Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Attending community college, chance at Caltech?

  1. Aug 31, 2010 #1
    I am currently a student at a community college in Baltimore, Maryland, and I'm wondering what my chance of getting into Caltech is. Here's my story: I attended two high schools simultaneously. One was a technical high school, where I majored in Industrial Technology. The second was a public high school. I graduated both in 2006, at the age of 16. I was only in high school for three years, I essentially skipped my senior year. After high school, I went straight to working. I started attending community college after a year, taking 5 honors classes. I had A's in each class, then tragedy struck. Both of my parents became very ill and I couldn't take my finals, due to caring for them. Therefore, I failed each class. I stopped going to community college, and started working again. I currently work full-time as a machinist, and have been attending community college full time since fall of 2009. I am going to attempt to transfer to a university for the fall of 2011 semester. I have been taking 5 classes each semester, and have earned high A's in every class I have taken since I have started back at community college. I have not taken the SAT, and don't plan to do so, as I don't need to for the universities I am applying to. I am applying to John Hopkins University for mechanical engineering w/ aerospace option, University of Maryland College Park for aerospace engineering, and Caltech for mechanical engineering w/ aerospace minor. I am very interested in Caltech, I flew out to Pasadena and visited the school earlier this year. Will my previous stint at community college tarnish my record enough to kill my chances at Caltech? Do I have a chance to begin with?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2010 #2
    I neglected to mention that my GPA in high school was a 3.2. I'm not sure if that matters, as I have perused further education. Also, I plan to transfer in as a sophomore, with some extra credits under my belt. I will have the freshman coursework completed at the time of transfer, as well as a few humanities courses.
  4. Aug 31, 2010 #3


    User Avatar

    I'm assuming you've read CalTech's transfer page and realize you'll have to pass exams covering about two years of college physics and calculus when you apply. They admitted 31 transfer applicants from community colleges last year. Keep in mind that half the freshmen who get into CalTech have done original research already - if you have not after two years of college (and it's hard to get that chance at a community college) that's going to hurt your application.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook