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Chances for Engineering Schools?

TomatoLabyrinthTomatoLabyrinth 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello! I'm having trouble figuring out what types of colleges I'm competitive for. I'll be applying to UVA, VT, and NC State. Carnegie Mellon or Duke for a reach potentially. George Mason as a safety?
- Rising senior in Virginia
- White Female
- Applying to engineering (ECE is my interest)

SAT: 1420 (680 e/740 m)
GPA: 4.6 weighted (all A's); class rank 1/50

Classes worth noting: Honors English 9, 10; AP Lang (4); honors algebra 1, 2; precalc; AP calc AB (5); honors physics; C++ programming
Senior AP's: Computer Science A, calc BC, chemistry

EC's:
- STEM club (9)
- FIRST robotics competition (10-12) - electrical captain 11-12 (FIRST Dean's list semifinalist)
- Golf (11)
- Orchestra (9-12)
- NHS (10-12)
- Gardening (hobby)

Employment: Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program 2019

Some guidance on what type of schools I should be applying to would be very helpful. Thanks!
20 replies
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Replies to: Chances for Engineering Schools?

  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 516 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    My D had somewhat similar stats and considered Rice, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Olin, Lehigh, Northeastern, and UC Berkeley. Definitely worth your time to check them out. Rice was amazing, CMU’s education is incredible if it’s a good personality fit. Olin is a one-of-a-kind education that is nothing like anything you’ve seen before. Consider carefully what you’re looking for out of your education.
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  • TomatoLabyrinthTomatoLabyrinth 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited August 4
    Thank you for your reply. What personality is CMU known for? I know Duke is known for being competitive, but I have had trouble finding information about Carnegie Mellon's culture.
    edited August 4
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  • HamurtleHamurtle 2473 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    That 1420 SAT might be a hindrance for the top engineering schools. Consider NC State, Arizona, or Arizona State for engineering.

    Carnegie Mellon is extremely competitive. Their EECS program has Ivy acceptance rates and the Engineering school is likely the same. Think survival of the fittest.
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  • GreymeerGreymeer 770 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    Of the schools you mention, Carnegie Mellon is the only "engineering school".

    NC State is close though.

    UVA, VT, GMU, Duke aren't "engineering schools".

    With a 1420 and a VA resident you will be in at VT and GMU. NC State OK chance. UVA a decent shot since you are #1. Duke, CMU no shot < 10%.

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  • TomatoLabyrinthTomatoLabyrinth 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you for your advice. By engineering school, I meant I plan to apply to the engineering schools within the colleges I listed. Is the SAT the worst part or is there something else I am missing?
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2378 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It would be the SATs for sure, the 25% for CMU engineering verbal is 710, math is 770, the 25-75 is 1480-1560 and you're at 1420. Being a female and 4.0 uw will help, and 1420 is not a bad score, but CMU engineering and CS is uber competitive as others have noted. Can you take it again or try the ACT (you'll need 34s or higher across the board) but it may be worth a shot.
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  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 516 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    We were big CMU fans until she visited. She felt it was too stressful for her. It was tough to give up taking half her classes in the number 1 computer science school in the country but she wanted to enjoy her college years. Definitely don’t take her experience as everyone’s, but that was her thought process. She does have friends who are living their best lives at CMU. Everyone is different.

    I agree that if you’re reaching high, you may want to try an ACT. Your scores should be at least middle 50 for your best chance.

    Have you looked at Lafayette, Stevens, or Northeastern?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33596 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Missing? Robotics is great, but it seems that and orch are the only ECs you stayed with. SEAP is great. But the top holistics can look for more. NHS is not a tip. And UVA is unpredictable, even for top kids, for several reasons.
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  • sevmomsevmom 8383 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Make sure you go over finances with your family in terms of what they will pay for. You have a couple very expensive privates on your list. Virginia Tech sounds like a good match for you.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7003 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Purdue, UMD, Lehigh, RPI might be worth considering.

