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CA Schools applications


Hi I am a rising senior this year and to tell the truth. I am quite lost as far as my application goes. My unweighted gpa is around a 3.5 so far while my weighted is barely around a 4.0 I have taken 10+ AP/IB classes and am fluent in English and French and have a laundry list of activities including employment as a cognitive therapist and regional and state level recognition of two sports. I am currently looking into all of the UCs as well as other California schools and trying to stay local. The major issue I have however is how I am going to be considered with a GPA as low as mine at the moment in these prestigious schools. I am most likely unable to take the 2020 SAT so my application will be as is. Most of my chances calculations on this site will indicate that I exceed expectations as far as extracurriculars and have an impressive record as far as course rigor for schools. However, these same calculations reveal that I'm well below the GPA threshold for the schools I am applying for. The feedback I get from parents, counsellors, coaches and teachers has been rather inconsistent with some saying I have a good chance while others saying that I do not. I really need just an honest in depth advice from anyone with experience with situations like mine.

@DebaterMAX thank you I am thinking of applying to all of the UCs so that I have options. Some of the feedback that I've gotten on this site also kind of makes me wonder if it is accurate because it told me that schools like UCR and UCSC are safety while I figured with my rate I would barely even get into those. Can anyone tell me how accurate they've found the site to be so far?
So CV chancing is the best available but nothing is perfect and as a rule of thumb anything below 50% admit rate is a target. Id say UCR and UCSC are both targets for you. Also I’d recommend you to save money by not applying to UCLA and UC Berkeley as to be frank you have very little chance to get in there and there is an application fee per school
Also definitely look at a few neighboring state schools and the Cal St system
Thank you that was very helpful
and some private schools too... good ones in California are Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco, Dominican University of California, University of Southern California (reach school), Scripps if you are a woman (women's only college), and Cal Lutheran University.
and University of the Pacific in Stockton.
I am also very interested in Cal Poly Pamona, Cal Poly SLO (though it is a reach) as well as Biola University and La Verne. Do you know anything about those schools and could you possibly give me any feedback or recommendations regarding applications
So look at the common data set for all of the schools especially how important a school considers certain activity. Google common data set insert school
So to clarify if i wanted to find this information I would google for example: common data set La Verne?
Yup if you are on a computer try control F and type in important and you should get a table with things the college evaluates. It also has admit % and other info. It’s pure data so not a whole lot of explanation but data is really what is needed
Hope I helped!
Cal Poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona have strict major requirements (you have to pick a major at the start and it is very hard to switch) so be aware of that. The application is the CalState application where you just enter in your coursework, test scores, and personal info... there are no essays. Biola uses their own application and I don't know of essays. La Verne uses common app, I don't think it has any supplemental essays.

2 answers

answered on[edited]
Accepted answer

As an additional note here is a UC GPA calculator:

And here are the ranges for the UC colleges:

UC Berkeley: 4.15 - 4.30

UC Davis: 4.00 - 4.26

UC Irvine: 4.00 - 4.25

UCLA: 4.18 - 4.32

UC Merced: 3.45 - 4.00

UC Riverside: 3.69 - 4.11

UC San Diego: 4.03 - 4.28

UC Santa Barbara: 4.04 - 4.28

UC Santa Cruz: 3.76 - 4.16

They also employ holistic review using 14 factors which are listed here:

I am a person, so my take may be biased, but you should be a good shot for UCM, UCR, and UCSC, and should be in okay shape for UCSD, UC Irvine, and UCSB.

Cal State system uses an eligibility index. Some good choices for you would be Cal Poly SLO (if you are sure of your major), SDSU, SJSU, and CSU Fullerton.

Eligibility Index is calculated by multiplying CSU GPA by 800 and adding to your SAT Score. Here is the eligibility index for SJSU:

I hope this helps in addition to @DebaterMAX 's stuff.

EDIT: Also if you are in the top 9% of your high school class, you are guaranteed admission into at least 1 UC school.

Thank you for all the feedback I really appreciate it! Just one thing.. my Highschool doesn't do class rank so is that something I need to ask my counselors for or is that something that UC determines for themselves?
No you don’t need to do anything. If your school did class rank it would be on the transcript. As cr is slowly being done away with it Class rank is a metric so some evaluate it but if not known as your Hs doesn’t do CR it isn’t cared about
It’s like great if you did if not done not considered
Your counselors will have a general list of students in the top 9% that they send to UCs... you can ask about it. Its called Eligibility in the Local Context.
Also for cal poly Pomona and slo my plan for University is to double major in business administration and computer engineering and then apply for law school afterwards with those two backgrounds. It sounds rigorous but with the amount of college level courses I've already done most universities that I have been in touch believe that my schedule would likely be flexible enough for it.The only thing is you mentioned that those schools were particular about majors.Could you maybe elaborate please? Just check this out this is for SLO
Thank you 😅
Your welcome
They have high impaction... you can probably double major but you should apply for the more competitive major... likely Computer Engineering
Sorry I understand what you just said but could you clarify why applying for the more competitive major will help my chances at schools with high impaction?
It won't help with your chance of admission, but it would help with your chance of double majoring. Engineering generally has higher requirements than Business Administration, meaning that if you get admitted under one of the more impacted major, you will have more free reign to add a second major or switch majors. HOWEVER, if you are dead set on going to Cal Poly, apply for Business and try and finesse your way into Computer Engineering once there....
Ohh ok I understand now thank you
answered on

So while I don’t know where you are in California and what catergorizes as local becuase Oregon UNLV Nevada Reno and AZ St and Arizona are all great schools and you can likely be accepted at all of the ones listed above.

In regards to California public schools the UC system is not just UCLA and UC Berkeley it has another very selective school in UC Irvine (35%) and a less selective UC Merced (70%) to stuff in between. And that doesn’t mention the Cal St system.

The Cal state system is much less selective than UC but in certain areas it isn’t as good. But they have a few shining stars San Jose St and San Diego St are very good schools and are constantly ranked as best value schools.

This is a great overview of the Cal St schools.

Academic requirements for Cal


As for your ECs they need no improvement for the upper tier Cal St and mid-ish tier of UC.

All UC campuses I’d recomend googling middle 50% for both gpa and SAT.

Please excuse my spelling.

Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.