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Chances for Stanford, MIT, UCLA, USC, UChicago with an 3.8 unweighted gpa?

highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
edited August 4 in What Are My Chances?
Academic Profile: I attend a competitive public high school in the suburbs of Chicago. All of my B's were freshman year/1st semester sophomore year.
GPA: 3.84 UW, 4.47 W
ACT: 36
Taking courses at local university - 4.0 GPA there (Idk if that's worth anything oof)
Extracurriculars/Achievements:
- Studied abroad in Russia for 2 months (summer after junior year, fully funded)
- 2 weeks culturally immersive stem program abroad (summer after freshman year, fully funded)
- Founder and ran Girls Who Code club for 4 years
- Did science research at a local museum for 2 years
- SWE Community Award
- got a pilot's license
- Played classical guitar all of high school (1st in local competition)
- Cross Country 4 years (to stay in shape, didn't win anything)
- Speech for 4 years
- DECA 4 years (placed in-state)
- Student Ambassador for 3 years
- Student Council for 2 years

Background:
I'm white :(
I'm a girl
Probably not getting financial aid

Major: Double major Astronautical Engineering & Astrophysics with a minor in Russian

Please feel free to recommend schools I should apply too! My GPA is low so I am conflicted. Should I wait till spring to submit applications to raise my GPA a bit (will be 3.86/4.52)? I was going to apply Stanford REA.
edited August 4
21 replies
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Replies to: Chances for Stanford, MIT, UCLA, USC, UChicago with an 3.8 unweighted gpa?

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28775 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Can you afford these schools? What are your parents willing and able to pay? You do not seem to think you are eligible for financial aid, so whether your family will be able to pay for these schools a big question

    What kind of courses have you taken? Any AP courses—what are the scores? Whet are you going to be in terms

    I don’t think UCs or Stanford count freshman year grades. Double check.

    Is your local university a CC or ; year, and what are you taking there?

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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    My parents can pay for half of it, and I have a lot of scholarships to pay for the rest!
    I have taken 8 AP courses and I am taking another 5 this year. I got seven 5's and one 4!
    I am taking it at a local university, not CC. I am taking a language not offered at my school. I have taken 3 years of it. I take 1 year per semester and I have taken it since the summer before my junior year.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6634 replies41 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What scholarships? Generally outside scholarships are small and some of the schools on your list don’t give merit awards. If you do get some financial aid, be aware that outside scholarships need to be reported and may reduce your institutional aid.

    A few Bs freshman year won’t hurt you. Apply in the Fall.

    Have match and safety schools on your list. These high reaches are a crap shoot even with a perfect ACT.
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  • boudersbouders 2431 replies170 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    University of Chicago only has an engineering major in molecular engineering. Have you checked the offerings at the other schools? There are few that offer astronautical engineering.

    You can't wait until spring to apply to these schools. The deadlines are in late December/early January.

    The schools you have listed are reaches for anyone. There are less selective colleges such as Purdue and Embry-Riddle that you should also apply for.
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    I got a bunch of those smaller scholarships and have about $30k in them, but I am still applying. I got 7 B's, 3 freshman year, 4 1st semester sophomore year. Is that too much? I am still top 5% of my class though. I really hope to get through the GPA hurdle.
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    The only school with both of the majors I was looking for is Stanford which really sucks. UChicago I would just choose astrophysics. USC I would just choose astronautical engineering. Is it worth it to REA Stanford?
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1326 replies19 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If your parents can afford half and you have 30k in scholarships, you are about $100k-120k short.
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    @Eeyore123 I'm not really worried about the money. If I get in, I'm going. I am worried about my GPA though :(
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    Sorry, I forgot to link @bouders @cptofthehouse @momofsenior1 to previous comments. I am new here I apologize.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6634 replies41 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    7 Bs could be an issue but your GPA is what it is. If you apply RD, your guidance counselor will send a mid year report so, schools will see your first semester senior year grades. As noted above, you need to apply before they are available.

    You need to sit down with your parents and discuss the finances. "Not worried about the money" is a recipe for disaster. Many schools will not allow stacking of scholarships and most outside scholarships are only for year one. You don't want to be one of the students transferring out because you can no longer afford the bill or going into huge debt for undergrad.