    FWIW, My D loved CMU on paper but it came off her list after visiting. Like @MuggleMom's D, mine thought it felt too intense and too focused on CS.
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  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 516 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    One more, if you like project based learning, check out WPI.
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  • TomatoLabyrinthTomatoLabyrinth 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Unfortunately, I took the ACT and only got a 29. Thank you for the information about CMU. Personally, I like competition as it pushes me to do better, but at the college level, I'm sure it could easily turn to a nightmare.
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  • TomatoLabyrinthTomatoLabyrinth 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    In-state schools are definitely my top choices right now because of finances. I'm really just dreaming with Duke and CMU lol. TBH, when I visited Duke, it seemed uninviting and not somewhere I'd want to spend 4 years. I just added them to the list because I visited. Virginia Tech seems to have a nice mix of being chill and competitive at the same time. Thanks everyone for recommending colleges to look into.
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  • racereerracereer 138 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    S19 had very similar stats and was also from Va. His SATs were a little higher on math but lower verbal (780m/640v) and had the same GPA and class rank (out of ~350) as you. Except for a research internship at NASA for which he is getting published, his ECs were very non stem and mostly theater and music (vocal) related. He did have a very stem related curriculum by attending the Governor's School for sciences and technology for his his Jr and Sr year completing 14 AP or dual enrolled classes. He applied for Chemical Engineering or Gen Engineering to all his schools. He was accepted at GT, UVA, VT, U of M (w/l), RPI, UIUC, WVU, and Penn St. He was denied at MIT, Princeton, CMU, and JHU. The only schools that gave him merit scholarships were RPI and WVU. He is going to attend GT this fall, but has decided to change to Material Science engineering.

    I think you are on track with your choices and you should be fine considering VT a safety/match and a real good shot at UVA for instate. If you are looking for another instate safety that has merit potential for engineering, consider VCU. Another reach school that can give good aid (depending on your financial situation) is JHU, but your best chance for admission would be ED.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 15
    A word about "competition."

    Competition, as reflected by grades, is an old and familiar part of the traditional educational process which also places a premium on memory. With today's technology, the half lives of today's information bases are very short.

    ?: Who actually works well with members of a design/research team and is able to listen, evaluate and incorporate the ideas of others? Who self-teaches?

    Project education is a proving ground for the development of ideas beyond the classic repetition of already defined problems. The building blocks used in many modern engineering/science very often require what I call "group think." This environment is not always the best proving ground for the quickest and fastest thinker who must always win the race with their own ideas. Their is still room in the world for the often romanticized solo thinker, but the complex, interdisciplinary nature of today's designs frequently require group collaboration.

    What do you expect from your university to develop your own professional skills. It might not be a heavier dose of the grade grubbing classical model. It may be practice with an attitudinal difference.

    edited August 15
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Look at WPI for highly developed teamwork approaches mentioned above. Average GPA is 3.9/4 (unweighted), but not as difficult as CMU for admission. WPI and Olin are probably the current leaders in project education. For WPI, see https://www.wpi.edu/project-based-learning/wpi-plan and for ECE see https://www.wpi.edu/academics/departments/electrical-computer-engineering

    For the tutorial research/project approach at see Olin @ http://www.olin.edu/
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77784 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A word about "competition."

    Competition, as reflected by grades, is an old and familiar part of the traditional educational process which also places a premium on memory.

    It might not be a heavier dose of the grade grubbing classical model. It may be practice with an attitudinal difference.

    Competition based on grades is typically the result of a college or major being more popular among applicants than it has capacity to admit. A major that has capacity to admit all applicants could set a baseline of 2.0 GPA and C grades, but a major that is oversubscribed needs to use some means of "rationing" its available space.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    WPI does not assign credit for coursework with a GPA below 2.0. There are no D's. They are called NR's or "no records." One has not progressed directly along the credit hour ladder, but it has costs the student time and money. Some complain that this is a bad idea as the cumulative GPA is widely viewed somewhat as a universal measurement of performance. This implies that the system should somehow punish students for the unsuccessful completion of a course. In the world of ABET accredited engineering degrees, "D" grades are not acceptable, so WPI does not recognize them.

    Some argue that failures actually are a part of learning on the indirect and twisted road to find real problem solutions. Solutions are not as neat as often presented in textbook solutions.

    I digress, but this is an interesting area which needs some airing as some students evolve into "grade grubbers." Let's talk about the hard work and reward of discovery found in real project solutions. This experience becomes a primary motivator and not the GPA.

    What did you invent today?
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3984 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not really understanding this but Virginia Tech is a great engineering school. https://eng.vt.edu/about.html
    Most likely the less expensive option also.
    Have some safeties.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Please note that GPA's higher than four are weighted GPAs and should not be used in comparison with an unweighted GPA where straight A's are 4.0.

    Yes, Virginia Tech is a great University!
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