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GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
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Chance me for HYPSM, COLUMBIA, Carnegie Mellon, Caltech, UC Berkeley, UWash (CS),

CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
edited July 13 in What Are My Chances?
Hi Guys :)
Just starting college apps now and would like some suggestions on where to apply and what my chances are for my dream schools like Stanford and Columbia. Rising Senior.

Intended Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Intended Minor: Business
Personal Details: Asian Male :(

Academics:
3.97 GPA (UW); 4.5+(W)
HG(4), WH(4), Stats(5), Chem(5), Lang(4), USH(5), Calc AB(5), CS Prin (5), CSA(5), Psych(5).
ACT: 35
PSAT: 1470 (will likely get Semi-finalist due to predicted cutoff)
Subject Tests: Math II (800); Chemistry (800); Physics (800)

ECs:
- Worked as Camp Counselor for Kiwanis Camp Casey (336 hrs).

- Varsity Tennis Player (3 years so far) + Team Captain (senior year) + Districts Champion and State competitor

- Created a small non-profit organization called Lib Tutors (donated money to needy organizations)- Initially was a platform through which people from my area could get free tutoring from people from my high school. This offered online summer classes (corona) and also one-on-one tutoring through discord. Before school starts, we will integrate with our school's National Honor Society in the form of a club offering service events so we can open our services to anyone at Liberty. Lib Tutors became a fairly popular tool used by my high school.

- Worked as a paid math, computer science, and chemistry tutor for family friends and peers. A job that took quite a bit of time. (I hope admissions officers take this into account).

- Completed two online courses.
1. Introduction to Computer Science Course from Harvard University (CS50).
2. Astrophysics Course from EdX (ANUx's Astrophysics XSeries).

- Will be president of Lib Tutors club once school begins (extends Lib Tutors organization)

- Will participate in a neuroscience camp at the University of Washington in a few days. Called YSP-Reach (Center for Neurotechnology Virtual REACH Program).

- I would have done more EC's like do the National Chemistry Olympiad (I think I had a good chance of getting to Nationals), but they were all unfortunately canceled.



Are any of these colleges a safety/match and any suggestions for other colleges??? I am struggling on finding a safety/match that I actually want to go to.

Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
UC Berkeley
Princeton University
Yale University
Carnegie Mellon University
Columbia University
California Institute of Technology
UCLA
Cornell University
University of Washington
Brown University
UC Santa Barbara
University of Pennsylvania
Oxford University
Dartmouth College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rice University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Duke University
University of Chicago


Thanks!
edited July 13
30 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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«1

Replies to: Chance me for HYPSM, COLUMBIA, Carnegie Mellon, Caltech, UC Berkeley, UWash (CS),

  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited July 5
    I forgot to mention that I am also the public relations officer for National Honor Society in senior year and that I was in science olympiad for two years. The one year I competed the state competition was canceled. We made it to state though, if I remember correctly. I was also in Patriot Crew, a school program that helps freshmen become more familiar with the school.

    My ACT Essay Score was also a 10
    edited July 5
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3915 replies52 threads Senior Member
    What state are you from?
    Do you need financial aid?
    What is your (estimated) class rank?
    Are you applying ED/EA anywhere?
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  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @sgopal2
    I'm a Washington resident who doesn't need financial aid. My class rank is probably top 1%, and I'm applying EA to probably almost all my colleges (definite those in my title). ED I'm still deciding.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3915 replies52 threads Senior Member
    Of the schools on your list, those with a binding ED program will give you the biggest boost. Your stats and scores are superb. Being full pay is also a nice plus. But as you know, things for ORMs are a bit more difficult, especially with your interest in STEM. Applying to one of the lottery schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) SCEA will be a big risk, I personally wouldn't do it.