    All of the schools on your listed are high reaches. No one can chance you beyond pointing that out. Focus your time and energy on your match and safeties, and use the weakest part of your application for making those determinations.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33101 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    7 Bs will be an issue. Tens of thousands of applicants will have no B grades- or maybe one, in some classs unrelated to their majors. Their ECs will be a lot fiercer than yours. (Nothing in there shows an engineering focus, what tippy tops expect from engineering wannabes.) Plus you need to understand what Stanford looks for. Imo, if you did, you'd be looking at your chances in a different light. Sorry, but it takes more than resolve to successfully apply. You need to be the right candidate. That's on their terms, not your wants.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom 27428 replies142 postsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    edited August 4
    UCLA uses 10-11th grades, weights only AP/IB classes taken during this time and will be around $65K/year without including air travel costs. Where your B’s in Freshman year?
    Also there are 3 UC GPA’s considered by UCLA, capped weighted, unweighted and fully weighted.

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    Do you meet all the UC a-g course requirements including a year of a Visual/Performing arts course?

    Average UC Capped weighted for 2019 is 4.25. UCLA’s application deadline is Nov 30th and does not consider Senior grades. Where are your safety and target schools since all the schools on your list are Reach schools?
    edited August 4
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28775 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ok— how about listing the courses you have taken, your grades, where you have taken them, and what AP courses and test results you have. Have you taken SAT2s? They are required for MIT, recommended and required for Some other schools listed.

    Here is the thing:
    You know your test score is great. 5/5 for that. Can’t get better, UNLESS some schools or programs want some SAT2 scores as well—MIT does

    AP classes with high scores often the gold standard in rigorous curriculum and essential to take if offered at your high school. The ones that get scrutiny for engineering are Calculus and Physics. You are pretty much judged in the context of your peers in high school. If a number of them are taking Calc B/C, for example, and you are not, it’s an issue. Also, it’s important to take the courses that the colleges list as necessary or recommended.

    How a college regards dual enrollment with a college varied widely. Usually top schools like to see key classes taken at the High school at the highest level the school offers. Taking it at a CC or a local school when it’s offered at highschool does raise questions. I think you have this covered, having taken AP exams

    All AP courses not regarded equally. For engineering programs, certain AP results in the maths and sciences have more weight than Geography or Psychology.

    The UCs boards have Formulas for their own GPA

    As a female, you have a slight edge, going into your chosen field of study. But, yes, your grades are s bit of blotch for the very top schools.

    These schools are lottery tickets for everybody. You should be looking for safety schools as well.



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  • happy1happy1 22662 replies2224 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    edited August 4
    You should be concerned about money as well as admissions. As noted up-thread at a number of colleges outside scholarships will reduce institutional aid.

    Be sure you have colleges that are both academic and financial matches and safetys and that you would be excited to attend.

    Many people spent too much time and energy focused on schools that are reaches either financially or academically when IMO more effort should be used seeking out great match and safety schools -- they are out there.
    edited August 4
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    @happy1 my safety school is $10k/year with scholarships and I love that school. However, I would love to pursue the 2 majors I specified, which I can only do at Stanford. If I get into Stanford, my family and I will find a way to make it work. Is there anything I can do between now and application time to make it less academically a reach?
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  • happy1happy1 22662 replies2224 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    Just keep doing as well as you can in the most rigorous classes you can handle and continue to be involved and make a difference with your ECs. When the time comes to apply give it your all -- present yourself and your accomplishments in the best light possible and take great care with any supplements. There is nothing (short of becoming a recruited quarterback) which will make Stanford, which has an acceptance rate of under 5%, anything other than a reach.

    Good luck as you go through the process. Since you have an academic/financial safety that you love things will work out fine.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2335 replies5 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Is there anything I can do between now and application time to make it less academically a reach? "

    There's not much you can do on the academic side to make Stanford less of a reach as others, (l/f,cpt) pointed out. Many kids that get into Stanford SCEA show they can cross disciplines (ex: CS and music), so maybe try to connect engineering with your passion for Russian.

    "7 Bs will be an issue."
    As shocking as this may sound, I agree with @lookingforward , that's a lot of Bs for Stanford.
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  • CU123CU123 3434 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would drop UCLA, not likely to get much money and paying the OOS rate is not worth it. As far as the others MIT would be a good option for EA, (consider CalTech also). Your GPA seems to be all A’s from 2nd semester sophomore year on, that shows improvement so the B’s should not be a big factor in your application. Both MIT and CT place more emphasis on scores. No luck at either try UChicago ED2.
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  • Al73Al73 43 replies16 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I wonder where you got $30K in outside scholarships.
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  • highschooler257highschooler257 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    @Al73 I enter a bunch of scholarship competitions and write lots of essays. I do the ones that are only for $500-$2000, but they add up! I also won $5k in a science competition once : ) lmk if you have any more questions, I can help you out!
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