4 years ago
Admissions Advice

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.

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @chiccc to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.
[🎤 AUTHOR]@chiccc4 years ago

@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?

@DebaterMAX4 years ago

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

@DebaterMAX4 years ago

Also definitely look at a few neighboring state schools and the Cal St system

[🎤 AUTHOR]@chiccc4 years ago

Thank you that was very helpful

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Accepted Answer
4 years ago[edited]

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: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/applying-as-a-freshman/how-applications-are-reviewed.html

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.

4 years ago

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.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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