    Instead, I would suggest to find a school with binding ED1 and apply. At the same time apply to as many EA schools that allow concurrent ED apps. Then have a backup plan in place for ED2 round. Finally the RD schools. Here is a suggested gameplan:

    UCAS: Oxford
    EA: MIT, Caltech, UChicago, GaTech
    ED1: Pick from RIT, Dartmouth, Penn, Chicago, Brown or Cornell
    ED2: If you get deferred or rejected from EA and ED1, then apply ED2 to Chicago
    RD: UCB, UCLA, UCSB, UW, others

    Statistically your greatest odds of acceptance will be in ED1 and ED2 rounds. Then there is a huge drop off in acceptance rates during EA and RD rounds.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited July 6
    If you’re a Washington resident you’re probably a match for UW. Other than just about all of the colleges on your long list are reaches for everyone, or everyone out of state for the publics (not sure about data for Rochester, possibly a match). You need to put some solid work into figuring out matches and safeties. And into figuring out what you actually want in a college. There are such differences between the schools on your list, other than they are mostly “prestigious” and selective, that it’s hard to believe you’ve really thought about what type of college you think will suit you (and vice versa).

    Your stats are excellent - don’t get me wrong, you are a great candidate - but many of the schools on your list have so many excellent candidates that their admit rates are in single digits or low teens (for publics you need to look at OOS admit rates). That makes them a reach for everyone.
    edited July 6
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  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @SJ2727

    thanks for the advice. Yeah, the colleges I listed were just some colleges that were on my mind, but I didn't start any research yet, so I didn't have any safeties yet.

    Do you have any idea what my chances would look like for UCLA and UCB? Would they be a reach or match or high match?

    Also, by UW, I'm guessing you meant UW Computer Science?

    Thanks
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 306 replies1 threads Member
    UW Computer Science or Informatics are very tough admissions direct to major, even with your stats, @CollegePanda12. UCB and UCLA might be even tougher. I know of several highly qualified Washington state residents (with national awards, etc.) rejected by UCB in the STEM fields. The UC system provides very little out-of-state aid.

    So...I’m not even sure UW would be a match for direct admit, and it’s really hard to get into those majors later. UCB and UCLA are reach to high reach, I think.

    Good luck crafting your list!
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @SJ2727

    thanks for the advice. Yeah, the colleges I listed were just some colleges that were on my mind, but I didn't start any research yet, so I didn't have any safeties yet.

    Do you have any idea what my chances would look like for UCLA and UCB? Would they be a reach or match or high match?

    Also, by UW, I'm guessing you meant UW Computer Science?

    Thanks

    The two flagship UCs are reaches for almost everyone. I understand UCLA has the highest number of applications of any college in the country. I meant what I said - UW and maybe Rochester, I don’t know enough about it, are the only matches on that list. For UW I meant admission in general, not major specific. If you haven’t read through the UW results thread(s) it’s worth a read. Some majors are seriously tough to get direct admit and it seems CS is one of them.

    You have a great profile and you are very likely to get into at least one top 20 college, but I think you need to do some more work on what kind of college you’re actually looking for, because you’re much more likely to gain admittance somewhere you can show a strong fit.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    It occurs to me you may be making a common mistake about analyzing match vs reach, namely only looking at admitted student profile stats and not taking the overall admit rates into account. Anything with an admit rate in the teens or below is generally regarded as a reach for everyone. For publics you need to look at the OOS distinction too - example Georgia Tech last year had admit rates of 38% instate and 15% out of state.
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  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited July 7
    @SJ2727

    yeah, you're right. How about a college like Boston University? It has a decent CS program and its admit rate is 25% with an average ACT of 29-32. Would this be a match? High safety? Also, I noticed that you are a very active and get lots of agrees. Do you mind if I ask for your discord? I just think it could really help. You don't have to, obviously.
    edited July 7
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    BU is a tricky one because its admit rate is actually down to the high teens, but I do think it’d be a match. You’re at the 75th percentile on ACT. Hint: go on to each college page to confirm actual stats, the “headline” google results are often outdated. Here is BU’s latest: http://www.bu.edu/admissions/why-bu/academic-profile/

    I don’t have a discord, sorry.
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  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @SJ2727

    thanks for the reply, and I'll be sure to check the actual websites.

    As for Stanford, do you think it's an impossible reach? (Same goes for Harvard and Columbia, those are my dream schools). I feel like my test scores and extracurriculars are average by their standards, at best, and that's why I was considering applying to many reaches to maximize my chances. You said that my chances for T20 are likely, but are my chances of getting into stanford, columbia, or harvard too small to even consider SCEA? How do I stack up against the competition?

