varies by hs, some with tough requirements and not til jr year, some letting even freshmen in (!) Some CC threads on NHS. And homeroom rep seems a more individualized role? CSF is more a CA thing. Not dissing these. But curious what else. Not all needs to be school related, but organized in some way is good. And summer is a good time to pick up this "more."

    What do you do at the community center?

    Pointy is iffy. It can be a critique. The right rounding can show openness to more than just stem. Debate and choir are great. Anything else?

    I think you have excellent chances for the UCs. It's just the others can be so dang perfectionist.
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  • daunt18daunt18 55 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I mentioned story-writing above, does that count? I volunteer at the community center over the summer, where I teach elementary and middle school kids tennis and help the actual teachers run their classes.
    I also founded a Dead Poets Society club in sophomore year, where we basically do the same thing as in the movie, sharing and analyzing prose and poetry. Would this count?
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