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Can I get into the elite engineering schools in the US (MIT, Caltech, Stanford, UMich)?

mrksnemrksne 7 replies1 threads New Member
edited July 13 in What Are My Chances?
I graduated sophomore year with a GPA of 3.75 but I got straight sevens in IB and a predicted grade of 42/42. I got 1600 on my SAT, 800 for my Math level 2, Math level 1, Physics subjects tests, and a 780 for Chemistry. I did the ACT and got 35 in it as well. Moreover, I did a few online college-level courses on Coursera during my sophomore year. I also have some great extras; I took part in a pre-university Science Olympiad and won a bronze medal and I participated in the BIEA competition (a national competition) where I designed my own trash-collecting amphibious vehicle.
edited July 13
61 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Can I get into the elite engineering schools in the US (MIT, Caltech, Stanford, UMich)?

  • mrksnemrksne 7 replies1 threads New Member
    I graduated sophomore year with a GPA of 3.75 but I got straight sevens in IB and a predicted grade of 42/42. I got 1600 on my SAT, 800 for my Math level 2, Math level 1, Physics subjects tests, and a 780 for Chemistry. I also did the ACT and got 35 in it. Moreover, I did a few online college-level courses on Coursera during my sophomore year. I have some pretty great extras as well; such as I took part in a pre-university Science Olympiad and won a bronze medal.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2092 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Can you? Yes. Will you? Don’t know.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited June 15
    BTW, if you look overseas (like the UK), they'd care more about your IB scores. I'd say you have a decent shot at Caltech (and Oxbridge/Imperial/LSE), your shot at Cal depends on where you live and what school/major you apply to, and like anyone else who is unhooked, a poor shot at MIT/Stanford unless you have some hook.

    What happened to UMich? I'd say you have a pretty good shot there.

    Also, what is your status and can you afford them?
    edited June 15
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited June 15
    It's possible that you get in to at least one of them.
    edited June 15
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  • sushirittosushiritto 5485 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Besides all the other factors, UMich admission will depend on in-state versus OOS. For the Class of 2022 and 2023, the in-state acceptance rate was roughly 41% and the OOS acceptance rate was 19%.

    Also, the average uwGPA for UMich CoE was 3.9+. uwGPA and course rigor are the two most important factors in the UMich admission decision per the CDS. Having said all that, you have a decent shot at UMich.

    The other colleges have such low admission rates that your potential admission there would be in the category of really high reach.

    Good luck.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2492 replies42 threads Senior Member
    It’s somewhat dependent on another year and a half of grades. 3.75 is likely below the 25th percentile at most of those schools and HS grades are almost always the top admissions criteria. An improved GPA, and an upward trend, would certainly improve your chances.

    Standardized testing and extracurriculars aren’t as heavily weighted as GPA, but they can certainly help. Just be aware that at somewhere like Caltech or MIT, where the average enrolled student is in the 1520-1550 range, the added value of a 1600 isn’t as high as somewhere like Michigan, which is closer to 1450.

    GPA is probably similar - 15% of UM enrolled students had a GPA under 3.75. I suspect the (not published on the CDS) number at MIT/Caltech is minuscule.

    Context also depends. If your HS has very tough grading, and a 3.75 is in the top 5%, it’s a different story than a typical HS where it’s closer to 15%.

    Some will depend on the extent of your “elite” definition. MIT and Caltech are at one tier, and it might be tough. Michigan, GT, CMU, Cornell and a few others are a small step down, on a pure admissions stats basis, and I suspect you could get into at least one or more of them. At a few other schools still in the Top 10 elite list (Illinois, Purdue), I’d say you’re quite likely to be admitted.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    "HS grades are almost always the top admissions criteria"

    IMO, that really depends.

    Also, are you American? What goals do you have? The UK unis would care less about your GPA and go off of your IB score.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 5485 replies21 threads Senior Member
    GPA is probably similar - 15% of UM enrolled students had a GPA under 3.75. I suspect the (not published on the CDS) number at MIT/Caltech is minuscule.

    At schools like UMich (and Stanford too), which compete at the highest level of D1 athletics, UMich finished #2 to Stanford in the Director's Cup rankings, athletes will represent a sizable portion of admitted students in that "lower echelon" of GPA. UMich has over 1,000 student-athletes.

    Additionally, from watching the UMich admission threads for several years, the vast majority of prospective UMich students posting acceptances on CC with a 3.7-ish GPA were in-state applicants.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited June 15
    @sushiritto, 1K student-athletes is still a drop in the bucket at a school as huge as UMich. UMich has nearly 30K undergrads. Even if all of them are in the lower 15% of GPA, they would make up a small portion of that group. Granted, if you add in other hooked applicants (like URM), unhooked applicants probably make up a small percentage of that group.

    However:
    1. Do we know if that GPA is weighted or unweighted?
    2. OP, are you giving a weighted or unweighted GPA?
    Actually, how did you have a 3.75 GPA if you got 7's on everything in IB? 7's are pretty rare (a 7 in IB is equivalent to a 99-100% grade) and you got them in all subjects.