    Thanks
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 306 replies1 threads Member
    My daughter was accepted to Columbia (and other reach schools) during the regular decision round in 2019. I believe that with all the high reach schools, applicants really need to carefully research the college, programs of interest, and social/physical environment. Additionally, one needs to craft their personal essay and individual college supplements with exquisite (and authentic) care to resonate with the admissions teams. Colleges like Columbia receive tens of thousands of applications each year. They really need to “see” and “hear” you through your essays.

    Many students apply to these colleges with amazing stats, but the schools remain out of reach to many, which is why applicants need to be strategic, resilient, and open-minded.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    @SJ2727

    thanks for the reply, and I'll be sure to check the actual websites.

    As for Stanford, do you think it's an impossible reach? (Same goes for Harvard and Columbia, those are my dream schools). I feel like my test scores and extracurriculars are average by their standards, at best, and that's why I was considering applying to many reaches to maximize my chances. You said that my chances for T20 are likely, but are my chances of getting into stanford, columbia, or harvard too small to even consider SCEA? How do I stack up against the competition?

    Thanks

    Nothing is impossible with your stats, but these are all high reaches for everyone. If you truly, truly love a school then by all means use your early application on it. And these schools aren’t always predictable. On naviance, Columbia had accepted exactly one person from my daughter’s school over the previous 3 year period before her senior year. In her senior year, it handed out 7 admits! By contrast Stanford, which usually took a few, only took a recruited athlete that year. Moral of this little story is that you never really know how you “stack up against the competition” at high reaches once you’re past the good-enough-stats part. Post above says it all - you need to reach them beyond your stats. Make sure there’s fit, and make sure you show it in your essays.

    And then work on those matches and safeties.
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  • CollegePanda12CollegePanda12 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @SJ2727

    will do! Do you recommend that I get a college admissions counselor to help with essay and application building, or would it be sufficient to just write them myself? These tutors are crazy expensive.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3915 replies52 threads Senior Member
    At Columbia you can major in CS either through Columbia College or SEAS (or even Barnard). The acceptance rate at SEAS is a bit higher than the College. If Columbia is your top choice, then apply binding ED1. Doing a double major will be tough, due to Core requirements.
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  • kidzncatzkidzncatz 1144 replies7 threads Senior Member
    edited July 8
    I think RiT (Rochester Institute of Technology) is a match. Of the schools on your list, I think RIT is the most likely admission, but as with other schools, CS is the most competitive major there. UDub is also a match since you are instate. UC Santa Barbara is a reach for CS. All of the other schools are reaches for anyone for any major.
    edited July 8
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  • casinoofnycasinoofny 116 replies12 threads Junior Member
    edited July 8
    To be honest, I have no idea, just apply and see where do you get in. It is very competitive process. My one kid applied early and got in and then he withdrew all applications except he did continue with few full ride schools. He got in few full rides but did not attend full those colleges. Second kid applied early. He was wait listed and then accepted in RD. He got into 3 of the HYPMS school, but he still got rejected from other top schools. GLTY
    edited July 8
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  • BQMattBOssBQMattBOss 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi @CollegePanda12, I'm a sophomore and I'm interested in learning more about the non-profit you started. This is probably not a response you're looking for, but a group of friends and I want to start a club similar to what you did (making a non-profit organization to tutor anyone who needs any assistance with their school work etc.) and we need some guidance on how to start. If you have time, can you get back to me? We would really appreciate it. Here's my discord: BQMattBOss#3118
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  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 206 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @CollegePanda12 : If I were you, I would just target 8 schools at most:

    1. Stanford (as my top choice due to abundant resources including faculty, facilities, opportunities, etc. but its holistic admission process is, in my opinion, the most unpredictable one on the list),
    2. MIT,
    3. Caltech or Princeton,
    4. CMU,
    5. UC Berkeley (note: Both Math and CS are in College of L&S; EECS is in CoE which is hyper-competitive for its admission),
    6. Georgia Tech,
    7. UCLA
    8. UW-Seattle.

    Columbia? Probably not for CS . But I. Karatzas of Math/Stat is my only favorite prof there.

    You may want to add 1-2 more safeties.

    Best of luck!
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