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Recommended Schools for my GPA

  1. Jan 24, 2009 #1
    Here's the breakdown of my GPAs for 2 semesters of each school year:
    Freshman: 4.0 and 4.0
    -American Sign Language 1/2
    -English Honors
    -P.E.
    -Wood Tech
    -Biology
    -Geometry

    Sophomore: 4.0 and 3.83
    -Healthy&Safety/Career Pathways
    -Chemistry Honors
    -World History
    -Algebra II Honors
    -English Honors
    -Cross Country
    -Yearbook

    Junior: 4.17
    -English
    -Physics
    -US History
    -Trig/Pre-Cal Honors
    -Art
    -Mandarin 3/4
    -Yearbook

    At the moment, I am beginning my 2nd semester of my Junior year. I'm confident I'll get 4.17 next semester as well.
    And for my senior year, this is what I have planned:
    -Physics AP
    -Calculus BC AP
    -English
    -Government/Economics
    -Mandarin 5/6
    -Yearbook

    After taking the Physics class, plus my liking for math, I've decided I want to pursue a career in the engineering field. I hate reading and writing, but do okay in it. I will be taking my first SAT in March, and the SAT 2s that I will also be taking are Physics, Math 2C, and Mandarin.

    Every time I go see my counselor, he will ask me what school I would like to go to, and every time I would say I don't know. Truth is, I don't. I know what I want to do, just not the schools that are good for it. Everywhere I search, I come up with different results, but most surround MIT, CalTech, and Stanford etc.

    I myself am Asian, and was wondering what are some good schools for civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering that I will have a chance of getting into? I live in California so schools in the state would be preferrable, but I don't mind outer state schools either. Tuition is not a main concern of mine. I will apply for financial aid.

    However, as you can see, I am not loading up with APs because I want to focus on the subjects that I am good at. I also want to build foundations before jumping the gun. Obviously, I can't get into MIT, I don't think my GPA is good enough for the competition.

    Any recommendations, advice, or input would be great!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2009 #2
    I'd apply to all the schools I was interested in.
    Your grades should make you a possibly candidate nearly anywhere.

    If you're doing searches that bring up certain schools repeatedly, do some research on those schools. The internet allows you a huge amount of information on any school you want to look into. Read about the schools, narrow your choices and maybe go on some visits.


    At the top end of school quality every applicant will have a good record, but you can't be accepted if you don't apply.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2009 #3

    tmc

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    Just to be clear, your GPA is out of 4.3 right?
     
  5. Jan 24, 2009 #4
    No, my GPA is out of 4.17 for my junior year. I am taking 7 classes, 6 of which are normal 4.0 for As. Trig/Pre-Cal Honors is weighted, so I get 5.0 for an A.

    The other weighted class I took was in Sophomore year, it was Chemistry Honors. So that year should have been out of 4.17 as well, but I got 4.0 and 3.83 because I got a B in 1st semester for English Honors and a C in 2nd semester for English Honors.

    I have extra curriculars where I am an Officer. I also run Cross Country and Track where I've received an award for most improved.

    I was just afraid that since I am not taking APs in my Junior, I will not be as "out there" as other Juniors my age. I know a lot of them that take US History AP, Psychology AP, Bio AP, and Chem AP as well as Environmental Science AP even though they have no interest in it at all. To me that's pointless. If I have no interest in it, I will have no incentive to work for it. I'd rather take on class I'm interested in.

    Oh yeah, I might take an engineering ROP class over the summer because my school offers those for free.

    The schools I've been coming up with are the following:
    -Berkeley
    -Georgia Institute of Technology
    -University of NC Chapel Hill
    -Cornell
    -USC
    -University of Illinious Urbana-Champaign
    -Purdue University
    -Caltech
    -MIT
    -Stanford

    I plan to apply to a couple of them that are realistic enough that I might be able to get into, but I'd also like to see what other ones that haven't been popping up are good for Engineering.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  6. Jan 24, 2009 #5

    j93

    User Avatar

    I dont understand why some schools weigh honors classes. I can comprehend AP classes because their standardized but not honors.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2009 #6
    If you're applying to the very top schools I would suspect that a good GPA is not the only thing that matters; you'd probably need excellent SAT/ACT, great recommendation letters, lots of extra curricular activities and volunteer hours, and winning as many competitions as possible. A perfect GPA does not mean much to top schools because they get great applicants from everywhere with perfect GPA's. They want someone who stands out; exceeds expectations, not just meets them. Also, having a few less AP classes than someone else probably won't mean to much as long as you meet the criteria I listed above.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2009 #7

    j93

    User Avatar

    For a tech school hes going to stand out in a negative because he has only taken one AP science course even though they are all offered. A school like Caltech or MIT really only takes one or two students from each HS unless hes is gong to Stuyvesant or some high profile HS. There are other students in his HS who are taking AP Physics/Chem and AP Calculus and are probably doing extracurriculars like him. His best hope is to have a significant gap between his SATI/SATII scores and those students who are taking AP Physics/Chem/Bio.
     
  9. Jan 24, 2009 #8
    First, don't weight your GPA.

    Second, GPA is a very small portion of some schools admissions process. If you have a mediocre GPA but outstanding activities, tests, and the later you are likely to get in.

    If you have a strong GPA but weak extra, you are likely to be relegated to a top state university. (nothing wrong with it, but top end private colleges are highly competitive.)

    I know more than one person who was rejected from MIT only to attend Harvard on scholarship.

    Just apply to ANY school you have interest in. The worst thing they can do is reject you. It can NOT hurt you. (well, the 70$ admissions fee can be a pain in the wallet. . .)
     
  10. Jan 24, 2009 #9
    True, but when it's all said and done, that $70 application fee will be fraction of the money you spend going to a school like MIT. Like a previous poster stated, there is nothing wrong with saving money and going to a good state school.

    Just ask yourself this; what's more important? The name of the school on your diploma, or the diploma itself?

    I guess it all depends on what type of person you are, and what your goals are. Oh, and someone mentioned test scores etc. If you plan on simply getting into schools like MIT based solely on the fact that you have a high GPA, forget about it. MIT has been known to reject students with perfect SAT scores. For undergraduate, they want a well rounded student...whatever that is:rolleyes:.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2009 #10
    Don't worry too much about GPA. As far as I am concerned, your extracurriculars and recommendations will probably turn out to be more important since you have good GPA. Also your SAT.

    But to be frank, your course selection is mediocre at best. If you believe you want to concentrate on things you like rather than taking a shotgun approach with your AP classes, you probably want to follow this up with credible evidence that you've really spent time to do something special in those areas. I believe something like that doesn't just help you, but is pretty much required for schools like MIT or Caltech. What I am seeing is that you have a lot of "reach" schools and "safety" schools, but not many in the middle. I suggest you find more universities like Cornell. Good schools where you have reasonable chance. Of course, I am assuming something like 90th percentile for your SAT.
     
  12. Mar 17, 2009 #11

    j93

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    Unknot is right your course selection is weak. You only have 2 AP courses if this is because only two are offered than it might be ok.
     
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