    Are you converting from another system? (If so, BTW, don't do that; American colleges understand other grading scales).
    edited June 15
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  • sushirittosushiritto 5485 replies21 threads Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan UMich admits roughly 7,000 students per class. The HS Class of 2019 was 6,830 students at UMich.

    So, if 15% of 7,000 had an unweighted GPA of under 3.75, then that's about 1,050 students. Realizing that there are redshirting athletes, there's probably about 200-250 student-athletes per class. Now, not all of those student-athletes are below 3.75, but I'd say roughly 15-20% +/- of the class, in terms of athletes, is a "sizable portion."

    Then add in all other other hooked applicants, such as students from the Upper Peninsula ("Yoopers"), developmental applicant types, URM's, etc., there's not much room left in each class, at the 3.75 and below uwGPA level, for non-hooked applicants. And each class is roughly 50/50 (52/45/3) instate versus OOS.

    UMich only looks at unweighted GPA and course rigor, but not weighted GPA's.
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  • mrksnemrksne 7 replies1 threads New Member
    edited June 15
    I got a 3.75 by the end of SOPHMORE year. And yes I converted my IGCSE grades to GPA. I started IGCSE with mainly Bs and Cs and only 2As but by the end, I had all A*s and As
    edited June 15
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited June 16
    Yeah, don't convert. It really throws off American posters (as you might have noticed, there can be some grade inflation in US HS). American colleges will understand the rigor of your system.

    I still stand by my post #4.

    Edit: I should add a caveat: I stand by what I said in post #4 if you are full-pay and can afford all these schools without fin aid.
    edited June 16
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  • mrksnemrksne 7 replies1 threads New Member
    Ok, thank you but what did you mean by "a poor shot at MIT/Stanford unless you have some hook."?
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    edited June 16
    Almost nobody has a good shot at MIT/Stanford undergrad without a hook (URM, recruited athlete, famous/rich/powerful parents, family gave or will give a ton of money to the school). That is, unless you've won or done well in some national/international competition/ranking.

    The good news is that grad school admissions is a different story.
    edited June 16
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 230 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @mrksne: Always worth a try. When writing a personal statement or essay, make sure to think something different to set you apart, in good ways, from others. You still have time to improve your GPA in junior/1H senior year. Here is my personal, subjective assessment at this point:

    Stanford: 50%;
    UC Berkeley M.E.T program: 50%; (it's believed the acceptance rate was <3% in 2019);
    MIT: 60%;
    UC Berkeley EECS program: 60%;
    UC Berkeley other engineering program: 70%;
    CalTech: 75%;
    CMU: 80%;
    UMichigan: 80%;
    Georgia Tech: 85%.

    CalPoly-SLO: 90% - I would regard it as a "safety" school as in your case. Please note that even this school is very competitive:
    https://www.sanluisobispo.com/latest-news/article230678879.html

    Here is a reference link to a guy just got admitted to Stanford UG this year, you may wan to take a close look:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/2100728-chance-me-for-top-cs-schools-p1.html

    Good luck!
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 230 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Note on post #16:
    UC Berkeley M.E.T program: 50%; (it's believed the acceptance rate was < 3% in 2019);
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13628 replies32 threads Senior Member
    @CalCUStanford, I believe the percentages you listed are too high for Stanford and MIT.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 5485 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited June 17
    @mrksne: Always worth a try. When writing a personal statement or essay, make sure to think something different to set you apart, in good ways, from others. You still have time to improve your GPA in junior/1H senior year. Here is my personal, subjective assessment at this point:

    Stanford: 50%;
    UC Berkeley M.E.T program: 50%; (it's believed the acceptance rate was <3% in 2019);
    MIT: 60%;
    UC Berkeley EECS program: 60%;
    UC Berkeley other engineering program: 70%;
    CalTech: 75%;
    CMU: 80%;
    UMichigan: 80%;
    Georgia Tech: 85%.

    CalPoly-SLO: 90% - I would regard it as a "safety" school as in your case. Please note that even this school is very competitive:
    https://www.sanluisobispo.com/latest-news/article230678879.html

    Here is a reference link to a guy just got admitted to Stanford UG this year, you may wan to take a close look:

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/what-my-chances/2100728-chance-me-for-top-cs-schools-p1.html

    Good luck!

    No disrespect, but complete nonsense.

    CP SLO is a safety school? CP SLO uses a formula (MCA), which awards points for GPA, course rigor and SAT/ACT score and also incorporates points for volunteering and paid work hours, with bonus points for those EC's that are specifically tied to your major. And the OP didn't even list those. Subjects tests aren't even considered at CP SLO.

    I'd suggest you take a look at the SLO and the UMich deferred and waitlist threads, since I'm very familiar with those two, and see what GPA's and test scores are being rejected by these schools. The thread(s) are littered with students with 3.9+/1,500+ being deferred in EA and then rejected in RD (UMich).

    Stanford 50/50? Cal Tech 75%? GT 85% :lol:
    edited June 17
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