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Chance Me? Caltech, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, etc.

soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
edited July 10 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 Caltech and UC Berkeley. Rising Senior.

Intended Major: Data Science (maybe CS if Data Science not offered at particular school)
Intended Minor: Cog Sci
Personal Details: Asian Female
Location: Competitive Public High School in Bay Area
Hooks: Recruited athlete at a couple D3's, Caltech included

3.97 GPA (UW); 4.3+(W)
AP Junior Year: (only available junior year onward at my school :( ) Stats, Calc BC, Physics 1
Senior Year Courses: Multivariable Calculus/ Linear Algebra, AP Physics C, AP CSA, AP Lit, Selected out of 15 top math students doing Calc BC (which was only like 30 kids lol) to be AP Calc BC teacher's TA (takes up 1 period) , Gov/Econ, School's Peer Resource/Mentoring Class
SAT: 1580 ; 780 ERW and 800 Math
PSAT: 1480
Subject Tests: Math II (800); Chemistry (770);





o Designed website directing students to free college education resources in STEM subjects
o Allows students to ask high school graduates questions about these extracurricular studies

-PEER RESOURCE LINK CREW OFFICER (2019-Present): created desktop/ web app delegating school curriculum/teachers/grades classes are offered at our school for freshmen after popular demand for this info (using javascript)

o In charge of Interviewing Mental Health Applicants for 2021 year and brought online presence by coding mobile app delegating school events/ mental health related resources; used by more than half of the student body (using javascript cross platform); also created/manage website for the committee (using javascript, HTML, etc)



o Played basketball varsity team since freshman year
 One of two freshmen selected to move up to varsity in 2017
 Part of the starting line-up for the past 3 years.

o Played AAU basketball since elementary school, competing against nationally-ranked


-CHOIR (2019-Present)
o Raised awareness to save STEM school's arts programs through performances at Open House
o Alto leader

- PIANO ACCOMPANIST (2012-Present)
o Completed High School Level National Distinction and received the CERTIFICATE FOR
o Won first place award for NATIONAL GUILD REPERTOIRE-CA, 2016 and

(quit due to lingering knee injury cause of bball)





o President and Founder

-Helped found online, international STEM journal/newspaper by teens for teens; I am Math Lead/editor

- Independent research on Parkinson's Disease; submitted research proposal to regional STEM writing competition and won honorable mention, will be placed later in month; currently completing statistics research with a professor relating mental health to cardiovascular disease (planning to publish in science youth journal)

Internships: Intern at The Open Code Foundation; intern for Machine Learning at Stem Away

Dual Credit Courses Taken: Spanish 4, Psych, and Java

Also self studied AP CSP in 10th grade and got a 5.

edited July 10
13 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Chance Me? Caltech, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, etc.

  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 254 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @soso365: Wow, I'm so impressed and obviously not so-so on any given day of a year. Personally I think you really do have a great chance for your top two choices assuming you would also deliver compelling essays + great recommendations. When applying, make sure to have a list of reach, match and safety schools.

    Yes, UCB does offer Data Science UG degree nowadays. Please check the link below.


    Best of luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks @CalCUStanford ! So far, I have a lot of schools that I consider targets for me, in my list, like UCSD, UCI, UW, UIUC, etc., a couple safety: UC's along with UMD and UNC Chapel Hill, along with the couple of schools I mentioned in my post as reaches.
    · Reply · Share
  • CalCUStanfordCalCUStanford 254 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Caltech admission is more merit-based than other private elite ones. I'd suggest you to add Stanford to your list though the school conducts "holistic" admission process. The school has excellent CS and Statistics programs with abundant resources and friendly faculty members, etc.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2988 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Admission rate to Berkeley for students whose weighted UC GPA was 4.20 and above was 38% last year. So While Berkeley is a reach for you, it is a low reach. Looking at your profile, and the fact that 38% is the average, it may be more like a high match or even a match. UCLA is similar.

    If you are a recruited athlete for Caltech, your chances are those of any recruited athlete whose profile is also very competitive.

    In general, your chances are about as high as they can be for anybody who does not have a serious hook (like legacy). I agree with @CalCUStanford that you should add Stanford to your list, and MIT may be a good place, as well.

    UCSD is a low match (71% acceptance rate in 2019 for applicants with weighted GPAs over 4.20), UCI is a match.

    UW and UIUC have much lower acceptance rates to CS, and should be considered reaches,

    UNC Chapel Hill is a reach for OOS applicants

    I also think that acceptance rates to CS at UMD are lower than their average, so it may be a reach as well.

    Of course, based on your profile, you will be competitive for any of these and I would be surprised if you weren't accepted to multiple programs which are reaches, but it has been known to happen.

    To which D3 colleges have looked to recruit you, aside from Caltech, if I may ask?
    · Reply · Share
  • soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
    edited July 10
    @MWolf Thanks for your input! Mainly liberal arts schools like Swarthmore, Occidental, Wesleyan, and Haverford have been officially recruiting me, and I have been in contact with the MIT coach, but no official talks of recruitment have been made yet. I feel like Caltech is a better fit for me than most of those schools, although being a recruited athlete is not that much of a hook at Caltech.
    Also, I was going off of how many kids from my school get accepted/attend UIUC, UNC Chapel Hill, and UMD for CS/ Stats related majors compared to my profile, which is a quite a lot of kids. However I will definitely take the low acceptance rates into account, thanks for mentioning that.
    edited July 10
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  • soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
    BTW I forgot to mention that will be a part of the leadership team setting up a local online girls hackathon and finally getting the opportunity to participate in some more online ones as well; don't know if this will be a major help to my app tho or not
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  • engineergirl46engineergirl46 2 replies2 threads New Member
    Hey I just wanted to ask how you got recuruited to Caltech? I have the times for their women's xc team but it doesn't look like their recruiting season has begun and they have official "recruiting" unless you qualify academically through applying.
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  • svlab112svlab112 674 replies7 threads Member
    You seem like a solid candidate. That being said, UC acceptance can be unpredictable. My youngest was accepted to UCB and UCLA and rejected from UCSD.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3980 replies52 threads Senior Member
    I didn't realize that Caltech did athletic recruiting. How strong of an influence is this on admissions? Ivy league athletic recruits get what is known as a Likely Letter. Is this the same for Caltech?
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  • soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
    @engineergirl46 I emailed d3 coaches of schools that I was interested in, and caltech's coach showed a lot of interest in me when she emailed me back. I would recommend getting the xc coach's email off their website and emailing him an introduction: what school you are from, how many years varsity, times, footage (I think this is mainly for team sports/tennis though), etc. Also, fill our their questionnaire. Hope this helps!
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  • soso365soso365 5 replies2 threads New Member
    @sgopal2 they don't do official recruiting. They recruit athletes that they think would qualify academically to caltech. However, the coach is trying to get her program to be more competitive, so she is rejecting recruits after watching their film/stats etc. even if they qualify academically. Also, as I told her that I will be attending caltech for sure if I get in, she is writing me a recommendation letter for the admissions office, which gives my application a second, closer look.
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3980 replies52 threads Senior Member
    Ok thats surely a great sign. Caltech is somewhat unpredictable, but it certainly looks bright. Good luck!
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  • vhsdadvhsdad 254 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Consensus at Caltech and MIT is that with full coach support, it's 50/50. No likely letters.
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